Information Technology

The Ultimate Guide to Firewall

What is a Firewall and Why Should I Use One?

A firewall is an internet protection system that prevents unauthorized access to the internet. It enables network administrators to protect their networks from malicious attacks and other types of damage.

Firewalls are used in many areas of life, such as at work, at home and in the digital world. They are also used in business settings to keep sensitive data safe from hackers and other malicious people. Firewalls can be used for different purposes, such as protecting your company’s information or keeping your computer safe from hackers.

Firewalls are software that help you to protect your computer from unauthorized access. Firewalls can be used for different purposes. Some of the most common uses are to prevent hackers from accessing your computer and some of them help you to secure your computer from viruses and malware attacks.

Firewall History

Firewalls have existed since the late 1980’s and started out as packet filters, which were networks set up to examine packets, or bytes, transferred between computers. Though packet filtering firewalls are still in use today, firewalls have come a long way as technology has developed throughout the decades.

Gen 1 Virus: Generation 1, in Late 1980’s, virus attacks on stand-alone PC’s affected all businesses and drove anti-virus products.

Gen 2 Networks: Generation 2, Mid 1990’s, attacks from the internet affected all businesses and drove creation of the firewall.

Gen 3 Applications: Generation 3, Early 2000’s, exploiting vulnerabilities in applications that affected most businesses and drove Intrusion Prevention Systems Products (IPS).

Gen 4 Payload: Generation 4, Approx. 2010, rise of targeted, unknown, evasive, polymorphic attacks which affected most businesses and drove anti-bot and sandboxing products.

Gen 5 Mega: Generation 5, Approx. 2017, large scale, multi-vector, mega attacks using advanced attack tools and is driving advanced threat prevention solutions.

Back in 1993, Check Point CEO Gil Shwed introduced the first stateful inspection firewall, FireWall-1. Fast forward twenty-seven years, and a firewall is still an organization’s first line of defense against cyber attacks.

How does the Firewall works?

Firewall is a security tool that allows you to restrict access to your computer. It is a malware scanner and firewall.

A firewall is a computer security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A firewall is used to protect a network from outside or untrusted sources, as well as a method of limiting access to such sources. It is a hardware or software-based system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of predetermined security rules. The firewall can be implemented in software or hardware or a combination of both. The term firewall is a portmanteau of firewall and filter. A firewall system has three basic functional components: the policy enforcement point, the policy decision point, and the policy information base.

A firewall is a defensive layer that employs a combination of hardware and software to prevent unauthorized access to a computer’s private network. It is typically located at the outermost point of an organization’s network, where it monitors and controls incoming and outgoing traffic. A firewall can be either software-only, or it can be a software-hardware combination. You can build your own firewall by configuring your router yourself, but most people will opt for a software firewall.

How to choose the best Firewall Software for your Business?

A firewall is the main security layer in a network. It helps to protect your network from any unwanted and harmful elements that may cause damage to your network. But, it also helps to protect you from hackers and other threats that may attack your network. A firewall is one of the main security tools that helps to protect your network from hackers and other threats. It helps to block any unwanted and malicious traffic that may be transmitted across your network. A firewall comes with a variety of features like logging, virus scanning, packet filtering etc. The firewall was originally used in personal networks but it can also be used for corporate networks. Each network requires a different type of firewall. Each company has its own security policy and needs to select the right firewall according to the requirement of its network. Some of the typical types of firewalls include:

  • Network Address Translation (NAT) : This is a software-based solution that translates IP addresses on the Internet or LAN into the corresponding IP address of an individual computer on the local network. NAT protects you from malicious programs that impersonate an internal host.
  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS) : This type of security is implemented to detect and respond to attacks that may occur on your network. It controls access to the network and allows you to identify potentially unauthorized equipment or resources on the system.
  • Network Security Policy (NSP) : The NSP is a collection of rules that configure security settings for your whole network, such as which systems can access what functionality, when certain functions can be used and how they are being used. It is administered via Group Policy, and through the Control Panel.

Different Types of Firewalls

A firewall is a computer security system that controls access to a network. It can be used for various purposes, including protecting data from unauthorized access and protecting computers from viruses.

Firewalls are often used by companies to protect sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) or credit card numbers. They are also used by IT departments to control the flow of information over their networks.

The different types of Firewalls include:

  1. Proxy firewall: Proxy Firewall and its functions are used to protect the network from intrusions. A proxy firewall is widely used in SSL VPN, WAN, and gateway networks. Proxy servers can provide additional functionality such as content caching and security by preventing direct connections from outside the network. However, this also may impact throughput capabilities and the applications they can support. Proxy servers are a way to enhance the performance of your network and network infrastructure by providing additional functionality for your applications.
  2. Stateful inspection firewall: Stateful inspection firewalls are a type of firewall that inspects traffic based on the state of the packet, source address, destination address, protocol or application. This can be done by using TCP, UDP or ICMP packets. These firewall are configured to allow the traffic that is allowed based on the state of the packet. If a firewall is configured to inspect any other traffic, it will make sure that no other network protocol is inspected nor allowed to be transmitted through this network interface.
  3. Next-generation firewall (NGFW): NGFW combines stateless packet filtering with the detection of advanced threats and is used for applications such as web application, email, mobile and other critical systems to protect against attacks from the internet. The NGFW has been praised for its robustness while being extremely cost effective, as it utilizes a combination of the existing threat detection technologies such as :
    • Standard firewall capabilities like stateful inspection.
    • Integrated intrusion prevention.
    • Application awareness and control to see and block risky apps.
  4. Unified threat management (UTM) firewall: UTM devices provide a high level of security, but also require maintenance and support. It may also include additional services and often cloud management. UTMs focus on simplicity and ease of use. They will be used to secure the trust in distributed systems but also cater for the ability to add features or gain more security.
  5. Network address translation (NAT) firewalls: NAT firewalls are a security feature that prevent individual devices from accessing the internet simultaneously. It also prevents unauthorized access to private data by hackers. and other malicious individuals. These firewalls are present in most routers, modems, and servers. How Modem Firewalls Work To access the internet on a modem router, you have to share the same port. This is different from a typical router that allows direct connection of an additional device to the internet (either through a system port or through a LAN port), or a hub that allows connection of many devices to the internet.

What are the Limitations of a Firewall?

Firewalls are the most important security software in the modern world. They protect your computer from the outside world. However, they are not perfect. They can be bypassed by hackers and malware programs that have been designed to go through them. This is why it is crucial to keep your firewall up-to-date. Fortunately, the best way to do this is by using good firewalls software.

Firewalls have some limitations including:

  • Firewalls cannot secure the system which is already infected.
  • Firewalls cannot protect against the transfer of virus-infected files or software.
  • Firewalls cannot prevent the misuse of passwords.
  • Firewalls cannot protect if security rules are misconfigured.
  • Firewalls cannot protect against non-technical security risks, such as social engineering.
  • Firewalls cannot stop or prevent attackers with modems from dialing in to or out of the internal network.

In order to keep your company and its users safe, it is necessary to keep the Internet accessible. This is because the Internet offers an open platform for malicious individuals and organizations to take advantage of. The best way to ensure that your employees are safe online is by keeping all devices in the office up-to-date.

CXO's Journal

I'm a self-taught hacker, I do a little bit of everything: hacking (security), cryptography, Linux system administration, networking/routing and virtualization/hardware/software development. I'm a freelance IT Support Advisor, providing IT support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
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