What does a firewall do in the context of computer security?

A) Blocks unauthorized access

B) Enhances network speed

C) Monitors system temperature

D) Displays pop-up ads

Show Answer

A) Blocks unauthorized access

In the context of computer security, a firewall is a network security device or software that serves as a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external networks, such as the internet. Its primary function is to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic, based on an organization’s previously established security policies.

Firewalls perform several important functions:

  1. Packet Filtering: Firewalls inspect data packets as they travel across a network. They can allow or block packets based on predefined rules, such as source and destination IP addresses, port numbers, and protocol types.
  2. Stateful Inspection: Stateful firewalls keep track of the state of active connections, allowing them to make more informed decisions about permitting or denying traffic based on the context of the communication.
  3. Proxy Services: Some firewalls can act as intermediaries for network connections. They receive requests from clients and make requests on behalf of those clients, hiding the internal network’s structure and IP addresses.
  4. Application Layer Filtering: Next-generation firewalls can inspect data at the application layer, which allows them to understand and control traffic based on the application or service being used. This provides more granular control and security.
  5. Intrusion Detection and Prevention: Many modern firewalls include intrusion detection and prevention features, which can identify and respond to potential security threats.
  6. Logging and Reporting: Firewalls maintain logs of network traffic, which can be useful for auditing and analyzing security events. They often provide reporting capabilities for security administrators to monitor network activity.

Firewalls play a crucial role in protecting networks from unauthorized access, cyberattacks, and other security threats. They act as the first line of defense, helping to ensure that only legitimate and safe traffic can enter or exit a network, while blocking or alerting on potentially harmful traffic.

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