Most organizations understand the need to secure their network. When setting up their network, they’ll purchase a security appliance (firewall) as they should. After that, no one gives their firewall another thought until it stops working. However, your firewall is no different than any modern technology. You should replace it regularly.
Why Replace Your Firewall?
Most technology eventually reaches a point where it’s no longer useful. Windows XP served us faithfully. Towards the end of its life, viruses could infect a fresh Windows XP installation in a matter of minutes. Last week, we reminded you about the upcoming end of support for Windows 7. Firewalls work no differently.
Your firewall is basically a small computer that monitors your network. Manufacturers release updates to handle new threats. (You are updating your firewall, right?) But your firewall has a lifecycle. Eventually, every firewall reaches a point that the manufacturer no longer supports it. Any known vulnerabilities will be left unpatched, and your firewall can’t really do its job anymore.
When To Replace Your Firewall
Typically, manufacturers support their hardware for a certain period after they stop selling it. The period varies for each manufacturer, but it’s usually about 5 years.
For example, SonicWall will often sell each model for about 3 years. They will continue to support it for an additional 5 years after that. With that knowledge, you definitely should replace any SonicWall device older than 8 years.
Manufacturers publish lifecycle information for their products after they stop selling them. You can find SonicWall’s lifecycle table here.
Regardless of the manufacturer, you should replace any firewall that’s 8-10 years old. Besides technology improvements, security requirements change all the time. Most likely, your firewall no longer meets those standards and isn’t as effective as it should be.
Get Help Replacing Your Firewall
Replacing a firewall involves more than just running down to the electronics store. How did you configure the current firewall? Do you need a VPN? Will the new device allow your organization to grow down the road? The wrong firewall won’t keep up and can slow down your network. You also don’t want to spend more money than necessary.
We can help answer your questions, figure out a realistic budget, and walk you through the entire process. Replacing a firewall doesn’t have to be scary. Just give us a call or request a consultation below, and we’ll handle it from there.