Wondering what is a firewall? And do we need them?
One of the major challenges that companies face when trying to secure their sensitive data is finding the right tools for the job.
Even for a common tool such as a firewall (sometimes called a network firewall), many businesses might not have a clear idea of how to find the right firewall (or firewalls) for their needs, how to configure those firewalls, or why such firewalls might be necessary.
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Introduction to Firewalls
A firewall, or a secure zone, refers to the network elements on your network that enable your internet connection to pass through a given region or region and perform computations against another, related region.
To perform these computations, they need access to certain components of your network that your browser (or other application) does not have, namely databases.
If you are trying to protect your websites from DDoS attacks (distributed denial-of-service attacks), the “distributed” part of the “DDoS” moniker refers to the fact that the attack is “distributed,” meaning it occurs asynchronously (and randomly) across your network.
Typically, DDoS attacks will allow one IP address (or subnet) to flood another.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIREWALLS?
There are a number of different types of firewalls. They are most often divided into two categories: physical firewalls and virtual firewalls.
Physical firewalls involve physical devices, such as routers, that receive incoming network traffic and forward it to appropriate destinations. Examples of physical firewalls are the firewall on your computer and the router in your home router.
Virtual firewalls are another category, in which a device is composed of software that interacts with the outside network via protocols (for example, IP). Architecture Each firewall is designed to protect a specific set of functions within a network, which gives the firewall a distinctive architectural design.
Architecture of Firewalls
While many firewalls are static hardware devices installed on the network perimeter, others are “virtual” (meaning they run on the same hardware as the client devices, but as an appliance or even a piece of software installed on a data center’s server).
These kinds of firewalls are used to control the ports on which you want to allow or restrict traffic, but they also have other important roles to play, such as in-network hygiene and in preventing certain types of attacks.
Physical firewalls monitor the ports that are used to exchange data, such as HTTP, SSH, SMTP, FTP, TCP, and TCP/IP. Physical firewalls receive traffic that passes through them by relaying traffic through the firewall in order to pass data between client and server.
What Do Firewalls Do?
A firewall is an essential component of any security architecture because it delegated host-level protection to your network security device. Firewalls, particularly Next-Generation Firewalls, are focused on blocking malware and application-layer attacks.
When combined with an integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), these Next-Generation Firewalls can detect and respond to outside attacks across the entire network quickly and seamlessly.
They can set policies to better defend your network and perform quick assessments to detect and shut down invasive or suspicious activity, such as malware.
Why Do We Need Firewalls?
Firewalls, particularly Next-Generation Firewalls, are designed to prevent malware and application-layer attacks. Together with an integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), these Next-Generation Firewalls can detect and combat attacks across the entire network in real-time.
Firewalls can act on previously defined policies to better protect your network and can perform quick assessments to detect and shut down invasive or suspicious activity, such as malware.
When you use a firewall as part of your security infrastructure, you configure your network with specific policies that allow or block incoming and outgoing traffic.
Network Layer vs. Application Layer Inspection
Network layer or packet filters inspect packets at a relatively low level of the TCP/IP protocol stack, preventing packets from passing through the firewall unless they match the established rule set, which is based on Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and ports.
Firewalls that perform network layer inspection outperform similar devices that perform application layer inspection.
The disadvantage is that unwanted applications or malware can pass through allowed ports, such as outbound Internet traffic via the web protocols HTTP and HTTPS, which use ports 80 and 443, respectively.
How To Choose A Firewall?
There are a number of factors that you’ll need to consider when deciding on which firewall to purchase,
These factors should include both the technical details of the firewall you’re looking to purchase as well as the key concerns for your business, such as network location, data center type, workloads, compliance requirements, and even the number of endpoints that you have.
Here’s a brief run-down of some of the more common considerations, with information on how to find the right firewall for your organization: Technical specs.
In general, the more details you have about a firewall’s technical specifications, the more likely you’ll be to make an informed decision on whether it’s right for your business.
Top Firewall Features To Consider:
Traditional firewalls were created to safeguard traditional networks from traditional cyber threats. Network firewalls require additional functionality and features as organizations’ networks and the cyber threat landscape grow and evolve to ensure the security of the company’s network and the sensitive data it contains.
The following are the top five features:
1. Unified Security Management
Organizations must deal with the rapidly increasing complexity of network security. As mobile devices, cloud deployments, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices join traditional user workstations and on-premises servers on the corporate network, most companies’ networks are becoming larger and more complex.
Simultaneously, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and widespread. As a result, in order to manage cyber risk, businesses must deploy, monitor, and maintain a growing array of security solutions.
A company’s next-generation firewall should help to reduce security complexity rather than add to it. A firewall with integrated Unified Security Management (USM) functionality enables an organization’s security team to manage and enforce security policies across their entire network environment in an easy and efficient manner.
This enables the security team to keep up with the company’s expanding digital attack surface and reduce cyber risk.
2. Threat Prevention
The longer a cyber threat has access to an organization’s network, the more expensive remediation will be. Cyberattacks can cause damage and additional costs in a variety of ways.
Exfiltration of sensitive data can result in legal and regulatory penalties, ransomware can reduce productivity and cause a loss of profits, and even simple malware frequently has persistence mechanisms designed to make removal difficult and time-consuming.
Threat prevention is required to limit the damage that a cyberattack can cause to a network. An organization eliminates the threat posed to the network by detecting and blocking an attack before it crosses the network boundary.
This is why a network firewall with integrated threat prevention functionality – such as anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-bot, and integration with high-quality threat intelligence feeds – is a critical component of a company’s cybersecurity strategy.
3. Application and Identity-Based Inspection
Because of digital transformation efforts, an organization’s network landscape is constantly changing. New applications are deployed on the corporate network to achieve specific objectives, while others are phased out as they become obsolete.
Different policies are required for different applications. Some applications may be considered high-priority traffic, while others should be blocked, throttled, or managed in some other way on the network.
The next-generation firewall in an organization should be capable of identifying the application that generates a specific stream of traffic and applying application-specific policies to that traffic.
Organizations are also made up of a variety of people with various job roles and responsibilities. The security policies of an organization should also be configurable based on the user’s identity.
Employees in a company should have access to various systems and be able to use a variety of applications. A firewall should allow for the creation and enforcement of policies based on user identity.
4. Hybrid Cloud Support
Almost all businesses use cloud computing, and the vast majority use a hybrid cloud deployment. Security requirements differ between private and public cloud deployments, and an organization must be able to enforce consistent security policies across cloud-based environments hosted by multiple vendors.
As a result, a company’s next-generation firewall should include hybrid cloud support. The firewall should be simple to deploy and scale in any major cloud environment, allowing an organization’s security team to manage all security settings from a single console.
According to Gartner, 99 percent of cloud security failures will be the fault of the customer through 2025, a problem that the company’s firewall should assist the organization in avoiding.
5. Scalable Performance
Because of its increased scalability and flexibility, cloud-based infrastructure has been adopted by many organizations. Finally, we want to reap the benefits of the cloud, both in the cloud and on-premises. In the cloud, this is as simple as selecting an NGFW template.
On-premises, this entails looking beyond legacy HA clustering solutions. The ability of an architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system is referred to as hyper-scale.
This entails being able to seamlessly provision and add more resources to the system that comprise a larger distributed computing environment.
To build a robust and scalable distributed system, hyper-scale is required. In other words, it is the tight integration of an infrastructure’s storage, compute, and virtualization layers into a single solution architecture.
CONCLUSION On What Is A Firewall?
These are just some of the considerations to think about when deciding on a next-generation firewall or firewall vendor.
And, to take another approach, when you are a new, up-and-coming business, do some research on the capabilities of your firewall vendor, their integration with other products (for example, e.g., security and threat prevention, identity and access management), and the teams who work at those vendor locations.
With so many players in the industry, you’ll want to make sure you are getting the best solution for your current needs.
At the same time, you want to ensure that your vendor has the resources to bring out new products that can help you and your business meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.
FAQs About Firewall
What is a firewall on a computer?
A firewall is a network security device that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic based on previously established security policies in an organization. A firewall, at its most basic, is a barrier that sits between a private internal network and the public Internet.
What is a firewall for example?
Firewalls protect traffic at a computer’s entry point, known as ports, where data is exchanged with external devices. For instance, “Source address 172.18.” The number 1.1 is permitted to reach the address 172.18. Consider IP addresses to be houses, and port numbers to be rooms within the house.
What is a firewall and why it is needed?
A firewall is a digital security system that monitors all incoming and outgoing network traffic. It blocks all unauthorized traffic and allows only those communications that are deemed safe to pass through. When connecting to the internet, firewalls ensure a secure connection.