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Firewalls are important in PC management strategies.

Why You Need a Firewall

The Internet is like an open highway where all the other computers on the Internet can talk with yours. This means that when your computer is connected to the Internet, you are exposing your computer to a variety of potential threats.

To secure your computer from such intrusions your computer must learn to ignore and resist external connection attempts and probes. This means installing a firewall. The firewall is one hardware or software piece of the solution in a secure network.

What are Intrusion Attacks

Software Firewall

This installs directly onto your computer. This type of firewall program monitors your Internet connection and attempts to block unwanted external attacks. In this situation, your computer still has a direct connection to the Internet and the software attempts to control and protect the connection.

A software firewall can provide a false sense of security. Software firewall options are critical, and changing the configuration of the software (for example to allow a game to work) can create significant unintended security breaches.

Hardware Firewall

This is a physical piece of equipment that is placed between your computer and the connection on the Internet. The hardware firewall is the only piece of hardware that is directly connected to the Internet. Your computer requests information from the Internet through the firewall.

A well configured hardware firewall offers more protection than a software firewall as it is not usually susceptible to virus attacks. (A virus can disable or bypass the software firewall.) The hardware firewall centralizes all security policies in one location. This allows for effective enforcement of the firewall configuration in an office. Hardware firewalls still need updating of their firmware to be effective and should be part of a planned network administration solution.

Software or Hardware Firewall?

Software firewalls are typically only used on individual home computers. Hardware firewalls are often used is office environments to secure all computers in the office. Software and hardware firewalls can be used together, but great care must be taken to ensure proper setup and operation.

pc OfficePro can help you create an effective security plan to protect you valuable computer data.

Click here for more information on securing your network with a firewall.