Betsy in Washington, DC asks:
“Why is a firewall necessary and how does it work?”
A firewall is critical as a line of defense between your computer and the internet. It can either be software-based or hardware-based and it protects the resources of a private network from users in other networks.
Personal firewalls are installed on each computer to monitor internet traffic and block anything that seems suspicious. Hardware firewalls are implemented to protect the IT infrastructure of a company.
Firewall got its name from firefighting, where the firewall is a barrier that is erected to prevent the spread of fire. A firewall for a network does the same thing.
Because the internet is a public network, a connected computer can find and connect to any other connected computer. The firewall builds a bridge between the internal network and the internet. The internal network is assumed to be secure and trusted while the internet is not assumed to be secure and trusted.
A Firewall filters inbound and outbound network traffic and allows you to control who and what is granted access to your network, computer and its files as well as how your users or employees can access the internet. One of the best things about a firewall from a security standpoint is that it stops anyone on the outside from logging onto a computer in your private network.
Having a firewall is not enough, you must ensure that it is activated and has no breaches in it. To ensure that your firewall is turned on for a Windows machine, go to Control Panel and select Security. On a Mac OS X, go to System Preferences, then select Security and the Firewall tab.
Although it’s a very important component, a firewall is only part of what you need to protect your computers and network. Software that defends against spam, viruses and spyware is also part of the equation. Another tip we can offer to prevent mail from being sent from any computer except your email server is to create a filter rule that only allows the mail to flow from your email server.
If you’d like to have your network security evaluated for effectiveness, call Teltek IT today! Our engineers can perform a detailed site survey and make recommendations based on your company’s needs.
As a Microsoft Certified Partner and Dell Registered Partner, Teltek has the knowledge and resources necessary to keep your computer network and IT infrastructure current and functioning efficiently with the personalized service Teltek clients have grown to admire. With office locations in Baltimore, Bethesda and Westminster, Maryland, we serve clients across MD, DC and VA.
Let Teltek be your single source technology solutions provider. Call us today at 1.866.9.Teltek to find out why 2,000 repeat clients trust Teltek to maintain their critical business technology systems each and every day.