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All You Need to Know About Firewalls

know about firewalls
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ByPor Pallab Chattopadhyay

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We always hear about firewalls, whether in tv-shows, movies, around the office, or when your computer tells you your firewall needs updating. Still, many people don’t know what firewalls are, what they do, and how important they are to protect company networks and data. But, in this digital age, it’s important to learn and know bout firewalls/

That’s why we’re using this quick guide to explain all you need to know about firewalls. 

What is a Firewall? 

This hardware or software-based security device protects a computer system’s network. Firewalls monitor your network’s outgoing and incoming traffic and protect it from external interference. Without a firewall, you can expose your network to external threats.

Regarding data and information security, firewalls help detect and keep out unauthorized users and solicitors. If your company doesn’t have proper firewall protection, your information will be vulnerable to attacks and other threats. 

know about firewalls 2

How Firewalls Work.

Firewalls follow a set of rules. They act as a massive fence between your network and your internet. Just as you can get through the gate in the wall if you follow the rules,  firewalls sift through incoming traffic to see if they are safe and meet the entry rules. Companies can set regulations they believe will best protect their data.

The firewall will reject any incoming traffic that doesn’t meet the required rules set by the company. 

A Firewall Can be a Device or an Application

Software Firewalls

Software firewalls are protection devices you install on a computer to protect your network. They monitor data packets during transmission, filter the incoming traffic, judge it against the specified rules then either reject or transmit them. However, software firewalls have limitations, so additional protection is vital. 

Hardware Firewalls

These physical devices protect your network from outside the computer. Like software firewalls, they filter your network’s traffic, but hardware firewalls get installed between a computer network and the internet. 

There are Different Types of Firewalls.

They all protect your network, but each type offers different protection. Here are some of the varieties: 

  1. Stateful Inspection Firewalls

Stateful firewalls do the job of analyzing traffic that comes through a network. This kind of firewall looks at the header of each data packet and compares it with previous traffic that has been allowed access or passage through the web. Once the traffic matches those previously approved by the firewall, the data packets can go through the firewall. Otherwise, the firewall will reject and restrict it. 

  1. Application-level gateways (Proxy Firewalls)

This firewall is a deep-level analyzing device.  Unlike stateful firewalls, which only look at the header of the data packets, proxy firewalls look deeper into the content and context of the data waiting for transmission while restricting access to data and pages by external users.

But as the name suggests, these firewalls examine traffic at the application level. It protects the data and information in applications for unauthorized networks serving as the middle man between external users/servers and content within the network application. It ensures the connection is secure before starting an application session or allowing the incoming traffic. 

  1. Package filtering Firewalls.

These facilitate the movement of packets throughout a network. These firewalls don’t route any packets or traffic. Instead, they allow them to pass through or reject and discard them. Package filtering firewalls analyze based on pre-established rules, checking the packets’ IP addresses, protocols, ports, and destination addresses. 

When parts of the pack match the regulations, the firewall allows them to pass through. Otherwise, they reject and get rid of them. Note that package filtering firewalls don’t read or have access to the content and context of the packets like the proxy firewall, so they cannot protect against packets that follow pre-established rules but have malicious content. 

Why You Need a Firewall.

As mentioned before, without a firewall, your information and data are virtually unprotected against countless threats. Your firewall is like a lock on your front door. If you leave it open, you could invite unwelcome guests into your home. Without a firewall, not only can strangers gain access to your information, they can use it for all the wrong things. 

Firewalls not only protect against incoming malicious traffic and prevent unauthorized access to your network data. They also allow for safer browsing by people inside the network, making devices more reliable and efficient. 

For more information on how you can protect your network data click here.