The Little Wall that Could

Walls are useful for protecting people and information. The most important wall is actually the smallest one, the firewall. The firewall is not a flaming wall that protects people from the worst of the worst, but it is a protection for a system’s network.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network security device that protects a system by monitoring incoming and outgoing signals and determines if they could pass. It’s sort of like a traffic guard who can deny and allow people to cross the street based on a set of rules.

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/firewalls/what-is-a-firewall.html

Firewalls can either be hardware or software, but either way it will help to protect your system and its information.

How it works

Firewalls work by filtering information. The firewalls will analyze information based on set customization options and the default settings of the firewall. After the analysis, the firewall will determine if the information matches the standards of the firewall. It will then allow the firewall to keep going.

Some variants of firewalls look at different data, and different amounts of data. This makes some firewalls more secure for different types of networks than others.

Variants of firewalls

https://www.blackbox.co.uk/gb-gb/page/28186/Resources/Technical-Resources/black-box-explains/Security/Types-of-Firewall

The main types of firewalls are network and proxy firewalls. Network firewalls monitor packets and look at the source, destination and other info. This firewall is a simple firewall that basically sorts the info into acceptable or unacceptable categories. It works best for smaller systems, but gets complex when used for larger systems and networks.

Proxy firewalls study info in “proxy’’ applications. These firewalls are not directly connected to the internet and your network. Instead, it does commands for the user’s system. These firewalls allow you to block info based on its type. This firewall is much slower, but more reliable.

There is another firewall known as the Staeful Inspection, which is essentially the Network firewall, but much more intelligent. It studies the sequence the info carries out when attempting communication, and if it is suspicious, it will deny contact. It’s strengths are that it is fast and smart.

However, most modern firewalls are hybrids that are mixtures of the aspects of the multiple variants of firewalls.

http://www.nortonsecurityonline.com/security-center/how-does-firewall-work.html

The other seperate category of firewalls is software and hardware. They both could have the same variants as above, but hardware firewalls can’t monitor outgoing info, which can lead to your computer becoming infected and becoming a bot or zombie, meaning that someone could use your computing power in a mass attack. They also can’t be customized like other firewalls can.

Software firewalls eliminate the outgoing info issue, and allow improved customization. However, they can only protect a single computer, while hardware firewalls could protect an entire network. Some people will stack firewalls to keep their computer as safe as possible.

Strategies

https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2014/10/four-strategies-successful-next-generation-firewall-deployment

When using firewalls to protect a system, it is important to have all computers in a system have a firewall. Synchronization is important when protecting a system. If one computer is breached, then the whole system could be at risk.

Another strategy is to add changes slowly and carefully. If you add a bunch changes to your firewall’s settings without testing how it will affect your system, you could disrupt your programs and not be able to do what you need to be done. Do the changes carefully and test what will happen when you finally carry them out.

In the end, make sure you know what to do when using firewalls. The one you use is based on the system you want to protect. But no matter what you use, always make sure your computer is safe.