Securing the network and data roaming in that network does not always come with strongly encrypted algorithms and blocking some ports for security reasons. There are a whole lot of other elements that can help your data stay safe and preserve your personal space in the cyber world. It is another branch of cyber security that every security professionals and analysts must remain aware of to keep the company's data and employee's identity safe. In this chapter, you will get to know about some of the tools for such purposes.
What Is a Firewall?
Firewalls are both software programs as well as hardware components that preserve our security and maintain safety from unauthorized access to or from the external network. They act as a vital part of a comprehensive security framework for any network. It inspects every packet that comes (inbound) and goes out (outbound) of it and used for your purpose, and it determines whether it needs to be passed or blocked. In short, firewalls defend our resources by validating access, manage and organize legitimate network traffic, acts as an intermediary as well as records and reports different events. Security analysts get specialized training to set policies and access norms for firewalls so that they can filter and monitor as well as restrict unintended data packets to pass through them.
Types of Firewalls
- Packet Filtering Firewall: It is the first of its kind used for network security and is accountable for filtering and checking incoming data packets - which allow data from specific IP addresses, types of packets, specific port numbers, etc.
- Circuit Level Firewall: it is used for operating at the session level. It is used to monitor TCP handshakes rather than data packets just to check whether the sessions are genuine or not.
- Stateful Inspection Firewall: It is used for filtering both data packet as well as session filtering. It checks for active sessions and network packets whether they are legitimate or not.
- Application Level Firewall: It functions at the application layer. Filtering of traffic is done concerning the application (or service) for which they are planned.
Benefits of Using Firewalls
- It stops attacks on your network from external networks and agents.
- It acts as a filter and keeps away the non-authoritative users.
- It permits monitoring the network security and alarms its users when any malicious activity is detected.
- IT also observes as well as records services used by WWW (World Wide Web), FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and some other commonly used protocols.
- It also blocks or un-block those inbound and outbound packets.