Let’s understand the basics first – What is a firewall and what does it do?
Firewalls are commonly used to help prevent unauthorized access to both company and home networks. You can implement a firewall in either hardware or software form, or a combination of both. Firewalls prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet.
Most Common types of Firewall
Below are some examples of common types of Firewalls most businesses will have set up, there are different variants on all of the them in regards to either it being a piece of hardware or software on the network.
- Sonic Wall – https://www.sonicwall.com/en-us/products
- Watchguard – https://www.watchguard.com/uk/wgrd-products
- Sophos – https://www.sophos.com/en-us.aspx
- Cyberroam – https://www.cyberoam.com/
- Cisco – https://www.cisco.com/c/en_uk/index.html
Advantages of hardware firewalls over software firewall:
- Speed – Security – No Interference
Disadvantage of hardware firewalls:
- Cost, normally, a dedicated hardware firewall costs more than a software firewall.
- Difficult to install, and upgrade.
- Takes up physical space, and involves wiring.
Advantages of software firewalls:
- Cheaper – Ideal for personal or home use – Easy to configure or reconfigure
Disadvantages of software firewalls:
- Takes up system resources
- Sometimes difficult to remove or un-install a firewall completely.
- Not suitable where response times are critical.
A firewall alone is not enough to stop the cleverest of criminals getting access to networks.
We are now in a new era whereby just using a firewall to secure the perimeter of business networks won’t be enough, other measures need to happen which would go a long way in preventing cyber-attacks.
Businesses should regularly be reviewing security on company networks and looking at ways whereby they have the ability to scan traffic for both known and new threats at the same time using the next generation firewalls.
Clever cloud technologies can prevent threats along with effective management and monitoring of networks.
What else does a network need other than a firewall?
Anti-virus software is a must in addition to firewalls. But with so much on the market to choose from, how do you decide which is the best option for your business?
Decisions like these are based on how a company feels their current Anti-virus is performing, keys things to bear in mind:-
- Most anti-virus’s do the same thing
- Look for a software provider which has excellent UK support, this is vital.
- Opt for a brand which is listed in the top 10.
Did you know that some of the next general firewalls they have a mix of Anti-virus & Anti-spam with a licence associated with the firewall itself, but we still recommend that Anti-Virus software is installed.
Looking at the bigger picture on Security
When we look at network security, not only do we look at firewalls and antivirus software we also look at things like:-
- Internal policies and practices
- Access control/ Not every user should have access to your network
- Antimalware software
- Application security
- Data loss prevention
- Email security
- Intrusion prevention systems.
- Hardware & software encryption
- Finger print authentication
Looking at and reviewing these areas on a regular basis will help with Cyber security on a business network to lessen the chances of attacks, however it is said that in 2018 cybercriminals will be finding more ways to infiltrate business networks.
If you are unsure on how to approach this or how secure your overall network security is TIVA & entrustIT can help, we provide unbiased professional advice & cosultancy in these areas along with weekly reports to our customers advising on network and security performance and only recommend top vendors hardware & software vendors with excellent UK support.
Interested in Cyber Security? Get the facts in our White Paper from the entrust IT Group >>