What is Firewall Software and Why do we need it?

What is Firewall Software and Why do we need it?-feature image
February 3, 2023 Reviewed By : Sanjay Kaushal .5 Min read

Firewall Software Meaning:- For any business organization, one of the most prized assets is the data that they have gathered over the years with a lot of hard work and precision. Imagine somebody hacking into the company’s server and stealing the data!

Such imagination itself is enough to give you Goosebumps. In recent times, cyber-attacks have become very common and several enterprises suffered major losses due to these attacks. Over the years, such threats have escalated and have highly impacted businesses worldwide.

There are various ways through which hackers hack into your company’s computer network and steal confidential data. Over a period of time, these attackers have started developing malicious software that is sent via mails, computer programs, etc. to hack into the systems. Viruses, malware, phishing emails, trojan horses, worms, spyware, ransomware, etc. are some of the common ways through which they procure data.

One of the most important things that you should keep in mind is you should never equate small with safe. Most small business owners deem they are safe from cyber-threats. But, in contrast to their widespread, rather mistaken belief, a study by Symantec found that 40% of these attacks took place in organizations that had lesser than 500 employees. This is because they basically look for the paths that have the least resistance.

Also, it is important to understand if you are a small business owner that outside hackers or malicious software aren’t the only threats for your company. Usually, small companies have a friendly and family-like environment and you tend to put too much trust in their employees.

So, when you fire an employee or have a peeved employee, they can leak confidential information about your company as a way to satisfy their grudge against you.

So, how do you protect your company from cyber threats? Is having a firewall software installed in the systems of your company enough to keep you safe? Let’s find out the answer.

What does Firewall software do?

Before getting into what it can do, it is important to know what a firewall is. It is a system that has been designed to avert unauthorized access to any private computer network connected to the Internet. All incoming and outgoing messages within the network passes through the firewall. It checks these messages and blocks the one that does not meet the specified security criteria.

One of the key features of a firewall is the access control, which is capable of differentiating between bad and good traffic. There are different types of firewalls, namely-

  • Proxy Server: This firewall captures all messages entering or leaving the network.
  • Packet layer: Packet layer firewall analyzes the traffic of the network at the transport protocol layer.
  • Application layer: This type of firewall makes sure valid data at the application level even before connecting.
  • Circuit level: This type of firewall authenticates that packets are either connection or data packets.

Now that you know what a firewall is and it’s different types, let us delve a little deeper and find out how it works and it’s level of protection.

The type of threats have evolved over the years and to deal with them effectively, buying packet only firewall isn’t a good idea. Therefore, in order to protect your business against combination threats, it is best to buy firewalls, which has all the elements.

Suggested Read: Top 12 Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) in India

Functions performed by Firewall

  • Carries out defined security policies
  • Reports on threats and activity
  • Gateway defense
  • Hides and protects internal network addresses (NAT)
  • Segregates activity between a trusted network

Having firewall or security software installed in your company’s computer network, you will be able to protect all the confidential information from those unauthorized and malicious users out there who are waiting for a minuscule scope to hack into your network. But, does it offer complete protection against all the possible cyber threats? To get an answer to it, let’s look at what firewalls can’t do.

Even after you have installed firewalls in your company’s network, it is still not completely immune against cyber threats.

  1. Protection against malware: Commonly, malware enters into your system through email attachments. It is important to understand that firewalls are not efficient enough to protect you against such malicious software that enters your network, especially through emails.
  2. Protection against Viruses, trojans and worms: You must be familiar with these names and must have attacked you at some point of time. Firewalls does not safeguard you from these threats, which are capable of affecting the functioning of your business.
  3. Protection against SPAM: SPAM is an well-know cyber threat that often contains viruses, malwares, spywares, etc. This threat isn’t covered by firewall software; therefore, just with firewall, you are not protected from SPAMS, which is can impact your business beyond your imagination.

Besides these, firewall is not empowered to provide protection against spyware, adware, phishing, and DDoS (distributed denial of service). Therefore, it can be concluded that having firewall installed is not enough to secure you from cyber threats.

So, what next? How do you get total protection from cyber-attacks? The only way out is deploying a good and feature-rich antivirus software.

Written by Gargee Goswami

Gargee Goswami is a self-confessed bibliophile who loves to write in her free time (the little that she gets). Having vast experience of 6+ years, she counts tea, travel and food as her life's great passions. Read more

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