C-Stack Series: What is a Firewall?

The simple definition: A firewall is a security system that protects the network by controlling the flow of all incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of parameters.

In short, a firewall is a barrier. Within the barrier is the flow of information in your own trusted network. This “trusted network” includes data flow around the intranet, as well as to and from trusted networks on the Internet. The network administrator controls what sites are considered “trusted” by setting parameters. This can includes sites like

  • Webmail clients
  • Inventory order websites
  • Retail information management
  • CMS

How Do Firewalls Work?

A firewall can be software and/or hardware based, and it is designed to protect your infrastructure from data leakage and/or network breaches by controlling the flow of user traffic.

For example, if an end-user attempts to access a social media website from their work computer, and the firewall is set to block any traffic to social media sites, the browser will alert the user that this “behavior” is denied. In short, the network administrator can set the rules of a firewall to deny traffic to any website they consider “un-trustworthy.”

Likewise, firewalls also regulate the flow of traffic into the network. They are an effective way to block spam, viruses, and other malicious software from entering the network.

What Makes an Enterprise Firewall Different?

When enterprise data is stolen or leaked, the impacts can affect the entire organization and its stakeholders. Currently, the gold standard in a next generation firewall offers:

  • Scalable software or hardware based network security
  • Detection of sophisticated attacks (intrusion prevention systems)
  • Blocking malicious attacks by enforcing standard security prolicies
  • Deployment at the application level, port, and protocol level
  • Packet filtering
  • Network address translation
  • URL blocking and VPN management

Next generation firewalls (NGFW’s) serve the enterprise by combining the traits of traditional firewalls while meeting the needs of ever-growing security standards. As cyber attacks get more sophisticated (DDoS attacks, botnets, etc.), firewalls continue to be the first line of defense.

C-Stack: What is a Firewall?

Are you working with the right security partner to protect your business?

Your enterprise firewall is your organization’s first line of defense against cyber attacks. Centre’s C-Stack incorporates a scalable and manageable enterprise firewall that detects, blocks, and mitigates threats to your network. Contact us today for more information about how the C-Stack model can protect your business.

Originally published on September 9, 2015

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Centre Technologies Centre Technologies

Centre Technologies is a full-service IT consulting and managed services provider headquartered in Texas, with a focus on mid-sized businesses. As a trusted IT partner for well over a decade, Centre is recognized for its local experience and enterprise-grade cloud and cybersecurity solutions. Centre is committed to helping organizations harness the power of technology to maximize their operational efficiency and exceed their business goals. Learn more about Centre Technologies »

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