5 Firewall Configuration Tips to Protect Your Network Perimeter
Firewall configuration has been a crucial part of cybersecurity for decades. In the event of an intrusion, the first step to securing your network perimeter is to implement a stateful firewall. A perimeter is a secure border that filters unauthorized access to your agency’s computers and information, and a well-configured firewall helps prevent many common attacks. Try these firewall configuration tips to protect your network perimeter.
Why Firewall Configuration Matters
Firewalls are a critical piece of any organization’s defense against cyber attacks. The goal is to prevent hackers and other malicious actors from gaining access to private network resources, but it’s all too easy to miss a configuration detail that leaves your network vulnerable.
A strong firewall can protect your whole network from becoming infected with viruses, trojans, worms, and botnets. A weak firewall can leave your network wide open to attack. It’s up to you to control who has access to your network and what goes in and out of your network.
Network Perimeter Firewall Configuration Tips
Consider using a network perimeter firewall as a first line of defense against both external and internal threats. There are so many specific technical specifications you need to establis that it can be easy to pass over some best practices. When configuring your network firewall, keep these tips in mind to stay safe and secure.
Set Specific Rules
Use rules that are specific to the traffic type, protocol, source and destination address(es) and port numbers in order to reduce false positives and negatives, such as legitimate traffic that should be allowed into or out of your network. This will also give you greater control over what traffic is allowed through your network perimeter firewall, which adds another layer of security.
Log Your Traffic for Secure Access
Logging of traffic passing through the firewall should be enabled. This will allow administrators to monitor what’s happening on the network at all times and identify potential problems if they occur. This is extra important in the event of denial-of-service attacks. Installing a VPN and/or using multifactor authentication can also help ensure secure access.
Keep Your Firewall Up To Date
One of the most important firewall configuration tips is to keep your firewall up to date. Security patches and software updates often contain fixes for vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the past. These vulnerabilities may have been used by attackers to gain access to your network and cause damage. Keeping your firewall up to date will help reduce your risk exposure by ensuring that you have all the latest patches installed on your devices.
Pick the Right Firewall for You
There are so many different types of firewalls out there, so making sure you pick the type that makes the most sense for your organization is crucial. Firewalls are available as hardware, software, or a combination of both.
Hardware firewalls are external physical devices. If a traffic request or a data packet from an outside source tries to enter your network, then a hardware firewall can keep it out—however, you can still be vulnerable to internal attacks. Hardware firewalls are ideal for organizations with multiple devices all on one network, since the device the hardware is on acts as a gatekeeper.
Software firewalls are installed on individual devices and must be managed individually. These allow you to maintain more control over what applications are blocked or permitted.
Create Secure Accounts for Users
Your network should only be accessed by people you trust. To help keep everyone safe, make sure you create user accounts for your team with varying degrees of administrative access, depending on who needs access to what. Keep track of everyone’s user accounts and only grant people access to areas they absolutely need.
Reminder: October Is Cybersecurity Month!
While cybersecurity is always an important part of business operations and legal practice, October is an especially important month for reviewing your security measures and making certain that your organization is well protected from cyber threats. Why? Because October is cybersecurity month! The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reports that, since 2004, the office of the President of the United States and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month and have made various resources available to organizations in all industries to help them increase their level of preparedness for different cyber threats.
So, be sure to take some time this month to review your network security and find ways to strengthen it against intrusion!
Need Help Configuring Your Network Security?
Configuring a firewall can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to tackle network security alone. At Converged Technology Group, our network security experts work around the clock so you can rest assured that your infrastructure is protected 24/7.
We integrate security into all of our solutions and build security frameworks that are tailored to your organization and the cybersecurity threats of today. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help bolster your security.