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by Paul Heritage

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SonicWall Management Settings

by Paul Heritage

After you’ve invested in your new SonicWall firewall from our company, you’ll want to make sure you learn about the SonicWall settings that will help you use this purchase to its full advantage. With so many benefits of a SonicWall firewall, you’ll want to ensure you are using the right management settings to enjoy protection no matter the size and type of business you operate. If you do find you need SonicWall firewall support, our team will be here to answer your questions at any time. Keep reading as we share some of our top tips for firewall management setting options to make the most of your SonicWall firewall this year.

Changing Your Firewall Management Settings

The first thing you need to learn about SonicWall firewall support is how to adjust your management settings. This basic skill can save you from needing professional help over and over again and can resolve many of the issues you may have with your firewall. Use the system tree and then select Management to find the page you need to access. One thing to keep in mind is that if you do change these settings, it may adjust units to become disconnected from GMS. Make sure you don’t make any major changes to your system without being sure it’s the right thing to do. Otherwise, contact our team with any questions you have first to avoid further issues.

You’ll then enter the port number in the HTTP Port field or choose Enable HTTPS Access to the unit if this is the option you need. You can use 8443 as the port for HTTPS access, so you won’t have to download a new certificate every time you want to use this system. You’ll then have the choice of whether you want to manage your system with GMS or a VPN, which you can choose in the Enable Management menu. The next thing to consider is the LAN interface and whether it’s online. Always select Enable Ping from LAN/WorkPort to the management interface for this option. By choosing to follow these tips we’ve shared above, you’ll have the basic settings in place to ensure you follow the top firewall management setting practices.

Sonicwall Management Settings

Managing Your SonicWall via HTTP

SonicWall firewalls can be managed by either HTTP or HTTPS and your web browser. The default setting is HTTP management, but you’ll find that you can log into the management interface to switch over to HTTPS. As far as the default ports, you can use 443 for HTTPS and 80 for HTTP. The Certificate Selection option offers you the option to use a self-signed certificate if that’s something you would prefer. Another important feature to use is the Delete Cookies button, which will remove browser cookies. Remember that this will delete any unsaved changes that you’ve made within the management tool, so only do this if you are happy to lose anything you’ve recently updated. We always encourage you to double-check before making any changes within the management settings, as you don’t want to undo the protection your firewall is offering you.

Use Tooltips for Extra Assistance

Something we really like with the SonicWall firewall management settings and system is the option to use their tooltips. These tips are embedded into many elements of the user interface. You’ll find little pop-up windows appear when you put your mouse over one of the elements you may be looking at. They give you a small description of the element, so you can learn more about the changes you might make to your settings. Keep in mind that not every element has this option, so if you hover your mouse over it, and it’s not there, don’t worry, as it’s just not available for this element.

These tips are a great way to learn more about the management system by yourself, and you’ll find your knowledge continues to expand the more you use this system. They are enabled automatically, but you do have the option to disable them if you don’t find value in them any more. You can also change the configuration of these tooltips, which can make them even more valuable to you as a user.

SonicWall management settings offer you the chance to have full control over your firewall. The more time you spend using this system and making changes to the settings, the easier it will be to know how best to protect your system. We recommend always taking your time to learn about the settings before making major changes, as you don’t want to reduce the protection you have if it’s serving your business well. Our team will be here to answer your questions at any time on this topic and support you with making adjustments to your management settings if needed. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can support you with a new SonicWall firewall this year.

How to configure firewalls to be managed by Global Management Systems (GMS)

by Paul Heritage

Good security management relies on understanding your security environment. And not just parts of it. All of your network environments.

You need to have a holistic overview of all aspects of your network and levels of security to put you in the best possible place to prevent malicious and relentless cyber-attacks. Attacks that can cost your business thousands.

Often, at SonicWall-Sales, we find businesses operating across numerous security platforms, with data reporting complex and varied, making for poor information and analytics.

In turn, this varied security detail can lead to confusion regarding what your security systems are managing and, indeed, reporting on.

Instead, you need to be able to react to security threats quickly and effectively. You must have robust processes in place to manage your network security and, ideally, be able to do this all from one central location.

The good news is that the SonicWall GMS (Global Management System) can do all this and


Providing you with robust management, monitoring, reporting, and analytics across all SonicWall firewalls, you can now view and capture your entire security environment with one system.

In addition, you will also receive SonicWall firewall support, management of wireless access points, effective email security, mobile access, monitoring of third-party networks, and more; with the SonicWall GMS, you can now have a centralised hub for all security monitoring and management.

How to configure firewalls to be managed by Global Management Systems (GMS)

SonicWall Global Management Systems

  • Bring your security environment together under one unified system.
  • Reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and provide quicker response times.
  • Integrate software and applications seamlessly into other security software.
  • Continue to meet stringent compliance regulations.
  • Allow you to make better and more informed security decisions based on real-time data and monitoring.
  • Provide you with complete and consistent analytics and reporting, clear audit trails, and more.

How to configure firewalls

Within your network, you will need to work within the administration tab of your network settings. From here, identify the firewall to be configured and select `enable GMS management.` Then click, configure.

Any SonicWall firewall policy changes are configured through GMS and also colour-coded to highlight the changes in the system.

Validation and testing of the firewall will then be carried out.

Audit trails will act as reviews of the updated firewall changes.

And, once approved, firewall changes will be deployed across the entire security environment.

Finally, change logs will be updated for auditing and compliance purposes.

Our team of security professionals can help you to configure SonicWall firewalls and GMS if required; call us at 0330 1340 230.

You can also check out our more detailed guidance HERE.

How to configure SonicWall remotely

If you have remote branches or office locations, you can also use the Zero-Touch deployment service, which is part of GMS.

Simplifying, updating, and making changes to firewalls remotely, you can now operationalise your network's firewalls at scale, removing the need for individual configuration and installation.

Configure Firewall

All firewalls must be registered to the GMS using their serial number and authentication code.

You will then be required to connect the firewall to the network where it can be discovered, authenticated, and added to the appropriate Capture, configuring this with SonicWall.

Once it has been discovered, captured, and configured, you're now able to manage and control all firewalls centrally through your cloud-based management system.

This will allow you to initiate updates, patches, and any configuration changes at a group level – saving you considerable time and resources.

With GMS-configured firewalls, you can quickly and easily set policies all from a central point.

Benefits of configuring firewalls to be managed by GMS:

  • Ensures all firewalls are updated at the same time – avoids discrepancies and a lot of time and resources being deployed.
  • Minimises service disruptions – teams can remain largely unaffected by software updates occurring in the background or scheduled for out-of-hours.
  • Simplifies your security management – everything is in one place, reporting is consistent, and data and information come from one source.
  • Produces robust reporting to aid better decision-making – you now have the option of real-time intuitive information available at your fingertips.
  • You have limitless scalability – providing you with complete flexibility, as the system can grow when your business grows.
  • Provides visibility of all your devices from one central location – see exactly what is going on, where, and when, all in an instant.
  • You have interactive dashboards – this allows for on-the-spot decisions to be made, allowing you to stop cyber-attacks in their tracks.

SonicWall firewall support

It is possible to create a strong yet flexible security environment that is operational from one point, allowing you to stay one step ahead of cyber-criminals at all times.

Working with the right team and deploying the right software for your business is key.

Protecting your business and its data and information is our top priority.

To learn more and see how our systems and software can help you today, call us at 0330 1340 230 or email enquiries@sonicwall-sales.com

Troubleshooting Your SonicWall Firewall: Essential Tips And Techniques For Network Administrators

by Paul Heritage

If you’ve been given the task of being the network administrator for your new SonicWall firewall, then you may be looking for the best ways to manage this system. The good news is that SonicWall firewall support is readily available to business owners who’ve recently installed this system. You’ll also find the system to be very intuitive, so you can learn by yourself how to troubleshoot firewall issues. Visit our firewall page to discover more about the products we offer and to learn about the benefits this investment could make to your business.

Troubleshooting Your SonicWall Firewall: Essential Tips And Techniques For Network Administrators

Resetting Your SonicWall Firewall

One of the most basic things to learn when discovering how to troubleshoot a firewall is how to reset the system if you need to. While we hope you won’t need to do this too often, it’s something that can sometimes be necessary for a variety of reasons. To start the process, access your Settings menu, and then choose the Device button. Make sure you always create a backup and then use the local backup option to save your current settings. You’ll then be ready to go ahead and do the full reset, which you can access at the back of the device using a pin. Make sure you only reset your device in an emergency situation or if it’s really not functioning properly, as this isn’t something we recommend doing too frequently.

Connectivity Issues

Another commonly discussed area when it comes to SonicWall support troubleshooting is connectivity. You’ll find that the majority of issues with firewalls are due to the network it’s running on, but it may also be to do with the settings. If you don’t have your firewall configured properly, then you’ll find it won’t be able to perform its desired role to the best of its ability. When the firewall isn’t set up to the best of its ability or is working with a weak signal, this can leave your network open to attack. Make sure you double-check all of your settings if you suspect there are issues, and then you should be ready to enjoy maximum protection again from your firewall.

Internet Access with the SonicWall Firewall

It’s very easy to allow internet access through your firewall, which you can set up using the web-based management interface. You’ll need to log in to your account first, then you can navigate through the settings to approve internet access. Go to Network, then choose Zones, and you’ll be able to select a new zone for your internet. You can then allow different protocols and ports for your internet access, before applying these changes and saving them. SonicWall troubleshooting is quick and easy when you know how, but it’s something we recommend you take the time to learn about so that you don’t have to keep calling for professional assistance.

Throughput Concerns

A very common firewall troubleshoot concern that we hear about from business owners is regarding SonicWall throughput. If the device doesn’t receive enough data to process or gets too much data, then this can lead to a drop in the throughput and efficiency of the system. Make sure you first try to identify and rectify the issues causing this decrease in the throughput. You’ll also want to ensure that you have done all of the recent updates to your SonicWall device. When you don’t keep your device fully updated, you’ll find that it won’t be as effective as it could be and may not be able to offer you the full protection you expect from this investment.

To help discover the root cause of your performance issues, make sure you take the time to test the performance and settings. As you adjust various settings, you’ll want to make sure you put the security level to the lowest option. Disable any features you don’t need to use if there is an issue with the overall power of the firewall. After some time, you may find that you need to upgrade your firewall, especially if you aren’t already using a powerful device like those offered from SonicWall. Our team can help you troubleshoot a firewall but will also be able to support you in choosing an upgraded device if you feel this is a good option for your business at the current time.

By learning these simple ways to troubleshoot your SonicWall firewall, you’ll find that you can resolve most major issues by yourself at home. Our team will always be here to support you after you’ve purchased a new SonicWall firewall from us, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about using this device to protect your business. Contact us today to learn more about the SonicWall firewalls we offer or to discuss any concerns you have about your current system.

Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online

by Paul Heritage

As gangs of hackers increase their ability and skills to collect and exploit our data, what can we do to minimize the damage? Start by assessing your risk and controlling the threats with some spycraft and outstanding cybersecurity technology.


The Internet is an incredible resource that has revolutionized every aspect of our ever-changing global society. Some parts of life are nearly impossible without some connection to the net for work, play or learning. Yet, while our connectivity accompanies the entire planet through the digital evolution, it also introduces a new level of risk few people ever imagined.

But “spycraft”? What does that have to do with you or me? In truth, most of us are the furthest thing from a “spy,” let alone know how to control our risk of hacking. But the fact that you’re reading this post means that you’re asking the right questions.

Allen Dulles and his 73 Rules.

Allen Dulles was an American diplomat and intelligence officer who served as the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and was the longest-serving director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1953 to 1961. During his time at the CIA, he played a significant role in shaping US foreign policy, particularly during the Cold War. He was involved in several covert operations, including overthrowing the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. He also helped establish the CIA’s covert action capabilities and modernized its intelligence-gathering methods.

The inspiration for this presentation is roughly based on Allen Dulles’s 73 Rules of Spycraft. When he wrote this missive, it was as an instructor for agents in the field. His general philosophy for the craft was that “spying” anywhere is often dangerous and must be engaged with the strictest discipline.

A quick read of Dulles’s rules reveals a bit of duplication and redundancy, but there are good reasons why he wrote that way. In part, he wanted to demonstrate that rules for this type of work required constant adaptation. And like a good teacher, Dulles illustrates that the essential aspect of being mindful about security “consists not only in avoiding big risks… it is consistent care in them that forms the habits of true security mindedness.”

Knives out: Lurking Cybersecurity Threats

In a real sense, you’re risking everything whenever you open a browser window. One little error, one misstep in judgment, and you could lose it all to a hacker.

According to the 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, while the total global count for ransomware was 493.3 million (a 21% drop over last year), Europeans saw an 83% jump, which includes a 112% increase in the UK. The education and finance sectors were hit the hardest, with sharp increases of 275% and 41%, respectively. So, while the risk of getting hit by ransomware is still higher than getting hit by a car or lightning, the effects can be just as devastating.

What is the solution? Experience shows us that we can manage both the risk and the potential damage. For the sake of this article, I present an easy four-step action plan.

Whom do you trust?

Trust is the crux of cybersecurity, where behavior and technology meet. Therefore, the first step is assessing trust and recognizing that risk is omnipresent.

Just by being here and reading this article, you trusted the host of the website where this article is published, the IT engineers and technicians who run the website, the coder who built the page and uploaded the article, and me. And that’s not including anyone who may have sent you a link because they think you should read it. My gosh. That’s four or five people in the process you’ve trusted already. Let’s add now the manufacturer of the technology you’re using to get here, your bandwidth provider, your fiber or wire or satellite company – maybe even the neighbor with a beard. You see where this is going, right?

The juvenile response to such mounting risk is, “I’ll never trust anyone.” However, such an attitude only takes us so far because when it comes to engagement and interaction (online or offline), eventually, you must trust someone.

Spycraft as a cybersecurity risk mitigator.

Consider the second step: how to apply spycraft as a risk mitigator. We adopt unconscious happenstance to function normally for everyday tasks: preparing ourselves for work, the commute, lunch, watching a show on the television, and walking the dog. Now consider how a happenstance approach endangers your cybersecurity. Risk always increases when we stop paying attention.

Adopting ‘spycraft-sense’ mitigates the risk of getting hit by a car by looking both ways before we cross a street. And you can avoid most lighting strikes simply by not going outside when conditions for lighting are present. Similarly, we can enhance cybersecurity by never blindly trusting everyone and everything we see online. That means adopting what Allen Dulles called “greater situational awareness” for the things that increase risk.

Therefore, we can reduce risk by becoming fully mindful of our daily interactions and engagements. That means being aware of how hackers deploy social engineering with various forms of phishing (email, text messaging, social media) and setting personal rules about links we click, sites we visit, downloads we take, and the technology we deploy to control or even reverse potential damage.

Cybersecurity technology that can enhance the effect of spycraft.

Then it should be no surprise that our third step is looking at how technology may enhance the effects of everything we’ve done so far. From great technological advancement comes greater convenience. New tech delivers fantastic opportunities straight into our hands. But, if we want to continue to enjoy those opportunities, then it’s really up to us as individuals to step up and control the inevitable risks that come with using them.

The title of this Mindhunter presentation seems a little apocalyptic – disaster is not inevitable. I would instead like to think that the title gives us some optimism. We don’t have to become spies to control our cybersecurity risks; we just need to follow basic rules of engagement and interaction to keep us safe from malware that can lead to ransomware and other advanced threats.

However, should something sneak past us, we want layers of technology that can stop threats before they exert their total potential damage. Think of yourself as an onion with an outside layer of good anti-virus and anti-malware software on all your local devices. In the next layer, we can deploy next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and AI-augmented software that analyzes even advanced threats and neutralize them without degrading device performance. And we want redundancies, backups, and means for easy rollback to protect our core. The best part is that this technology is off the shelf and ready to deploy today.

Explore and learn with SonicWall’s Mindhunters.

That leaves us to the fourth and final step: book your seat for MINDHUNTER #12, Cybersecurity: Preventing Disaster from Being Online. This is where you can pick up active lessons on cybersecurity from experts in the field today. Get the most from better online behavior and be boundless with excellent cybersecurity solutions and technology. The event is scheduled for April 18, 2023. Good hunting!

Effective Ways to Reduce the Risk of Your Cloud Environment

by Paul Heritage

While the cloud environment has many great advantages for business owners, security risks are now becoming more common in this field. To keep working safely in this environment, you need to make sure you do all you can to prevent cloud attacks. Go to our page to learn more about the products we offer which can support you with this task or keep reading as we share our top tips to reduce risk in a cloud environment.

Effective Ways to Reduce the Risk of Your Cloud Environment

Install a SonicWall Firewall

As a SonicWall firewall support company, our number one tip for improving your security in a cloud environment is to use a firewall. Many people believe that just because they are working in the cloud, they don’t need to install this. However, it’s one of the most critical tasks you can perform to reduce security risks in cloud computing. SonicWall is one of the most advanced and effective options for small and medium-sized businesses, offering a range of products to fit everyone’s needs. Our team will be here to support you in choosing the right option for your business and users to improve your security and safety.

Two-Factor Authentication

When it comes to who can log into your cloud environment, we recommend two-factor authentication. You’ll combine a password with a second type of authentication, such as a PIN. Your IT team can choose the best option based on the users in your business so that you always have a way of ensuring only the right people are accessing the files and items they need. The more you can do to restrict the chance of hackers entering your cloud environment, the more protected you’ll be. Many of the world’s top companies use this to help with mitigating security risks, so make sure you consider this when setting up your cloud systems.

Reduce the Number of Users

While it can be tempting to think that you can give everyone in your organisation or team access to a cloud environment, you’ll want to think about what this does for the risks with cloud computing. The fewer people you allow to access this system, the better it will be in the long run for your team and security. We recommend only sharing with people who critically need access to your system the username and password information, otherwise, you may have too many people trying to use one system. You’ll also find that there are fewer issues with files and errors being made, which is another cloud security risk when too many people are involved.

Don’t Share Accounts

It’s very common in workplaces for multiple users to share access information for a cloud-based platform. This is one of the biggest security mistakes you can make and can be a huge disaster when it comes to protecting your data and information. You never know who is going to get their hands on the login information, which is why every user should have their own set of credentials. Make sure your employees are educated about the risks of sharing their information with others, even if they think they are a co-worker they can trust with this information.

Don’t Cut Corners on Security

While you might think you can save time and money by making a few changes to your cloud environment, this is one of the worst things you can do in the long run. We always recommend investing in the best firewall you can afford to offer yourself maximum protection. Also, increase your storage and security in your cloud environment in the first place, so that you can get the best usage out of this environment. The upfront cost may seem like a lot to spend, but you’ll find that in the long run, you won’t have as many issues or concerns about security and safety. Ensure you also invest in training for your IT team where needed, so that they can resolve any issues further down the line.

A cloud environment is an excellent way for many businesses to operate today. You’ll find that it’s a very cost-effective solution for most companies, helping you to maximise the storage space on your physical devices. However, when it comes to working in the cloud, you’ll want to make sure you do all you can to keep safety and security as your top priority. Our team will be here to help you with this with the support of SonicWall, which offers a range of excellent firewalls that are suitable for everyone’s business needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about the range of SonicWall products on offer. We’ll be here to answer your questions about security in the cloud and ensure your business remains protected for many years to come.

You might be interested to read: How to configure firewalls to be Managed by Global Management System

SonicWall Firewall Configuration

by Paul Heritage

Our team is proud to offer a fantastic range of SonicWall firewall products. These products are designed to support small and medium-sized businesses that are looking to improve their company’s security. When you first invest in a SonicWall firewall, you’ll want to do all you can to configure its settings and make the most of this purchase. Today we’re going to take you through the process of setting up your SonicWall firewalls so that you can take advantage of all of the fantastic features and benefits of this product.

SonicWall Firewall Configuration

What is Firewall Configuration?

Firewall configuration is the process of setting up your firewall so that all of the settings fit the unique needs of your business. Businesses around the world rely on Sonic firewalls to improve their safety and security. You’ll find that they are ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, helping you to enjoy peace of mind when working on your computer systems. SonicWall firewall configuration uses the SonicOS operating system or the SonicOS enhanced operating system which is now available on most of their systems. This helps to improve your security when configured correctly. By taking the time to learn about all of the features and settings available to you, you can enjoy years of protection from your new firewall.

The SonicWall Installation Wizard

SonicWall configuration is made simple with the installation wizard. These devices have various wizards based on the model you choose, which will help with the configuration of firewall settings on your firewall. You’ll find a menu when you first use the firewall, which will make the router deployment quick and easy. Even if you’ve never used this type of device before, you’ll find that the setup process is easy to follow on the Setup Wizard. Follow the steps through slowly to make sure there aren’t any errors and that you’ve chosen the settings that will best suit your needs.

Address Object Configuration

One of the first things you’ll need to configure is the address object. You need to configure the address object to fit the SingleComm domain, which we can help you with when you first invest in your new firewall. This can be accessed on the Network tab, then the Address object button. Here you’ll find a list of object groups which you can also work on, but hit Add which is found under Address objects to add the address. Set the address to the WAN zone and hit okay, repeating this step for every SingleComm FQDN you need to connect to.

Logging in For the First Time

When you first set up your SonicWall, you’ll need to add a username and password. This will be required any time you need to make changes. As with any username and password combination, make sure it’s secure but easy to remember. Also, only share this with the people in your business to who you want to grant access to your SonicWall settings. This should typically be just your IT team and only a couple of members of staff. The more people who have access to this, the more likely you’ll be the victim of a hacking attack.

Creating Access Rules

Your SonicWall firewall will also require you to create access rules, which you can find under the firewall button. You’ll then see the matrix or drop-down boxes radio button, where you can apply the access rules. Clicking add will finish off this process. Make sure you set this up correctly so that only the right people can access the system and so that your firewall offers you the effective protection you need.

Who Can Benefit From a SonicWall Firewall?

Anyone can benefit from adding a SonicWall firewall to their business. No matter the shape and size of your business, you’ll find that you enjoy years of use and protection from this type of firewall. As long as you take the time to configure your settings correctly, you’ll be sure to benefit from this investment for years to come. Our team will be here to ensure you make the right choice when it comes to which firewall to choose for your business and then install it with our assistance if needed.

Are you looking to purchase a SonicWall firewall for your business? If so, get in touch with our team today or look through our selection of firewalls on offer on our site. Our team will be here to answer any of your questions about the benefits of using a firewall and how you can set one up for your business. We are always passionate about helping companies to improve their operations and make the most of the amazing tools on offer to you today. With technology only continuing to advance, we can’t wait to help you make this the best year yet for your business.

Recommended article to read: Effective Ways to Reduce the Risk of Your Cloud Environment

What is PCI-compliant firewall and why does your business need one?

by Paul Heritage

Firewalls are your first line of defence against all potential cyber-attacks.

Acting as a blockade between your network and the internet, firewalls ultimately block, contain, and remove any malicious internet traffic and suspicious content from entering your systems.

However, it is those point-of-sale environments where PCI-compliant firewalls come in.

PCI-DSS (payment card industry, data security standard) firewalls work hard to protect cardholder data from cyber-attacks.

With the protection of business data and customer information a formal requirement, there is more scrutiny than ever before on businesses who manage card payments and how they manage their firewall compliance.

The good news is our team is always on hand with up-to-date SonicWall firewall support, and we work with businesses of all sizes and with firewalls requiring numerous configurations.

Make sure to contact us if you have any specific or further questions.

What is a PCI Firewall?

PCI DSS firewalls go further than your average firewall and, as such, have additional requirements (which we’ll cover below).

A PCI-compliant firewall is configured for business payment card settings, protecting the cardholder data environment.

PCI compliance firewalls sit between your payment system and the internet; these firewalls segment all the secure payment elements of your network from those identified as less secure. Allowing customers to access web servers on other publicly available services while your internal networks remain protected and secure.

Ultimately, firewalls are designed to secure sensitive card data and details at all costs, and they do this by restricting the flow around the card environment.

To protect card payment environments, PCI firewalls come in the form of hardware, software, and various web applications. All working together to provide a layered approach to card environment security, as the more zones you create, the more secure your network will be. (Note: you may require multiple firewalls depending on your requirements, network, and payment environment.)

However, it is the rules that you set for your firewall that allow you to keep tight control and management. It is these rules that give firewalls their security power.

That and setting high-security standards, using virtual private networks (where applicable), and adding/closing switch ports.

Firewall configuration standards

These specific firewalls do have set requirements and guidelines, and as a first and foremost, they must also have periodic security reviews and software patching.

You must also consider the following:

Working with a professional vendor – a team that understands PCI compliance and its application to firewalls, who can support with installation, configuration, and more.

Location – devices should be in a secure location, often in an access-controlled server room restricted to specific personnel only.

Restricting access – restrict access to network equipment to security teams and senior management.

Manage all firewall configurations appropriately. Configured to block unauthorised access to your network, firewalls help to keep your network and customer payment data safe.

Integrate intrusion detection features, if appropriate and applicable.

Test your systems regularly. Testing is a vital part of the process and each test should include documentation of findings and any changes implemented.

Configuration of SonicWall firewalls

  • Create a strong password.
  • Turn on intrusion detection. Implementing measures to detect and prevent fraudulent IP addresses from entering your networks.
  • Only allow necessary inbound and outbound traffic to your payment systems. Do not allow unauthorised traffic from the cardholder data environment to the internet.
  • Turn on alerts and notifications.
  • Deny/restrict all traffic that you haven’t explicitly authorised. Restricting connections between untrusted networks and the cardholder data environment.
  • Hide your internal addresses from the internet through NAT (network address translation)
  • Allow only established connections into your network.
  • Keep firewalls updated and vulnerabilities to a minimum.

We advise all SonicWall firewalls and PCI firewalls to be properly installed, updated, and maintained by professionals, with checks and reviews carried out bi-annually.

As a business, you will also need to establish formal processes to validate and test connections, with clear documentation outlining all security measures. In fact, robust log management is a big part of PCI DSS requirements. This documentation outlines clearly defined rules and requirements, with these rules being the focal point of your SonicWall firewall configuration.

SonicWall firewall support

Numerous requirements relate to PCI DSS firewalls, making it challenging and time-consuming for many small to medium-sized businesses.

You need to understand how your systems interact with cardholder data, which is discovered through accurate cardholder data flow diagrams. Outlining network flows and more, it’s essential that you have full visibility of your system and the flows throughout.

We know that it’s vital that you respond to threats in a timely manner, and we understand that you need and want a system that supports your configuration requirements, with rules specifically set around your data flow diagrams.

That’s why our team is always on hand to help.

Professional and experienced security professionals, we can help you with various types of firewalls, setup, configuration, maintenance, and so much more.

Call us today on 0330 1340 230 or email us at enquiries@sonicwall-sales.com.

2023 SonicWall Threat Report

by Paul Heritage

SonicWall CEO Bob Van Kirk and SonicWall Threat Detection and Response Strategist Immanuel Chavoya discuss the exclusive research and unmatched insight you can find in the 2023 SonicWall Threat Report.

2023 SonicWall Threat Report - SonicWall

The 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report uncovers critical findings to help arm your organization with exclusive threat intelligence to safeguard against the ever-changing cyber threat landscape.

Download the report here.

What is cloud ransomware?

by Paul Heritage

In the ever-growing digital landscape we operate within, cyberattacks are very much present, with ransomware as one of the biggest threats to businesses and individuals to date.

As these attacks grow in sophistication, identifying vulnerabilities in your systems before hackers do, has become essential.

Many businesses made the shift to cloud-based services during COVID-19 when the majority of workforces took to working from home, allowing companies to be more flexible and mobile and encouraging and improving collaborations online.

What is cloud ransomware?

However, cybercriminals also took notice of this shift, and we soon began to see new strains of ransomware specifically targeting cloud operations. Making devices unusable, encrypting files, and only releasing these once a ransom has been paid.

For security teams everywhere now, protecting against ransomware in the cloud is a team effort that requires a layered approach with multiple solutions.

(Make sure to check out our page on cloud firewalls, features, benefits, and how we can help.)

Cloud Storage Ransomware

Cloud Ransomware is where cyber criminals access your accounts and network, installing ransomware applications that will start to encrypt cloud data. To release this encryption, they will then demand a ransom or threaten to expose the victim if they refuse.

There are three main types of cloud ransomware attacks:

First, ransomware infects file-sharing services – in this instance, the file-sharing service that all employees can access is infected with a malicious program that goes on to encrypt files stored on users' machines.

Secondly, ransom cloud attacks – affecting email services such as Office 365, phishing techniques are used to gain access to a user's email, encrypting these and then demanding a ransom.

Finally, ransomware targeting cloud suppliers – cloud suppliers become the target with the ransomware installed across all programmes. This is the most damaging of cyber-attacks as the entire cloud platform could be compromised in these situations.

With more businesses moving their digital infrastructure from hybrid to cloud operations, your security teams must be aware and stay updated with developments surrounding cloud ransomware attacks.

Fortunately, support and guidelines are available to further help businesses in this area. These guidelines look at ways to protect cloud operations, not too dissimilar to traditional on-site security network infrastructures – with the same aim – to protect against malicious ransomware.

But what is cloud ransomware, and how can you protect against it?

Ransomware attacks can happen if, for example, access cards are stolen, and attackers then use employees' workstations to access cloud services and steal/encrypt valuable and sensitive data and information.

If there is an unknown vulnerability in your system/network, a hacker will be able to find a way in and leave a programme to run in the background that will plant the ransomware.

Or if an email from an unknown sender is accidentally opened or a malicious link is clicked on etc.

All of these and more lead cyber-criminals directly into your network.

To combat this, there are several solutions to incorporate:

You can't protect what you can't see – you need complete control and visibility. You must identify all of your systems, users, data, applications, and more within your cloud network.

Restrict access, providing individuals and teams only with the access they need. Look to set time restrictions and even restrict specific resources.

Ensure all firewalls are correctly configured, controlled, managed, and maintained, with systems in place to provide you with an alert when something isn't right.

Speed up incident response times with provider alerts, monitoring feeds and allowing alerts to be directed to the appropriate team for immediate investigation or response.

Implement just-in-time authorisation and real-time monitoring, allowing you to identify and respond to any suspicious activity in real time.

Educate staff teams – carrying out regular security training gives all employees the knowledge and insight into how to spot a fake email, an unauthorised attachment, and more.

Backup your data – we always advise that you take regular backups and ideally store these in a separate location from your main network servers.

Install updates – you should always have the latest updates and patches installed, avoiding and fixing any vulnerabilities in your system.

Look to incorporate PCI-compliant firewalls if you have payment options for customers – check out our article on this area of firewalls and what it means for your business.

SonicWall firewall support

All businesses want to put preventative measures in place to stop, remove, and recover from a cyber-attack. And as a business, you are responsible for all the data you collect and store.

This means you are responsible for managing the security of this data and information.

However, you need to find a solution that comprehensively views your network security and configuration. Ideally, a solution that will integrate seamlessly into your current systems, adding to your layered approach to security – solutions like SonicWall firewalls.

SonicWall firewall features provide peace of mind that malicious attacks are stopped in their tracks, as well as assurance that patches are put in place to block ransomware attempts and remove them from your networks and systems completely.

Ask for a demo today.

Call 0330 1340 230 or email enquiries@sonicwall-sales.com.

Latest Threat Intelligence Tracks Shifting Cyber Frontlines in 2022

by Paul Heritage

Few of 2021’s trends escaped 2022 unscathed. Here’s a quick look at the accelerations and reversals detailed in the 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report.

With the pandemic finally relenting in many areas, employees returning to the safety of the perimeter and supply chains beginning to show signs of normalizing, many felt that 2022 would offer cybersecurity a return to the sort of stability that’s been largely absent the past few years.

Instead, we’ve seen the opposite: Cybercriminals have attempted to maximize the number of potential victims while minimizing risk — and this shift in tactics and targets has brought about the demise of years-long trends and begun to give rise to new cybercrime epicenters.

SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers spent 2022 tracking these changes in real time, and have compiled their findings in the 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report. This exclusive threat intelligence is designed to arm organizations against today’s ever-changing threat environment.

“The past year reinforced the need for cybersecurity in every industry and every facet of business, as threat actors targeted anything and everything, from education to retail to finance,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bob VanKirk. “While organizations face an increasing number of real-world obstacles with macroeconomic pressures and continued geopolitical strife, threat actors are shifting attack strategies at an alarming rate.”


In 2022, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers recorded 493.3 million ransomware attempts globally, a decrease of 21% year over year. This was fueled by a massive drop in North America, which typically sees the lion’s share of ransomware: attacks there fell by nearly half.

But while ransomware was down year-over-year, it remains at historic highs — total attack volume in 2022 was higher than in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. These attacks impacted governments, enterprises, hospitals, airlines and schools throughout the year, resulting in economic loss, widespread system downtime, reputational damage and more. Some of these industries saw a significant uptick in ransomware volume, particularly education and finance, which saw spikes of 275% and 41%, respectively.


After three straight years of decline, malware reversed course in 2022, rising 2% to 5.5 billion. While this is a fairly modest increase, it’s being fueled by double-digit, accelerating growth in cryptojacking and IoT malware, which showed year-over-year increases of 43% and 87%, respectively.

The areas being targeted by malware are also changing rapidly. In 2022, countries that typically see more malware, such as the U.S., the U.K. and Germany, showed year-over-year decreases in attack volume. But Europe as a whole, Latin America and Asia — which all typically see significantly less malware than North America — all recorded significant increases.

IoT Malware

In 2022, SonicWall threat researchers observed 112.3 million IoT malware attempts, representing an 87% year-over-year increase and a new yearly record. While all regions and industries showed an increase in attack volume over 2021, some were hit particularly hard: Triple-digit increases were observed in North America, as well as in the education, retail and finance industries.


Cryptojacking attacks breezed past the 100 million mark for the first time in 2022, reaching a new high of 139.3 million. This 43% increase was fueled by a number of new campaigns that surfaced late in the year, pushing December to 30.36 million hits — a new monthly record and a total exceeding most entire quarters. Despite skyrocketing rates, some were fortunate enough to see welcome decreases, such as government and healthcare customers.

Apache Log4j

Another milestone was observed in intrusion attempts against the Apache Log4j ‘Log4Shell’ vulnerability, which passed the 1 billion mark in 2022. Since its discovery in December 2021, this vulnerability has been actively exploited, and the pace of these attempts seems to be accelerating: Every month in 2022 had significantly more attempts than were seen in December 2021, and 15% more hits were observed in Q2 than were seen in Q1.

Risky Expired Firewalls

by Paul Heritage

Firewalls are an essential network security barrier, carefully positioning themselves between your computer's network system and the internet.

Available as a piece of hardware or software, firewalls filter traffic coming in and out of your network, stopping potential threats in their tracks and preventing unauthorised personnel from getting their hands on your company and customer data.

Firewalls come with a range of features and capabilities, and you have the ability to configure these to meet your requirements exactly.

Sonic firewalls are set up on a subscription basis, and it is vital that you don't allow this subscription to lapse, putting your network and business at risk.

Trust us, using unsupported hardware or software can and will negatively affect your systems and put your complete online security at risk.

At SonicWALL sales, we ensure all of our clients are continually protected against cyber threats, ensuring all firewalls are in warranty and still under licence – contact us if you would like to chat further.

Below we provide further information on the importance of keeping your firewalls up to date and the negative impact if subscriptions fall behind.

Risky Expired Firewalls

It's too risky to use an expired firewall

Firewalls are ultimately a security solution to the constantly growing number of cyber threats posed to business networks and data.

Scanning information coming in and out of your network, data that is safe will pass through the firewall and onto its intended recipient. However, for any piece of information or data that appears to be slightly suspicious, the firewall will block the content/message, and the threat will be stopped in its tracks.

Depending on your servers and requirements, you can have one or several SonicWALL firewalls, i.e., if you have varying sensitivity issues or if you have identified different user groups within the organisation more than one firewall may be required.

However, firewalls can and do expire.

Having an old firewall is extremely risky. It is a security loophole that allows hackers to enter your network and steal sensitive and profitable (to them) information.

Firewalls are considered expired when you're no longer receiving patches or updates to your


An out-of-date firewall also means your system's security is broken, and now your network is open to hacking, malware, and increased phishing attempts – it can put your company and customer information and data into the wrong hands.

This makes it vital to have the right security measures in place to safeguard your data and information at all costs.

Benefits of avoiding an outdated firewall

Updated Features. Firewalls are continuously updated, which means, by updating your subscription, you will also receive the latest features and capabilities, maximising the firewall's full potential and providing you with the best level of online protection.

In addition, because new threats are continually updated, it's vital that you have an updated

firewall to be on top of these.

You have ongoing technical support with an updated subscription. If you ever experience problems or have a query regarding your firewall service, technical assistance from the vendor is often available. This can give your IT security team additional confidence and peace of mind.

You will receive firmware upgrades. When and as new patches to fix bugs or block malicious viruses are released, with an updated firewall subscription, you will be eligible to receive these updates and stay on top of security….and…one step ahead of the hackers – allowing your security time to fix a bug before a hacker finds a way in.

Avoid an interruption to service. Expired firewalls, in worst-case scenarios, can take your entire network offline, prevent specific applications from working correctly, or make your network more sluggish, leading to a reduction in productivity.

You can avoid any interruption to service with an updated firewall subscription, keeping productivity high.

Sonic Firewalls

An outdated firewall will have many limitations and leave your network extremely vulnerable.

This makes a layered network security option your best line of defence against cyber criminals, where you can customise your firewall configurations to the level and required security your network needs.

Take the time to evaluate your firewall and check it is still meeting your requirements, ensuring your business's network is equipped to protect against wide-ranging cyber threats and targets.

We work hard to continue to go above and beyond for our clients. Ensuring that your network is continually protected and the right patches and fixes are applied when they are needed the most.

Helping to ensure everything is set up correctly, it is up-to-date, and the SonicWALL firewalls are working as they should; call us at 0330 1340 230 or email enquiries@sonicwall-sales.com.

SonicWALL vs. Fortinet

by Paul Heritage

Let us start with “even as a small business, you need to have a firewall.”

In fact, it’s essential.

Preventing you from becoming the victim of a cyber-attack, today, your average built-in standard firewall just won’t cut it.

You need the functionality, flexibility, and tightest levels of security around.

(It would be too easy to say you need SonicWALL firewall products at this point….but it’s true).

We understand that protecting your business, information, and customer data is vital; however, we know you require a firewall that is effective, but also affordable.

And this is where SonicWALL vs. Fortinet comes in.

Specifically designed for small to medium-sized businesses, both firewalls offer a range of benefits to users, and you must weigh up all the benefits and features on offer to decide which one is best for you.

Sonicwall vs Fortinet

Next-Generation Firewalls

These next-generation firewalls combine all the benefits of traditional firewalls, i.e., they filter all incoming and outgoing traffic, blocking and reporting anything suspicious….and then they take it a step further.

Next-gen firewalls provide antivirus, anti-malware, scanning, IP filtering, botnet detection, and more.

These firewalls are robust security systems that provide a great first line of defence against ongoing cyber threats.

Fortinet vs. SonicWall

A next-generation firewall is a significant investment, so you need to get it right. Knowing what to look for and some of the basic features is a good place to start.

First, think about what you need your firewall to do. For example, does it need to integrate with your current systems? Do you require real-time monitoring, reporting capabilities, automated functions, etc.?

In terms of manageability, how easy is the system to use? For example, can you set customised rules and filters? Does the firewall provider offer customer support assistance?

Then comes the biggest factor…cost. What features are must-haves for you, and what are luxuries? Are there discounts available?

Can the system scale with your business? The ideal situation for any business is to find a solution that can grow with your business, meeting your needs now and in the future.

Now that you’ve thought about what you really want, what you need, and the budget you’re working to, let’s look at sonic firewalls compared to Fortinet.

SonicWall vs. Fortinet Comparison

SonicWall firewalls, and in particular the next-generation firewalls now available, offer a robust high-security solution. Simultaneously checking inbound and outbound traffic as every byte is closely examined, you can have complete peace of mind that your data and information are monitored 24/7.

SonicWall can also perform full decryption and carry out inspections of encrypted connections using the single pass reassembly free deep packet inspection engine.

What’s more, they also include real time inspections through its cloud-based multi-firewall sandbox.

Sold as either hardware or a virtual appliance, SonicWall firewalls come with advanced gateway security suite subscriptions, so you have a continuously updated sandbox, antivirus, intrusion prevention, contact filtering, and ongoing tech support.

SonicWall is more suited to small to medium-sized businesses looking for higher throughput and has a clear focus on this sector and how to support it.

Overall, SonicWall is good value, reasonably priced, extremely effective, and easy to manage.


As a SonicWall comparison, Fortinet firewalls are optimised to reduce the level of difficulty in managing these systems and enhance security by eliminating single point failure. Providing an increase in visibility, Fortinet systems can collect data across different sites and various firewalls, which you can use to your advantage.

Offering enhanced management and analytics, Fortinet also supports multi-cloud extensions and can integrate with other larger systems.

Businesses looking to expand and diversify quickly and those looking for enterprise firewall appliances would be best suited to the Fortinet system.

Overall, both SonicWall and Fortinet perform well, offer a high level of security, and are good value for money. Prioritising network traffic and intrusion detection, both systems have anti-malware and software control, spam email filtering, SSL decoding, and more.

However, SonicWall has the edge when it comes to ease of use and customer support (Fortinet offers no direct supplier support). SonicWall also meets all compliance regulations and offers good accessibility for users, keeping on top of the ever-evolving threats; SonicWall can be customised to meet your unique business requirements, is reliable, and is easy to maintain.

Next-generation SonicWall firewalls also have the same interface as the traditional firewalls, so nothing comes as a surprise.

SonicWall firewall

Choosing the right firewall for you and your organisation is challenging. There is a lot to consider, and it’s vital that you incorporate business plans, budgets, and your exact requirements into your decision-making.

Our recommendation…look for a firewall that can support and meet your needs now and in the future.

To find out more about our various firewalls and how we can help, call us at 0330 1340 230 or email your questions and requirements to enquiries@sonicwall-sales.com.