What is Network Firewall?
A Network Firewall is a security device that reduces or denies suspicious access to enterprise intranet network or when the network is connected to the internet. It filters the traffic based on a defined set of policies. A network firewall is a mediating agent between the external and internal devices. In case of any interference of suspicious traffic that does not abide by the rules and policies on the network, a network firewall can terminate it at the entry point.
The data that enters and exits the network must pass through a network firewall. The data goes through a process of vetting and gets denied if it does not meet the security standards. With a network firewall, the users can gain access to required resources while they also deny entry of hackers, viruses, or worms from entering the network.
Types of Network Firewalls
With the rise in varying security demands, there are a wide-range of firewalls for the network administrators to choose from. Following are the different types of network firewalls:
- Proxy Firewall
- Stateful Inspection Firewall
- Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)
- Unified threat management (UTM) firewall
Proxy Firewall – A Proxy Firewall selectively receives and blocks data packets at the application layer of the network. It mediates between external networks and computers connected to the internal network. Its function is to conceal the LAN addresses of internal computers from external network. A Proxy Firewall will have its own IP address while sending and receiving data to and from outside network while the actual IP address is not displayed.
Stateful Inspection Firewall – This kind of firewall functions to monitor traffic by following a set of rules related to ports, protocols and states. The Stateful Inspection Firewall allows administrators to monitor the traffic and use rules to govern the access.
Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) – As per Gartner, Next-Generation Firewall is a “deep-packet inspection firewall that moves beyond port/protocol inspection and blocks to add application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and bringing intelligence from outside the firewall.”
NGFW comes in unison by combining antiviruses, firewalls, and other security applications in one console. It integrates inspection services, application awareness, and security system.
Unified threat management (UTM) firewall – UTM Firewall can be as a virtual appliance, or as a cloud service or as a network hardware appliance to offer complete protection to business networks by combining a range of security services and features.
Network Firewalls vs. Computer Firewalls
Computer Firewalls – This allows users to protect systems that has Firewall installed in them.
Network Firewalls – This is installed in the network gateway and allows network administrator to protect all systems connected to the network.
Why Network Firewall is Important
Computer networks, by default are vulnerable to attacks when they are connected to the internet. A Network Firewall is important to stay away from malicious attacks.
- Certain types of malware exploit a specific portion of the users’ hardware bandwidth for its own malicious use.
- There are few other types of malware that load the network with traffic causing DDoS attacks to completely bring down the network.
- Some types of malware gain access to unprotected network to steal sensitive data like bank account details, credit card information and other personal information.
A Network Firewall is therefore important to offer complete security and ensure uninterrupted network availability.
An effective use of Firewall would save you a lot more than money. The use of a smart Firewall like Comodo Firewall with next-gen features would be highly beneficial in terms of security. Comodo Firewall offers Default Deny Protection with a Network Security Policy interface. It entitles the user to implement traffic filtering rules and policies to drain out unwanted and suspicious traffic from entering business network.