What is a Firewall?

What is a Firewall?

What is a firewall? While many people have the impression that a firewall is just a layer of security between two networks, its functions and purpose go far beyond that. Not only are firewalls essential in maintaining your business security but also thwart malicious attacks from a broader range of sources.

So how do you decide which firewall is the best for your company? First of all, you’d have to take the existing infrastructure of your organization into consideration. Then, choose among the three different categories of setups available.

It’s crucial that you know about the pros and cons of these firewall setups to make a better-informed decision. So, keep on reading!

Types of firewalls

1. Software firewalls

This is the kind of firewall that best suits individuals wanting to protect their network. But, since software firewalls are essentially a piece of code, it’s definitely not idea for businesses with significant amounts of data to protect. Think of it this way – the software firewall is more of a lock on your door than an impenetrable fortress protecting you from attacks on all sides.

Don’t get us wrong; this type of firewall does have value, and they are good at blocking malware, preventing risky activities, scanning blacklisted IP addresses, and detecting suspicious application requests. But these aren’t the only things that are needed for a large-scale enterprise with numerous network connections.

The biggest disadvantage of a software firewall is that they rely on one computer to run the firewall and when that computre is shut down, the entire network is left unprotected. They also do not provide complete protection from malware and their recovery process leaves much to be desired.

2. Cloud firewalls

Cloud Firewalls are a product of recent network security innovations and undoubtedly provides the best kind of protection to systems. Since cloud-based firewalls rely on remote security, your data will remain safe in the hands of certified security experts. When you have a cloud firewall installed, experts will monitor your network performance and scout security issues remotely so that your business doesn’t experience any interruptions.

Millenia’s Mitel cloud solutions, for example, take network security to the next level and can provide A-Z protection for your business. Mitel’s firewall provides top-notch protection by preventing access to unauthorized users, monitoring and controlling data flow in and out of the network, and by intercepting a wide variety of malicious attacks.

Their VoIP system is the best in the business because they take a strategic approach to understanding your core security objectives and deliver a tailored action plan that gets the job done.

3. Hardware firewalls

Hardware firewalls are built into your router, which allows it to scan every single packet of data from the Internet before it lands any of your internal drives.

These solutions contain sophisticated controls that go beyond data scanning and basic filtering. Newer hardware firewalls come with the capability to analyze huge chunks of data to identify malware and other threats rather than solely rely on virus database archives. Hardware firewalls are also continually performing, running 24/7 for constant protection.

While hardware firewalls may be safer than their software variant, they certainly aren’t a match for cloud-based protection systems.

Which firewall is the best choice?

While cloud firewalls do provide the best security in the industry and ease of use, your choice should be based on the needs of your organization. The necessity of hardware might never go away, but migrating systems to the cloud could be what the future has in store.