Firewalls are problematic for users, software providers and others supporting the systems. Everyone wants settings their way. A change here and impact a connection from somewhere else. When you;re dealing with small business owners who do what they are told in this area, you can quickly find yourself with operational problems because one supplier connecting to the system has demanded firewall changes which cause another to be compromised in their access.

The cost of managing secure access to a small business system is growing as more suppliers connect directly with the business. We have small business customers with regular direct online access with an many as eight companies and all it takes is for one of those to demand a change and the others may have a problem. We have produced a standards document to try and navigate this but some suppliers don;t care – it’s their way or no way.

Some days, twenty percent or even more of support calls we take are firewall related – not to do with our software as such. The calls come to us because the supplier involved usually does not want to help, the supplier of the firewall can’t help with industry knowledge and the industry itself has no central approach to managing these things.

Security is important. I wonder if economists have costed everything associated with data security for a small business.

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