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Firewalls are a fundamental part of any business network’s security infrastructure. They protect the network from hackers, malware, and other cybercrimes that could result in data breaches, theft, fraud, and identity theft.

A firewall monitors all packets entering and leaving a network. It examines the source address, destination port, protocol and type of data to determine whether a packet is permitted or denied.

The firewall uses a set of pre-configured rules to distinguish between benign and malicious packets. A simple analogy: If a castle is guarded, only people with permission can enter it (source address), while guests and servants may only access specific rooms in the castle (destination ports).

There are different types of firewalls based on how they are deployed. They can be hardware appliances that plug into a company’s network infrastructure or software programs that run on a computer’s operating system.

Several companies use multiple firewalls manufactured by various manufacturers to provide additional layers of security. However, because each firewall is designed differently, it is vital to manage them centrally in order to ensure that all of them are functioning properly.

A multi-vendor firewall must be managed through a centralized management tool to ensure that all of the company’s firewall policies are properly implemented and rules are enforced in an effective manner. The tool can also perform security auditing and reporting, troubleshoot configuration issues, and support firewall migration.

The firewall rule base must be cleaned up and optimized to make it more effective. This includes discarding unnecessary shadowed rules that can be a distraction and slow down the firewall’s performance.