Why Do I Need A Firewall?

According to Noonan and Dubrawsky one of the main reasons to install a firewall, whether it is on a home network or a LAN is to protect the resources held on your network.

Resources could include: -

Confidential data

This may be personal data belonging to an individual; for example, names , addresses, date of birth and bank account details. This is data that could be used for malicious or illegal purposes such as fraud or identity theft.

Organisational secrets, marketing strategies, trade secrets, customer lists could also be extremely useful to a competitor if obtained through an unfriendly invader.

Lost data

Data may be lost by malicious intruders breaking into a network and deleting important files. Back up may be available but this needs restoring, resulting in time wastage.

Lost time

Every attack on a network or even on a home pc results in costly time correcting the problems, finding and restoring lost data and repairing any damage.

Komar (2003) also considers reputation and minimal "downtime" as valuable resources.

Other uses for a firewall may include:

  • access authentication
  • acting as an intermediary
  • recording and reporting events

Types of firewalls

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