Whether your business operates from a single computer or an entire network, firewalls are your first line of defense against attacks and malicious code that could bring your operations to a halt. Without a firewall, your computers are an easy target for scammers and spammers who can take control of your system in a matter of minutes.
A firewall is an electronic barrier that guards the connection points between your computer or network and the Internet. It analyzes all of the incoming data for malware such as Trojan horses and spyware and other things that could compromise your security. It also acts as a filter, stopping any dangerous items from entering your network.
It can also filter outgoing traffic by rejecting requests to visit Web sites that are not related to your business or known to contain dangerous code.
There are two types of firewalls: hardware and software. A hardware firewall is a physical box that is connected between your modem and your Internet connection. All incoming and outgoing is filtered through this box. Software firewalls run on the computer.
Firewalls can protect you from:
Firewalls do more than just filter your data. They also create a detailed log of traffic passing through your network. Your administrator can see how many attempts were made to hack into the system and set the firewall controls accordingly.
Firewalls cannot protect you from attacks that enter through a network opening not connected to a firewall. While it is an essential piece of your security, it needs to be part of a larger plan.