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Cybersecurity Firewall: How Application Security Works?

Published on Sep 25,2019 630 Views
3 / 5 Blog from Introduction To Cybersecurity

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In recent times, dependence on online transactions for daily needs has grown many folds. However the internet is prone to multiple threats. Any organization or any individual who expose their systems on the internet, have to endeavor to safeguard their resources and information by implementing appropriate techniques to circumvent these threats. One such technique is Firewall. In this article let’s learn more about Cybersecurity firewall.

The topics discussed in this article are;

Introduction to Cyber Security

Cyberworld or cyberspace is a market place of all devices and entities that are interconnected using the internet also known the World Wide Web. Communication between different entities in cyberspace, namely, large enterprise systems, financial applications, software as service on the cloud, institutions, small and medium enterprises, self-employed individuals laptops, desktops, mobile applications, are all prone to threats. A threat to an entity in the cyberspace can be:

  • Data theft or misuse
  • Impersonation or credit/debit card frauds
  • Phishing
  • Spamming
  • Denial of services

Image - CyberSecurity Firewall - EdurekaLarge organizations define a trusted network or a defined private workplace of resources that they require to expose to the external world or public networks for a purpose. All their applications and systems published on the internet or the public are placed within this defined perimeter of the organizations trusted network. Organizations are continually on the lookout for improved methodologies to secure these applications from unwarranted threats. A firewall is one such solution placed at the perimeter of the organizations’ internal trusted network where the user gains access to the application.

What is a Firewall?

A cybersecurity firewall is a network security system which can either be a hardware or software that protects the trusted network from unauthorized access from external networks and external threats.

Image - Cybersecurity Firewall - Edureka

  • It uses the mechanism of filtering of data by using a defined set of policies rules, that help restrict access to the applications and systems
  • It acts like a gatekeeper and monitors and control incoming and outgoing network traffic
  • Any specific traffic, in the form of requests for access, requests for data, to a resource behind the firewall and inside the trusted network, will be inspected, analyzed and is allowed to pass or blocked based on pre-defined security rules
  • The security rules are configured into the firewall and are customizable

Various Implementations of Firewalls

  • They are hardware firewalls, ranging from entry levels, mid-range to high end depending on
  • A load of simultaneous hits on the entity we are protecting
  • The expected user base
  • There are software-based firewalls 
  • Some implementations work with a combination of software and a hardware firewall
  • Large organizations install high end dedicated hardware firewalls
  • Small app vendors and Individuals can setup basic software firewalls on their personal devices

Expectations of a Firewall Implementation

Implementing a firewall does the following things:

  • Ensure that all traffic from the external world onto the system or application is mandatorily routed through the firewall
  • The rules defined ensure isolation and detection of all possibilities of unauthorized incoming traffic
  • Denial of unauthorized traffic
  • Passing of all authorized traffic
  • Learning and improvisation of rules
  • Identification of a right fit firewall for the expected load is imperative to ensure performance is not impacted

Advantages and Disadvantages of Firewall

  • Advantage is an outcome of the effectiveness of the implementation of rules and controls on the firewall. The firewall is effective when it can handle all possible external threats.
  • A disadvantage is that firewalls cannot prevent internal threats, virus attacks and authentic mechanisms used by hackers (like username password).

Organizations have to implement other mechanisms and controls to circumvent these threats. Threats like, intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems. Attacks from the internet of virus, trojans, spyware, ransomware, denial of service, malware, can be foiled by implementing an antivirus and other prevention and detection systems alongside firewalls.

Note: Internal threats are threats from users inside the trusted network who have malicious intentions and have all the access to commit. 

Types of Firewalls 

  • Any access that happens to the application inside a trusted network is broken down to multiple packets. To recognize the authenticity of a packet there are packet filtering firewalls. These are very popular and are used to block packets from a specific source or another network. Hence, when the network is attacked by unknown packets, the firewall recognizes it as a threat and raises an alarm and blocks it.
  • A firewall can work to mask or hide the internet address of the trusted private trusted network from the external public network hence unwarranted access cannot happen.
  • Application-level gateways or proxy-based firewalls are becoming the need of the hour.
  • Today the dependencies and advent of cloud-based applications have diverted focus to control applications access. Hence one may want to block complete application services (like FTP, telnet, Http).
    •  Eg. FTP access allows a user to copy files from one network to another. By blocking FTP service it is unavailable to a malicious user who tries to connect to this network and to copy content.

There are multiple solutions to detect and prevent malicious behavior and attacks. Because there are many ways to avoid attacks a need is felt to find integrated solutions for firewalls, antivirus, anti-spam, and intrusion detection and intrusion prevention. Such solutions will be the next-generation innovation in the field of Cyber Security.

Conclusion

Every commercial or application services exposed on the internet will have its own security requirements based on the functionality. A detailed study and feasibility analysis must be done before implementing the most appropriate of security control systems. To beat the world of threats and hackers, the focus has to be on implementation and then continual improvisations to meet all the possible current and future threats. A firewall is one of the many solutions available in today’s world cybersecurity to control these external threats.

That’s it, folks! This brings us to the end of this “Cybersecurity Firewall” article. If you wish to learn cybersecurity and build a colorful career in cybersecurity, then check out our Cybersecurity Certification Training which comes with instructor-led live training and real-life project experience. This training will help you understand cybersecurity in-depth and help you achieve mastery over the subject.

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