The growing network perimeter is a fact of life. Attacks on corporate networks can take many forms, such as viruses, backdoors, denial of service (DoS) attacks, macros, remote logins, phishing emails, social engineering, and spam. In this evolving threat landscape, firewalls continue to play a key role in securing our networks and devices.
What is a firewall, and how does it help keep your company secure?
A firewall is a network security device that is a protection barrier between internal and outside networks. Its main purpose is to control, monitor, and filter incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Based on these rules, it examines data packets and determines whether they should be allowed or blocked.
A firewall plays a crucial role in corporate network security in several ways:
Helps control network traffic flow by filtering and blocking untrusted or potentially malicious inbound and outbound connections. This helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and resources.
Implementing specific rules, firewalls can restrict access to certain applications, services, or ports based on user roles and permissions. This ensures that only authorized individuals can access critical resources within your company's network.
Allows the network to be segmented, which involves dividing it into separate segments or subnets. This helps isolate different departments, network services, or user groups, providing an additional layer of security. Thus, if one segment is compromised, the firewall can prevent attackers from moving laterally to other segments.
Firewalls can include intrusion prevention systems (IPS) that detect and block malicious network activities in real time. These systems monitor network traffic and apply predefined rules or behavioral analysis techniques to identify and mitigate potential threats.
Virtual Private Network (VPN):
Many firewalls support VPN functionality, allowing remote employees or branch offices to access the corporate network over encrypted connections securely. This helps protect sensitive data transmitted between different locations.
Logging and auditing:
Firewalls often keep logs of network traffic, which can be useful for monitoring and detecting potential security incidents. These logs can be analyzed to identify patterns, track suspicious activity, and investigate security breaches.
Today, organizations must update and configure their firewalls periodically to keep up with evolving security threats and complement these security systems with other solutions. Network threats come in various guises, so enterprise-grade firewalls, backed by threat visibility tools such as endpoint security solutions, have become essential. Unified security on one platform, which enable services with greater scalability and speed while ensuring operational efficiency, is the best way of ensuring that these solutions are fully integrated.
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