What are the Benefits of a Managed Firewall?

The overarching benefit of a Managed Firewall is the replacement of an in-house solution with a dedicated remote centralised service. This outsourced and cost-effective method of ensuring an agreed and purpose-designed level of permanently monitored online security allows businesses to focus all in-house staffing on core objectives.

Benefits of a centralised Managed Firewall include:

  • Reduced costs
  • Automated software updates
  • 24/7 proactive security alerts
  • Maintenance & firmware updates
  • Reporting (service users typically benefit from weekly or monthly reports – reports serve to outline the nature and origin of all security threats aimed at the business, as well as detailing the action taken to prevent unauthorised access to the business network)

How does a firewall work?

Firewalls carefully analyze incoming traffic based on pre-established rules and filter traffic coming from unsecured or suspicious sources to prevent attacks. Firewalls guard traffic at a computer’s entry point, called ports, which is where information is exchanged with external devices. For example, “Source address is allowed to reach destination over port 22.”

Think of IP addresses as houses, and port numbers as rooms within the house. Only trusted people (source addresses) are allowed to enter the house (destination address) at all—then it’s further filtered so that people within the house are only allowed to access certain rooms (destination ports), depending on if they’re the owner, a child, or a guest. The owner is allowed to any room (any port), while children and guests are allowed into a certain set of rooms (specific ports).

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Types of firewalls

Next-generation firewalls (NGFW)

combine traditional firewall technology with additional functionality, such as encrypted traffic inspection, intrusion prevention systems, anti-virus, and more. Most notably, it includes deep packet inspection (DPI).

Proxy firewalls

filter network traffic at the application level. Unlike basic firewalls, the proxy acts an intermediary between two end systems. The client must send a request to the firewall, where it is then evaluated against a set of security rules and then permitted or blocked

Network address translation (NAT) firewalls

allow multiple devices with independent network addresses to connect to the internet using a single IP address, keeping individual IP addresses hidden. As a result, attackers scanning a network for IP addresses can’t capture specific details, providing greater security against attacks.

Stateful multilayer inspection (SMLI) firewalls

filter packets at the network, transport, and application layers, comparing them against known trusted packets. Like NGFW firewalls, SMLI also examine the entire packet and only allow them to pass if they pass each layer individually.

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