How Do Firewalls and Databases Work With Each Other?

How Do Firewalls and Databases Work With Each Other?

You have often come across the term “firewall” in the database world. A firewall refers to an appliance or an application that has been specifically designed to stop unauthorized access to your network via UDP or TCP ports that are unused. The above firewalls give you protection generally. However, some companies use firewalls for their applications to protect specific functions. 

An overview of firewalls for web applications

Firewalls for your web application are designed to protect your database from attacks. It should be created and configured for protecting applications that are used on the web. The general-purpose firewalls give protection to your database at the port levels while the web application firewalls offer you protection at the application layers. This is why they are often referred to as the Layer 7 Firewalls as they give you protection at layer 7 of your OSI model.

So, from the above description, you should note that the term application firewall refers to a generic term in this area. There are other terms as well that are deployed for application firewalls, and some of them are called a proxy firewall, WAF firewall, or simply WAF or more. When you are searching for the perfect firewall for your application, note that all of the above mean the same.

How does the firewall work?

When it comes to the function of firewalls for database security, note that it is a reverse proxy. The standard proxy is designed to protect the computers of the client. Any user who wants to search the Internet, for instance, might connect to the proxy server. This proxy server creates a secure tunnel with the computer of the user so that traffic between the computer of the user and the proxy server is encrypted so that the information is private. When the user types the URL of the site into the browser, it is submitted to the proxy server that connects to the URL for the user to access and passes the copy of the webpage requested to the user. This approach is secure as it maintains the privacy of the user as he is not connected to the website directly, and all the traffic flow between the two is private and completely encrypted.

The above is an example of the standard proxy. The firewall for the web application or database serves as a reverse proxy that is designed to protect the database or server.

Protect the database with a good firewall always

Experts from RemoteDBA.Com, state that to understand how the firewall works, you need to consider how web servers are created. The web server is behind the standard firewall that blocks the inflow of traffic to all the ports except for Port 80 or HTTP and, in some cases, port 443 or HTTPS. When this firewall gets one request from any of these ports, it will resort to a rule that allows the request sought to the webserver.

The design of the perimeter firewall, as well as its configuration, will determine how the firewall functions. It can also conduct some additional checks on the web traffic before it forwards the packets to web servers, for instance. The firewall will know that the HTTP traffic should be the only traffic that is configured and allowed to flow through port 80, and it will block other kinds of traffic that attempt to flow through this open port.

Conventionally, the web application or database is never limited to one server. If the server is to host static HTML content, the site will exist on a single server. However, most websites and applications in the modern-day rely on several external components, and in minimum cases, the website is linked to a back-end database.

Security and database

The database also plays a vital role when it comes to keeping the website secure and safe for your business. It does not reside on the server’s front end as it serves as a back-end database server. The front-end server communicates with the server of the database via a protected channel that passes into the dedicated firewall. In this case, the front- end server acts as the proxy, and clients that are accessing the site are not making queries to the database themselves. The front -end server makes the database query on behalf of the client. In this way, the webserver shields the server of the database from exposure to traffic on the Internet. 

The firewall for web applications like the WAF firewall works in the same way. The firewall sits between the web application and the webserver.  When the client wishes to access any of them, the request passes through the perimeter of the firewall using port 443 and 80. The firewall will have rules for forwarding the request, and instead of passing the request to the web server, it is passed to the firewall of the application. This WAF will filter this request and pass it through the web server that handles it. The nature of the web application will determine if the proxy requests are given to the backend server like before.

How does the firewall save you from the threats of hackers to the system?

If you look at the example above, the firewall is performing two primary tasks. The firewall application protects the webserver from traffic on the Internet. It acts as a firewall for the client who is making the request. The web server is protected from the Internet, and so hackers find it tough to get data and information from the server. The traffic on the web does not communicate directly with the server and is allowed to communicate with the firewall of the application only. This makes the request safe and free from threats.

Therefore, when you are choosing the right firewall for your applications and systems, have a clear understanding of how it works so that your data is secure and free from the threats of a hacker. In this way, you can protect your business information with success.

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