“Cyber Security is a Shared Responsibility, and it Boils down to this: in Cyber Security, the more Systems we Secure, the more Secure we are” - Jeh Johnson
What would be your best defense in the face of an attack? I am sure your answer will depend on the nature of the attack as well as your understanding of the most appropriate defensive strategy which will be able to tackle the same.
The same idea applies to the domain of Cyber Security. Given the expansive nature of the field, Cyber Attacks and Threats can be of diverse types.
This means that it is important to have defensive mechanisms which will be suited to different forms of threatening situations. This is where the issue of Firewall vs. Antivirus becomes significant.
Even though both the instruments help in ensuring security; they help in addressing this issue through different means. Thus, the difference between Antivirus and Firewall is very much a real one and needs to be carefully looked at.
There are many different ways of tackling Cyber Attacks. Conducting Penetration Testing in order to detect possible flaws and vulnerabilities in the system is one of them.
If you wish to read more on the issue of Ethical Hacking, do read our blog on “Learn Ethical Hacking from Scratch: Know How”
In this blog, we shall try to look at the difference between Firewall and Antivirus, by understanding the fundamental idea behind each of the concept. Moreover, in order to make things simpler, we shall try to address the issue of Antivirus vs. Firewall, through a synoptic comparison table.
What is Firewall?
A firewall operates as an obstacle between the Internet and a LAN (internal network and incoming traffic from external sources).
It operates on the boundaries of a network, supervising network traffic and thereby blocking malicious traffic in the form of malware, viruses, worms and so on.
A firewall particularly examines incoming data packets to decide whether they should be allowed through or not.
Firewalls serve as a comprehensive form of Cyber protection, which can cover a network of computer systems along with the whole infrastructure and configuration by erecting a barrier against possible attacks.
There are three common types of firewalls:
- Proxy Firewalls/Application Gateway: Network traffic is filtered at the Application level
- Packet-filtering Firewalls/Screening Router: Packets are analyzed and are permitted to pass through a firewall only when they match an established security rule-set. This involves a packet filter mechanism.
- Stateful Multilayer Inspection (SMLI) Firewall: Packets are filtered at the Transport, Application and Network layers. Comparison is made with known trusted packets
Functions of Firewall
- Ensuring the Passage of Network Traffic from the Outside to the Inside and vice-versa through the Firewall
- Performs the task of Packet Filtering
- Detecting and Blocking attempts for Unauthorized Access
- Firewall protects against external and internal threats
- Safeguards and Prevents the Modification of Crucial Data
Advantages of Firewall
- Data Protection
- Keeps Hackers at Bay
- Firewall protects from both external threats and some internal threats.
- Hardware firewalls and software firewalls are available.