For those who have a firewall but aren’t sure of its purpose, or those who are wondering if they need one, this is the Tek Tip for you! Let’s dive into what a firewall does and the trouble spots you may encounter when managing this security measure.

What does a firewall do?

A firewall is your first line of defense in network security that helps prevent against cyber-attacks. It monitors attempts to gain access to your operating system while blocking unwanted traffic or unrecognized sources. Firewalls can be configured to both block data from locations and specific sites that may pose the risk for malicious traffic. As many come preconfigured, it is wise to always check that the default settings are in line with your specific security needs. 

Keep in mind there are both software and hardware firewalls, but the benefit of a hardware firewall is that it can connect directly to your modem, acting as a more aggressive filter between your internet and network equipment.

Trouble spots to keep in mind

While it is crucial to have a firewall, this security measure unfortunately has its pain points. A significant issue can be the time and knowledge needed to administrate and manage firewalls, making them difficult to use correctly especially for new users. They may block the users from performing certain actions on the internet until the firewall is configured correctly.

Cost is another hinderance when it comes to a dedicated hardware firewall. Hardware firewalls cost more and can be difficult to install and upgrade in addition to the physical space and wiring involved in setup. Fortunately, experts like The Tek are skilled at management and set up of firewalls for our customers.

Even though firewalls have the capability to block the basic types of trojans, it has been proven to be defenseless against other types of malwares. These types of malwares can enter your system in the form of trusted data. Therefore, even if you have a firewall, it is still recommended to have an anti-virus software installed on your PC. As mentioned above, a firewall is a first line of defense and should not be your only. When used in conjunction with other measures, you can further strengthen your security.

Have questions regarding firewall security or network set up and management for your business? Drop us a line at Solutions@thetek.com.