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Advantages and Disadvantages of Firewall


It is a security network device that keeps an eye on the outgoing and incoming network, and it decides to block and allow specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Firewalls have been the first line of defense in the computer networking system for over 25 years. They serve as a barrier between a secured network and administered internal network that can be safe and reliable and an untrusted network such as the Internet.

Firewall History

They have existed since the late 1980s and began as a packet filter. These networks were founded to analyze the packets or bytes transferred between the computers. Packet-filtering Firewalls are still used today, have traveled a long way, and have emerged as technology.

The word firewall means a wall intends to confine a fire within a boundary of adjacent buildings.

Brief Background

  • 1989- Packet Filtering Firewall Emerged
  • 1992: Commercial Firewall DEC SEAL
  • 1994: Stateful Firewall introduced
  • 2004: IDC coins the term UTM (Unified Threat Management)
  • 2009: Gartner launched Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)

Importance of Firewall

Advantages and Disadvantages of Firewall

A firewall is loaded with modern security features and is widely used in computer applications. At the emerging stage of the Internet, networks needed to be constructed with new security features, particularly in the client-server model. It is a central architecture of modern computing. It is when the firewall began to be constructed security of networks with differing complexities. They inspect the traffic and mitigate the threats to the system.

Uses of Firewall

  • They are also used in the antivirus application.
  • This technology is used in corporate as well as consumer settings.
  • It incorporates a security and event management strategy into cybersecurity equipment concerning modern organizations. It is installed at networks outside the organization to deal with external and internal threats.
  • It can also perform the function of auditing and logging by suitably recognizing the pattering and improving the rules by upgrading them and securing them the immediate threats.
  • In-home equipment, we can fix the restrictions using firmware and hardware firewalls.
  • A firewall can be applied in a cable modem, Digital Subscriber Line, and home network and has a static IP address. A firewall is known for readily filtering traffic and flagging any intrusion activity.
  • When new threats or patches are discovered, the firewall updates its method and helps the user resolve the issue.

Types of Firewalls

Firewalls are located in the software and hardware format. Software firewall programs are installed in the computer system and help regulate traffic networks with the help of port and application numbers. Hardware firewalls are devices installed between the gateway and your network. Multiple firewalls have emerged based on traffic filtering methods, functionality, structure, and methods. Some of the types of firewalls present are:

1. Proxy Service Firewall

This firewall secures the network by filtering messages at the application layer. A proxy firewall acts as a specific application's gateway from one network to another.

2. Stateful Inspection

This kind of firewall allows or blocks the network traffic depending on the protocol, port, and state. Here, the filtration takes place based on user-defined rules and context.

3. Next-Generation Firewall

The definition given by the Gartner Inc Next Generation firewall is a deep-packet inspection firewall. It integrates intrusion prevention, application-level inspection, and information from the external firewall to go beyond protocol/port inspection and block.

4. Threat Focussed NGFW

These firewalls have features like advanced threat detection and mitigation. With network and endpoint correlation, they may detect suspicious and mysterious behavior.

Five Features that a Firewall Should Possess

1. Web Filtering

Content Filtering features are used to regulate and control content access with their firewalls. This feature is very useful as it blocks the content, which is harmful. It is beneficial for home computing users.

2. Bandwidth Control and Monitoring

It helps IT management to determine how much actual bandwidth is available on the user's system. It facilitates determining the usage and regulating traffic flow, bandwidth hogs, and network pressure across the Information Technology environment.

3. Logging

The Firewall Rules Logging Features help the user to analyze, audit and verify the effect of firewall rules on their system.

4. Internet aggregation and SD-WAN

SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) and Link Aggregation features are very beneficial to corporates requiring multiple Internet connections. They benefit from multiple connections and links to other sites, such as cloud services and branch offices.

5. Sandboxing

It can be defined as a cybersecurity practice where a user executes code, analyze and observe in an isolated and safe environment on a network that mimics end-user operating environments. It is used to stop threats from the networks by inspecting untested or untrusted code.

Firewall Practice

  • Well Defined Security Policy
  • Clear, Cut, and Concise firewall philosophy
  • Recognizing allowed communications
  • Check and update your security features at regular intervals of time
  • Do not just fully rely on the firewalls
  • Recognise Security Requirements for your organization

Advantages of Firewall

1. Promotes Privacy and Security

Firewalls may play a vital role in corporate security management. It offers enhanced security and privacy from vulnerable services. It stops unauthorized users from accessing a private network that is linked to the Internet. It keeps your data safe and secure. Corporations spend millions of money on protecting their system from outside malware attacks.

2. Monitors Network Traffic

The firewall monitors the data from where it comes in and out of your system. It gives faster response time and the ability to manage larger traffic loads. This regulation has predetermined rules and associated filters. A well-equipped and trained team can provide security to your system based on incoming and outgoing data from the firewall.

3. Prevent Virus Attack

Virus attacks are very dangerous for the computer system, and they could close down all digital operations quickly. Millions of new threats develop every day, and it becomes important to put our guard strong.

It can update its security protocols from a single authorized device. It secures your system from a phishing attack. A firewall can prevent a hacker entirely or deter them from becoming easy targets. Firewalls serve as an important blockade against malicious programs and spyware. It helps you to keep your data safe from the external

Disadvantages of Firewall

1. User Restriction

It is an undisputed fact that a firewall secures the system from unauthorized access, but the firewall is more advantageous to the single user but ineffective for the organization. It damages the organization's productivity and forces the employees to undertake shortcuts, which can lead to serious compromises with security. Employees are not permitted to perform a certain function that is not part of the policies used by the firewall.

2. Cost

Firewall cost depends upon the type of installation. Hardware Firewall is more expensive than software firewalls because for the installation, hardware firewall requires an expert IT professional, and its maintenance is also costly. On another side, an average user can install software firewalls easily.

3. Complex Operations

It becomes very difficult for a large organization to bear the huge maintenance cost of the firewall. A firewall is very efficient in individual cases. A separate team has to be constituted for the firewall's operation and to ensure the other networks remain secure from intrusion. It gives rise to an additional financial burden on the organization.

4. Malware Attack

A firewall secures the system from the simple type of trojans. It cannot secure the system from sophisticated malware that can enter the system in the form of trusted data. This requires installing powerful, sophisticated, and effective anti-malware for quick action.

5. Effect on the Performance

The computer system's performance is affected by the usage of software firewalls. It is a known fact that the RAM (Random Access Memory) and processing power have a vital and important role in giving a good performance, but when a firewall runs in the background, it draws more power from the RAM and processing power. This has an overall impact on the performance of the system.

Hardware firewalls are independent of the computer system, and therefore, they do not utilize the computer devices; hence the performance of the system remains unaffected.

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