Stateful Vs. Stateless VPNs in the Face of Threats

Hackers have developed new and innovative ways to attack businesses as they rely more on data and digital banking. Firewalls are an integral component of cybersecurity solutions, evaluating each data packet that enters the system.

NGFWs offer stateful inspection alongside other functions, such as automated application control and threat intelligence integration, to provide a holistic frontline defense. But which firewall is right for your business?

Data Loss

With more and more businesses relying on digital banking, intellectual property, and other critical data, there’s a lot to lose from hacking attacks. Firewalls evaluate each data packet that tries to enter a system and can help detect unsafe traffic before it causes damage.

One of the leading security vulnerabilities with VPNs and any internet-connected device is the potential for loss of sensitive data. This is a significant concern, particularly for organizations that use VPNs for remote access to company resources and to protect online privacy when using public Wi-Fi networks.

The type of VPN used can significantly impact the likelihood of this kind of data loss. For example, suppose employees are utilizing a stateful VPN to manage their remote work environment. In that situation, using features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection can help to mitigate the security concerns connected with this technology.

Moreover, cybersecurity professionals must stay up-to-date on the latest threats to VPNs and other internet security tools.

In general, stateful protocols have a high level of dependency between servers and clients. This means that when a server fails, it can cause significant data loss as servers must save the information of ongoing transactions for later reference. In contrast, stateless architecture is much less dependent on the server, allowing for greater resilience to hardware and software failures.

Unauthorized Access

As businesses become more reliant on data, intellectual property, and digital banking, hacking attacks have only worsened. The damage of a breach can include lawsuits, loss of reputation and trust, service outages, contract violations, and more. As a result, cybersecurity needs are growing, and more businesses are investing in stateful firewalls to protect against these threats.

In stateful vs. stateless VPN, stateless firewalls, which don’t keep track of the context or status of a connection, stateful firewalls monitor the headers and payload of each data packet to determine its ability to enter your system.

In addition, stateful firewalls can tell what stage a communication is in (open sent, openly acknowledged, synchronized, or established). This allows them to apply granular policies that will allow specific types of traffic during each process phase.

While this can be beneficial, it allows a man-in-the-middle attack to bypass your firewall. MITM attacks are when hackers intercept data packets that contain vital information and can tamper with it to gain access to your business system. Investing in a stateful firewall that will protect your business from common and more advanced attacks is essential.

Malware Attacks

With businesses becoming more reliant on data, intellectual property, and digital banking, the potential for hacking attacks has never been greater. Firewalls are among the most essential tools for keeping hackers out of your business network. Firewalls evaluate each data packet that attempts to enter your system, preventing them from entering and causing malicious behavior. There are many different types of firewalls, each with advantages and disadvantages.

A stateful firewall tracks any active connection on your network, sometimes referred to as a dynamic packet-filtering firewall. This allows the firewall to decide about allowing or blocking network traffic based on its knowledge of previous network activity. This is an improvement over stateless firewalls, which only filter current data packets based on predetermined security rules and without context.

Because stateful firewalls keep track of all the connections on your network, they can identify and block potential malware attacks before they even reach your employees’ computers. This is a critical protection against man-in-the-middle attacks, which allow hackers to intercept and manipulate data packets. It’s also an excellent way to block unauthorized access and prevent the spread of viruses, such as ransomware, in your network. If your business has stateful firewalls installed, you must implement strong password policies, two-factor authentication, and other protective measures at your employees’ endpoint devices.

DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can slow or stop networks, servers, and services. Hackers flood systems with traffic to overrun the system and keep authorized users from accessing it. This can cause businesses to lose revenue, and it can also harm the brand reputation of a company or individual. It’s possible to mitigate DDoS attacks with stateful VPNs by using specialized software and monitoring for odd activity patterns.

However, DDoS attacks are getting more sophisticated. One type, known as state-exhaustion DDoS attack, aims to stress the network infrastructure by overwhelming it with traffic to saturate bandwidth and overwhelm the capacity of servers. This can bypass older DDoS prevention mechanisms because the attack focuses on individual packets that don’t complete the entire handshake, making it difficult for these systems to distinguish malicious packets from legitimate ones.

Another type of DDoS attack, amplification attack, fills TCP state tables with bogus connections. This can cause the attacker to consume many resources as they attempt to fill up a system’s memory. This can also exhaust the underlying hardware and create long-term damage. This DDoS attack is more accessible to mitigate with stateful firewalls, as the firewalls can detect and filter these bogus connections.

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