There are lots of businesses that collect sensitive information on their customers. This might include credit card numbers, patient data, financial information, and more. As a result, businesses have spent much of their time regulated on how they handle this data. This is important because their customers depend on them to keep their data safe. Security breaches can lead to serious problems that could impact the safety and well-being of their customers. In the modern era of cyberattacks, network security is essential. When it comes down to it, firewalls are a critical tool that must be used to keep businesses and their customers safe from harm. This is why all small and medium businesses need to understand how firewalls work and how they impact their security.
First, firewalls are a tool that acts like a doorman between the public realm of the internet and the network of the business. They are called firewalls because of how strong they work; however, they are also indiscriminate unless there are rules in place. These rules help to define the traffic that passes into and out of the network. This even defines where this network traffic can originate. For example, firewalls might allow HTTPS signals but might block signals that come from DNS locations. Think about this as closing off doors that other services that simply are not necessary. This is a critical tool that is used by numerous businesses.
In addition, it is possible to use firewalls by configuring them to limit the amount of traffic that might be coming from a single location. Think of this as telling the doorman that the same person can only go in and come out a certain number of times. This is a way to block an issue called overutilization. Overutilization, if it is allowed to proceed unchecked, can drain the resources of the network. In this sense, that one source might be a bad actor. In today’s era network firewalls come in numerous shapes and sizes. They are still an important part of any security package.
Choosing a Firewall for a Business
When choosing firewalls for a business, there are numerous factors that need to be considered. Thinking about these factors ahead of time can help a company make the right decision for them. Some of the most important factors that everyone has to consider include:
- The level of the security options
- The scalability of the tool
- The customizability of the firewall
- How well the firewall performs against specific threats
- The amount of visibility the firewall provides
- How well the firewall notifies the administration team about potential threats
- Whether the vendor provides updates for the firewalls as vulnerabilities are uncovered and patched
Anyone who is looking for a firewall has to think about these factors. In addition, it is a good idea to ask the vendor if they specialize in this area or if they simply offer firewalls as an add-on service. Vendors that specialize in this area often provide better tools when it comes to network firewalls. There are a number of other features that everyone has to consider when they are looking for firewalls.
The Ability to use a Deep Packet Inspection
One of the most important features that everyone has to look for when it comes to firewalls is called a deep packet inspection. This is usually shortened to DPI. This is a tool that is used to prevent viruses and worms from infiltrating the network. Usually, a firewall monitors traffic on a surface level; however, deep packets would sometimes slip through the firewall and infect the network, leading to major problems. With the help of a deep packet inspection, this issue can be avoided. This allows firewalls to better identify threats that eliminate them, preventing them from taking down the network. This allows the firewall to not only play a role in stopping general threats but also in fighting back against viruses. This adds a new layer of protection.
It is also important to locate firewalls that handle something called intrusion prevention. This is a tool that monitors the network for any signs of malicious activity. When it comes to intrusion prevention, any attempts at intrusion are tracked and forwarded to the security team. This team is able to look at the history of attempts and figure out if there is a larger issue going on. These libraries of malicious patterns are used to generate patterns that can be sent back to the OEM. This allows updates to be generated that can prevent these issues in the future.
Another major factor to consider when looking for firewalls is the presence of something known as a DNA firewall. Phishing attacks usually rely on something called DNS spoofing. This is used to trick the user into thinking that they are accessing a known site instead of one that is suspicious. With the help of DNA firewalling from various providers, these attacks are intercepted and blocked. Then, the user is redirected to a save area. In addition, DNS addresses that are malicious in this manner can be blocked. Finally, users also need to be trained to detect and avoid these phishing attacks, as they can be quite dangerous.
The Ability to Make a Sandbox
Finally, the firewalls should be able to generate something called a sandbox. A sandbox is a safe area where people can experiment with certain apps. Sometimes, these apps can be malicious and people might not know it. IF the app is contained in a sandbox, then the damage it can do is limited. The sandbox is able to quarantine the threat and eliminate it, if required. It is important to look for this feature with any firewall.
Find the Right Firewall for Your Company
These are a few of the most important factors to consider when looking for firewalls. If you are looking for network security options, contact us today! We would be happy to help you protect your business from harm.