These days, almost all of us are connected to the internet in some way or another. From checking emails on our phones, updating our social media profiles and shopping online, to catching up with the news and watching the latest episode of our new favourite series on the commute to work.

With the internet becoming an increasingly bigger part of our daily lives, its no surprise that the risk of a security breach or threat of a virus, rises.

Whether you use it for professional use, personal use or both, its imperative that you protect the device, and subsequently yourself, when using the internet.

Firewalls

What is a firewall?
A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. The firewall filters through the traffic and decides whether to block the traffic or allow it through.

A firewall typically establishes a barrier between a private network and the internet, preventing unauthorised access and eliminating threats.

How does it work?
Firewalls will typically use one, or a combination of the following methods to control traffic passing in and out of the network:

• Packet filtering – This method creates a ‘checkpoint’ and performs a simple check of the data packets attempting to enter. It checks information such as IP address and port number. If the data packet doesn’t pass the checks performed, it will be rejected.

• Proxy – Rather than letting traffic connect directly, the proxy firewall first establishes a connection to the source of the traffic and inspects the incoming data packet.

• Circuit level – A circuit-level gateway monitors TCP handshaking between packets from trusted clients or servers to untrusted hosts and vice versa to determine whether a requested session is legitimate.

• Stateful inspection – technology that monitors the state of active connections and uses this information to determine which network packets to allow through the firewall.

Antivirus Software

What is antivirus software?
Antivirus software is a computer program or set of programmes designed to prevent, detect, and destroy viruses and malware such as trojans, worms, and spyware.

How does it work?
Antivirus software uses a database of virus signatures which checks your computer files against, along with any incoming files or files you wish to access. It usually works in the following ways:

• Full system scans – Usually performed when you first install your antivirus software to ensure there are no viruses lying dormant on your computer prior to installing the software. The software will then scan your computer regularly (weekly or biweekly) and quarantine or delete any malicious viruses.

• On access scans – This runs in the background and checks each file that you open on your computer. When you click to open a file, the software checks the file first, comparing it to known viruses and flagging the potential threat.

For further information about how to improve cyber security measures for your small business, please get in touch with our IT support specialists now.

A specialist IT Company based in Corby, Northamptonshire, Syntec Systems provide expert IT Solutions and IT Support services to businesses in the local area. Syntec Systems specialise in IT Management, IT Consultancy and IT Procurement, and their experienced technicians also offer a 24/7 helpdesk service to help resolve untimely IT Issues for all businesses with no prior contract.