What is a Firewall in Cybersecurity?
Firewalls have been vital solutions in cybersecurity processes for more than 20 years. A firewall is a security gateway that controls and secures network traffic. It protects the internal network from external threats. Malware and unauthorized access pose excellent risks for companies’ cybersecurity. Firewalls can save the company network against data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Cyber threats have been evolving continuously. Hackers and cybercriminals find new ways to leak into a company’s private networks without authorization. On the other hand, cybersecurity tools and solutions have been developing at an incredible velocity.
Organizations adopt several security solutions that avoid phishing attacks, malware, and data breaches. The ultimate purpose is to prevent companies from falling victim to attacks and breaches.
Firewalls are also an effective solution for the organization’s security. This article will explain how firewalls can protect your companies against cyber risks.
Common Cyber Threats Businesses Face
Businesses have been exposed to cyber threats and get harmed regardless of their size. The most common cyber threats are:
A phishing attack is the prior cyber threat that businesses face almost continually. Phishing attacks usually come via email. Cybercriminals create legitimate-looking e-mails and links to scam people.
They send business-related or attentive commercial e-mails by incorporating these malicious links to the company employees. When employees are busy with their work, they are more likely to be victims of phishing attacks.
These links download malware or spyware. They leak into the company resources via this malware and obtain personal data. Phishing attacks harm company resources and cause both financial and reputational loss.
2. Internal Threats
Corporations overlook internal threats at times. However, inside users can risk your company’s data and security even more than external ones. Internal risks can stem from both willingness and accidental actions. In any case, corporations must have adequate precautions against internal cybersecurity threats.
Periodic training for the crew can be a good solution.The more your employees increase their awareness of cyber threats, the more you can preserve your sensitive data resources. Robust authentication and log-in processes are also recommendable for internal threat elimination.
Malware is a harmful software that harms networks, devices, and other environments. Companies can face malware all the time. They should know how to avoid malware spreading out to all networks. Cybercriminals can obtain unauthorized access to the resources via malware. It means that they can capture private data and cause data breaches.
Firewall Basics: Packet Filtering Explained
Firewall packet filtering is a fundamental technique of firewall protection. It has been used for a long time. Packet filtering has two prior advantages: simplicity and effectiveness.
In packet filtering, firewalls inspect data packets according to predefined rules. IT teams and company managers can determine filtering rules. For instance, they can define remote work devices as reliable. So, remote employees can access company resources immediately thanks to fast data filtering processes. Furthermore, they can decide on trustable data resources and vice versa.
A firewall evaluates IP addresses, destination and resource points, and protocols. This information exists on the surface of a data packet. It is called a header. The header contains fundamental information such as destination, origin, and ID. In packet filtering, the firewall does not assess data packets deeply. Header information is enough for the firewall to give permission or not. So, the firewall can evaluate all information fastly.
Stateful Inspection: How Firewalls Dig Deeper
Stateful inspection is more comprehensive and detailed compared to packet filtering. It considers the source of the data packet, devices that are used, and protocols for transfer. It also monitors and audits incoming and outgoing packet traffic but in a more detailed way.
Stateful inspection compares packets with past access requests. It assesses the instant state of the data packet immediately. It also offers TCP- transmission control protocol handshake verification and ensures that TCP handshakes are proper at every stage. In conclusion, stateful inspection presents a more secure packet control than packet filtering.
The Role of Proxy Servers in Firewall Protection
Proxy servers function as a router between users and websites. Proxy servers are called intermediaries since they are located between these two points and control the traffic. The ultimate goal of both the proxy server and the firewall is the same: network security. Proxy servers enhance firewall protection on networks.
Proxy servers keep detailed log-in information. This information can help firewalls when they monitor and evaluate the current risks. Furthermore, threat detection can be more effective due to proxy server facilities. Although proxy servers and firewalls differ in some features, it is clear that proxy service features add an extra layer of protection to the firewalls.
Using Firewalls for Intrusion Prevention
Companies adopt several security tools, solutions, and policies to avoid intrusion. Firewalls are an effective and useful way to avoid intrusion too. Although firewalls can protect company resources and avoid unauthorized access and data breaches, some vulnerabilities stem from the firewalls itself.
Besides the cyber risks for the network, some vulnerabilities of firewalls include Ddos attacks, the lack of documentation, internal threats, and update negligence. All these vulnerabilities decrease the effectiveness of firewalls. To reach out a comprehensive and efficient firewall intrusion prevention, IT teams must consider firewall vulnerabilities too.
Beyond Malware: How Firewalls Protect Against Advanced Persistent Threats
Firewalls can protect networks against Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). Unauthorized and untraceable attacks can cause a disaster for the companies. On the other hand, firewalls can trace and avoid persistent threats by using packet filtering and stateful inspection.
Besides the other cybersecurity tools, firewalls are the most available tools to fight against advanced threats in networks. Logging and auditing features of firewalls are a plus for ATP prevention. ATP protection requires a proper assessment, audit, and analysis. Firewalls can analyze persistent threats and realize them before they cause damage in the company.
Firewall Maintenance: Ensuring Ongoing Cybersecurity Protection
Firewall protection is not a one-time thing. Corporations should guarantee firewall maintenance to avoid intrusions to the private networks. First of all, IT teams must consider firewall security vulnerabilities. Regular updates, policy consideration, and monitoring are the most important aspects of firewall vulnerability management. On the other hand, corporations should adopt other security tools which can make a collaboration with firewalls. Proxy servers, and VPNs can be good examples.
When firewall vulnerabilities diminish, companies can maintain their security by using firewalls. Firewall is a security wall between the internal company network and the external world. The traffic between these two points is crowded and also crucial. Firewall must analyze, assess, and control all the traffic to provide an extensive protection.
A proper firewall protection can avoid most of the intrusion threats and data breaches. From the business point of view, it has a crucial importance for the corporations.
Companies can accelerate their business productivity in a short time by trusting their firewall security solution. In conclusion, as a modern organization, you can give a try to the firewall security solutions. However, you should consider firewall vulnerabilities and other requirements to get the full effect.