Firewalls and the Importance of VPNs to Create a Safe Workspace
Posted October 08, 2021
Written by John Shea III, Xpanxion Technical Writer
Firewalls block unauthorized access to your networks and VPNs help networks interact, especially from remote locations. Later on, we’ll provide some ways to keep you and your devices cyber-safe.
Firewall: A part of a computer system or network which is designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication. It provides protection for a network or system from unauthorized access by an outside person. Firewalls can protect business data, such as employee records or financial information, and prevent these from being obtained and used by a third-party. It can be a hardware device or software to protect the computer from malware, viruses, trojan horses, etc. These are hidden pieces of code that replicate in your computer, phone, or tablet, and cause damage or transfer information to those third parties.
Data exchanges between your computer/communication device, servers, and routers in cyberspace. Firewalls monitor this exchange of data to check whether it is safe or not.
Firewall used to refer to a wall between adjacent buildings. Later, it referred to something similar like a metal sheet between the engine of a car from the passenger area. In computers, routers were once the in-betweens but as networks got more sophisticated, something else was needed, say something that could protect a Local Area Network (LAN) from data crossing from a Wide Area Network (WAN).
A network firewall is a system or group of systems used to control access between two networks, a trusted network and an untrusted network, for example, your company’s private network and the public network (like the Internet), using preconfigured rules or filters.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates an encrypted connection (sometimes called a tunnel) between your device and a server controlled by the VPN company. (Xpanxion can help secure your business with our own VPN services.) The connection then passes all network actions through that protective tunnel. Anybody who watches over your network including the owner of the network should not see what information you are passing through. Using a VPN is a matter of trust. The pros are it’s easy, encrypted, and fast; the con is if you use a third-party provider, you must trust them not to log your data and pass it along to others.
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