Firewalls are one of the most essential tools for protecting your data from cyberattacks. Without a firewall, hackers can access your device or network, steal information, or spread malware to other computers.
Firewalls are hardware or software that monitor and filter all data communication to and from a private network. A well-trained IT help desk like Kirbtech can help you implement firewall technology in your company.
Prevents Malware Attacks
When you don’t have firewall protection, a hacker can gain access to your computer network and use it to steal data, corrupt or destroy systems, or launch cyber attacks. So, how does a firewall work? Firewalls can either be hardware or software and are designed to filter incoming and outgoing network traffic. They can be used at the organization or home level to protect networks, servers, and individual devices.
The way a firewall works is that it reads the information in the data packets of network traffic as it passes to and from your device and then compares that to a list of known threats. If the information in a data packet matches the profile of a threat, the firewall discards that data packet and prevents it from reaching your system.
While training employees to be cautious about downloading unknown applications and clicking on suspicious links can help reduce the risk, preventing cyberattacks without a firewall is impossible. Firewalls also perform logging and audit functions to identify patterns and improve rules as vendors discover new threats.
Prevents Spyware Attacks
Firewalls monitor data coming into and out of a network. Using the information in these data packets, they analyze and filter them for security threats, like viruses and malware. These threats can corrupt, steal, or hold a network hostage and cause a system crash. Firewalls are the first line of defense for networks that rely on computer-based operations to run and function at work, home, and public places.
A firewall works by creating a set of guidelines for allowing and denying communication to specific computer applications or websites. These rules are either inclusive or exclusive and can be customized based on specific network needs.
Firewalls can be either software or hardware devices. The software type is computer programs that can be downloaded or purchased separately from a computer store, internet service provider (ISP), or software vendor. Hardware firewalls are physical devices that can be established between your device and the gateway. They require trained professionals to set up and maintain but offer the advantage of blocking attacks from various angles.
Prevents Denial-of-Service Attacks
Firewalls can prevent denial-of-service attacks, which are attempts to overwhelm a server with too much traffic that causes the server to stop functioning. Hackers can use this attack to disrupt your business, so firewall protection is essential for preventing this cyber threat.
Firewall protection examines data packets on multiple network levels. The most basic firewalls, called packet-filtering firewalls, read the data packet header and assess its contents based on pre-configured rules. This way, only approved data packets are allowed to enter the protected network.
Another type of firewall is a stateful inspection firewall, which reads data packets at the application level. This is useful for detecting malicious software apps, such as those downloaded from dubious shopping portals and websites that allow users to download illegal content.
A firewall can also be configured to limit the number of simultaneous connections from a single source IP address or subnet. This can help curb illegitimate traffic from viruses and other malicious programs that create excessive network traffic. This way, the firewall protects against a denial-of-service attack by ensuring that only legitimate network traffic is allowed through.
Prevents Virus Attacks
A firewall protects against viruses that enter a network and cause a security breach. Hackers often target employees to gain access to the network system so they can download and install malware applications. Firewalls prevent hackers from gaining entry by scanning all incoming and outgoing data packets. These data packets are inspected for malicious content by the firewall, which establishes a set of rules for what constitutes a dangerous or safe website. It also blocks websites that contain malicious software applications.
Firewalls can be either software or hardware devices that monitor all network activities. Software firewalls are computer programs that you can install on individual devices, while a hardware firewall is a device that shields multiple systems and devices. The main advantage of a hardware firewall is that it provides more excellent protection and threat intelligence than a software firewall.
Next-generation firewalls can inspect the contents of all data packets that enter and exit a network. These firewalls use a deep inspection technique to scan all packet parts, including the payload and header. They can assess whether a packet contains a newly programmed malware attack and discard it.
Prevents Hacker Attacks
A hacker attack is a cyber-security risk that involves a stranger trying to make a network server inaccessible by flooding it with access requests. This can lead to a breakdown of the server and compromise your data. Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing traffic to prevent such attacks.
Most hackers infiltrate networks through emails that contain malicious links or attachments. If a user clicks on these, the malware gets installed on the device and spreads across the entire network. Firewalls check whether a connection is valid; if not, deny it.
Some firewalls can also be used to restrict access to lawful websites for employees or keep tabs on their online activities. However, these features are controversial, especially since they violate users’ privacy and freedom. A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is the best way to protect your devices against various threats. These systems work at the network level and can cover all connected devices, making it easier to manage security policies. Moreover, they offer critical cyberattack insights and help harden defense measures.