Posts Tagged Firewall

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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Host-Based Vs. Network-Based Firewalls For Cloud Security

18th July, 2017

If you are planning to move your company’s data to the cloud, it is important that you take the necessary steps to safeguard it against viruses and malicious attacks. No matter you own a small start-up business or a well-established organization, hackers are always on the lookout for unprotected confidential information that can be exploited for malicious purposes.

It is recommended to use a firewall solution to stay protected against any online attack or malware infection. The firewall will record the incoming requests, inspect data packets and block any unauthorized or unusual traffic to the network. There are different firewall options available depending upon the level of control required and where you want to deploy it. The two main types of firewall are – host based and network based.

Given below is a complete comparison of both the options so that you can choose the right one for your cloud data.

Host Based Firewall

A host based firewall is installed on every virtual machine that is connected to the cloud. It helps to monitor all the incoming and outgoing traffic to determine if it is safe to be directed to the device. Host based firewall offers the following advantages:

  • More Flexibility: Virtual machines and applications can be easily moved between the cloud environments without the need to change the firewall’s security policy.
  • Better Features: Host based firewall also supports anti-virus and data loss prevention to provide complete protection to the virtual machine.
    Customization: The firewall settings of each device can be individually configured according to the level of security required.

Network Based Firewall

Network based firewall refers to a solution that is embedded into the cloud infrastructure. It is a good option to be deployed in a larger network. It offers a slightly stronger defense as compared to host based firewalls. Some of the advantages of using network based firewall are:

  • Greater Security: This type of firewall solution is quite difficult to circumvent. In a host based firewall, the hacker can directly access the virtual machine and easily gain administrative privileges. However, in a network based firewall, unauthorized access is likely to be detected right at the network level.
  • Scalability: These firewalls can easily be scaled up if the client requires additional bandwidth.
    Affordability: Network based firewalls prove to be cost-effective in the long run as they do not require a dedicated IT team to monitor regular maintenance and updates on every server.

For more tips on choosing the right firewall solution for cloud data, you can contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Firewall

January 27, 2016

Firewalls have become a critical component of any organizations’ cyber security program. Though most businesses implement sophisticated security practices, a minor vulnerability at the core can put their sensitive data at risk. In an era of advanced persistent threats (APTs) and other emerging hacking attacks, firewall has continued to be an effective line of defense in most circumstances.

Here are some tips organizations can get the most out of their firewall technologies:

  • Disable Remote Administration: Many routers have the facility of enabling remote administration. This feature allows an external user to administer your firewall settings. Disabling remote administration can make your firewall a lot more secure.
  • Lock Down VPN Access: VPN clients can bring about a lot of security threats as they use unsecure operating systems that are not guarded by firewall. Hence, you must be clear about the data that each VPN user is allowed to access. Avoid giving complete control of the entire internal network to the users. Create a well-defined access-control list to determine different categories of users and the internet services they need to use.
  • Change Default Password: Regardless of how well-configured your firewall is, it can be rendered ineffectual if the hacker is able to crack the password. Therefore, it is important that you change the default password and use a strong one that can’t be easily guessed. The password should be at least 8 to 10 characters long and include a combination of numbers as well as letters. Also, the password should not be used for any other online accounts.
  • Enable Attack Detection: This feature is not available in all network firewalls or may be present with another name, such as Intrusion Detection System (IDS). If possible, ensure that it is enabled so your firewall can detect and prevent common hacking attacks.
  • Keep Settings Consistent: Allowing employees to customize firewall settings can put every computer’s security at risk. When a malware or malicious code breaches the firewall, it becomes difficult to assess where exactly the vulnerability is located. Therefore, the firewall settings should be kept consistent across the company’s network. Even minor changes such as allowing pop-ups or plugins in a single computer system should not be permitted by the firewall administrator.

For more tips on increasing the security of your firewall, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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