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What is a Firewall and Why Does Your Organization Need It?

  • By: Garry Feldman
  • Date: November 22, 2017

There is nothing more important to the continued success of your business than protecting your company’s and your customer’s information. This means that your business needs a robust IT strategy, including ensuring that your network is protected by a firewall.

While almost everyone has heard of a firewall, few people fully understand what they are, what they do or why they’re so important to network security. Here is some brief information to help you learn what is a firewall so that you can understand why your organization needs this critical security feature.

The Basics a Firewall

Before learning what firewall can do for your network, it’s a good idea to learn a few of the most basic facts of this security feature. Essentially, a firewall is a tool that monitors the ingoing and outgoing traffic of your network, and blocks certain types of traffic as specified by your security protocols.

When their usage was first popularized, firewalls could only block well-known threats and institute defined control policies. However, in modern times, firewalls have a variety of uses, including the ability to examine packets entering your network to determine if they are safe. While most businesses will install a firewall as network hardware, an increasing number of companies are using software firewalls to secure virtual environments.

Different Firewall Types

As firewall technology has improved over the years, different firewall types have been created, allowing your business to choose the security solution that best meets your needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular firewall options.

The original firewalls were considered stateless, which means they were only able to inspect individual data packets. Since the 1990s, however, businesses have been able institute stateful firewalls, which can take into account your entire operating structure, restricting or allowing information as you see fit.

Another type of firewall you could choose are called proxy-based firewalls. These firewalls place a gate between end users and the data they are requesting. Before the user is provided with the data, it is filtered in order to reduce threats and to mask the origin of the data.

Some businesses choose to install web application firewalls. These firewalls differ from traditional firewalls by securing the data of a single application instead of an entire network. The biggest limitation of this type of firewall is that you will need to know your throughput capacity before installation.

Why You Need a Firewall

Now that you know more about how firewalls work, it’s time to learn why you need a firewall for your business. Simply put, firewalls provide your network with an array of security features, establishing fuller and more thorough protection for your data. For example, when your firewall is properly implemented, it can scan for known viruses, prevent unauthorized access to your network and perform deep inspection of packets entering or exiting your system. There is almost no more effective network security solution than a firewall.

If you need help installing a firewall in your business network, then your best option is working with the experts at U.S. Computer Connection. We aim to be your one-stop IT solution, answering any questions you may have about firewalls and how a firewall can help you improve the security of your network. Contact us today!

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