October 12, 2022 - admin
Disabled Firewalls are More Common Than You Think
Firewalls are on every computer. After all, they do come pre-installed and are a necessary component for keeping your network safe.
However, hackers will still attempt to infiltrate your network and infect your computer with viruses.
To understand how attackers get past your security it’s important to understand what a firewall is.
What is a Firewall?
The term firewall originates from construction. Basically, it’s a fire-resistant barrier that sits inside the walls of a building, which helps prevent the spread of a building fire.
While it uses the same name, a computer firewall serves a different purpose. Essentially, the firewall allows and denies access to traffic. Thus, it acts as a barrier between a private network and the public internet.
Types of Firewalls
Furthermore, your firewall is your first line of defense against attackers. Now you might be thinking there is only one generic firewall. However, there are several different types.
A type of computer software that runs on your computer/ network. Unlike hardware firewalls, these one’s are installed on individual devices.
This type sits between your local network of computers and the internet. This firewall will inspect all the data that comes in from the internet allowing safe data packets to come through while blocking harmful ones.
The packet-filtering firewall is the most basic as it controls data flow from network to network. It allows for network packets to move across networks using user-defined rules, IP addresses, ports, and protocols.
A circuit-level gateway heightens security between User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Typically, these gateways are used in combination with other firewall applications.
Stateful Inspection Firewalls
This firewall type monitors the state of active connections and uses this information to determine which network packets to allow through the firewall.
A proxy firewall acts as a gateway between the internet and internal users. It monitors security and blocks traffic for the internal network that is transmitted to and from the internet.
Next-Generation firewalls (NGFW) are like a stateful inspection firewall but with some additional features. It allows for access control and blocks modern threats such as advanced malware and application layer attacks.
Cloud firewalls protect against malicious network traffic. However, these ones are hosted by the cloud.
How do Attackers get Past Firewalls?
While many attackers get in by finding backdoors, a large majority of data breaches are a result of human error- about 82%. As you can guess, this ranges from people turning their firewalls off to email phishing scams.
This begs the question “What can I do to stop this type of human error?”. Luckily, it’s not rocket science to lower this percentage. Some universal best practices to prevent human error include:
- Require that employees not use passwords like “password” or “123456789”
- Implement multi-factor authentication in your organization
- Host cybersecurity awareness trainings for your employees
- Keep an eye on employees that hackers would likely target
- Be sure that your firewall is on
Ultimately, firewalls are a common necessity that most people overlook when it comes to their security. However, with a good tech and proper best practices in place your company can secure easily.