What are they and what do they do?
Continuing our discussion of security within the cloud, a common hesitation we are met with is the “firewall excuse.” Here’s what we tend to hear: “Well, our data is currently protected by a firewall.” But, the thing is, it’s not a “real” firewall. In reality, it should be called it a virtual firewall. Just as a private network is typically referred to as a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. This virtual firewall in your network is really just an appliance.
Firewall’s act as a gatekeeper. They are designed to allow or deny network transmissions, protecting networks from unauthorized access. The firewall pictured is one from Barracuda networks. As mentioned in a previous post, Barracuda networks was hacked. This is the firewall many firms rely on to keep out internet attacks.
That’s not to say firewalls are unnecessary. They are a vital security component. However, a firewall appliance like the one pictured cannot compare to the security systems that protect the data centers where cloud-based applications are hosted.
Amazon Web Services for one, has dedicated security professionals who provide a complete firewall solution. Taking advantage of their military-grade security, we configure our systems so that only inbound traffic that has been explicitly permitted access may log into our services. Our co-located data centers provides a complete, impenetrable firewall solution. This mandatory inbound firewall is configured in a default deny mode and Nextpoint must explicitly open any ports to allow inbound traffic.