Written by Trystan Hayden, One Step's CSNA

It used to be that firewalls and routers required someone on-site to set up, troubleshoot, or modify them. This is no longer necessary when using cloud-managed devices. Cloud-based firewalls and routers provide instant information and central management, all of which saves you time, money and effort. Let's explore some of the benefits of cloud-managed devices.

Devices that are managed through the cloud can be configured without touching them, allowing them to become "plug and play" when they reach their destination.

Updating your firewall firmware regularly to patch the latest security exploits is essential. However, because it can be very time consuming on a non-cloud managed device, some people do not stay current with their updates. A significant amount of time is saved through the centralized management of these cloud-based devices. For example, let's say you wanted to update the firmware on all 5 of your firewalls. It used to be that your options would be to either connect to each site individually or send someone to each site to update them. When all the firewalls are managed centrally, you can schedule the updates from the central dashboard and they will update, in some cases, immediately, and in others when you schedule them to be done. You can also be alerted as to when updates are available, instead of having to keep track of that manually.

Consistency is another huge advantage of cloud-managed devices. Instead of having to manage and control a new device through its own interface, all of your devices are controlled through the same central interface so all devices have the same configuration, making support and troubleshooting much easier. In some cases, you can just copy the configuration of the firewall from one site to another, saving both time and money.

Some cloud-based networking systems have the ability to give you real-time reports. This by itself can be a game-changing feature. These reports could be used for troubleshooting purposes or to make more informed decisions. For example, if you notice that around 2 pm you have a network slow down every day, you could use reporting to find out what is causing the slowdown for quicker resolution.

Conclusion: Cloud-managed firewalls can save you time, money, and effort while giving you the same great security features as a traditional firewall.