31 Jul, 2017

Firewalls Protect as the Internet Evolves


As the internet evolves, security tools are forced to adapt.

A firewall is one of the most important security components that have evolved over time.

If you’re a CISO, or business professional, you know how important firewalls are when it comes to protecting networks and securing data.

A firewall is a network security device that helps secure servers by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic, as well as dictating what traffic should be blocked or allowed, in order to create secure web environments.

“Firewalls have been a first line of defense in network security for over 25 years. They establish a barrier between secured and controlled internal networks that can be trusted and untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet.” According to Cisco.

Tracking the way firewalls have evolved allows business professionals to be prepared for the innovative direction security is heading in.

“These appliances were not only forced to adapt to ever-increasing performance requirements but as attacks became more sophisticated they had to adopt additional security and non-security functionality,” CSO reports. 

Packet Fillers

Packet filters were first introduced in order to inspect information between computers and the internet in order to secure:

  • Gate way servers – Enables us to send data back and forth
  • External networks – A network that includes all IP addresses, represents the internet

The 4 main components of the packet filter that are checked against the firewalls rule set are the source and destination address, protocol, and destination port number. 

Any packets that don’t meet the criteria are dropped and not forwarded to their destination.

The OSI (open systems interconnection) makes this possible, giving a reference model for how communication should occur over a network.

As Threats Increased, So Did the Firewall

Attacks on web servers became more prevalent, which meant firewalls had to be capable of protecting not just the servers, but the applications running on them.

Application firewall technology then arrived on the security scene and is still being used today.

With this technology, you are able to have more freedom, like blocking malware or specific threatening websites.

“Application firewalls apply their filtering rules per process (i.e., to allow or block) instead of filtering connections by port.

They understand all browser-based protocols like FTP, DNS and HTTP. By restricting unauthorized processes, these firewalls prevent the spread of malicious computer virusesworms and trojans that may attempt to install or hijack the application, hardware or network.” 

This structure is implemented in the IT environment across a variety of devices, especially software based networks.

Stateful Firewalls Introduced

Shortly after packet filters were integrated into IT structures, stateful firewalls were made known.

They were created to monitor and store the session and connection state.

Since the internet was expanding, businesses had to adapt their structures in order to provide users with internet services in a secure way as well as protect secure data from employees and other companies.

Stateful firewalls were the answer to their problems.

“Decisions as to whether to allow traffic or filter it out based on session connections were at the core of the security that stateful firewalls provided.” Juniper  reported.

Stateful firewalls essentially made filtering easier.

What Challenges Do Firewalls Face?

Firewalls are constantly trying to keep up with the advancements of the internet, forced to meet increased data and performance requirements.

Protecting networks is not an easy job, and with digital transformation on the rise, it will only get harder, hitting blocks on the road

The Future of Firewalls

The firewall will continue to develop as long as the internet is evolving and moving toward digital transformations such as hybrid cloud and multi system environments.

The digital economy is forced to create and integrate new innovative tools in order to protect servers and assist businesses in remaining secure.

“The future firewall needs to discern between legitimate and illegitimate traffic automatically to identify and plug never-before-seen threats on the fly.” Informationweek reports. 

The internet is moving, and it is moving fast.

This means that tools surrounding the internet need to move just as quick, in order to be effective and relevant.


The 4th edition of our Transformational CISO Assembly is open for application. Taking place this year on November 16-17, 2017.

The Millennium Alliance launched the Transformational CISO Assembly to answer a growing digital need.

The world is driven by data, and businesses have realized that securing networks is crucial for success and survival. Devices, network, and especially data are at risk as the IT world constantly changes. Fortune 500 organizations have vulnerable data at stake, relying on the internet to secure important information.

Using the firewall is just one tool among many that businesses have started to use in order to protect networks and data. Understanding how firewall protects businesses is crucial for business professionals to understand, in order to properly secure valuable information. CISOs need innovative and important information in order to stay above the digital wave. Planning for worst-case scenarios and staying ahead of the IT Security transformation technology is imperative.

Transformational CISO Assembly was put together to put like-minded individuals together in order to share knowledge, innovative ideas in order to learn and grow in the industry.

This is not just another “IT Security” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Apply for Millennium Membership today.

Our agendas and attendee lists are for Millennium Members only. Apply today for access! Already a Millennium Member? Simply click the link and enter your password when requested.

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