Another method that an organization should use to increase security on its network is a firewall. A firewall can exist as hardware or software (or both). A hardware firewall is a device that is connected to the network and filters the packets based on a set of rules. A software firewall runs on the operating system and intercepts packets as they arrive to a computer. A firewall protects all company servers and computers by stopping packets from outside the organization’s network that do not meet a strict set of criteria. A firewall may also be configured to restrict the flow of packets leaving the organization. This may be done to eliminate the possibility of employees watching YouTube videos or using Facebook from a company computer.
Some organizations may choose to implement multiple firewalls as part of their network security configuration, creating one or more sections of their network that are partially secured. This segment of the network is referred to as a DMZ, borrowing the term demilitarized zone from the military, and it is where an organization may place resources that need broader access but still need to be secured.