Firewalls are an essential form of network security that protects businesses against cyber threats by tracking network access points and providing a configurable barrier between the internal network, applications, databases, users, and network. external traffic.
See below to learn all about the benefits of firewalls for businesses:
Network traffic monitoring
Located at the edge of the network, firewalls are able to continuously monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic, analyzing and filtering possible intrusions or communication attempts from unverified parties.
You can configure firewall software to filter traffic that meets specific criteria, based on the security and privacy requirements of network administrators.
Network access control
Firewalls provide Network Access Control (NAC) features that enhance your network security and provide real-time network visibility. NAC allows network administrators to restrict access and availability of network resources to define endpoint devices as well as external websites, ports, and IP addresses.
Access control allows administrators to limit or cut off-network Internet access to user accounts and devices that do not need access.
Application control is an advanced feature typically available in most next-generation firewalls, allowing them to monitor and control network traffic directed at applications within the network.
By limiting the number of applications running on system devices within the network from communicating freely with the open Internet, firewalls with application control capabilities can significantly reduce the risk of data and software leaks. malicious.
Network analysis and diagnosis
Through continuous traffic monitoring, firewalls are able to perform advanced network analysis to help network administrators better understand the status and health of their network.
By regularly and rapidly analyzing and diagnosing network traffic, a firewall can help you determine the impact of problems on network security, tracing their origin inside or outside. outside the network.
Additionally, network analysis can be used to determine the origin of attempted or successful cyberattacks, data leaks, or any malicious activity detected by firewalls or other network security solutions.
See more: How Firewalls Are Used by Deakin University, Black Box, Palo Alto Networks, Modis, and Keysight: Case Studies
Protection against malicious code
As an endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution, a firewall not only protects against malicious activity originating from an Internet connection, but it is also capable of preventing malware from directly accessing the network. master via one of the devices on the network.
Since the origin of malicious code and the type of damage it can inflict can vary, advanced firewalls often block suspicious activity, flagging it for further investigation, even if the malicious entity has no not directly detected.
Network Bandwidth Control
Although network bandwidth control is necessary to reduce the risk of network bottlenecks and optimize system performance, controlling it is a way to prevent unauthorized downloading of massive amounts of data from the Internet or on an external server.
By setting a limit on average network bandwidth, malicious activity that relies on leaking large amounts of data or uploading it to the network to obstruct it can be more easily detected through a firewall.
See more: Different Types of Firewalls
What cyber threats does a firewall defend against?
As for specific types of attacks, as EDRs, firewalls are designed to detect and intercept a number of attacks that can threaten your network security:
By monitoring and managing outgoing network traffic, firewalls are able to prevent data leaks. It can be configured to automatically block unauthorized traffic of massive amounts of data leaving the network during data leaks, whether due to the malicious work of an insider attack or malware.
Depending on the defined firewall configurations, data loss can be entirely avoided or minimized because outgoing files are scanned before they are allowed out of the network settings.
Although firewalls do not directly prevent different types of malware from accessing your network, constantly monitoring and filtering incoming traffic based on source validity allows them to minimize the risk of infection. by malware.
Next-generation firewall software that uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in its threat detection is more accurate at detecting incoming traffic that may contain malware.
Hacks and unauthorized access
A firewall is the first line of defense against hackers and malicious individuals seeking unauthorized access to your network.
Through the integration of various technologies, such as ML, AI, and sandboxing, firewalls are able to validate the source of traffic against a database of known threats or a behavioral profile of suspicious activities that hackers are likely to display.
Encrypted threats and zero-day attacks
Advanced next-generation firewalls are able to detect and intercept encrypted threats such as malware, ransomware, spear phishing and data exfiltration, blacklisting untrusted data sources and analyzing the behavior before and during the attempted attack.
A firewall’s ability to detect and prevent a zero-day attack depends on the level of intelligence behind it and whether its behavioral analysis and pattern recognition is advanced enough to discern early signs. .
See more: What is a firewall? Definition and Ultimate Guide to Getting Started