Your internet connection is always on the verge of a security breach. Firewalls are considered the most powerful tool that acts as the first line of defense against malicious attacks hitting your servers. It is a tool used by internet users to block all kinds of access of uninvited guests from entering their network. Though the entire process of Secure Firewall configuration may sound daunting to you, it is the most critical step to ensure complete safety from the vulnerabilities of the internet.
There are several commercial firewall models that can offer overall protection against vulnerabilities to your systems. This article is put together because you are using a business-grade firewall to help organizations protect their systems or remote workers from unwarranted threats on the internet. This guide will state the most secure ways to configure a firewall on your computer. Let us find out:
What is Firewall?
A firewall refers to a device that can be either hardware or software used to monitor and control all the incoming and outgoing traffic over a network. The device contains a specific kind of predetermined set of rules as a basis to allow, block, or reject the access of users entering the network. The overall goal is to protect the network from internal and external threats.
5 Simple Steps to Configure Firewall Securely
#1 Upgrade Your Firewall Security
One of the biggest reasons you need firewall security is to prevent your network from unauthorized access. Once an attacker enters your network, all your data gets compromised. Most users make this grave mistake by putting their Secure Firewall into action without ensuring complete security. Thus, you may understand how important it is to upgrade your firewall’s security before configuring it. Here are a set of different actions that need to be performed to ensure proper safety:
- Constantly update the firewall to the latest firmware for better protection.
- Make sure to delete, disable, or rename any default user accounts. Change all the passwords to set only solid and complex passwords.
- Limit the number of administrators accessing the firewalls and never using shared user accounts. In the case of multiple administrators, create additional administrator accounts and limit the access based on their responsibilities.
- Disable simple network management protocol (SNMP) to ensure robust firewall security.
#2 Create Your Firewall Zones
Identifying the most critical data of your network and grouping them is one of the most crucial steps for ensuring security on your firewalls. You need to plan out your network structure efficiently so that your most valuable network assets can be grouped in different zones depending on their sensitivity level.
Creating more firewalls in your network ensures a higher security level. However, you need also to understand that creating a large number of zones requires additional time and resources for carefully managing them. So that depends entirely on you about the number of zones you want to create. Also, it is necessary to establish associated IP Addresses to assign zones to firewall interfaces and sub-interfaces effectively.
#3 Organize Access Control List
Another critical step to configuring firewalls securely is organizing an access control list after creating your firewall zones and applying them to each interface. An ACL is a list prepared by the organization’s administrators to determine precisely what traffic can move in and out of each network zone.
Also, it contains a predefined set of rules and regulations for firewalls to determine which actions need to be taken against any unauthorized traffic accessing your networks. The Access Control Lists (ACLs) must contain actual source, destination port numbers, and IP Addresses to allow the firewalls to act accordingly. Also, it must include a “Deny All” rule to allow an easy filter process for organizations.
Another most crucial piece of advice we can provide is to permanently disable your firewall administration interface from any kind of public access. It offers excellent protection against outsider threats entering your network.
#4 Enable Other Firewall Services and Logging
Another essential step to configuring firewall security is to enable all the other firewall services, such as Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), Network Time Protocol (NTP), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, if it is capable of acting as a dynamic server. Also, it is crucial to turn off any other services that are not in use for better utilization of resources.
#5 Verify your Firewall Configuration
The last test to ensure firewall security is to test whether your firewall is working as intended after complete configuration. The user or administrator must verify that it blocks all the incoming and outgoing traffic that needs to be blocked as per the configuration. It is critical to test that your firewall testing must contain vulnerability and penetration testing.
Once the testing stage completes, it is time to make your firewall ready for production. Keeping a backup of the entire firewall configuration is always recommended so your hard work doesn’t get wasted on any hardware failure.
Does the Firewall Configuration Process End Here?
The firewall configuration step does not end here only. As soon as your firewall passes the testing stage and is ready for production, the management process begins. Secure Firewall management is more complex than the configuration stage. In this process, you must ensure continuous monitoring of logs, proper updates of firmware, regular vulnerability scans, and the firewalls rules must be updated and reviewed at least once every six months.
As you read and analyzed the entire blog, we hope all your doubts related to firewall security must have been resolved. We have provided you with a complete blog related to a secure firewall configuration to ensure better network security. Firewall security acts powerfully against all the vulnerable traffic entering the networks. With a solid firewall configuration process, you can easily filter and block all the unauthorized incoming and outgoing traffic to the network. For more tutorials related to firewall security, you can keep reading our blogs on Webstealer.