Home TECHSECURITY What is a Firewall and Why Does Your Business Need One

What is a Firewall and Why Does Your Business Need One

by Naveen Agarwal
Firewall Security

What is a firewall, and what purpose does it serve? A firewall is an essential part of any business’s security system, offering an essential layer of protection. A firewall is either a piece of hardware or software included on your network that runs monitoring checks on both incoming and outgoing traffic to a user-defined protocol. The purpose of the firewall is to act as a barrier between your computer and the internet. If any incoming or outgoing traffic does not follow the predetermined set of rules on the firewall, it will be refused access to the network. This can include viruses, blocked websites, or malicious attacks.

Is Hardware or Software the Best Choice?

There are both hardware and software versions of firewalls to consider. Typically, software firewalls are not as complex as hardware firewalls, therefore they are usually less expensive to purchase. Software firewalls are usually suitable for personal use and most small businesses. However, for larger businesses, it’s recommended to have both software firewalls on computers and other devices that access the internet, and a hardware firewall for the network itself.

Why is a Firewall Needed?

Cybersecurity for businesses is becoming more and more important as the number of cyberattacks and hacking attempts is on the rise. Today, having a firewall implemented to protect the network is a step that no business should ignore. Even small businesses today are big targets for hackers and cybercriminals due to a large amount of personal data that they collect and store about their customers.

How a Firewall Protects Your Business

A traditional firewall will monitor both incoming and outgoing traffic on your business network. Each time that you or an employee loads a website, sends an email, or does something else online, a packet of data is sent to the network and passed through the firewall. Any data that is in line with the protocols set by the user will be forwarded through the firewall. On the other hand, data that doesn’t meet the criteria for safety will be blocked.

Why You Need Additional Security

While a firewall is recommended for all businesses and will act as your first line of defense against malicious attacks, malware and viruses, it’s important to bear in mind that there are still many risk areas for your business network. Malware is one of the biggest risks, and it is most commonly acquired through links and attachments in emails. Spyware is one form of malware that gathers information about you and what you do on your computer, which can be very dangerous. Phishing attacks and DDOS attacks are some other harmful cybercrime attempts that you may not always be completely protected against with a firewall. That’s why it’s so important that along with ensuring that your business network has a firewall in place, you are using strong anti-virus software and work with a reputable IT services company to ensure network security by taking proactive steps.

Today, every business needs a firewall as a first line of defense against hacking and cybercrime attempts on their network.

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