Do you own a small to medium-size business (SMB)? Did you know that 60 percent of SMBs hit by cyberattacks or breaches close in six months? Do you have a network security system in place protecting you from malicious attacks? A business firewall is key to protect your business. Keep reading to learn about different firewall solutions.

What Is the Purpose of a Firewall?

Firewalls include both hardware and software to stop unauthorized access. They block malicious traffic from entering your computers or network.

Software firewall applications reside on each computer. Hardware firewalls create physical barriers between internet gateways and your network. These tools monitor, control, and filter traffic coming and going from your network.

Business Firewall Options

Did you know that SMBs are the hacker’s favorite targets? A small business firewall can provide protection.

Even small businesses have financial records and sensitive personal information. Setting up a secure firewall is a vital task. The following gives a brief overview of different firewall options.


Stateless firewalls describe the most basic type. This system uses access control lists (ACL) to compare network traffic to set rules. Based on the incoming traffic’s source and destination, it decides to “allow” or deny server access.


Stateful firewalls use the same packet filtering with more complex rules. These firewalls use a one-way rule that allows or blocks traffic moving to and from the server.

Once an active inbound traffic session begins, the firewall tracks its flow. It creates a session table showing the source and destination IP addresses and ports.

The server’s responses to the user must return through the firewall and be verified or it’s blocked. This prevents bad players from accessing unauthorized parts of the network. Today most firewalls are stateful, though some use a hybrid version with both types.

Application-Level or Proxy Gateway

Application-level gateway (ALG) firewalls use proxy servers that stand between clients and servers. The firewall authenticates the client before moving requests to the proxy server. Access depends on if security policies are met.

From here, the proxy server manages all data exchanges. ALGs follow decision rules to block or allow traffic based on established features. For example, it looks at header fields, keywords, size, and more.

This system hides the originating client from the remote server. The proxy server has extra security since it’s more exposed than the host site.

The ALG also places severe restrictions on access to memory drives to reduce threats. This feature protects against Trojans, malicious macros or executables files, viruses, and worms.

Circuit Gateway

The circuit-level gateway (CLG) firewall provides two types of secure connections. These include User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Both connections work between an Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) network.

CLGs watch the TCP data packet handshake. Then they track the firewall rules during session fulfillment. CLG’s create a virtual circuit between the proxy servers and internal users.

Media Access Control (MAC) Layer

The MAC layer functions as a sublayer of the Data Link Layer (DLL). MACs control the passing of data packets to and from the network interface card. They also manage traffic to and from other shared remote channels.

Do You Need Help with Small Business Security?

Installing a business firewall provides protection against hackers. The Inceptionnet team ensures productivity by keeping your network running smoothly. Our team offers clear communication, ironclad security, and urgent disaster relief.

Contact us today so we can get started protecting your business.