Monday, 30 March 2015

Tips to Strengthen the Security of Your Firewall

Most businesses have an online presence today and also interact with different data centers and other data warehouses to exchange relevant information. Not all these sources however are trustworthy and interaction with a dubious entity can pose threat to the security of the entire system. To negate such risks it is imperative that businesses get a firewall installed which acts as a barrier between a trusted secure network that is the internal system and the external system, generally the Internet. Network firewalls exist in the form of softwares as well as hardwares and control the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on specific rule sets. These systems evaluate the different data pouches that travel within the system. Only sets which confirm to the established sets are allowed entry.

Firewalls for years have been used by organizations as first line of defense against malicious softwares and bugs. Hackers however have found new ways over the years to slip past these security measures. Such a scenario can prove to be disastrous for the business and can also put the security of critical data at stake. To tackle such issues it is advisable that organizations work on ways to strengthen the security of their firewall. Some ways in which this can be done are:

•    Most users protect their accounts with passwords which is an effective way of thwarting data theft attempts. That being said hackers today have access to advanced softwares which can scan dictionaries to arrive at different password combinations (one of which can match the one used by the user). To take care of such problems it is advisable that users use a lengthy password which should be a combination of fake words (which cannot be found in the dictionary. Also the password should be changed at regular intervals.

•    Many businesses grant their partner’s access to internal resources. This can expose the system to the risk of external attacks as they do not have any control on the security measures adopted by the partner. Such businesses should create a small network between their private network and the partner’s network. Often known as DMZ or demilitarized zones these neutral zones restrict third parties from gaining access to the company’s server.

•     It is difficult for a big business to secure all its systems given the fact that most organizations use multiple servers and systems. For such businesses it is advisable that they first and foremost make attempts to secure their most strategic web servers for example the server tracking the sales leads. 

Apart from following these steps businesses should always strive towards creating an intelligent security policy which can tweak the security settings according to the changes in the business practices as and when they happen.

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