Firewall and How It Helps Protect Your Network Security System
A firewall can be defined as a network security system that does monitoring and control over all the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a particular defined and advanced set of defined security rules.
Basically firewall work acts as a filter in between your computer network and the internet. In other words we can define a computer firewall as a software program that restricts unauthorized access to and from a user’s private network. A user can specify to the program what they want to authorize to get in and what they allow to get out; otherwise everything else is not to be allowed into or out of the computer network.
Firewalls are some of the reliable tools that can be used to tighten the security of computers that are connected to a network. Such networks could be local area network or internet. This is an applausable security network framework that can comprehensively safeguard your network.
Just like the name suggests firewall, separates your computer from the internet by creating a code that acts as a wall, which inspects each and every data packet that arrives from either of the sides of the firewall to test whether the packet should be allowed to go through or be blocked.
Firewalls also are equipped with the capability to enhance the security by employment of granular control that is piece by piece control over the kinds of system processes and functions should have access to networking resources. These firewalls can employ various types of signatures and conditions of the host to determine whether to allow or to deny traffic. Although these explanations sound complex, firewalls are by far in comparison easier to operate, setup and install.
Most people tend to assume that firewall is some type of a device that is installed in the network to regulate the flow of traffic that go through a network segment. The truth is that there exists a host-based firewall. This kind of firewall can be implemented on the system itself, such as Internet Connected Firewall (ICF). The logic and the functionality behind both of the firewalls is basically the same. This is to stop any attempt of intruder packet and to provide a strong access control policy method.
Basic functions of firewalls
· To authenticate access
· To protect resources
· To keep a recording and to report on the activities
· To act as an intermediary between the network and the computer
· Manage and control the traffic in the network
Purpose of firewall
In a world where internet is almost everything and most of activities are done over internet, our computers become very vulnerable to attacks. There are a number of attacks on internet that put our computer resources at risk, and I can say it’s better to protect your computer from such internet threats, after all protection is better than cure.
That’s where the firewall comes in handy. Firewall addresses information security in the world of secure computing.
High speed internet access is the way to go these days. Most of organizations and even personal users have adopted high speed internet access. Unless there is a firewall to boost your protection, such exposure to internet provide limited control from which you end up having limited protection which put your resources at greater risks.
High speed internet connection has its advantages and drawbacks. It comes with so many advantages works for us, but to it, it also uses the same thing that makes us love it to work against us. Ideally, high speed internet connection metaphorically is like leaving the front door to your home unlocked. This is so because of the features of high speed internet connection which include:
ü High speed access- as much as high speed connections makes connection faster, it also translate to making it faster for an intruder to break into your computer.
ü An always active connection- this means that every time your computer is connected to the internet it becomes vulnerable to threats.
ü Constant Internet Protocol (IP)-if an intruder has discovered your computer using the concept of the constant IP address the intruder can locate you from time to time.
Firewalls use the following three methods to control inbound and outband flow of the network:
It’s the most basic form firewall uses to pre-determine the security rules to be used to determine the type of filter to create. The strategy is that, if incoming small chunk of packets of information is flagged by the filters, then the packet is not allowed through. Packets that are allowed to pass through the filter will be sent to the requesting system and all the other packets will be discarded.
A firewall’s proxy server is an application that will act as an intermediary between systems. Firewall retrieves information from the internet and then sends it to the requesting system and vice versa. These firewall’s proxy servers do their operations at the application layer of the firewall, where both ends of the systems connection are prompted to conduct a session via the proxy. Creation and running of processes are done on the firewall which mirrors a service. It acts as if the services was run on the end host, thus it centralizes all information transfer for scanning in an activity.
It’s the newest and most modern form of scanning the firewall. It does not depend on the memory-intensive scanning of all information. Packets are placed in a ‘stateful inspection’. Definition: ‘stateful’ firewall is the custodian of significant attributes of each connection in a trusted database information, lasting the duration of the session. It’s these attributes, that are collectively referred as the ‘state’ of the connection, which include details such as the IP addresses and ports used in such a connection and generally the sequences numbers of the packets being transferred. The strategy here is that; the firewall compares information that is transferred to the copy relevant to that transfer being held
in the database. In case the comparison returns a positive match, the information is freed to go through, else it is blocked.
Firewall is especially important when:
§ You are surfing at a home internet that is using a broad connection that is always on
§ You are connected on an internet that is using public WIFI, it can be in a hotel, a car park or even a bus WIFI
§ You have a home network that need to be kept separate from the network on the internet
§ You want or hope to be informed if there is any program on your computer that makes an attempt to try to connect to the internet with or without your knowledge or authorization of the program to try and access the internet
§ You wish to create and have a security policy that best fit your needs and are highly secured and easy to configure
There are several programs that offer firewall services of different types to different computers and of different goals, but a good and reliable firewall should be categorized by its ability to be in a position to run in the background of your computer and it should leave only a small print of the overall performance by just using a few of its resources. Ensure that your firewall software is updated on a regular basis, that is as soon as an updated version is put out to the market to be used. With the constant increase of the technological improvement, it’s a good practice to ensure that your firewall software keeps up with the changes, because with every update in the software it comes with the improvements is some of the functionality and features in the application to counter attack the increasing number and ways of threats of the data assets.