You might already know that the Internet is a big, big place. As the Internet continues to expand, there continues to be opportunities online that we never previously dreamed were possible. Our opportunities to be productive and entertained also come with threats of nefarious characters attempting to gain access to our personal data and information. That is why we have Firewalls – as our first line of defense and protection.
So what is this thing called a Firewall?
A firewall is a device that acts as a middleman between your computer and the Internet. It is like a gatekeeper. It is also the first line of defense against external threats or attacks from virus and malware.
The term Firewall came from the actual concept of a Firewall that acts as the physical barrier reducing the damages of a fire in a home or other structure. An online Firewall also acts as a barrier, but to external attacks from the Internet.
Think of the firewall as a lock to the doors of your house. If you combine the lock with alarms, CCTVs, and guard dogs, your home will be much safer. You can think of CCTVs, guard dogs like the antivirus and anti-malware on your laptop or computer.
And what do Firewalls do?
A firewall acts as the first line of defense to protect your computer from outside attacks. The firewall does it’s job before your antivirus or anti-malware software are put to work.
It also shields your computer from malicious software. On many occasions, the malicious software will try to access your computer or the network. It will access them from the Internet or any outside network.
While Firewalls prevent bad data from coming in, it also monitors/controls traffic. In other words, Firewalls don’t block data because it is bad. It also blocks data from traffic according to your set criteria for blocking.
But how do Firewalls work?
A Firewall watches over the traffic and all network activities of a computer. It checks all incoming traffic and outgoing traffic.
In this way, a Firewall is like a water filter. It filters out dirt or bacteria in the water to keep it clean for use.
So how important are Firewalls again?
Here are the reasons why firewalls are important:
- Keeps your network and computer safe from outside attacks of viruses and malware
- Avoids unauthorized access of data from outside your network
- Prevents unwanted content and data installed in your computer or network
- Maintains secured network for multi-player interactions such as playing online games
- Your private credentials such as bank details will be safer with a firewall
- Impedes the traction or momentum of infections of certain malware like Ransomware
And what will happen if I have no Firewall?
Should you go ahead without having any firewalls, here are the things that could happen:
- Online criminals are able to steal your confidential data
- You could lose thousands of dollars on the spot
- You could lose trust with your clients for having an insecure network
- Anyone in the outside world can access your network with ease
- Unauthorized persons can use your identity to make illegal transactions
- Viruses and malwares are able to compromise and corrupt anything in your network
We now know the importance of having firewalls. So let us now discuss the different types of Firewalls that cater to different needs.
What are the types of firewalls?
These Firewalls filter incoming and outgoing traffic on the network. You can find them installed on individual systems.
Usually called Network Firewalls or Hardware Firewalls. You can locate these physical devices between your computer and the internet.
Proxy service/Application layer firewall
Also known as the Application Layer Firewall or Gateway Firewall. This Firewall saves some information and data and sends it to the requesting system. It protects the network by filtering messages at the application level.
Unified threat management firewall
One of the simplest and easiest to use Firewalls. It is usually accompanied by antivirus or anti-malware software.
The Firewall will divide the data into small chunks or packets. The small amounts of data will undergo analysis and distribution. This process will depend on the filter’s standard.
It is also called a Traditional Firewall. This Firewall compares specific data against the database of a reliable source.
Circuit-level gateway firewall
This Firewall checks the connection whether it is legitimate or not.
Network address translation firewall
This Firewall is the most secure among the other Firewalls. It hides the individual IP addresses of all computers in a network into a single IP address. The specific computer’s IP address is only visible to other computers in the same network.
Next-generation firewall (NGFW)
This Firewall uses traditional firewall technology but they combine it with other functionalities. It can detect threats within seconds, allowing a user to take action fast and avoid as much harm as possible.
This Firewall includes all the features and functionality of an NGFW. It also provides advanced threat detection and mediation. These kinds of firewalls provide a user with heightened data. It can also better detect suspicious activity.
If a threat does occur, these types of firewalls can react to an attack. It also decreases the time from detection to cleaning up a potential mess.
The Key Takeaways
In the end, security will always be one of the most important things to consider online. That is why we have Firewalls to ward off criminal activities online.
Let CTS help with your Firewall needs – Then you can rest easy knowing your clients’ and your employees’ data and information are protected online.