What is the purpose of a software firewall?
A software firewall is a network security firewall that is deployed on a computer or server. It integrates with a range of other technology security solutions to give businesses of all sizes more robust and integrated security.
When you install a software firewall on a server, it acts as an umbrella of security for all other machines on the network. It can monitor both incoming and outgoing traffic for potential threats or questionable user behaviour, and it makes establishing security controls much simpler, faster, and more adaptable.
For a variety of reasons, this form of firewall is quickly becoming the preferred approach. The reduced initial cost and lack of constraints on the number of devices to be protected appeal to businesses. This form of firewall is especially important since, being a computer application, it takes up relatively little space and can be installed remotely on any number of devices. It differs significantly from its hardware counterpart, which has numerous distinct features of its own.
What is Hardware Firewall and How Does It Work?
A hardware firewall sits between the network and the devices, allowing traffic to pass through for closer examination and analysis. A hardware firewall, often known as a network or next-generation firewall, safeguards an organization’s network gateways.
A hardware firewall is a piece of physical hardware that sits between network elements and connected devices that filters traffic for cyber threats to the network or devices. One of the most significant advantages of a hardware firewall is the ability to filter out unauthorised or questionable users based on traffic analysis.
Enterprises that want a higher level of protection for all users and devices, as well as secure access to essential company data in any setting, frequently utilise hardware firewalls. Some firms take this method because they have highly competent IT people on staff to operate the firewall and hardware, and others select it because they need more granular control.
Software-based vs. hardware-based firewalls
It’s critical to be as informed as possible about the differences before making such a significant decision. Let’s look at some of the key distinctions between the two types of firewalls.
- Firewall software
- Firewall hardware
- Granular vs. Broad Protection
- Protects the network as a whole by providing granular protection for all individual devices.
- Simplicity vs. Complexity
-Setup, change, and maintenance are easier.
- Skilled personnel are required, as well as physical proximity to the data centre.
- Low-cost vs. high-cost
- It is inexpensive to deploy and maintain -High initial hardware expenditure and ongoing investment in qualified personnel.
- Inconvenient vs. Practical
The software firewall is tough to go through and has a minor impact on the user experience. Employees that want a faster, more reliable connection or access to certain restricted sites frequently breach the hardware firewall.
- Usability vs. Expertise
Anyone can administer a software firewall because it is simple to use. To setup and administer a hardware firewall, you’ll need sophisticated IT skills.
Software Firewall Advantages
If you’re not sure which firewall solution is best for your company, consider the advantages of a software firewall.
Lower Cost – Because a hardware firewall is a physical appliance, it is initially more expensive to install. Free trials and a cheap monthly price are common for software firewalls. With membership fees and expansion, prices will rise over time, so it’s critical to budget for both present and future needs.
Space Constraints – As a physical device, a hardware firewall takes up space and demands a temperature-controlled environment as well as a lot of power. Because a software firewall is just that, it has no physical footprint.
Software firewalls are often set up in a few clicks, however hardware firewalls require experienced employees to set up and maintain.
Professional and corporate licencing — using a high-quality software firewall offers you access to multi-user licences and allows you to integrate with a number of third-party security solutions.
Regular Updates – although maintaining a hardware firewall necessitates experienced specialists on the ground in your data centre, software firewall updates are done with a single click on all devices.
Software firewalls, unlike hardware firewalls, are meant to work with your existing security solutions, which means they can monitor inbound and outbound traffic for threats.
It can be designed to apply security policies flexibly or stringently, and it can readily pivot as security needs change. Another advantage of this form of firewall is the ability to restrict access to specific applications or programmes.
Software firewall is far easier to uninstall or upgrade because it’s put on devices like PCs or laptops, and it goes with the device wherever it goes, as opposed to forcing the device to connect through a hardware firewall that isn’t nearly as accessible outside the organisation.
Why do businesses require a software firewall?
Let’s look at some of the issues that businesses are trying to solve with software firewalls.
-Hackers or malicious external users could infiltrate your system.
-Access to unapproved or dangerous websites or programmes by users
-Ransomware and malware assaults
-Issues with bandwidth allocation
-Access to a virtual private network (VPN) is dangerous.
-Device access is unrestricted.
-A scarcity of network security automation and qualified IT personnel