A Firewall is a security tool used in networks for preventing security breach attacks from hackers, viruses, malware etc. Configuring the firewall correctly is important as it involves security and if done incorrectly, can lead to severe consequences.
Firewall Configuration is done by configuring domain names and IP addresses to keep the firewall secure. Default features of a firewall may not provide maximum protection against a cyberattack, hence proper configuration is important.
Firewall configuration can either be hardware, or software based. It can be thought of as similar to the physical gate in our houses which block unauthorised access to outsiders. A Firewall continuously monitors incoming and outgoing traffic from the network and based on the rules, it allows or blocks the access. Only a properly configured firewall will allow authorised users to access data inwards and outwards and will block malicious users from accessing the same data.
In today’s world where everything is exposed to the internet, a computer without a firewall is very dangerous. The chances of the system getting hacked are very high. A properly configured firewall will block the IP based on various criteria, which include failed login requests, too many connections, port scan and other malicious activities. A firewall will check the http requests and allow or deny access to the site based on the request. We have to add enough rules to the firewall while configuring it, so that the detection rate is high and the hence the chances of an attack are lessened.
There are 2 types of firewalls – hardware and software firewalls. Below is a brief about them:
Hardware Firewalls are installed between routers internet to protect the internal network. They are independent of the computers that they need to protect. These are mainly used by large organisations.
Software firewalls are installed on the personal computers that need to be protected. In comparison with the hardware firewall, these are cheaper and easily configurable. Unlike the hardware firewall, software firewall will not protect the whole network, but will only protect the computer on which it is installed. This kind of firewall is used by independent workers or small organizations.
Importance of configuring Firewall
Most operating systems come configured with a set of default features for security. But more often than not, those basic features are not enough to prevent all the attacks. We need a more stringent firewall in place if we want to ensure that our systems and data are secure from malicious virus or hacker attacks. Here is when proper firewall configurations comes into picture.
There are various firewall security providers present in the market like Fortinet Firewall, Sophos provider etc. You can choose any one among them and purchase it for your business or for protecting your personal computers. After purchasing the said software, it becomes equally important to configure the firewall properly. You have to make sure that you enable all the rules applicable for protecting your system so that it becomes absolutely safe from outside attacks. Below are some of the pointed reasons why we need to configure firewall:
- Default features of the OS don’t cover all the areas of potential attack.
- Alerts are either enabled or disabled for all alerts. We may need to customize them for giving necessary alerts only.
- We should be able to see the firewall logs to identify the problem area.
- Number of blocking IPs might be less in the default setting.
In conclusion, configuring the firewall in a correct way will protect the network as well as your personal computer, depending upon the type of firewall you choose. It is absolutely crucial to have one if you want to protect your confidential data from attacks.