News & Insights

What Do You Need To Know About Firewall?

What do you need to know about Firewall?

If you’re looking to strengthen the security of your network, firewall is the first layer of protection that serves as a barrier between your network and your computer.

Since the ‘90s, firewall has been an integral part of IT security, monitoring and filtering incoming and outgoing network traffic. Thus, efficiently enabling an array of extra features to detect and prevent employee identity and data theft.

What is Firewall?

A firewall is a layer of computer security system that prevents malicious outsiders from internet traffic entering your network and accessing your devices. 

Organisations use a network firewall to safely connect an internal network to the Internet, or to protect one internal network segment from another. Essentially, this layer of protection is a point of contact between your internal connection and the unauthorised network trying to access your computer.

For example, by filtering the incoming and outgoing traffic, this mechanism traces suspicious activity and stops it before it can corrupt data stored on digital devices. Consequently shielding your work and private environment against cybersecurity threats, websites filled with malware, potentially vulnerable network ports, hacking, and spyware.

Network firewall also proactively secures your databases, by blocking data outflow and keeping your online privacy and identity safe. It filters the content preventing you from visiting suspicious websites when browsing. 

Read more about Top 9 Threats you need to look out for in your business.

Why is a firewall important?

Did you know that 95% of Irish SMBs face cyber-attacks and other 90% of Irish businesses saw an increase in cybercriminal activity in the last 12 months?

Without a firewall, every connection request send to your computer or server would be able to access your private network. In other words, without protection anyone across the globe could access information stored on your device. Lack control over your security system expands the list of cybercriminals entering your digital space. In such cases, hacktivists take advantage of vulnerable devices and hijack operating systems functionality, run software, or steal data (including login and passwords).

This is why the ultimate purpose of a firewall is to protect your computer from data-based malware circulating on the internet. If your device is running a modern operating system (desktop and mobile) there’s a good chance that you’re already using a basic firewall. Either it’s a feature built in your system, or you have installed a third-party firewall. However, those built-in systems are not enough to keep your devices safe.

How does a firewall work in networking?

An effectively managed network firewall will undoubtedly reduce cyber threats to your organisation. Without a firewall, your organisation could succumb to a cyberattack, causing the loss of important and sensitive information, as well as control over their systems. A firewall helps to keep intruders from getting access to your operating system, because it recognises incoming requests based on their unique internet protocol address (IP) assigned by your internet service provider (ISP).

Some threats move from computer to computer because they can find lower security settings and/or unpatched vulnerabilities and enter that system without notice. For example, ransomware and Trojan horses circulate this way. They travel around the internet, find vulnerable networks and infect computers in the background. And you will never know that your system has been compromised. That is why a strong firewall is a good place to start.

Network Firewall Hardware and Software explained

Both software and hardware monitor the flow of incoming and outgoing traffic. Each format serves a different purpose. Firewall as a software safeguards the network from malicious activity in compliance with security rules. Firewall hardware is a physical device that serves as a gateway that filters the internet traffic coming to your computer.

Interestingly, cloud-based firewalls (FaaS) can grow together with your organisation. And just like the hardware firewall, it enables perimeter security to safely connect between cloud networks and physical networks.

Which firewall protection is best for SMBs?

The unsurpassed leading technology based on our client’s preference is Cisco. The company was founded by two computer scientists in the ‘80s, who pioneered the concept of LAN – a local area network, to connect distant computers. Today, Cisco’s continuous network expertise continue to help its customers providing more effective and secure support.

Cisco Meraki changed the way we think about managing security. It combines seamless administration experience without sacrificing high-performance. Meraki with its intelligent operating systems, delivers the best of Cisco networking practices and protocols helping small and medium sized network teams to boost their incident response efficiency, improving security and simplifying deployment to empower your organisation. 

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) is a security device that combines not only firewall but also intrusion prevention, antivirus, antispam, IDS/IPS Engine, SSL, content inspection, VPN capabilities. ASA provides highly secure and proactive defence against attacks by stopping the outside traffic before it can enter any device on the network. Thus, allowing meaningful requests from the internet to enter your networks and data centres. ASA can manage both small and large networks.

Palo Alto Networks provides complete network visibility and precise control into network traffic by utilising advanced security tools to intelligently determine which applications traversing the network are safe, and which are not. Palo Alto scans suspicious ports, protocols, SSL encryption, including all content, to prevent modern cyber threats and malware from entering a network. Palo Alto is suitable for small and medium sized organisations, retail shops, healthcare segments, and branch offices.

Dell SonicWall is a firewall solution that offers an abundance of security features such as detecting breaches, blocking ransomware, and encrypted threats, phishing attacks, on wired, wireless and mobile networks. The operating system that runs on most devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones, focuses on high performance and cost-efficiency. This form of secure remote access protects sensitive data and private communications and offers a low-cost deployment without sacrificing performance. And most importantly, SonicWall is built to protect any business environment – traditional, hybrid, or cloud.

Read more about how we helped The National Archives of Ireland protect their data.

We are confident that our cybersecurity firewall will provide the most efficient protection for your business data and systems. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our product.