Firewall 101: Your Guide to the Different Types of Firewalls

What do you picture when you hear the word “firewall?” If you envision an impenetrable wall holding back a literal fire, you’re not far off. Just replace the wall with software and change the fire into possible network security breaches.

Firewalls protect your business’s network from unauthorized access—helping keep your data safe. As nearly every aspect of business becomes digitized, it’s more important than ever to guard against malicious cyber attacks. A great place to start is with a firewall.

To help you decide what type of firewall is ideal for your business, here’s a handy guide detailing some of your options. Take a look—and be well on your way to a secure network!

Network firewalls

These traditional firewalls prevent unwanted traffic in your network by applying a predetermined set of security rules—which could include only allowing traffic headed for certain applications or denying access to specific IP addresses.

Network firewalls provide a high level of protection—if they’re configured and maintained appropriately. While open-source software makes them an economical option, failure to update security rules could result in unwanted traffic—so make sure you stay up to date.

Cloud-based firewalls

These security systems work the same as a traditional network firewall, only they exist on the Cloud instead of a physical server. With a Cloud-based firewall, your corporate routers are configured to divert traffic from internal servers to the Cloud—where your network, applications, databases, and more are protected.

Cloud-based firewalls are extremely scalable and can be easily configured for multiple sites—so as your company grows, your security grows, too. Because they’re maintained by professional firewall managers, they experience very little downtime. However, as your security requirements change, updating your configurations may take longer—since they’re not managed in-house.

Next-generation firewalls

What might seem like a traditional firewall is anything but. Next-generation firewalls take network security to a whole new level—with full stack visibility into the contents of each data packet attempting to access your network. These application-layer firewalls let you determine which applications are allowed on your network—and give you the ability to limit how applications are used.

Next-gen firewalls provide extremely high protection—thanks to the detailed control they offer. This robust protection does come at a higher cost than traditional firewalls. And because of their in-depth packet inspection, they can result in network performance issues. Despite these common concerns, next-gen firewalls deliver the most complete firewall protection for your network.

If you want to give your network unparalleled next-gen security, the experts at Virtual Firewall have the solutions for you. Get in touch, and get protected today.

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