What’s the difference between firewalls , routers and secure web portals?


Many of us are confused about the difference between a router and a gateway while talking about cybersecurity devices. When we ask ourselves how much a secure web gateway does vary from a firewall or UTM, we always offer ambiguous, even confusing responses. It’s all the same, we may say, which is right in some way. But variations remain.

A trend to call modem router devices as gateways were, and still exists. This is true, as the word “modem” is now quite out of date. The modem, abbreviated to “modulator-demodulator,” refers to a device that demodulates the analog signal from a telephone line into digital information for computer use and modulates digital back data in analog mode (retransmission). The technology we use today is different for broadband links, but the word modem is still commonly used.

Now, on the wood router, it’s a network traffic control device. There are two IP addresses for routers. This is because there are two NIC (Network Interface Card) in all simple four-port wireless routers, one connecting to a WAN port to the modem and another (still multiple internal NIC) relating to a wireless antenna or port. Routers are generally configured to improve performance and security through segment traffic on an enterprise network. And many people tend to call a gateway to a router in this context.

Ok, a gateway is a tool used to manage traffic between two networks. Therefore, a gateway can also be called the usual one-piece modem router. Therefore, a router can be called a portal.

Let us now talk about how the UTM and firewall differ from what we call a web security gateway.

A hardware firewall sits between the modem and the router, as we know, and inspects the packets sometimes as a standalone component, sometimes as part of it. Sometimes the same functionality is available when a virtual server is set up as a router, and a virus tool is installed to convert it to a firewall. Now, another view! A firewall of today’s hardware, which is on the perimeter of the network, is itself a router with integrated safety features and is, therefore, also a gateway. The packets would be inspected, and malicious content filtered. The IT managers can set up firewalls to filter content and thus act as gates. Seeing it from the other side, we should say that the today’s web-safety gateways are mainly firewalls and that we have come to a state that has almost all the borderlines reduced to a level that either does not exist or only exists for technical purposes.

The basic difference between a UTM or firewall and a secure Web portal is that it allows content filtering more efficient and regulates appliances. The secure web gateway mainly has robust platforms for reporting. These features are absent from firewalls. Firewalls assist companies with security, but a company should have a secure web gateway to monitor and report user activity carefully.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.