Top 10 firewall tips
What is a Firewall? In simple terms, a firewall is a set of filters and rules (more like a virtual wall) that guards your computer from other computers on the internet. Firewalls monitor the data that is sent to and from the network. You can either have a firewall installed as software or have it as a separate hardware unit. Firewalls provide an improved and advanced form of security. Here are a few helpful tips to manage firewalls efficiently:
1. Keep your firewall always turned ON:
The first obvious step is to keep the firewall protection always ‘ON’. If you are doing some specific work like installing a software or troubleshooting, you may temporarily disable your firewall but this practice is not always recommended because it may end up disastrous in case malware are involved.
2. Firewall software/hardware should be secluded:
You should protect the firewall from direct attack especially direct attacks when your firewall is a hardware unit. It means you should not allow communication flow between your firewall and unauthorized sources.
3. Keep your OS updated:
Updating to the latest Operating System software version for your firewall is a must.
4. Well-define your ‘rule base’:
Keep the rule base simple. When a packet reaches the firewall it checks against the rule base. So it is best to place the most accessed rule at the top so that the firewall need not match against all the rules in the rule base. This would in turn reduce the load on your firewall.
5. Deny the suspicious requests to circumvent your firewall:
Deny, deny and deny. This is a rule that should be followed when you are in doubt about the authenticity of the request. You can always allow the blocked connection later when needed or authenticated.
6. Lock down VPN access:
7. Run firewall vulnerability scans regularly:
Instill the practice of testing and auditing your firewall for vulnerabilities. This will help you update your firewall protection as and when required.
8. Block and entire country if under attack
Easily block all attacks from a specific country like China
9. Update Firewall regularly:
It is necessary that you keep your firewall software updated to be certain that you have not left any loopholes that would compromise your safety. Out-dated security softwares are almost useless because attacks on security are progressing and evolving on daily-basis.
10. Monitor user access to firewall settings:
In corporate networks, joint firewalls are commonly used to provide first line of defense to the network but the network owner should keep in check that who has access to firewall’s settings and what type of access it is, as you do not want someone changing the configuration to make them vulnerable intentionally or unintentionally.
With these simple tips you should be able to utilize your firewall easily and effectively. Safe surfing!
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