What is a firewall and why do we need it?

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What is a firewall and why do we need it?

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What is a firewall?

In a recent survey, respondents were asked what is a firewall? It was found that some of them knew fully what a firewall was while most had heard of a firewall but didn’t know what it did. Some of the respondents were aware of it because they knew one was enabled on their computers. In this article, I will be briefly explaining what is a firewall and why do we need it.

Computers, laptops and other devices that are connected to the Internet are vulnerable and potential target of a range of different threats, such as Trojans, hackers and viruses etc. that get through untreated security holes and portals. This can make you a victim of identity theft or other unjust attacks if you are a frequent Internet banker or shopper with a poor security system or a malfunctioning firewall.

Firewalls, as the name suggests, act as a barrier or protective shield between your computer and the dangers of the cyber world. Information is constantly passed through and received by your computer when you are connected to the web. Firewalls filter this information to identify whether it is safe or not and either blocks or allows it to pass through. This prevents hackers and Trojans from getting in and out of your computer systems  and going through your personal files and information to obtain information that make you vulnerable, such as your bank details, your name, your business data, home address etc. Using a fully loaded web application firewall is the best way to protect your computer from attacks.

Standard firewalls like the ones included in Windows computers and laptops do the basics and only oversee and monitor incoming information traffic. This can make you think your computer is safe and threats are reduced and prevented; however, it does not come loaded with full features, and may fail to keep an eye on the information leaving your computer that could include your banking information, personal details etc. Reliable firewalls like Watchguard Firewall monitor information traffic from both ends to ensure your information is kept safe, thwarting attacks and preventing threats from getting into your system. To guard your device against attacks, a good Firewall would also make you untraceable and invisible when you’re online to prevent anyone trying to enter your system to begin with. Advanced firewalls, including Watchguard Firewall, keep an updated and complete record of good and harmful applications and sites and a list of potential compromises that are preventable.

A good web application firewall

A good web application firewall and standard firewall would provide reliable protection to your PC and system;

It should:

  • monitor incoming information traffic
  • monitor outgoing information traffic
  • keep updated about harmful applications and sites
  • block attacks from outside threats like Trojans, hackers and viruses

Web application firewalls protect any software that has a front face connected directly to the internet. They do the above to prevent attack or infiltration through and applications web interface.

A good example of best practice is to have both web application firewall protection and network wide protection.  Watchguard Firewall products integrate superbly with web application firewall to supply superior protection.

However, they cannot remove or repair any malware that may have compromised your computer. It can only be used as a prevention and protection measure and not a repairing and restoring one. A Firewall is compulsory if you are always connected to the Internet and comes in software form (on your PC) and routers (external communication devices). If a virus has infected your computer, you should install the best antivirus software to clean your system.

A firewall is needed on every computer, whether you have good Internet security software installed or not. It can help to increase your security greatly and is an important prevention tool. Almost every computer comes with a firewall installed on it and all you have to do is enable it. If you don’t have antivirus software on your computer, a Firewall like the Watchguard Firewall can help to prevent hacking and other cyber threats, as it is your PC’s first line of defence.

Ask the team at itro about installing a Watchguard Firewall to protect your network.

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