Updated March 17, 2023
Introduction to Types of Firewalls
The following article provides an outline for Types of Firewalls. The quest for the appropriate tools for the job represents one of the major problems facing businesses when trying to secure their sensitive data. Most businesses may not have a clear idea of finding the right firewall or firewalls for their needs, setting up these types of firewalls, or why such firewalls may be needed even for a common tool such as the firewall.
What are Firewalls?
A firewall is a kind of cybersecurity tool used to control network traffic. Firewalls may be used to isolate network nodes, internal sources, or even special programs from external traffic sources. Software, hardware or the cloud can be firewalls, whereby firewalls of each kind have different advantages and disadvantages. The main objective of a firewall is to block malicious network requests and data packets while allowing legitimate traffic. Nevertheless, the word ‘ firewall ‘ is too broad for IT security buyers to use. There are many different types of firewalls, each of which operates in different ways, both within and outside the cloud, to secure different types of important data.
Top 5 Types of Firewall
Given below are the top 5 types of firewall:
1. Web Application Firewalls
A firewall for the web application is typically a proxy server between an application on a server and the users of an application that accesses the app from outside the corporate network. The proxy server takes input data and then creates a connection on behalf of the internal client with the request. A major advantage of this configuration is that the database is protected from port checks, attempts to locate the application server code or other malicious behavior driven by end-users. The proxy server also analyzes the data to prevent them from reaching the database for web apps to filter malicious requests.
- Level of Protection: High because the web application server offers a buffer for unidentified and potentially malicious users who could otherwise have direct access to the Web application server. This is important because many applications carry secret data valuable to hackers that are particularly attractive in Web-facing applications.
- Weaknesses and Strengths: Web application firewalls are simpler, less vulnerable, and easier to patch than web servers themselves. This means that hackers can consider applications behind the firewall substantially difficult. But proxy firewalls do not support all applications easily and can reduce the safe application performance for end-users.
2. Network Segmentation Firewalls
A firewall for network segmentation (we can also say says internal network firewalls) is used to manage network traffic flows between locations, operational areas, divisions, or other business units. It is applied at subnet limits. In this way, there can be a network breach in one area and not throughout the network. It can also protect areas of the network that it guarantees, such as databases or research and development units.
For very big companies or companies with network perimeters that are difficult to secure, network segmentation firewalls are most helpful.
- Level of Protection: While an attacker may be unable to move a network segmentation firewall from part of a network to another, it can only slow the progress of an attacker in practice if the initial break is quick to identify.
- Strengths and Weaknesses: If an aggressor achieves network access, then it can be significantly more difficult for a network segmentation firewall to access particularly sensitive information.
3. Database Firewalls
As its name implies, firewalls are a type of firewall for Web applications designed to protect databases. These are usually installed right onto the server of the database (or near to the network entry, where more than one server has several servers designed to protect them). They aim to identify and avoid unique server attacks, such as cross-site scripts, which can lead to confidential information in databases accessed by attackers.
- Level of Protection: The loss of confidential information is usually expensive and costly regarding lost credibility and poor ads. For this purpose, all appropriate steps are needed to protect the databases and their data. To the security of these stored data, a network firewall was added considerably.If you keep valuable or confidential database data, it is highly recommended that a firewall be used. According to Risk-Based Security, more than 4 billion records were stolen, four times higher than in 2013. When hackers continue to target databases effectively, this means that records are increasingly important.
- Strengths and Weaknesses: Server firewalls can provide an effective security measure and can also be used to track, review and report compliance for regulatory purposes. However, only if configured and modified correctly and offer little protection from zero-day exploits will they be effective.
4. Cloud-based Firewalls
A cloud-based firewall is an alternative to a corporate data center firewall but has the same aim: to protect a network, application, database, or other IT resources.
- Level of Protection: The security professional who specializes in firewall management configures and manages a cloud firewall as a service to offer excellent protection for the resources it protects. It will also be highly accessible with little or no scheduled or unplanned downtime. It is usually done with company routers’ configuration to divert traffic to the Cloud firewall when mobile users connect to it either via a VPN or as a proxy. While dedicated container firewalls are provided, a container can also be protected via iptables that run on the container with host firewalls.
- Strengths and Weaknesses: The configuring of a container firewall is probably easier than a host firewall that operates on every container. But it could be wasteful and difficult to justify on a cost basis in smaller settings.
5. Next-generation Firewalls
Next-generation firewalls are used to protect the network from undesired data traffic, but they are distinct from conventional firewalls. In addition to its port, origin, destination IP address, and protocol, NGFWs provide software visibility with full-Stack Visibility by looking at each data packet’s contents. It allows you to prohibit the use of specific applications such as peers for file-sharing applications in application layers and limit applications such as allowing Skype to be used for voice through IP calls, but not for file sharing, by using an application layer firewall.
An NGFW provides better network firewall coverage than a conventional firewall, leaving costs and performance problems on the one hand. Additionally, many NGFWs provide other functionality, such as detecting intrusions, malware scanning, and SSL software inspection. These can be useful for organizations with these apps that do not already have point solutions and can lead to a significant decrease in the data throughput capacity of the NGFW when disabled.
- Strengths and Weaknesses: NGFW has far more grain control of data, enabling the NGFW to address a broader range of potential threats and can’t access the corporate network. However, NGFWs cost more than traditional firewalls, which can cause network performance problems because they conduct packet inspection rather than just packet filters.
- Level Protection: Quite high because they provide a high degree of granular control. Such tasks may be required to comply with PCI and HIPAA.
Unified Threat Management
Unified UTM devices give small and medium-sized enterprises an almost complete safety solution as a single box that connects to the network. Typical UTM features include the standard firewalls, an intrusion detection system (including checking incoming traffic, email for viruses and Malware, blacklisting), and a blacklist of Web addresses to stop workers from accessing identified websites such as phishing. The web application firewall and the next-generation firewall (NGFW) features also feature secure Web gateways (sometimes).
- Strengths and Weaknesses: UTMs have a key attraction: a single purchase covers all security requirements and can control and configure all security features through a single management console. Most UTMs offer basic security levels at the original purchase price, and additional security products (such as IPS) may be available at an optional license fee. The main drawback is that UTMs can’t offer the same security level as a combination of more complex products. Still, it may be academic because often, there is a choice between UTM and no safety solution. UTMs are suitable for smaller companies with no dedicated security staff and lack the necessary expertise to configure point solutions.
- Level of protection: Some UTMs work well to secure a network, but best-of-breed solutions may offer better protection for each security feature.
Conclusion – Types of Firewall
So, in this article, we have seen different types of firewalls with their strengths and weaknesses. Whatever firewall type you select, keep in mind that a malfunctioned firewall can be worse than a firewall, in some way, because it offers a dangerous security impression while offering little or no firewalls.
This is a guide to Types of Firewalls. Here we discuss the top 5 types such as web application, network segmentation, database, cloud-based and next-generation firewalls with their strengths and weaknesses. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –