Introduction

A Firewall can be simply explained as a barrier built between a network of users and the external environment that establishes a common security policy between the connected users and the outside world which consists of possible intruders. Firewalls help in building up trust on the network between multiple users and with the advent of the internet in all major spheres of life in recent years, the popularity and importance of Firewalls have increased in multiple folds.

The requirement of Firewalls increases since a major part of the currently existing operating systems does not essentially hold security-oriented designs and was devised under the assumption of an everlasting trust between users and machines. Let us look at the importance and role of firewall.

Therefore, the system of Firewalls is built to avoid any sort of unauthorized access to or from a private network that can be implemented in hardware and software, or even a combination of both. Under the system of Firewall security, all the messages entering or leaving the internet will have to pass through the security network that will assess every passing message and block those that do not meet the security standards. One might wonder what the role of a personal Firewall is or what is the role of a Firewall in computer security.

Before that it is important to know the two broad categories of Firewall:

1. Software Firewall: These Firewalls are in-built in the operating system and can distinguish between the programs on the computer system. These programs thus allow the users to use specific data and channel out data which is not required. They require regular updates and administration.

2. Hardware Firewall: A hardware Firewall is the one that intervenes between the two independent connected networks. In simpler terms, it protects the system from external agents.

Both the Firewalls are necessary for anyone working on the internet. Since the internet is a vast place filled with a multitude of unethical agents, the coordination of both hardware and software Firewalls help the users to safely surf the internet.

In this Article:

A) Role Of Firewall

1. Network Security

Network Security corresponds to the ways to stop the internal and external threats to a network system . While working on the internet, the router of the system connects the institute’s internal network to the external network or the internet. Firewalls are entrenched between two different networks to monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic. Since the organization’s network is vulnerable to the internet, Firewalls play a pivotal role in network security.

The role of a Firewall in network security is to ensure network security by inhibiting the external threats coming from potent sources such as hackers and avoid any kind of connection between the two. Along with it, it guards the internal infrastructure of the network by occluding the viruses and malware. Such hazardous agents damage the internal software and sometimes even disclose confidential data (such as passwords) to potential attackers.

The importance of firewalls thus reflects in funneling out the incoming and outgoing data, inhibiting the undue connections with any suspicious agents, and keeping viruses and malware at bay!

2. Computer Security

As per research, an unprotected computer system when connected to the internet is susceptible to attack from external agencies in just the first fifteen minutes. The role of Firewalls in computer security is crucial. Most often, they prevent the computer systems from spam emails which may sometimes contain Trojans and malware. Along with all the roles mentioned before, Firewalls also prevent the computer systems by operating as proxy servers.

Anytime when a user interacts with the external networks, first the proxy server interacts with the internet and receives the data. Only after performing the security check, it forwards the data next to the system. In this way, the system doesn’t directly interfere with the external traffic thus reducing the vulnerability to malicious agents. It also helps in keeping the system’s address hidden and by operating as a proxy server, the Firewall stores the accessed web page in the cache files for quick access in the future.

Sometimes together with the proxy servers, the Firewalls offer a DMZ or the Demilitarized Zone. It is like a boundary network that houses the sources, not within the premises of the primary Firewall.

3. Personal Firewall

Desktop Firewall or Personal Firewall is a software program intended to prevent the single computer system connected to the internet from the suspicious external agents. Firewall software is very useful for the users having cable internet connections because these connections use a static IP address which is very easily vulnerable to potential attackers.

Personal Firewalls operate in the background and inhibit dangerous computer codes from penetrating the system. It thus prevents the integrity of the system.  

Unlike the conventional Firewalls which operate to prevent the areas of the network, the personal Firewall software works exclusively to save the infrastructure of a particular system. 

Typically, the desktop Firewalls work as layers of application that funnel out the input, output, and access from any foreign agent or by the internal network.

The roles of a Personal Firewall and its advantages are:

  1. Policing the traffic.
  2. Blocking keyloggers.
  3. Inhibiting access to hackers.

B) Importance Of Firewall In An Organisation

The role of a Firewall is most evident in the mass organizations or businesses. For any business to run lucidly, authorities need to keep their data and their clients’ data safe. The Firewall provides an array of features for ensuring the safety of large scale data that the businesses deal with. In practical modern-day scenarios, there is no better alternative for organizations to safeguard their servers and data than a Firewall. It helps the administrators to keep the viruses at bay and prevent any intruders from accessing confidential files and data.

While initially, the organizations were still susceptible to threats even after installing Firewalls but since recent times, the importance of Firewalls in an organization has burgeoned and they have been able to forge stateful Firewalls that grasp their entire working structure and perform a variety of versatile operations.

Firewalls work as the mainline defense mechanisms for the organizations and prevent the dangerous Cyberattacks that may lead to breaching of data. Organizations are thus helped by funneling and authorization of safe incoming and outgoing data.

C) Importance Of Firewall In E-Commerce

The business models which deal with the customers on the internet and allow them to buy and sell things over the same require a stringent security service. Since millions of people are involved in daily transactions on the e-commerce website, it becomes extremely crucial for the administrators to ensure safe transactions. If the Firewall security on the e-commerce website is not healthy, hackers may find their way inside the servers which may lead to loss of data, capital, and trust.

The servers of the large-scale e-commerce website must be guarded against any kind of malicious agent. All the incoming traffic and access must pass through the Firewall.

The importance of Firewalls in e-commerce is similar to that of its role in organizations. It ensures safe trading transactions along with the confidentiality of the data thereby helping the business to stay intact.

Conclusion

Firewalls greatly reduce the vulnerability of the system. While there are certain things such as spam popups and messages which the Firewalls cannot prevent, it is always advised to have healthy Firewall systems!

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