When it comes to your servers, one of the most important things you need to enforce is their security. You never know when you will become a target of a cyberattack, so you need to completely understand the importance of protecting them and grasp the gravity of what can happen when you do not.
There are plenty of ways to up the protection of your servers, and the use of firewalls is one of them. With firewalls serving as a barricade against threats made towards your machine, there is simply no reason to put them down, or in layman’s term, turn them off.
Firewall: A Quick Overview
Firewalls typically come either as host- or network-based. These systems are made up of scripts and protocols designed to monitor, track, scan, and secure networks from a variety of threats, such as dangerous traffic or malicious content. At its core, a firewall serves as a barrier for a network or a server, either allowing traffic or blocking it based on a pre-set criteria known as “rules.”
You can either install a firewall on separate servers or use it as singular hardware. The latter is referred to more commonly as “perimeter firewall.”
How these Protective Technologies Work
The transmission of web traffic happens when data packets travelling from one source IP reaches their final destination known as “destination IP.” A firewall-protected destination IP does not immediately allow these data packets entry. The firewall will first check them out, verifying whether or not they can enter the destination. The machine will then read the pre-set criteria for the source and the destination IP, as well as the data packets.
When the packets meet all the rules, they will be allowed entry or get “accepted” into the network. Those that do not abide by these criteria will get “dropped” from the network.
A cPanel-based Example
To help you better understand how firewalls work, let us use a cPanel example.
For instance, cPanel technical support specialists, in order to resolve user concerns, need to send information from one network to another. In some cases, this involves completely accessing the server of a client.
Access to a network depends on the level of access allowed. However, one with enough access can take over a server using a remote machine. This makes it easy for cPanel tech support to resolve issues, but malicious individuals can also use it to launch attacks.
Every time a firewall-protected network allows data packets from cPanel’s source IP entry, the staff can get into the server, or at the least, some access to it, in spite of the barrier. Users from the other party (the client’s network) can also use the same access to control some aspects of the source (cPanel’s network).
Primary Reasons to Use Firewalls
As you can see, firewalls can make a huge difference in securing and protecting websites, accounts, and other web-based or offline assets. You can use it to block various IP addresses (either individual or sets of), allow only authorized computers within a private network to gain access to the internet, limit access of internal users to the internet, and most importantly, keep machines safe from denial of service attacks (DDoS).