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The 3 Types of Firewalls: What Is the Most Secure Type of Firewall?

We’ll chat more in detail further along here, but right away, we want to tell you what the three types of firewalls are:

  1. Network-based firewall
  2. Application firewall
  3. Proxy server

Cybersecurity is partly determined by having the most secure type of firewall in place. What is the most secure type of firewall? We’ll answer that question shortly. First, here are more details regarding the three types of firewalls.

 

The 3 Types of Firewalls You Need to Know

Firewalls serve as a security system that monitors and controls network traffic (based on predetermined security rules). This extra layer of security will monitor packets and protect network connections based on analysis.

Historically, firewalls were manually controlled. These days, firewalls are smart. They automatically and expertly log, inspect, and restrict or block network traffic (if needed) that’s coming and going. 

The three types of firewalls each fulfill a purpose. 

  1. Network-Based Firewall

    A network-based firewall routes traffic between networks. TCP/IP protocol stack packets are passed through depending on network rules that are either set by default or by an administrator.

    There are two types of network-based firewalls:
    • Stateless Packet Filtering Firewalls: These firewalls are used when there are no packet sessions. They require manual parameter inputs, and they don’t have any learning capabilities. They also don’t have packet inspection, source logging, or validation capabilities. Therefore, security threats that don’t originate from malicious IP addresses may get through. Additionally, more advanced packet sessions cannot pass through a stateless firewall. 

    • Stateful Inspection Firewalls: These firewalls use active sessions and tables for speed packet processing. If the packet is foreign to the table, it’s evaluated according to new connection rules. Stateful firewalls have a couple of issues—they are process-intensive and can bottleneck traffic. Because of this, DDOS and MITM attacks are possible.

  2. Application Firewall

    An application firewall (also called an application layer firewall) works with the TCP/IP stack to filter and intercept all traffic packets to/from apps. It goes further than that, however. This firewall also controls the execution of files and code to a network or server by specific applications. This means that should an intruder gain entry, they can’t execute malicious code.


    There are three types of application firewalls:
    • Passive App Firewalls: These firewalls inspect all incoming traffic against known vulnerabilities but don’t deny traffic even if a potential attack is found.

    • Active App Firewalls: These firewalls inspect all incoming traffic against known vulnerabilities. Only the traffic found to be “clean” will pass to the application.

    • Web App Firewalls: These WAFs filter, monitor, and block traffic specifically to/from web applications.

  3. Proxy Server

    A proxy server is protocol-aware and acts as an entry point between networks, responds to input packets, and blocks other packets. It caches, filters, logs, and controls traffic from devices to keep networks secure. Its single entry point allows organizations to assess threats, implement attack and error detection, and perform validity checks.

The Most Secure Type of Firewall

Proxy servers are the most secure type of firewall, as they filter packets through a protected proxy server. This is done before traffic even reaches the network perimeter.  

The above-and-beyond security capabilities of proxy servers include:

    • Deep packet inspection, which searches for:

      • Signatures of malware

      • Outgoing sensitive data

      • Restricted content 

    • Sandboxing, which benefits your network by allowing threats to “play out” in an isolated environment.

    • Traffic validation, which uses administrative tools to validate traffic from recognized sources.

The Reality of Cyber Threats

Old network firewalls aren’t enough protection for today’s security demands. Here are a few startling statistics that should push you to think more carefully about your data:

 

While these instances happened to large companies, don’t mistakenly assume that small- to mid-sized companies aren’t worth a hacker’s time. Forbes reported that “small businesses are more frequent targets of cyberattacks than larger companies.” How much more are we talking about? Forbes says businesses with fewer “than 100 employees will experience 350% more social engineering attacks.” 

The SBA offers this reason: “Small businesses are attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals want, and they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses.”  

The negative results stemming from these breaches are massive. We’re talking about deep financial losses (lost business, lost time, regulatory penalties, etc.) and a sunken brand reputation.

 

The Palo Alto Firewall

For a next-generation firewall, Palo Alto is the answer to your organization's needs. Using highly optimized hardware and software architecture, the Palo Alto firewall gives deep visibility and broad control over users, content, and apps behind the firewall.

Palo Alto is considered a pioneer and leader in its space because of the way the brand constantly innovates to provide top security. One unique way Palo Alto does this is by processing each packet with the Single Pass Parallel Processing (SP3) engine. This saves valuable processing power and allows for strong malware analysis solutions for advanced protection from unknown threats.

If you’re the type of IT professional looking for the best of the best, you’ve found it.

 

Protect Your Network and Keep Your Data Safe

Castra knows the number one problem in information security is a lack of resources. Fortunately for you, our combination of unprecedented tech capabilities and experts in the industry solves your lack-of-resource problem. 

But there’s another reason to choose Castra—our glass box approach. Our competitors take a mystery box approach to protecting your data, where they don’t allow you access to the why, when, and how of what they’re doing. 

Castra believes this is unfair to clients, so we give you full access to all your account data even if you leave our service. You’ll always know what technology we’re using to protect you, when we use it, and why.

Protect your network and keep your data!