What is a Firewall and why is it important for network security?
Protecting your computer systems is equally important, to prevent malicious users from disrupting your operations or -- even worse -- stealing your private data or intellectual property.
One of the key tools used for computer security is a firewall, and few companies can afford to operate without one.
Potential Intrusions Any network or standalone computer that's connected to the Internet, or any other external network, is potentially at risk for an attack. These can take many forms, depending on the attacker's skills and motivation.
Some malicious software, or malware, diverts a portion of your hardware and bandwidth to its own uses, such as hosting pirated software or pornography. Other programs might delete crucial data or bring down your network. Criminals could gain access to your network, then charge purchases to your company credit cards or siphon money from your accounts.
Unscrupulous competitors could access your proprietary information or vendor and customer data, gaining a crucial advantage. Firewall Basics No single product or service will provide you with complete security, but a firewall is one of the cornerstones of any network security strategy.
Think of it as the electronic equivalent of a sentry at the gate. It inspects all the data passing in or out of the network, ensuring that the traffic is legitimate. When properly configured, a firewall should allow your users access to all the resources they need while still keeping out any malicious users or programs.
Hardware Firewalls One way to provide firewall protection is through a separate piece of hardware that's placed between the network or user and any outside networks such as the Internet. Hardware firewalls have several advantages. They use their own preinstalled software and operating system, so malware based on an OS such as Windows can't attack them.
One hardware firewall can protect every device on the network, without the time and trouble of configuring them individually.
That's also a benefit when you need to upgrade, since updating one firewall is faster and easier than updating a room full of computers. Many of your existing network routers probably have firewall functions built in, if you choose to use them.
Software Firewalls Firewall software on your network servers or individual computers provide an extra level of security, and they're often used in conjunction with hardware firewalls.
They enable users with different needs to customize their own levels of protection, including the ability to allow individual programs access to the Internet -- or not -- on a case-by-case basis.
Alternatively, your network administrator can set up firewall permissions for individual users or groups of users.
That strategy can be used to block or control employees' access to external websites, either in the interest of productivity or to prevent employees from using company resources for illegal or unapproved purposes.
Setup Firewall protection needs to be part of your overall plan for computer security. That might also include a clear set of written policies about the use of external networks, bringing disks or flash drives from other computers, and the storage of sensitive data.
Your IT staff might also recommend the use of virus and malware scanners, WPA security for your wireless network, or some form of encryption for your hard drives and other data-storage devices. If you don't have the expertise in house to set up and configure your firewalls, consider hiring an outside consultant to do the setup and periodic updates.
A poorly configured firewall can hamper productivity significantly, without enhancing your security.A firewall is a boundary or a wall to keep intruders from attacking the network. The firewall is network device that is in between a private network and the internet.
The firewall is configured to inspect network traffic that passes between the network and the internet. We can assign rules or protocols to the firewall to allow data to be shared.
Join Malcolm Shore for an in-depth discussion in this video, Why firewalls?, part of Cybersecurity for IT Professionals. The key control to prevent this is the use of a personal firewall.
The. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Firewalls Computer Science Essay. Print Reference this.
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Why Is a Firewall Important? A: Quick Answer. installing software from a CD or setting up external hardware may prevent the firewall from being completely compromised if the computer is overrun.