Why You Need to Know About Firewalls if You Work in IT

Two people training for IT careers


If you’ve ever worked in an office, you know it can sometimes be difficult to access company files or systems when you’re outside of the building. It may be a nuisance when you forget how to get past the firewalls meant to protect against unauthorized access. But all companies have files they need to keep secure. As an IT technician, you’d be the gatekeeper for a lot of data and you’d need to know all about firewalls.


A firewall is a security measure that helps protect networks from malicious software or unauthorized intruders. It acts as the first line of defense within any secure network, a filter for both incoming and outgoing traffic. If you have ever thought about a career in IT, here are some things you should know about firewalls.


Different Types

Not all firewalls are alike. They can—and should—be tailored to a company’s individual needs. Each one has set criteria on what it allows in and what it keeps out. Packet Filtering firewalls analyze data before they come into a network, checking them against a specific rule book, before the decision is made whether to block or allow. Circuit Level Gateways, on the other hand, take a closer look at where the information originates and whether or not the source can be trusted. Stateful Inspection firewalls combine both packet filtering and circuit level. While this increases security, it does cost some network functionality. And Proxies look at where the data intend to go, as well as some of their defining characteristics. This firewall analyzes a great deal of data so it can seriously slow down network speed.


What They Do

Not every company has access to highly classified information, but every company has data and their own reasons to keep it secure. Firewalls protect internal network data from outside intruders and hackers who try to access information. Especially in a large company, a breach in software could be catastrophic. Imagine if every computer at the Pentagon was hacked. In IT, everyone needs to be a data defender in some way. If a firewall breaks, it becomes priority number one, no matter if it’s there to protect next year’s product launch or a country’s launch codes.


What You’ll Do

As an IT Technician, knowing about firewalls will be a main part of your job. To keep such a complex and important system online requires continuous care and upkeep. Firewalls ensure computers are up-to-date and able to withstand a cyber-attack, but only if they’re working properly.


Firewalls may be complex at their core, but as a well-trained IT technician, you’d understand their importance and know how to work with them to the benefit of an organization. Being in the know about firewalls could make you a valuable employee. Want to learn more? The Information Technology programs at Career Quest Learning Centers can provide you with the training you need to pursue a career in IT. Give us a call in Jackson at 877-365-8144 or Lansing at 877-481- 4930 to find out how.


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