What is the difference between Firewall Layer 7 and Firewall Layer 3?

Wed Jul 13 2022
What is the difference between Firewall Layer 7 and Firewall Layer 3?

The application layer firewall (Firewall layer 7) and the network layer firewall (Firewall layer 3) help prevent bad traffic with many different purposes. Let's learn about these two types of firewalls through the following article.

Basics of Website Firewall

You can easily understand that a firewall will put a barrier between the user and the website to either allow or prohibit access to it. As a result, the firewall will prevent hackers from committing different destructive acts such as security exploits, data theft and so on.

Firewall Layers

But how does the website firewall determine which traffic to block and which to allow?

Then this is the answer for you. These firewall layer levels are organized according to the OSI model and each layer has its own function. As a result, the system will automatically distinguish which traffic is harmful and which is acceptable based on the particular tasks of each layer in order to make suitable judgments.

However, if we completely explain all levels of the firewall, the length of this post would be quite extensive. So, to assist companies to understand how this architecture works, we will only discuss and compare two common levels (Layer 3 and Layer 7).

Firewall Layer 3 - Smart network control

The network layer of a website firewall is the firewall layer 3. This layer will categorize traffic based on IP address, port number, and service protocols. In other words, you may instruct your firewall to permit communication from specific IP addresses while rejecting all other traffic (this is called a whitelist).

Furthermore, administrator can block IP addresses if they know they are being used for abuse. The network layer's primary responsibility will be to transform data from segments to packets (encapsulation), route packets (routing), and convert data from frames to packets (De-encapsulating).

Firewall Layer 7 - Application Layer Deep Security

The application layer is the seventh layer of the firewall, and it allows organizations to categorize traffic based on the application or application service that the access is attempting to contact. The application layer will be in charge of presenting data and graphics to the user in a human-readable fashion.

Furthermore, the application layer will be in charge of the protocols and data operations required by the program to convey the data to the user. HTTP protocol (allows communication over the internet) and SMTP protocol are two examples of application layer protocols (allows communication via email). Besides that, the application layer may intercept any malicious communication, such as SQL injection attacks or malicious telnet commands.

Compare firewall layer 3 and firewall layer 7

So, since Layer 7 already performs the major function of a firewall, why are we focusing on Layer 3? The answer is that different instruments will assist in mitigating various sorts of hazards. In most circumstances, the system will employ firewall layers 3 as well as firewall layers 7 to support each other.

Layer 3 firewalls make judgments based on a limited set of factors (IP and port), and thus are not as comprehensive as layer 7 firewalls. As a result, layer 3 firewalls can manage far more traffic than layer 7 firewalls. Layer 3 firewalls, on the other hand, merely accept or refuse traffic depending on the source and destination ports without unaware of the amount of traffic inside. As a result, layer 3 banning or permitting is based only on IP address.

However, for layer 3 firewalls, a lack of protocol understanding is a deadly blind spot. Hackers will be more likely because of the HTTP protocol has become a standard application protocol. Then hackers will have some opportunities to examine and exploit application layer flaws. Having said that a layer 7 firewall would be ideal for inspecting the application layer and deciding whether or not to accept requests depending on what it finds. This process is more computationally demanding, but it gives higher security.

As a result of these trade-offs, the OSI model will employ seven levels of firewalls in most scenarios aimed at utilizing numerous layers of protection in depth. Have a layer 3 firewall, for example, that only accepts inbound traffic on specified ports used by your application. These ports will subsequently be sent to the layer 7 firewall for application protocol-level deep inspection. This approach will make use of each firewall's strengths.

Introducing VNIS Cloud WAF - Comprehensive Security for Layer 3/4/7

If you are looking for a comprehensive security solution for your Web/App/API system, VNETWORK's VNIS Cloud WAF is the first choice. This is an advanced firewall system, deployed on the Cloud platform, and simultaneously integrates Firewall Layer 3, Layer 4 and Layer 7.

With VNIS Cloud WAF, businesses can secure their Web/App/API systems against any network security threats. The system automatically detects and prevents attacks through network and application security vulnerabilities, helping to protect business-critical data and information.

Let VNIS Cloud WAF accompany businesses in protecting the Web/App/API system in the most comprehensive and effective way. We are committed to providing the best security solution, helping businesses grow with peace of mind and focus on other important goals.

To protect your system from threats, fill out the contact information below. We will send you detailed information about VNIS Cloud WAF and the powerful security solution we are providing.

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