Firewall can be explained as a system that has been devised aiming at the prevention of unauthorized and unwanted access to or from a private network. It can be implemented in hardware or software form seamlessly. Networks connected over the internet; majorly the intranets are protected through these primarily because they are at major risks of unauthorized access.
Choosing the appropriate firewall that has efficient and accurate features to save your company from malware, viruses and malicious hackers is a daunting and much confusing task to accomplish. Firewalls come in varied features and levels of security thereby making a fine choice is even more essential. To aid you with the decision making of choosing the best firewall device, here is your guide that will educate you fir this process.
What is a Firewall?
A firewall is defined as a device aimed at network security that is a software program that monitors the traffic to and from a particular network thereby blocking or allowing traffic by virtue of a set of predefined security rules. The primary focus of firewall implementation is targeted at the prevention of unauthorized access to a network majorly on the internet which is the most vulnerable of all.
Types of firewalls
Firewalls are mainly of 3 types i.e. Software firewall, hardware firewall, and cloud firewall. Three of these are briefed about further-
A software firewall can be explained as a product that is installed on your device- computer, tablet, mobile phone, etc. It has no physical presence and is installed locally which enables it to provide a better level of access and control thereby securing the network in a better and more effective manner. Software firewalls block the traffic which is making attempts to exit your device, unlike the hardware type.
Simplified and direct enough, as the name suggests, a hardware firewall is a device that is connected to a computer of a network in order to keep a check on the malicious threats and protecting from unauthorized access. Hardware firewalls are often explained as routers with a lot of additional features; specifically, the control features. They let you protect the entire network with a single device.
Cloud firewalls are software-based network devices that are cloud-deployed aimed at stopping unauthorized access to private networks alike the other two firewall variants. With evolving cloud-based tech, the cloud firewall type is devised to serve the modern business needs and work efficiently in online environments. These come out to be one of the best firewalls for business.
Things to Consider Before Buying a New Firewall
To look for the right firewall device, it is highly essential to consider certain key factors that govern and define the working feasibility and efficiency of the firewall. Here are the top 8 things to consider before buying a new firewall-
Trusted security is the most major attribute to look for while choosing the best firewall for business. There is a broad range of network security devices at premium prices with an appreciable band of features and security while there are many available at lower costs and minimal offerings. Cisco firewall is the one that has been widely recommended to facilitate enormous offerings and trusted security.
Approachability has a considerable benefit when talking about a hardware-based Next Generation firewall. Easier administration provisions for a platform make it easier to locate qualified personnel who could assist the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Go with a firewall that ensures tight security along with GUI-friendly administration as it-
- Prevents installation mistakes
- Easier to train staff
- Easier to correct the failure
- Helps in upgrades and replacements
3) VPN support
A Next-Gen firewall is not solely intended towards keeping hackers and malicious traffic out of the network rather a good firewall is also employed to serve the purpose of monitoring and look after the establishment of secure channels which in-turn contribute towards remote connectivity.
Hardware-based firewalls that allow SSL and IPSec protected VPN connectivity is much appreciated in this domain. They secure connections from traveling employees as well. A next-gen firewall device will necessarily facilitate this.
Firewalls serve as an internet gateway to the organization’s network pertaining to their network-check role. It is thereby important to deploy a firewall that matches the organization’s needs. Larger and widely spread organization’s networks require a firewall that can deal with loads while the smaller ones can manage with firewalls of lesser capacity.
Check the apt number of Ethernet ports and speed according to the requirement while choosing the firewall.
Read Also: Best Firewall For Home and Business
5) Technical Support
Hardware does fail at times unavoidable and also the newly arrived pieces do not come with a surety of working aptly. Thereby, checking for the availability of 24*7 technical support is very important. Even before purchasing, get in touch with the technical support team of the manufacturer and ask configuration and installation related questions.
The support should be-
- Timely available
- Cost effective
6) Secure Wireless
Hardware-based firewalls with the inclusion of wireless network features are quite much a latent and unacknowledged need. With the changing needs of the organization and its structure, there may be an observable change in needs where the WLAN functionality would prove to be necessary.
Opting for a Cisco firewall Device with WLAN functionality is recommended.
7) Content Filtering
A noticeable movement of many IT departments towards OpenDNS for content filtering is observed however even some firewalls now come with subscriptions for web filtering. The benefit of having the latter one is that all the services from security checks to content filtering can be availed through a single device. The only drawback being an additional payment for the subscription of this service.
8) Advanced monitoring and reporting
Firewalls essentially work on loads. They prevent thousands of unauthorized networks each day and deal with critical managing tasks. The utility of this enhances if the information pertinent to network administration is reported and monitored properly. It is thereby suggested to opt for the firewall with advanced monitoring and reporting systems enabled.