Secure Your Network With A Strong Firewall - That Computer Engineer

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Secure Your Network With A Strong Firewall

Firewall, as the name suggests, indicates some sort of protective wall that doesn't let external fire to let in. In computers, it prevents unwanted malware or virus to enter your system and also prevents the external malware from entering. Since your computer or device is connected to some network, an attacked system can compromise the security of the whole network related to it. 

need for a firewall. Benefit of a firewall. Security
A firewall is present in between your computer network and internet, preventing unauthorized access inside or outside the computer network.

It is a barrier between a private and public network. It acts as separating the two zones of trust.


Is firewall necessary?


Yes. A device without a firewall or other security measures is vulnerable to attacks. Our devices contain a lot of information. It can be present in our local drives, cache memory, browser history, stored passwords, etc. Any compromise may result in a loss to reputation, trade secret, personal information or monetary loss. Having a firewall may cost you a few a dollars but its absence can result in a much larger loss.

How a firewall determines about the authenticity of data to allow it to pass?


Each data packet whether incoming or outgoing contains specific network ID. So, any data packet unrecognized or a strange network ID is scanned and rejected from crossing. The Internet is a public network. Thus a firewall provides a two-way protection against both the incoming and outgoing malware data. 

How data is transferred over the network?


Suppose, you want to download a file that is 10 MB. Now the whole file is not downloaded as it is. In fact, it is downloaded in segments (e.g 1 Mb each). Each segment contains the data file part(called payload) along with data information of that packet which includes senders address, receiver address, senders IP address, receivers IP address, flags, data packet ID, etc. depending upon the type of connection (TCP or UDP).  So, data a combination of payload and other information that helps in determining the appropriate port number.


I will come up with an elaborate post on data transfer using the TCP/IP protocol in the future post.

Firewall Types


1. Hardware-based

A hardware-based firewall is a separate hardware device with the installed program to act as a firewall. It is a separate device attached to the computer network with it own resources (CPU, RAM, memory, etc). Such a firewall your home will place all devices in your network under protection. Unlike software-based firewall that protects only the computer on which it is installed, a hardware-based firewall protects all the devices under it. It filters the entire traffic of the network.



2. Software-based


Software-based firewalls are the most popular ones which are usually installed on Computer. Whenever you install a new game or software, a certain display appears that asks for the permission and risk associated post installation. If an attacker succeeds in bypassing the hardware-based firewall, a software-based firewall makes sure that it doesn't get into the device. Since the firewall is a software installed on the user device, it will consume the resources (CPU, RAM, memory, etc) and may slow down the performance as well. 

example: Norton, Mcaffe, etc 

Firewall plays an essential role if you are one who surfs the internet most of the time. Usually, Softwares bind with a virus are downloaded and installed without a users knowledge about the background danger.

So, what is the benefit? 

  1. It acts as an Intrusion Detection system that monitors and records all the information about the data passing through it.
  2. In case of any unauthorized pass, it will alert the authorities involved.
  3. The firewall can be configured based on the user needs and the companies security policy. It can change considering the goals of the organization.
  4. It also records the number of unauthorized attempts made to pass through the firewall.
  5. It can also help in guiding the traffice flowing through it to reach the destination.

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