The Complete Firewall Guide

November 26th, 2018

Since you’ve started focusing on the online security of your business, you’ve probably been hearing mention of the word firewall over and over again.

firewall

And after the recent security breaches of customer information at Facebook and Equifax, never before has the importance of understanding what it is and what it can do for you been greater.

What Is a Firewall?

The first line of defense for your network, a firewall is essentially what keeps uninvited visitors out of your network. Allowing you to control and detect incoming and outgoing traffic, an effective firewall acts as a gatekeeper, and keeping unregistered IP addresses out of your system.

Whether simply a program or a hardware device, a firewall works by filtering information coming to and going out of your network’s computers and flagging down malware, malicious attacks and hacking attempts.

The Three Mechanisms of Firewalls

Packet Filtering

Most data that we send out over the Internet—emails, online transactions and more—travels in small packets of information. These packets also contain information about the place of origin as well as destination of the chunk of data within it.

A firewall scans every packet that tries to make it through its defenses. If the source IP address, source port, destination IP address or destination port matches any of the entries listed as banned Internet locations, the firewall will block it.

Proxy Server

All the incoming and outgoing traffic on your network first makes its way through what is called a proxy server. This is a file server outside the firewall, which scans all data and only forwards packets that comply with its set rules to the firewall. The second step in the process, it is more thorough than packet filters and catches packets that have managed to sneak around them.

protection firewall

Stateful Inspection

More flexible than stateless (packet filtering) firewalls, stateful firewalls determine the connection state of packets. This firewall closely inspects key components of a packet, and compares it to a safe database. If the information on the packet is similar to some the firewall has seen before, it is allowed through. The last step of the process, only data that meets all criteria and rules is allowed to go forward to its final destination.

About Think Technologies Group

We are a unique technology and managed IT solutions provider based in Ocala - Corporate, Gainesville and Hollywood, Florida. Our services include but are not limited to IT project consulting, cloud services and network security services. Get in touch with our team today to secure your system and establish a powerful, effective firewall.