A Firewall is a Cybersecurity tool widely used to secure computer networks from unauthorised users. A Firewall is used for information security and can be a Hardware Firewall or a Software Firewall or a combination of both depending on the requirements of the client.
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A Hardware Firewall is a physical device or a set of physical devices which act as the first line of defence for a computer network. A very basic hardware Firewall example is a router that is normally used in most of the households with Wi-Fi Fibernet connections.
A simple hardware Firewall definition is that it is a physical device which connects a computer or an organisational computer network to the external network or internet by acting as a barrier to protect them from unauthorised users with malicious intent.
There are many vendors of a hardware Firewall. The type of hardware and vendor is dependent on the requirements of an organisation.
Many factors are to be considered before finalising on the selection of a Firewall.
There are different hardware Firewalls available. Here is a hardware Firewalls list of the most popular major vendors catering to the business houses looking to secure data against leakage and theft.
The wide range, sophistication and cost implications can be gauged from the small comparison between D-Link, which is a simple basic Firewall for home or small office requirements, with the pricey CISCO Fix Firewall which comes in configurations that can support up to a phenomenal 500,000 connections.
Some hardware Firewall devices are similar to Personal Computers which are exclusively designed and configured to perform the role of a Firewall. Some types are called solid-state as they have no moving parts but use flash memory instead of hard disks. Such systems are faster and more reliable without the accompanying breakdown problems related to mechanical moving parts.
We will now have a look at the best hardware Firewalls for the small business segment.
The question of How does Hardware Firewalls work needs some explanation for the uninitiated. Normally, a hardware Firewall comes as a single unit with proprietary software pre-installed at the source. This makes the selection less complicated as there is no need to choose a separate compatible software package to run the hardware. While some hardware Firewalls work on general operating systems like Linux, most of the Firewalls come with their proprietary operating systems which are specifically designed and configured to run the related software. This is a big security advantage as the general operating systems might have some vulnerabilities which can be exploited by the hackers to gatecrash into the system’s defences.
A hardware Firewall relies on the hardware to perform the function of data package filtering for information security. Major benefits of a hardware Firewall are
However, one major disadvantage of a hardware-based Firewall is that it is difficult and costly to upgrade, as physical devices have to be changed, unlike a software Firewall which just needs up-gradation of a software application.
Some of the hardware Firewall features which need to be considered while selecting a Firewall for an organisation are:
By now, it must be reasonably clear about the question of what does a hardware Firewall do. Some of the protections it offers are.
A Hardware Firewall is a device or set of devices used to protect individual computers or a network of computers from the threat of information or data leakage. It acts by filtering out requests from unauthorised users to access data. Finally, despite all the resources spent and a dedicated team in charge, we still keep hearing about incidents of huge data leakages from major corporates. This can only be prevented by constant vigilance, up-gradation and monitoring of the systems without any complacency.
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