Why Do We Need A Firewall For Cybersecurity?
Why do we need a firewall for cybersecurity? According to Nestar, “ A firewall is an important part of any business’ IT security system, and without one, our security system is open to all sorts of threats.”
It keeps disruptive and destructive forces out and monitors the incoming and outgoing unwanted traffic based on security parameters that you can control.
Firewalls are widely used in both personal and corporate businesses, and many devices come with built-in firewalls – such as Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Firewalls are widely known as an important part of network security.
An Introduction To Firewalls
As per literal perspective, a firewall is a wall that prevents fire from spreading inside a house, buying extra time for occupants to escape. A software or hardware firewall that you have on your network, works just in the same way. It doesn’t allow the “fire” (cyber threats, in this case) to happen on your private network.
By setting up an effective firewall, you can protect your networks from unauthorised access.
This protects your information from being compromised. Also, it gives you an extra layer of protection against malware and viruses. If a firewall recognises anything malicious or suspicious trying to enter your private network, it’ll not permit it through.
You may have a software-based firewall at your home, but your business needs a hardware-based firewall to keep all unwanted traffic on your network.
A strong firewall will enable you to control what computers send and receive externally on your network.
In this instance, you can keep track of what kind of emails are being sent out from your network, meaning you can determine which employee is leaking sensitive or confidential information.
How Do Firewalls Work?
A security firewall can work in different ways to monitor and regulate network traffic. However, these three ways are popular.
1- Packet Filtering
Packets are small amounts of information. When firewalls implement the packet filtering method, it means that packets trying to access the network are run against a group of filters.
These filters stop the packets that are matched to certain identified threats and allow the others to pass through their intended destination.
2- Proxy Service
A firewall proxy server is a program that acts as a middleman between systems.
These types of firewalls are incredibly secure but they come with some drawbacks. For example, they work more slowly than any other type of firewall and are limited with regard to the sorts of applications that they support.
Instead of a packet filtering system that data passes through, proxy servers work as a go-between.
The firewall accesses the information from the internet and then submits it to the requesting system and vice-versa.
This proxy server method operates at the application layer of the firewall, where both ends of a connection are instructed to conduct the security session through the proxy.
They work by installing and running a process on the firewall that detects a service as if it were running on the end host, and clusters all data transfers for an activity to the firewall for scanning.
3- Stateful Inspection
Stateful Inspection – it’s known as a modern method of firewall scanning, that doesn’t rely on the memory-intensive examination of all data packets.
A ‘stateful’ firewall includes some necessary attributes of each connection in a database of trusted data packets, for the duration of the session.
Unlike Static Filtering, a stateful inspection firewall tests a variety of elements of each information packet and then compares them to a database of trusted data.
These elements include ports, applications, and source and destination IP addresses. Incoming data packets must match the trusted information in order to be allowed to pass through the firewall.
How Does A Firewall Protect Data?
An effective firewall can prevent you from a number of different security risks when you’re connected to the internet. These can include:
1- Remote Login
Remote logins can be different in severity but it will always mean someone else is connecting to or monitoring your computers.
Cybercriminals can create a script to access and log in to your devices remotely.
They can then take over the device, install spyware and malicious programs, and steal your information. Only an effective firewall can protect you from unauthorised access to your systems via the internet.
2- Denial of service
This is a popular type of cyber attack that can affect a server to slow down to crash.
Scammers and hackers use this denial of service attack method by sending you a request to connect the server, which sends an acknowledgement and tries to build a connection.
After the server gets the connection request and tries to answer, it can’t find the system that made the request.
If the server is frequently receiving such types of connection requests, it could slow down and cause them to crash, meaning your productivity is disrupted.
After using a firewall, it’ll prevent these kinds of attacks from occurring, making sure our server is not slowed down by any disingenuous connections.
Viruses are small programs that spread themselves from computer to computer, allowing them to spread b/w devices and across networks. Some viruses may lead to a few threats but others are capable of doing more damage – slow down your device, monitor your activity, erase data or crash your device.
The use of a firewall will block viruses before they can access your network, protecting devices from becoming infected by malicious programs.
4- Malicious macros
Malicious macros are sets of instructions that applications can run to process a series of complicated procedures into one executable rule.
First, a hacker should get access to, then they can run their own pieces of instructions within the application.
This can turn into drastic loss from erasing data to crashing the system.
5- Email session hijacking
If your network is authorised by unwanted users, they can hijack your SMTP server. It means that they can take over your server and can send spam or malicious emails to your contacts.
This can cause clients to lose faith in your brand and its security.
An effective firewall will protect you against email session hijacking, making sure the value of relationships that you built with clients are preserved.
Types Of Firewalls
Firewalls are generally either two types; host-based firewalls or network-based firewall.
A host-based firewall is a part of firewall software that is installed on an individual computer or device connected to the internet.
Host-based firewalls are an effective way to protect each host from malware and viruses, and to control the spread of these dangerous infections through the network.
A network-based firewall is installed at the network node and acts as the first protection layer (for instance, cyber security agent) to block any unwanted network traffic that shouldn’t be accessing the data centers.
Network-based firewalls perform on network levels & filter all the incoming and outgoing network traffic. They filter traffic and pass it to firewall rules and protect the network.
Should I Use A Firewall?
A firewall is one of the mandatory tools you should have in your cyber security toolkit.
If your organisation’s cybersecurity defence system depends on the use of a firewall only without any other protection tools, it would be like building walls for your home but leaving some holes and windows unbuilt and not installing doors and locks to secure them. Sure, it stops some security threats, but you would be leaving yourself open to other threats.
For this reason, it is often better for organisations to have multiple firewalls for the best protection and coverage from a variety of threats that use different attack methods.
As Illumio reports:
“81 per cent of respondents will leverage firewalls for segmentation, despite the fact that they are slow to implement, don’t adapt, are complex to work with, and were not built to serve this function.”
The purpose of all this is to say: Firewalls should be your part of cybersecurity defence but never forget to install other security measures too.
Firewalls are as mandatory to cybersecurity as an air pump is to an inflatable raft.
Definitely, you may float for a while, but you’ll drown if you don’t refill the air pump.
The same way is for cyber threats, you may be lucky enough to avoid cybercriminals for a little while. But, eventually, they’ll knock you in the end. In today’s world, you can provide more protection to your network and valuable data.
One of the best protection devices is to install firewalls to your system which should be your first priority in your business’s IT security strategy. This includes application controls, antivirus software, device controls, network access control, and intrusion prevention.
Firewalls are the first line of defence against scammers, hackers, criminals, and invaders.
Firewalls work 24/7 and help protect and keep your network secure. Defending against these threats can also make your business more productive.
If you have any questions about network security or installing firewalls for your business, please contact us and one of our friendly representatives will get back to you within 24 hours.