Cyber crime is on the rise. Today's digital age is filled with connected technologies, which has only made it easier for cyber criminals to hack into unprotected systems. This calls for reliable and secure network security measures to keep your assets and data safe from hackers.
Firewalls act as the first line of defense against attackers and other external sources of threats such as malware, viruses, and hacking attempts. They can be easily configured to filter outgoing and incoming traffic based on predetermined rules of your network. Firewalls are deployed to fight against these intruders, and firewall management software is required to run a firewall efficiently.
Firewall software is used to manage your firewalls efficiently. Firewall software monitors incoming traffic and—based on your network security policy—allows only permitted traffic to access the network. They can also be used to filter traffic based on multiple criteria such as type of data being transmitted, source IP, destination IP, traffic volume, and port number.
Based on deployment, a firewall can be categorized as hardware-based, software-based, or sometimes a combination of both.
Software-based firewalls are installed on a computer, server, or router. Software firewalls are preferred by many organizations and enterprises simply due to the ease of deployment, lower initial costs, and fewer restrictions on the number of devices to be protected. They can be installed remotely and require little storage space.
Software-based firewalls also pose some advantages over its counterparts. These are commonly preferred by small and medium-sized businesses due to the expensive nature of hardware firewall options. They can be installed on a single device, and can be updated and reconfigured with ease. They're also compatible with a lot more operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Their only drawback is that they are not as powerful or as effective as hardware-based firewalls when handling huge traffic volumes.
Hardware-based firewalls, on the other hand, are physical devices that are installed between network elements and connection devices. These tend to have a lot more features, better performance than software-based firewalls, and are preferred by bigger enterprises that require a higher level of security for their devices and users. Hardware firewalls also make it easier to exercise granular control, but they require dedicated staff to maintain it.
Hardware-based firewalls are available in multiple forms—such as standalone devices, rack-mounted units, as well as in combination with other devices—to offer advanced security features such as intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, VPN, and so on. Hardware-based firewalls are largely preferred for their ability to handle large traffic volume, which is required for large organizations, enterprises, and MSSPs.
|Hardware firewall||Software Firewall|
|Dedicated hardware device||Can be installed on computers, servers, routers, etc.|
|Complex configuration and management||Can be easy to configure and update|
|Restricted by device capability||Easily scalable|
|Has more advanced security features||Contains limited advanced features|
|Less susceptible to attacks and vulnerabilities||Compromised by software vulnerabilities such as malware and viruses|
Firewall software gives you more insights into the performance of your firewalls and helps you make informed decision when a security breach occurs. Here are some of the advantages of utilizing firewall software:
Firewall Analyzer is a vendor-agnostic log analytics and firewall configuration monitoring tool. It is a preferred choice for network security admins across the globe, boasting of a slew of features that enhance your network security and keep attackers at bay.
A good firewall monitoring software contains a plethora of features that help you monitor your firewalls and maintain a good network security posture. Let us take a look at the most necessary features a software firewall must possess: