A firewall is a security system that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. As network traffic passes through the firewall, the firewall decides which traffic to send through based on rules that you designate in order to provide extra protection throughout your network environment.
Firewalls have evolved overtime in the 80’s and 90’s and have become efficient, pliable tools they are today.
In 1988 the Morris worm which hit NASA and several other universities, evoked the first firewalls. The Morris worm, or internet worm was one of the first computer worms via internet. This resulted in the first felony under the Computer Fraud and Abuse act of 1986.
When it comes to protecting data, small organization firewalls are available as either software or hardware, and may often consist of both. Hardware firewalls tend to be more expensive. Hardware is typically better for large organizations who have trained IT to monitor. They can protect every machine on a local network. Hardware firewalls provide a protected barrier which hides your business internal PCs from the outside. Hardware uses a technique to examine the header of the packet to determine its source and based on the rules set in place, either drops the packet or forwards it on.
Software firewalls are geared more for smaller businesses and is installed on your computer and you are typically able to customize your protection features on a per machine basis.
Firewall solutions for small business offer many benefits. There is no limit of configurations that are possible with firewalls. You are able to deploy new business applications safely as well as block unauthorized access to application.