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Firewalls: their function and their differences

Firewalls are cybersecurity software installed by default on private computers. They also exist in physical or virtual (cloud computing) forms. Acting as a protective barrier against virus attacks and malware, they filter exchanges between your computer and the Internet, or with other computers. When they detect something that looks suspicious, they block it.

Since the needs vary from one company to another, it is possible to choose the type of protection best suited to each one. Let’s discover together the types of firewalls and their specificities.

What are the different types of firewalls?

Among the multitude of firewalls that exist, four main groups are more interesting for companies:

– Software (or hosts);

– Materials (or external);

– On the cloud (service on a cloud);

– Next generation (NGFW).

Host firewalls are software installed locally in a computer’s operating systems (Windows, for example). It is possible for the user to customize his settings. This category only protects its host, therefore the computer in which it is located. It is suitable for small businesses. As it must be configured and installed manually, for a large computer park, it is preferable to use an external firewall.

The external firewall is hardware. It is equipment connected to the devices it must protect. It scans incoming and outgoing traffic from all computers connected to it. It thus protects several computers. It is a complex system, but very efficient. For optimal security, it is advisable to entrust its administration to dedicated resources.

The cloud service is a system that is recommended for people who need to access applications or content on a cloud. Remote employers can therefore protect their sensitive data by this means. The service provider usually manages updates and maintenance.

Next-generation firewalls, on the other hand, incorporate new protection technologies. Data inspection system, intrusion prevention and application control; their characteristics make them more powerful tools than traditional firewalls.

How to choose the best firewall according to the context?

For small businesses, software firewalls may work just fine. Depending on the needs of the employer, it is possible to choose traditional software, or from the new generation. In any case, it is preferable that a resource person be dedicated to the maintenance of the software. This also makes it possible to optimize configurations, track license expirations, and ensure that the software is kept up-to-date.

For companies that have a large IT fleet, or extremely sensitive data, it is better to choose an external firewall. This device can offer even more effective protection if it is supplemented by software. One of the major advantages of this type of protection is that it is difficult to hack. If it detects a threat, it blocks all traffic, both incoming and outgoing, and shuts down. This prevents access by potential cybercriminals.

Increase the protection of a computer park with an antivirus

For optimal security, it is also recommended to keep your devices up-to-date. The latest software versions are more resistant to intrusion attempts. It can also be interesting to make your staff aware of the risks of cybercrime. This can prevent some errors, but also provide guidance on whom to contact in the event of a problem. These goals can be easily achieved with the support of a team of IT experts. Do not hesitate to contact us for advice.