Firewalls are often very misunderstood in business with many business owners believing they have a firewall because they are running an anti-virus. This is not the case. By definition, a firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. You can implement a firewall in either hardware or software form, or a combination of both. Firewalls prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet, especially intranets. (University Of Indiana)
These are the top 5 misunderstandings about firewalls
1. A firewall and an anti-virus program are the same thing
Every business should have both of these as a foundation to their network security, not either / or because they perform different functions. A firewall in itself cannot keep viruses out and an anti-virus cannot perform advanced access rules like a firewall. A firewall follows some set rules in blocking certain information based on parameters such as port numbers, content and the like whereas anti-virus software detects and actions viruses that make its way onto your system through a quarantine or destruction process.
2. A firewall can protect your network against all threats
You may know the difference between a firewall and an anti-virus but are you expecting your firewall to be your network’s caped hero and defend against the tyranny of all new threats? Well, truth be told, firewalls are not built to protect against new threats but against known threats. It’s true that firewalls are becoming more intelligent in picking up threats but so are cyber criminals, which is why its important that your firewall is managed and not just set up and left in order for it to be optimised for new potential threats.
3. All firewalls are hardware
Firewalls are not necessarily only hardware. There are many firewalls on the market that are primarily software-based and this is increasingly becoming the case with the rise of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS. On the other hand, there are many firewalls that are both hardware and software-based.
4. A firewall is only for larger organisations
This is a very big misconception, especially in 2021 where we have more cyber threats on the web than we have ever had in the past. It is recommended to have firewalls no matter the size of your business because cyber criminals are willing to attack your business no matter how big or small it may be.
5. Cloud-based businesses don’t need a firewall
Has your business gone cloud? Even if your entire business is run off of cloud systems, whilst these systems are stored in a cloud server and may have trheat protection of their own, it dos not eliminate the need for a firewall to protect the system and devices that users use to access your cloud.