What Is A Firewall?
A firewall is a software or hardware-based device which keeps track of any incoming and outgoing traffic, hereby only allowing authorized data to pass through it. Much like the name says, it is a wall that can block unauthorized activities from trespassing the network. Firewall settings can be changed by the administrator to accommodate to different business requirements. Thus, having a firewall helps provide a high level of security for your network and your computer activities.
So Why Do We Need A Firewall?
It is of extreme importance for businesses, especially military and government sectors, to have a firewall setup, to deny access to the organization’s network, disallowing them from accessing the network remotely, and also to prevent any virus or malware attacks from affecting the computers in the network. Highly confidential information is to be kept secure, thus the need for a firewall.
What Benefits Can A Firewall Bring?
The settings of a firewall can be changed according to the organization’s needs and requirements. It can be used to control who or which group can have access to certain websites, for example setting a block on pornography or gambling websites. The firewall can be set in a way such that only those within a certain group i.e. those in the Human Resource department, can have access to Job Recruitment websites.
You may have heard the term personal firewall and wondered what it is or if you need one. Personal firewalls work in the background to protect your system from malicious computer code by controlling the internet connection to and from your computer. Think of that as a traffic cop – allowing and disallowing inbound and outbound traffic and alerting you to unwanted intrusions. Because it is a personal firewall, it really only protects the computer on which it is installed and it allows for security policy to be defined on an individual computer.
However, do you know you need both a personal and a network firewall? A network firewall can be either software or hardware based. It protects against intrusions from the network or the Internet. It won’t protect against malware loaded from CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives or anything else directly connected to your computer. That is why you should pair it with a good anti-virus software and a personal firewall.