24 May 2021
Benefits of a firewall in your IT Network
Don’t let the internet become a threat to your business or your company. The benefits of a firewall in your network are many, and they apply to both employees and outside parties. A firewall can protect you from security threats, such as malicious software or hackers, while also actively monitoring your internal network for intrusions. Read on to learn more about the benefits of firewalls.
A firewall is a security device that protects your network from external and internal threats. It’s a collection of rules and policies that can control what information comes in and out over your network. A firewall works as an electronic barrier between the inside and outside, allowing you to block out unwanted traffic, by not allowing specific traffic through the firewall. This aids in securing your network from malicious attacks whether internal or external and helps keep nefarious individuals from accessing your company’s data.
Firewalls provide protection from the outside world by controlling all inbound data traffic and establishing an electronic barrier between those that want access to the network and those who control it. Even if you don’t currently have a large network, you can still take advantage of firewalls to protect your company. The benefits of a firewall used correctly can be immense in your digital presence. A firewall provides security by eliminating the threats against it and acting as an extra layer of protection to prevent intrusions.
Before you install a firewall in your network, it is important to understand the three main types of firewalls and their features.
3 Types of Firewalls
1. Router-Based Firewall: This type of firewall relies on a router that sits between the on-site network and the rest of the internet. Routers have a number of security functions, such as maintaining a list of all connected devices, preventing certain kinds of attacks against each device, and implementing NAT (Network Address Translation) to provide a single IP address for multiple devices on your network. Most router based firewalls are rudimentary and are designed for a home network. They aren’t suitable for a business or company network.
2. Desktop/Server-Based Firewall: A desktop/server-based firewall runs on dedicated hardware and allows control over internal (intranet) network connections and also incoming connections. This type of firewall is typically a layer of software that sits on dedicated hardware or a server. It is generally more advanced than a Router-Based Firewall and allows more in-depth security blocking, scanning and traffic management. It also has all the features of the Router Based Firewall. It is much the better choice for a small to medium sized business as it can handle a higher traffic load while providing more security than a Router based Firewall.
3. Dedicated Firewall Appliance: This type of firewall runs on a dedicated hardware appliance and can function at very high speeds. It’s can also function as a “layer 7” firewall, which means it examines every packet passing through the network for any traces of malware or suspicious activity. This is the best option for small-to-medium sized business, because it offers several security features that run more efficiently on dedicated hardware. It also has greater capacity to handle increased traffic volumes than a Desktop/Server-Based Firewall usually
How does a firewall work?
Firewalls work by filtering network traffic and blocking unauthorized users from accessing your data. They prevent intrusions by analyzing and checking each packet in sequence before allowing connections to pass through. In some cases, a packet may be dropped because of a firewall rule that limits specific actions or due to the nature of the connection triggering the firewall. The firewall if robust enough will decide whether or not to let the packet through and allow or deny that connection.
Firewall vs Anti-Virus
Firewalls and anti-virus software work together to protect your network from intrusion. If you have a firewall installed, but do not have an anti-virus program, malicious software could bypass your security measures and invade the network. Remember that both antivirus and firewalls can only help protect your network if they are used together. A firewall is an essential security tool for any small business, regardless of the type of information the business contains, because it provides protection from outside threats. While firewalls are not fool proof and should not be treated as a replacement for a good antivirus program, they can help to filter out some potentially dangerous activity on your network. The best thing about firewalls is that they work behind the scenes, so there is little impact on network performance.
If you’d like a consultation for a firewall installation in your business network contact us and we’d be happy to help.