VisiCom Services Blog

VisiCom Services has been serving the Rochester Hills area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

What’s in Your Firewall?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Firewall400.jpgIt is vital that you have a firewall in place to protect your network. Unlike the name suggests, a firewall will not protect your PC from an actual fire, but rather, a firewall will protect your computers from cyber-threats. Network firewalls are a little more complex than brick and mortar; here is a basic explanation on how firewalls work.

Even though both home and network firewalls share the same name, the major difference between the two is that one firewall is a physical wall and the other is a software. In fact, even though a network firewall will often use hardware components to better protect your PC, the actual firewall itself is not the hardware. In this way, a firewall is similar to the Internet. While there are many physical computer components that make up the Internet (routers, modems, etc.), the Internet and network firewalls are both virtual.

A firewall is a network traffic filtering system that enforces network access with integrated control policies. The point where the filtering of packets takes place and all traffic flows through is called a transit point. The more intricate a computer network is, the more complex the firewall needs to be. Simple firewalls come standard with even the most basic operating systems. Businesses that experience a lot of network traffic will want to upgrade their network to include firewall security solutions like enabled routers and switches. These firewall devices will offload the extra filtering activity away from a PC's processor and memory, leaving extra resources to dedicate to running critical applications.

The filter settings of a firewall can be adjusted to meet a user's needs. Obviously, a company with sensitive data stored on their network will want to use stricter firewall settings than a casual PC user. With a network firewall, the settings can be adjusted so that different users on a network can experience different levels of filtering and network access. When it comes down to it, your network firewall is your best defense against cyber-attacks in your network security arsenal.

Just like there are many different ways to construct a physical firewall for a building, so too are there different types of network firewalls that can be utilized for your business. Here is a short list of some of the most widely used firewalls.

Stateless Firewall
We will list the stateless firewall first because it is one of the first firewalls created. A stateless firewall is designed to filter and inspect data packets based on a predetermined set of acceptance protocols. A packet that does not meet the required parameters in the packet header is dropped.

Statefull Firewall
The statefull firewall filters data packets stored in the firewall based on the flow of traffic. Because the data packets are stored, a statefull firewall is then able to analyze the incoming packets and make the determination if the packet belongs to an existing flow of data.

Packet-filtering Firewall
A firewall works by using layers. A firewall will commonly look at 2-4 of the layers out of 7. A Packet-filtering firewall will look at layer 4 (transport), and layer 3 (network). By analyzing these layers, a packet-filtering firewall will allow or deny traffic based on the destination IP address, source, protocol, and destination port numbers.

There are other types of firewalls like; proxy firewall, host-based firewall, address-translation firewall, hybrid firewall, and transparent firewall. Each firewall is designed for a specific network. Your network is unique; we can set up your network with the firewall that will provide your business with maximum protection.

Having a strong firewall for your complex network doesn't have to be complicated procedure. VisiCom Services offers a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution that will act a strong firewall by filtering all of your network traffic. You can easily adjust the firewall settings on the UTM to meet your security needs and give different users different permissions. If you want to strengthen your firewall and learn more about network security solutions, then give VisiCom Services a call at 248.299.0300.

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