Firewalls are the first line of defense against outside attacks on your computer. In the late 1980s, firewalls became the solution to outside attacks. Generally, a firewall or a firewall router acts between an internal network and an external network. Firewalls are multi-role devices/software that can route traffic and protect your work from devious users on the internet. On the flip side, an appropriately configured router can stop you from going to websites that introduce vulnerabilities to your network and/or computer.

Firewalls examine everything that comes in and checks all material against a series of rules. If there isn’t a rule to allow something in (or if there’s a rule to explicitly exclude it), the firewall will stop the data from passing. What’s great about firewalls for IT professionals and business owners is that you can configure firewalls with your own set of rules for customized security.

Sector Firewalls

When looking at the appropriate type of firewall for your needs, it’s important to recognize that there are two different sectors of firewalls: personal and business firewalls. The different kinds of firewalls really boil down to how robust, how many users, and what kind of potential risks or liabilities a company has to consider.

Personal Firewall

Firewall as a term isn’t necessarily new for most computer users. They know that it’s for security to keep bad stuff out. However, what they may not realize is that a personal firewall is not as powerful as a business class firewall. So, if you are starting an at-home online business, a personal firewall may not be the best choice. The reality is that personal firewalls aren’t usually protecting something as important as what a business firewall is built to protect.  

Business Firewall

A business firewall is a multi-faceted tool that is designed to protect a company against the wider threats that businesses incur. Most business firewalls have plenty of additional tools built in to help detect and prevent unauthorized entry. These tools generally include support features such as VPNs and outbound traffic monitoring.

Business firewalls are critical for companies that handle personal information from other customers or clients. Personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, or birthdays should be protected against just as credit card numbers or bank account information. Business firewalls are specifically designed to protect both businesses and their customers.

Hardware Firewalls

Hardware firewalls are a preferred method of security for many large corporations. Hardware firewalls are physical devices that can be purchased from reputable dealers to protect a network against any number of vulnerabilities. Generally, a hardware firewall is a computer that is specifically dedicated to being a firewall. One of the biggest pros is that you have a guarantee through-put. It’s not going to stop working because the user’s computer is off. It will continue to seek out and block malicious attacks.

Software Firewalls

Alternatively, software firewalls run on the computer as an application in the background. There are many different kinds of firewall software available including some options that can be used in conjunction with hardware firewalls for extra security.

Finding the Right Firewall

There are many new developments in firewall technology for IT specialists, business owners, and system admins to consider as they determine the right security for their network. The best way to determine the right kind of firewall is to research what options are out there, what similar companies use, and what will work best for your workflow. Finding an appropriate firewall for your business needs is the best first step for a secure computer network system.