The frequency of cyber-crimes and cyber-attacks is increasing day by day which calls for adequate cyber-security ensuring measures.
Protecting our servers and web assets is becoming the first and foremost priority of users whether home-based or professionals.
There are numerous ways of ensuring security of your dedicated server but the most reliable one is firewall.
Firewall is basically a security component.
It facilitates and restricts access to certain ports and networks.
Generally, firewalls are accompanied by routing abilities and their increased functionality has made them a popular security solution.
Software firewalls: These are available in the form of soft copies and can be downloaded and installed on a computer device.
Software firewalls are usually free or available at a very reasonable price.
Hardware Firewall: This is the second type of firewall.
Typically, a hardware firewall is used as a network firewall, for covering the data link, and for transporting layers of the host architecture.
These layers, which may be between 2 to 4 in the OSI model, are comparatively high-up.
Therefore, the firewall is able to broadly cover the entire network of servers.
Although the two types of firewalls differ from hardware firewalls but the primary function of both remains the same, that is, to restrict access to a dedicated server and network.
Hardware firewalls are more useful because a single device can easily protect several servers.
It is also easier to maintain and administer hardware firewalls in comparison to software firewall.
Conversely, you will require one software firewall for each serve, which makes it inconvenient if a larger network of serves has to be protected.
Hardware firewall is also beginner-friendly because usually you only need to connect and configure a device to your system.
Where Hardware Firewalls are Used?
Generally, Hardware firewalls are used in both small and large scale businesses. T
hese actually act as network firewalls.
Their uses are as follows:
• To filter traffic trying to access the network after considering the predefined rules
• Averting viruses and malware from being transferred in emails
• Controlling entrance to internal applications via IP filtering and VPN
• Administering and restricting the duties and interactions of servers within the network
• Securing confidential information
Configuring Hardware firewall?
Configuring the hardware firewall properly is the key to make it perform its functions well.
An un-configured device will be useless since it will never protect anything.
For configuring it you need to specify a source, which can be a wildcard, a port or protocol or a destination.
Also, you need to determine the rules according to which it will perform its job.
The source depends on whether you are looking to block access to a particular service/app on the server or offer an accept/deny sort of access to the traffic.
After setting the rules, you can expect that the firewall will analyze each and every data packet it receives and allow or reject access.
Pros & Cons of Hardware Firewall:
Pros: Filtering malicious traffic before it enters and affects the server or other devices becomes possible through hardware firewalls.
This means, bandwidth isn’t wasted since the hardware unit is equipped with a processor and storage capacity.
It can filter script and perform administrative adjustments.
It happens so because every hardware firewall has an Internet-based GUI therefore, there is no need for external attachments.
A hardware firewall’s coding structure is tight, small and doesn’t contain any un required programs which mean the possibility of exploiting it is minimal.
It just protects the perimeter of a network, that is, when something enters it somehow, it becomes powerless.
Not to forget that the threat may also be caused by internal users.
It has limited storage and processing ability and once the limit is reached you can expect an open or closed failure.
If it is an open failure then no traffic will pass through the server at all.
If it is closed failure, then the traffic will easily pass unchecked.
Outbound traffic cannot be filtered.
Excessive involvement of electrical sources and cables
Upgrading and salient other changes will be difficult if you are trying to replace the existing hardware firewall with one having higher capacity or firmware replacements.