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Firewalls provide a key security layer to prevent cyber attacks, protect sensitive data, and ensure privacy and secure access. They are inserted inline at the junction points where network devices like routers and switches connect to the outside world. Firewalls inspect incoming and outgoing network traffic for malicious activity using a set of preconfigured rules.

Firewall technology is evolving to keep pace with ever-evolving cybersecurity threats. The latest firewalls use multiple filtering methods and other advanced technologies to detect and block attacks.

The most effective firewalls are those that can detect and stop unauthorized access attempts at all stages of the attack chain. This means they not only inspect and filter incoming and outgoing data packets, but also monitor established connections for signs of unauthorized activity.

In addition, they should have a strong user permission control that limits who can change the firewall configuration. This way, any unwarranted changes made by an unauthorized administrator can be detected and reversed. Firewall software updates should be performed regularly to address any new potential vulnerabilities.

Firewalls can also be used to block incoming and outgoing internet traffic for specific services such as remote working or online games. This is called service access policy and should be drafted carefully to balance the needs of security against those of users’ legitimate work, play, and privacy.