Protecting Your Servers – Beyond Anti-Virus Protection
You probably already know how important it is to protect your server. There are great odds that you even have a decent anti-virus program working to keep things moving a bit smoother. The problem is that virus software isn’t enough. There are a number of other tools that will help to secure your data, but few are as effective as a firewall.
What Is a Firewall?
While most people have heard of firewalls, many don’t actually know what they are. Firewalls are usually a specific software (although there are some thatare hardware) specifically designed to protect all services that access the network. You can think of it as a strong fence keeping uninvited guests from easily accessing your information.Any port that accesses the public area is able to do so, all other ports are blocked so that malicious hackers cannot use them.
Your firewall will be an integral part of your server configuration. It should not be your only level of protection, but it can be a very strong security measure that will make it that much harder for malicious hackers to reach your data.
Fortunately, firewalls are not terribly difficult to implement, although a lot of time and expertise are required to ensure that the firewall is effective. The more complex ones do offer a greater level of security, but they are also more difficult to install properly. It is best to install them when you first establish your server. However, if your server is already set up, then you can add a firewall with any changes you make to your services. Vendors Barracuda and Sonicwall are vendors who offer firewalls that are robust and varied so that you can find the right one for your needs.
Adding a firewall should not take that long. However, it does require planning. You need to decide what kind of firewall software or hardware you want, what you would like protected by it, and when you have time to install it. If you would like help going through your options and figuring out how long you should plan to be down to have a firewall installed, you can visit our website or give us a call at 954-341-9934.
Your Firewall Options
Once you decide that you want a firewall, you will need to figure out which type is best for your needs. Perhaps you need something that protects your services on the cloud, or maybe you have a large network with many ports that you want to protect. The following are four of the most common types of firewalls. Vendors like Barracuda and Sonicwall offer these types of firewalls so that you can select the right one for your server.
One of the most basic types of firewalls, the packet filter firewall will examine each packet that enters the network and applies rules to see if the packet should be allowed through. It is a bit like a bouncer letting patrons into a venue. The packet filter is actually one of the more difficult to configure since it applies rules to every packet (and there is likely a lot of packets going over your system), it is also effective. If you are worried about spoofers, you may want to consider a different type of firewall.
Circuit Level Gateway
If you have a TCP or UDP connection, this is the firewall you will want to consider. It provides a security mechanism to these connections whenever they occur. As soon as the connection is established, the packets are allowed to flow through the circuit without further interruption. It is similar to a phone call; once the other person picks up, the connection is made and you can talk.
If you work with a lot of applications, this could be the right firewall for you. It works to ensure additional security measures are applied to the applications you specify, so you can feel easier about accessing those applications. This method is incredibly effective, but it can create more lag, causing performance degradation that could slow production.
This option is maybe the most well-known of the types of firewalls and actually makes it nearly impossible for malicious hackers to find the actual address of your network. It monitors all messages that are on the network from the time that they enter or are sent to the time when they leave the network.