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Firewalls You Don't Even Know About: The Internet Is Using Them

Hello everyone,

I am Nitin yadav(KD) back again with another write-up

Introduction to firewalls

I always felt that my information online and offline was at risk. Until I finally came to know about firewalls. Firewalls aren't just for big businesses anymore. Even the smallest of companies can use the same type of firewall technology employed by small companies.

The first thing you need to know about a firewall is that it's a network security device, either hardware or software-based to create a boundary between your computer and the internet. It helps prevent people from getting in while keeping the information within your computer secure.

A protected cloud. A secure desktop. An encrypted smartphone. Connecting to systems, apps, and devices over the internet calls for a new level of security all that is because of a firewall.

It monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic and based on a defined set of security rules it accepts, rejects, or drops that specific traffic.

Accept: allow the traffic

Reject: block the traffic but reply with an “unreachable error”

Drop: block the traffic with no reply

Types of firewalls

  • Software Firewall A software firewall is a firewall that is installed on a computer or server and tasked with network security. It works with a wide variety of other technical security solutions to provide more robust and cohesive security for enterprises of all sizes. It is installed on the host device. As it is connected to a specific device so it has to utilize its resources to work. It is like an umbrella of protection over all other computers connected to the network. It is able to monitor both incoming and outgoing traffic for potential risk or suspicious user behavior, and also makes setting security policies much easier, faster, and more flexible. This firewall is becoming the solution of choice for businesses seeking secure and reliable IT solutions for many reasons. Enterprises love the lower initial cost with few restrictions on the number of devices to be protected. This type of firewall is also critical as it requires very little space and can be installed remotely on any number of devices. It’s far different from its counterpart, the hardware firewall, which has many unique elements in its own right. Benefits of a Software Firewall Lower Cost Space Restraints Easy Installation Professional & Corporate Licencing Regular Updates Security Monitoring Flexibility Tailored

  • Packet-Filtering Firewalls: The last decade has been marked by increasing numbers of attacks on computer systems. A number of these attacks exploit the networking layer, and it is essential for any deployment to include protection. Packet-filtering firewalls serve as an inline security checkpoint attached to a router or switch. The firewall checks packets as they pass through the network, blocking those that do not meet specified security criteria. It’s like a shiny black the latest edition of Audi R8 is standing at the entrance of your minister’s home. A security guard approaches and asks Is this your car and first verifies that this car belongs to you. He keeps an eye on everyone and physically checks every person who wishes to come near the car. Similarly, even if the person doesn’t possess any banned object but appears suspicious, the guard can still prevent that person’s entry. The firewall acts as a guard. It guards a corporate network acting as a shield between the inside network and the outside world. All the traffic in either direction must pass through the firewall. It then decides whether the traffic is allowed to flow or not. The firewall can be implemented as hardware and software, or a combination of both.

  • Cloud Firewalls: A cloud firewall is a security product that, like a traditional firewall, filters out potentially malicious network traffic flowing between your organization's protected web applications and the Internet. Its primary function is to protect your data from being stolen. Unlike traditional firewalls, cloud firewalls are hosted in the cloud. Benefits of a Cloud firewall Malicious web traffic is blocked, including malware and bad bot activity. Some FWaaS products can also block sensitive data from going out. Traffic does not have to be funneled through a hardware appliance, so no network choke points are created. Cloud firewalls integrate easily with cloud infrastructure. Multiple cloud deployments can be protected at once (as long as the cloud firewall vendor supports each cloud). Cloud firewalls scale up rapidly to handle more traffic. Organizations do not need to maintain cloud firewalls themselves; the vendor handles all updates.

  • Proxy Firewalls: An application firewall, or a proxy firewall, is an essential security strategy for your business. An application firewall acts as a gate to protect your network from malicious attacks and sophisticated malware. It provides a high level of security for enterprises that rely on several types of servers, applications, and information. It increases security levels but can affect functionality and speed. Benefits of a Proxy Firewall Provide a single point of access. This enables organizations to assess the level of threat posed by application protocols, effectively detect threats, and check the validity of network traffic. Enables refined setup control, which allows organizations to fine-tune it to their network needs and corporate policies. A proxy firewall also prevents direct connections between a user’s computer and the external sites they want to visit.

  • Hardware Firewalls: A Hardware Firewall is designed to protect an organization's network boundary by being deployed in line with the other machines (workstations and servers) on the network. This means that the physical network cables over which traffic can cross this boundary are connected to ports on the “inside” and “outside” of the firewall. When traffic enters a network firewall, it is subjected to security inspection and may have multiple different controls applied to it. At a high level, firewalls commonly are configured to block certain types of traffic from crossing the network boundary. This can help to block traffic over any unused or undesirable ports from entering the network and to stop certain types of traffic from leaving the network (such as the traffic that could leak sensitive data). Benefits of a Hardware firewall Consistent Security Standalone Protection Simplified Management Improved Security Centralized Visibility

In conclusion, there are many types of firewalls. And these firewalls each have their own pros and cons. It should be up to you to decide which type of firewall is best for your needs. Consider the consequences of each type and act accordingly. Hopefully, we've given you some new information and insight into the world of firewalls but decided not to overwhelm you with too much detail. Take it slow and make smart decisions; one day your firewall will likely be a boon to you instead of a burden. I hope you enjoyed this one and I see you next time :) Take care and stay safe!

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