Network Security Firewall

1 min read

A firewall is a network security solution that monitors and controls network traffic and blocks specific data packets according to predetermined security rules. A firewall typically sets up a barrier between a trusted internal network and incoming traffic from untrusted external sources (such as the internet) with an aim to block malicious traffic.

Network Security Firewall

Firewalls carefully analyze incoming traffic based on preset rules and block traffic coming from suspicious sources in order to prevent cyber attacks. Firewalls sift incoming traffic at the entry point of a network—also called a port—where information is exchanged with external networks. Firewalls block unauthorized access to the network and prevent unauthorized communications from taking place with hidden or malicious software present on internal devices. Two categories of firewalls exist—network-based firewalls and host-based firewalls.

Network-based firewalls are placed at the gateways of local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), and intranets. Network firewalls monitor the traffic passing between two or more networks and operate using general-purpose hardware or hardware-based firewall computer appliances. Firewall appliances can also act as a dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) or virtual private network (VPN) server for that network. Only trusted source addresses can contact the destination address, and this traffic is further filtered so that sources within the network are only allowed to access specific destination ports.

Host-based firewalls are placed on the host itself and control network traffic in and out of host computers. These firewalls have a role in layered security depending on where the communication originates, where it is intercepted, and the method used to trace the communication.

Features

Network security firewall software solutions provide key security features that cannot be provided by hardware or software firewalls. These firewalls are an important line of defense that counter the threats that get through traditional firewalls—regular firewalls examine data packets only for known patterns, leaving the possibility of new threats getting in unnoticed. Network security firewalls protect enterprises against potential cyberattacks by inspecting data packets as they enter the network as well as when they are transferred between computers. When the content of a data packet does not match with specified filter rules, network security firewalls block the packet and send an error response.

Network security firewall technology has developed significantly in recent years. Originally, these firewalls could examine traffic only at the network layer—but today, these firewalls can examine transport layers as well. Advanced network security firewall solutions can even control application layers in order to block unauthorized processes that could result in the spread of malicious software. Threat detection capabilities have improved as well.

Takeaway

Firewalls can be used in several ways to provide security for businesses. At their core, firewalls protect computers and other devices on a private network from cyber threats. Network security firewalls help counter identity theft, unauthorized access to sensitive information, and other prominent threats to network security.

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