Protecting your company network and data is essential for business success. Firewalls can be an important part of network security, but there are different types and levels of firewall to choose from. So what are these different options? And which type of firewall would be best for your business? Well, here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. From secure remote access services to business VoIP, we are the team you can count on. And this is our guide to everything you should know about the different types of firewall for your business.
What are the different types of firewall?
There are four different types of firewall that any business, small or large, should consider. These all have differences in purposes, and drawbacks depending on the size of your system. The different firewall options include:
- Packet filtering
- Proxy firewalls
- Stateful inspection
- Hybrid firewalls
Packet filtering firewalls
Packet filtering is a basic form of firewall protection that is essentially a simple sorting algorithm. This uses access lists to identify and make decisions based on the source and destination addresses and ports in IP packets. This type of firewall can be very effective for small networks but as networks grow and expand, a more complex firewall will be necessary. In addition, this type of firewall has little or no logging capability, making it difficult to determine if it’s been attacked.
A proxy firewall is a more complex firewall that sorts network traffic by passing all packets through a separate “proxy” application that examines data at an application level.This allows the data to be understood and enables you to set a firewall to accept or reject packets based on addresses, port information and application information. With this level of control, you can reduce the potential for viruses and worms infecting your network, by blocking all EXE files.
Proxy firewalls have a higher level of security, as this does not allow a direct connection between your network and the Internet. Instead the firewall accepts requests and executes them on behalf of you as the user.
Stateful inspection firewalls
Stateful inspection firewalls are intelligent and fast acting, and offer a high level of network security. This type of firewall examines data packets at the network layer, just like packet filtering firewalls. However, the stateful inspection firewall, is far more intelligent. Instead of relying on simple filtering with an access list, this type of firewall is capable of analyzing data to track each communication session from start to end, and enforce protocol. This means that incoming packets can be quickly verified, and unauthorized sessions can be rejected.
Hybrid firewalls are a combination of packet based, proxy and stateful inspection firewall. This provides the maximum amount of protection and security for your business.
For more information or advice, why not ask the experts today, here at Creative Network Solutions.