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Firewall – The Ultimate Guide 

How much time do you spend your time on the internet? 3 to 4 hours!!! Do you think you’re safe and secure? The answer is YES. Then you’re moving in the wrong way. The internet has covered every information – fashion, business, news, budget, guides, stories, movies, cooking and whatnot. Everything is covered under one roof. People of every age group enjoy accessing these websites or blogs for individual purposes.

But the risk is!!!!

Connecting your device (computer or mobile phone) or company network to the internet can be a security risk. When a device connected online, then you can send or receive information. While transferring there may be high chances of data loss or corruption. Therefore the Firewall has come into existence. There are a set of rules designed by a firewall on how and what information need to send and receive.

Security is a major concern for any organization. As a number of businesses increasing day-by-day. On the other hand, hackers and unauthorized sources are expanding their wings to access and damage resources.

If you’re looking for various reasons to protect your business from unauthorized parties, then including a firewall can be a great choice for you. These days protecting business with a firewall is essential.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a software or hardware program that prevents hackers or unauthorized access to sensitive information. Keeping it simple, Firewall is an effective tool used to enhance your security of resources that are connected to the internet.

What is Firewall Software?

Firewall software acts as a security filter on the network. It stands in between the desktop and the internet. Every firewall can be coded in such a way that it keeps specific traffic, either incoming or outgoing. Every message transmitted on a firewall can be examined. When firewall encounters messages from unauthorized sources or intruders, it prevents access.

Example: Consider the outbound side – Firewall can be designed to restrict employee access from sharing business documents and legal information outside the network.

On the other hand, inbound side firewall is configured to prevent employee access to a few websites such as social media sites, gaming, etc.

How a Firewall is helpful?

A firewall helps in multiple ways such as

  • Defend resources
  • Validate authorizations
  • Manage and handle traffic of the network
  • Record and report every event
  • Acts like an intermediary

Importance of having a Firewall

A firewall is a powerful barrier that is intended to protect your devices from malware attacks that exist over the network.

Authentic information is transformed between desktop and servers in cyberspace. A firewall protects and monitors this authentic data to examine whether the data is safe or not. Based on firewall guidelines, the information can be accepted or rejected on the internet.

Nowadays there are few operating systems provides an in-built firewall software on desktop and smartphones. The best result can be delivered when the firewall application works properly. One should take time and install a firewall app properly.

The best feature of Firewall application – Security. By using ‘Whitelisting’ firewall checks to accept or reject the data.

Benefits of using a firewall

Protects your network from unauthorized access

What could be the worst thing that frequently happens to your desktop? Unauthorized remote access. Yes, much smaller and businesses are facing this common problem. Watching the mouse moving around your screen by a remote intruder. It sounds like a horror story right. There may be high chances of data corruption and modification.

Most developer highly recommends users to install firewall solution. Firewall can protect your network in two ways i.e hardware and software.

  • A hardware firewall can be a physical device to protect from malware.
  • A software firewall can be a software program. Install the program on your device to protect from unauthorized access.

Block messages linking to corrupted information

Do you know there are still people using Windows XP? Sounds worse right. Some people are using Windows XP without installing a firewall.

It’s no secret, the internet consists of massive data. Besides an internet has the worst programming code that is traversing the cyberspace. It’s eagerly waiting to attack PCs that are unprotected. On the other hand, some people use ISP to prevent unauthorized access. 

If your a Windows XP user, then do favour it yourselves. Install third-party firewall software to block linking your message to unwanted content. 

Online gaming safe

Whether your a student or senior citizen, you spent most of your time on online gaming. You understand there is a high-risk factor while playing video games online. There are few virus and malware have been designed to target gamers. Besides, online gaming portals are struggling harder to provide high security for users and servers. 

If you think about security, think firewall!!!

Ready to play a video game online, wait!!! Install firewall software and then start playing your game. In most scenarios, the firewall application will configure everything by itself depending upon the requirement of the particular game – using game time, software and more. If your console video game player, then prefer hardware firewall.

What are the methods of Firewall?

Keeping it simple, Firewall undergoes various processes to control incoming and outgoing traffic on the network.

Firewall operates by ensuring every data packet on the network. Performs logical calculations. Here the predefined logical statements will be given by the firewall administrator. These set of statements are commonly known as firewall rules or firewall logic.

Many firewall use header information of the packet. By glancing at header information, the firewall decides to allow or drop the packet on the network or not.

Packet filtering: The information is divided into packets. Now, it starts analyzing every small packet against a set of filters. Those packets that meet the guidelines of filter criteria can access the network, while other packets get discarded.

Proxy service: At the initial step, devices get connected to the proxy. A request can be generated depending upon content. A proxy acts as an intermediary between network and device. The best part is, no direct connection. The addresses of the networks are hidden.

Stateful inspection: If you’re looking for a new standard security approach? Then stateful inspection is the best option for you. It is the latest method to monitor data packets.

Circuit-level gateway: When connected established by TCP, a circuit-level gateway will be implemented. The connection can be made more powerful when packets share information from one host to another host without any further checking.

Web application firewall: It can be a hardware or software filter that is applied to HTTP conversations. These rules are personalized with respect to web-applications. That means unauthorized access, viruses and malware can be blocked.

A firewall allows you to include or exclude filter depending upon a few circumstances like:

IP addresses

Consider an IP address that doesn’t belong to your organization’s network. When that IP address access files from your server, this way IP get blocked instantly by firewall.

Domain names

You can block or gain access to specific domains using a firewall.

Specific words

A firewall acts as a security scanner. It scans every packet that entries and exits from the network. Now, you can choose a specific work to get blocked.

A firewall is strictly designed to prevent virus and unauthorized access on a private and public network. Depending upon your requirement, choose software or hardware firewall or combination for both. Every massage should enter and exit through a firewall.

If you want to protect personal information from third party sources, then you should consider a firewall. Also, it’s the first step of your defence. However, firewalls are specially introduced to protect traffic and connection. A firewall gives permission for users – who should access and who should not.

What is Next-generation firewall?

A next-generation firewall can be a part of the 3rd generation of firewall technology. NGFWs integrate most of the capabilities of existing firewalls. It includes packet filtering, port address translation, VPN, URL blocking and more. On the other hand, NGFWs include SSL inspection, deep-packet inspection, reputation-based virus detection and more.

NGFW works effectively by filtering data packets from the network and traffic depending upon the web applications or the types of traffic using determined ports. NGFWs blend the attractive features and specification of a firewall with QoS(quality of service). These functionalities can provide smart and deep inspections on the network.

Final Thoughts

Protect your devices by turning ON firewall. If you’ve multiple desktops in a loop then protect your network with a hardware firewall. When you’re using public PC, then you must follow the instructions provided in-network administrator’s policy.

A firewall provides in-built virus protection. If you want to have a secure connection over the network then install anti-virus software on every device (PC, mobile and tablet). Anti-virus software will let you know about the number of incoming and outgoing threats encountered by the firewall. Also, anti-virus software will prevent unauthorized access to your private network. If you want to allow other networks remotely, then create a demilitarized zone. This is an amazing feature offered by various firewall software.

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