Every business network is different, just as every network firewall security configuration is different. Our expert IT consultants understand that there is not one single solution for the optimal security setup for every company. We will work with your team to ensure that an effective, achievable strategy that is configured to your organization's unique needs, operating systems, and application control protocols.
Firewall security solutions to protect your company from unauthorized access, breaches, and security attacks.
An Introduction to Firewalls for Business
The network firewall is the first line of defense for traffic that passes in and out of a network. The firewall examines traffic to ensure it meets the security requirements set by the organization and that unauthorized access attempts are blocked.
The intention behind network firewalls is that they filter internet transmissions so that only traffic that belongs is allowed into an organization. Decisions are based on pre-set rules or policies. Like many areas of technology, firewalls have evolved greatly over time and are more sophisticated in terms of efficacy as well as flexibility of deployment.
For example, they have developed the ability to be deployed in completely virtual environments to protect data transferred to and from the cloud or to protect remote branches. "Firewalls have also greatly improved their ability to integrate threat defense and intelligence to protect against a range of threats including botnets, command and control servers, advanced persistent threats (APTs) and zero-day threats," said Mihir Maniar, vice president of Security Business and Strategy at Juniper Networks.
Firewall software monitors, restricts and regulates networks connections and communications on the perimeter of a private network with a public network. Often firewalls are used within organizations to partition traffic or data flows based on a categorization of information risk. Restricting traffic from potentially hostile connections on the internet is the major function of most corporate firewalls.
Examples & Types of Network Security Firewalls
Implementing network firewall security can come in several different forms spanning hardware and software. These special devices restrict incoming and outgoing network traffic using specifically coordinated criteria, keeping any unauthorized users out of your secure network.
A hardware firewall is installed between your company’s network and the Internet to protect the systems inside - typically a router. For example, if a hacker tries to access your systems from the outside, your hardware firewall should be able to block it.
A software firewall only protects the device it is installed on. While computers may come preinstalled with certain antivirus software firewalls, they often don’t have the same protection as something more robust. If an employee were to accidentally click on a phishing email, a software firewall should stop the malware in its tracks.
The best enterprise firewall protection uses a combination of hardware and software firewall security. The vulnerability of one alone is too great of a risk for enterprises and SMBs to take when it comes to data security. Using both a wired or wireless router (hardware firewall) and anti-virus and firewall protection programs (software firewall), businesses can reduce as many vulnerabilities as possible.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-10 divides firewalls into three basic types:
- Packet filters - On the Internet, packet filtering is the process of passing or blocking packets at a network interface based on source and destination addresses, ports, or protocols. The process is used in conjunction with packet mangling and Network Address Translation (NAT). Packet filtering is often part of a firewall program for protecting a local network from unwanted intrusion. In a software firewall, packet filtering is done by a program called a packet filter. The packet filter examines the header of each packet based on a specific set of rules, and on that basis, decides to prevent it from passing or allow it to pass.
- Stateful inspection - Stateful inspection, also known as dynamic packet filtering, is a firewall technology that monitors the state of active connections and uses this information to determine which network packets to allow through the firewall.
- Proxys - A proxy server is a dedicated computer or a software system running on a computer that acts as an intermediary between an endpoint device, such as a computer, and another server from which a user or client is requesting a service. The proxy server may exist in the same machine as a firewall server or it may be on a separate server, which forwards requests through the firewall.
Although, these three categories are not mutually exclusive as most modern firewalls have a mix of abilities that may place them in more than one of the three categories. The firewall remains a vital component in any network security architecture, and today there are several types to choose from. It's essential that IT professionals identify the type of firewall that best suits the organization's network security needs.
Network Firewall Security Standards & Best Practices
Every organizations' network configuration is different, just like every network firewall security configuration is different. Our experts understand that there is no one-size-fits-all security setup and work with your IT department or security team to ensure that a customized, effective plan is in place.
We follow best practices to ensure that every enterprise and SMB organization receives the best protection possible. This includes:
- Thorough documentation of firewall security protocols, responsibilities, and key roles within your company that help your team understand and keep security efforts organized.
- Revisiting and improving the firewall configurations in place to remain effective.
- Protecting any new technology that may be added to your corporate network setup over time, including adding special network firewall security software to employee mobile devices.
Managed Network Firewall Solutions by Crimson IT
We offer a full range of network firewall security services that cater to the needs of both enterprises and small businesses. With completely customized solutions, our IT experts will provide an all-in-one security plan that keeps your company data secure. Some benefits of our firewall security services include:
- Complete assessment of current firewall setup with actionable recommendations.
- Continuous monitoring and real-time event correlation of your firewall activities.
- Mitigating issues with active response firewall security management.
- Managing the configurations at every angle to ensure optimization.
- Setting rules to automatically respond when unwanted firewall changes are detected.
- Ensuring compliance with industry best practices, regulations, and other policies.