December 2, 2019

What is Virtual Firewall and How does it Function?

What about virtual firewall?

We all know the conventional network firewall to inspect packets to monitor and control inbound and outbound network traffic, which is based on defined security policy guidelines. A virtual firewall also has the same function; it provides network traffic filters for virtual machines (VMs) in virtualized environments when used as a software appliance. The biggest benefit of using digital firewalls is that they can be easily moved from the network to the cloud and are therefore very inexpensive. It is also easy to maintain and easy to upgrade. These factors make virtual firewalls the perfect choice for small businesses.

How it works…

A digital firewall works in conjunction with switches and servers in a way that prevents unwanted network access or data exfiltration. In two modes, virtual firewalls work. The first is the bridge mode, where all input and output traffic on a virtual machine is monitored and diagnosed. The second mode, hypervisor mode, is used to separate the digital firewall from the physical network. It manages the incoming and outgoing traffic in the core hypervisor kernel.

The advantages of a virtual firewall

Organizations use web-based digital firewalls to secure their cloud infrastructure and services. Any company can run virtual firewalls on virtual servers and use them to secure the traffic associated with cloud applications. By using a cloud-based virtual firewall, the following network security benefits in the cloud are guaranteed:

  • It secures all data as the traditional hardware-based firewall.
  • A virtual firewall secures the physical data center through cloud extension and connectivity securing between the cloud and local infrastructure of the organization.
  • Secures digital data centers through traffic management, tracking and sorting.
  • Protects virtualized applications and assets.
  • Virtual firewalls help maintain the integrity and confidentiality of applications and data stored in or transmitted through them with policy-based filtering tools and access control providers.
  • A notable advantage of using virtual firewalls is that they secure remote access in all respects with advanced access policies and connection management provided to the clients of an enterprise.
  • In remote branches and offices of an enterprise, when improvements to network security specifications are made, digital firewalls respond promptly to changes and ensure robust security.

 Physical Firewalls versus Virtual firewalls

The firewalls or hardware firewalls are located at the edge of the networks or between environment or in a security device or as part of the routing unit. They serve to link the public internet via dedicated network interfaces to the internal network. Because they exist between the public Internet and the server, the actual firewalls can not be circumvented by traffic. Any type of exchange of data between the internal network and any server, host, or device in the public network must take place via the network interfaces, and thus via the physical firewall, ensuring that communication is secure by reducing threats. Physical firewalls can handle heavier traffic loads, as hardware devices, and reaction times are also very quick. As an isolated network element that does not affect the performance of other applications in any way, it is easy to manage a physical firewall. If you have to shut down, move or reconfigure the physical firewall, you can do so without having an impact on the network performance or connectivity. Hardware-based firewalls often need IT departments or network support personnel to install, maintain and assist.

The virtual firewalls that are software applications in virtual environments are used to monitor, manage and filter traffic using virtual switches and machines. A hypervisor manages the virtualized environment and virtual switches connect systems and applications. Essentially, digital firewalls are cheaper than physical ones. While it is easy to set up a virtual firewall on a separate server, the management of too many may be a problem. Virtual firewalls can be centrally managed and administered.

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