Firewall is a device that monitors network security and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic based on previously established security policies. Essentially, a firewall is a barrier between an internal network and the public Internet. The main purpose of a firewall is to allow non-threatening traffic to enter the network and block malicious traffic.
History of Firewalls
Firewalls have existed since the late 1980s and began as a packet filter, which is a network set up to inspect packets or bytes transmitted between computers. Although packet filtering firewalls are still in use today, firewalls have come a long way as the technology has evolved throughout the decades.
- Stage 1: Virus
Generation 1, late 1980s, virus attacks on standalone PCs affected all businesses and spurred anti-virus products.
- Stage 2: Network
Generation 2, mid-1990s, attacks from the internet affected all business and prompted the creation of firewalls.
- Stage 3: Application
Generation 3, early 2000s, exploited vulnerabilities in applications that affected most businesses and fueled Intrusion Prevention Systems Products (IPS).
- Stage 4: Payload
Generation 4, circa 2010, the rise of targeted, unknown, dodge, multi-image attacks affecting most businesses and promoting anti-bot and sandbox products.
- Stage 5: Mega
Generation 5, circa 2017, large-scale, multi-vector, mega-attacks that use advanced tools and also drive threat prevention solutions.
Back in 1993, Check Point CEO Gil Shwed introduced the first stateful check firewall, FireWall-1. Go back 27 years, when firewalls were still an organization’s first line of defense against cyberattacks. Today’s firewalls, including Next Generation Firewall and Network Firewall, support a variety of functions and capabilities with built-in features, including:
- Cyber threat prevention
- Identity and application-based control
- Hybrid Cloud Support
- Scalable performance
Types of Firewalls
- Packet Filtering
A small amount of data is analyzed and distributed according to the filter criteria.
- Proxy Service
The network security system protects while filtering data at the application layer.
- Check status
Packet filtering monitors active connections to determine which network packets to allow access through the Firewall.
- Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)
The firewall examines packets deeply at the application level.
What does the firewall do?
Firewalls are an essential part of any security architecture and separate threats from server-level protections and hand them over to your network security appliance. Firewalls, and especially Next Generation Firewalls, focus on preventing malware and application layer attacks, along with built-in intrusion prevention (IPS), Firewalls This next generation can react quickly and seamlessly to detect and respond to external attacks across the entire network.
We can set up policies to better protect your network and perform quick assessments to detect intrusive or suspicious activity, like malware, and shut it down.
Why do we need a firewall?
Firewalls can work based on pre-set policies to better protect your network and can perform quick assessments to detect invasive or suspicious activity, such as malware and turn it off. By leveraging firewalls for your security infrastructure, you are setting up your network with specific policies to allow or block incoming and outgoing traffic.
Test network layer vs application layer
The packet filter or the network layer examines packets at the relatively low level of the TCP/IP protocol, not allowing packets to pass through a firewall unless they conform to an established set of rules, where the source and destination rules based on Internet Protocol (IP) and ports. Network layer inspection firewalls perform better than similar devices that test the application layer. The downside is that unwanted applications or malware can bypass allowed ports, e.g. Internet traffic going through HTTP and HTTPS web protocols, ports 80 and 443 respectively.
Importance of NAT and VPN
Firewalls also perform basic network-level functions such as Network Address Translation (NAT) and Virtual Private Network (VPN). NAT internal client or server IP addresses that may fall within a “private address range”, as defined in RFC 1918, to a public IP address. Hiding the addresses of protected devices helps preserve a limited number of IPv4 addresses and is a safeguard against network snooping because IP addresses are hidden from the Internet.
Similarly, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) extends a private network over a public network that typically encrypts packets to protect them while traveling over the Internet. This allows users to securely send and receive data over shared or public networks.
Next-generation firewalls and more
Next-generation firewalls inspect packets at the application level of TCP/IP and can identify applications such as Skype or Facebook and enforce security policies based on application type.
Today, UTM (Unified Threat Management) appliances and Next Generation Firewalls also include threat prevention technologies such as IPS or Antivirus systems to detect and block malware and other threats. threaten. These devices may also include sandboxing technology to detect threats in files.
As cybersecurity continues to evolve and attacks become more sophisticated, Next Generation Firewalls will continue to be an essential component of any organization’s security solution, whether you in the data center, network, or cloud.
Alternatively, you can also try the Windows Firewall Control application for more effective firewall control here.