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.