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On Firewalls and Their Importance in Cybersecurity

There are a number of buzzwords out there that you may have heard in the cybersecurity world, and one of the most important for many businesses is the firewall. Serving as one of your top forms of defense against various online threats, firewalls have evolved over the years right along with the kinds of risks they're meant to prevent, and remain a highly effective cybersecurity method that businesses should be taking advantage of.

At Onward Technology, we're happy to provide high-quality cybersecurity services to clients throughout Utah, and firewalls are just one of many tools we may help you utilize here. What are firewalls, why are they important, and what types of firewall might you need to know about? Here's a basic primer.

Firewall Basics

From a broad perspective, a firewall is a term that refers to any kind of system that's meant to act as a barrier between two networks. When it comes to cybersecurity, this usually refers to a hardware device or software program that's designed to protect a private network from outside users who might try to gain unauthorized access.

Firewalls can be used to filter incoming traffic and block anything that appears malicious, essentially acting as a barrier between your network and the rest of the internet. In many cases, they'll also be able to monitor outgoing traffic and prevent sensitive data from being leaked outside of the private network.

Why Firewalls are Important

In today's day and age, it's a sad reality that there are many threats and malicious actors lurking online waiting to take advantage of businesses who aren't prepared for them. Whether it's phishing emails, ransomware attacks, or an infiltration through one of your systems that allows hackers access to the entirety of your network, these kinds of breaches can result in huge losses and even put you out of business.

As such, firewalls have become an essential part of cybersecurity for businesses of all sizes. By protecting your network from unwanted traffic and malicious actors, you can help to ensure that your data and systems stay safe and secure.

Types of Firewalls

Now that you understand a bit about what firewalls are and why they're important, it's worth taking a look at some of the most common kinds of firewalls out there:

  • Software firewalls: These firewalls are installed on individual computers within a network and typically come bundled with other security software.
  • Hardware firewalls: Rather than being installed on individual computers, hardware firewalls are devices that are connected between a modem and router to filter traffic for an entire network.
  • Cloud firewalls: These combine on-site hardware and software interfaces, allowing businesses to add new firewall features and functionality as needed.
  • Firewall as a Service (FWaaS): An option that's growing in popularity, FWaaS allows businesses to outsource their firewall needs to a third-party provider.

For more on firewalls and how they work, or to learn about any of our cybersecurity or other managed IT and IT consulting services, speak to the team at Onward Technology today.

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