Posted By: ITWiser Webmaster - Yorkshire's IT Specialists
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a brilliant device it acts as the name says a wall. It filters and monitors all the traffic that comes from the outside world and goes out to the outside world. If something is blocked, then it will just drop that session it won’t let it in. However, there are many features and services that can be enabled to help protect your network and as long as they are enabled and configured correctly then it will protect your network well. The firewall is your first line of defence from the outside world, routers can also act like a firewall however these typically offer a very cut down version of a firewall and don’t give the full protection against the nasties that are out there.
Why should I have one?
A firewall is like your first line of security which you can configure and customise to block any unwanted traffic which will lock the network right down. It will help keep internet hackers out and stop them from stealing your data and files. Furthermore if they steal any client or customer it will give you a really bad image and could lose you money and business. With the new ICO regulations if you suffer a data breach you are required to tell your clients about it by law.
What is firewall IPS & IDS?
These two features do very similar things, the one thing they have income is there features on a firewall they usually work together. IPS stands for (Intrusion Prevention System) and IDS stands for (Intrusion Detection System). IPS is looked at as an extension of IDS because they both monitor network traffic and system activities for suspicious activity. The main difference between IDS and IPS is an IPS is able to actively prevent and reject intrusions that are detected. Whereas IDS systems log the issues and warn you about them. Intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems are very good features that will help protect your network as they monitor the traffic you have allowed through your firewall.
How does it protect my network?
The firewall acts as a first line of defence in most cases, so if it sees any suspicions activity it will reject it and block it. The main beauty with the firewall is you can configure and customise to your hearts content, and there is no latency it is all instant as soon as it is written back it’s live. There are many features that a firewall has and some of them work well in parallel which ensures your network has the top protection and security.
Which firewall should I get?
There are many firewalls on the market which all do very similar things but all of which vary in specification and functionality. The most common firewalls we come across are WatchGuard, SonicWALL, Checkpoint, Fortinet, Barracuda, Cisco. You should choose a firewalls with future growth in mind and ensure that once a number of features are enable, that the firewall still has the throughput your business requires.