Posts Tagged Firewall Configuration

Protecting Your Computer Network: Tips To Configure Firewall

Firewall is a critical part of first line of defense against online attacks. This makes configuring firewall an important step for ensuring network security. Breaking down the process of firewall configuration into simpler steps can make the process more manageable.

Following are some crucial steps for firewall configuration irrespective of the firewall platform:

Ensure Firewall Is Secure: Securing firewall is the first step towards configuration and management of firewall. So, make sure to –

  • Disable simple network management protocol (SNMP)
  • Rename, disable or delete any default user account and modify default passwords.
  • Establish additional administrator accounts based on responsibilities, specifically if firewall will be managed by multiple administrators.

Create Firewall Zones & Corresponding IP Addresses: The more zones you establish, the higher will be network security. Before proceeding to defend valuable assets, it is first important to identify these assets and then plan out network structure to position networks based on functionality and data sensitivity. Now design a secure structure and create equivalent IP address structure. The next step is to architect firewall zones and allocate them to firewall interfaces.

Configure Access Control Lists (ACLs): After firewall zones have been created and allocated to firewall interfaces, the next step is to determine the traffic that will flow in and out of each zone. This is facilitated by Access Control Lists. Use both outbound & inbound ACLs to each interface and sub-interface on the network firewall.

Configure Other Firewall Services To Required Standards: Depending upon the chosen firewall platform and its abilities such as Intrusion Prevention System, Network Time Protocol, DHCP, etc, configure relevant firewall services and disable additional services.

Conduct Network Firewall Configuration Tests: Test the firewall configuration to testing and verify that the firewall is working as expected. Include both penetration testing and vulnerability scanning to test firewall configuration.

Constant Firewall Management: After completing firewall configuration, ensure secure firewall management. Take following steps to effectively manage firewall –

  • Perform Vulnerability Scans
  • Monitor Logs
  • Regularly Review Firewall Rules
  • Update Firmware
  • Document Progress

In addition to these crucial steps, implement following additional tips for firewall configuration:

  • Fulfill standard regulatory mandates
  • Frequently change configuration settings
  • Set default setting to block all traffic and monitor user access
  • Establish & use secure connection only

For more information on tips on how to protect your computer network from cyber-attacks, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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Steps To Optimize Your Firewall Configuration

October 28, 2015

Firewall is an essential part of your organization’s network security. It works by monitoring all the incoming and outgoing traffic on your network to restrict any unauthorized access. It can also limit exposure by camouflaging internal network information from the public internet. Though its importance is well-known, many people do not optimize their firewall settings efficiently. Majority of the cyber-attacks occur mainly because of flaws in a network’s firewall configuration.

Here are some steps that you need to follow to optimize your firewall configuration:

  • Filter Outbound Traffic: You must constantly monitor your server to detect and remove any unwanted or unauthorized traffic. Denied or dropped outbound requests hitting the firewall should also be tracked. Subsequently, the network administrators should reconfigure the firewall to prevent such unauthorized servers, thereby eliminating load from the firewall.
  • Minimize Privileges: You should set specific configuration polices to filter traffic on your organization’s network. Each user should be given the least level of privileges that are absolutely required for him to work efficiently. This will reduce the chances of a potential data breach. You should also review your firewall policies frequently to determine any new applications and the connectivity they need
  • Run Only Required Services: Many organizations face security issues due to outdated or unrequired services running on their firewall. The best way to overcome this is to strengthen device security and ensuring that the firewall configurations are compliant before they can be used on the organization network. By modifying your device’s settings according to their functioning and usage, you can improve its security and minimize the chances of running a malicious service on your firewall.
  • Standardize Authentication Mechanisms: You should enforce the same authentication mechanisms across all your organization’s branches, even in remote locations. If not, the employees will be able to access online accounts with weak passwords without any limit on login failures on entering incorrect details. In such situations, hackers find an easy way to access the organization network through remote locations. Having a standardized authentication policy will minimize this risk and improve security.

It is important that you continuously monitor your organization’s firewall settings. However, by following these steps, you can improve overall network security and significantly lower the chances of a hacking attack.

We, at Centex Technologies, can help to optimize your organization’s IT security. For more information, you can call us at (972) 375 – 9654.


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