If you’re looking to install Symantec Endpoint Protection in your computer, chances are you might end up automatically disabling the Windows Firewall. As a best practice, it is not recommended to make use of more than one firewall software on your system.
RULE OF THUMB: KEEP ONLY ONE
Keeping two software firewalls in your computer will only mean higher use of resources and poorer system performance. Theoretically, the two firewalls may even have some rules that conflict with each other. You’ll end up with more system conflicts and poorer performance. To prevent such a situation, the SEP installation program automatically detects and disables the Windows Firewall, if previously enabled.
SEP DISABLES WINDOWS FIREWALL
If you’re using Windows 7 or above, then installing Symantec Endpoint Protection will automatically disable Windows Firewall. An exception is in the case when you have installed Symantec Endpoint Protection without the Network Threat Protection, and thus the Windows Firewall is not automatically disabled. Auto-disabling the Windows firewall saves the system from running into conflicts and it helps maintain the system’s overall performance. The Network Threat Protection includes the intrusion prevention and firewall
IS IT SAFE TO DISABLE WINDOWS FIREWALL?
Typically, Microsoft doesn’t recommend disabling the Windows firewall in any case. This is because when the Windows Firewall is enabled, DirectAccess clients can use the IPsec functionalities that are built-in, and also use the Windows Firewall connection security rules to protect the traffic and DirectAccess connections. Symantec Endpoint Protection uses the same Microsoft guidelines defined for Windows firewall and does not replace the Windows firewall connection security (IPsec). Thus, this specification allows SEP firewall to replace specific elements selectively, while retaining the rest of them.
HOW TO CHECK?
To confirm if Symantec is providing a firewall protection, check the firewall status in the ‘Installed Firewall’ list or the General Firewall status section. It will display that the firewall rules are being managed by Symantec.
To verify if the Windows Firewall is enabled or disabled-
- Open Action Center
- Go to Security
- Network Firewall status should be displayed as On
- Click on ‘View Installed Firewall Programs’
- Symantec Endpoint Protection should display as On
- Windows Firewall should display as Off
If both Symantec and Windows firewall display as ‘On’, the Action Center should throw a warning.
ENABLE WINDOWS FIREWALL
If you are required to use the native Windows firewall, you can enable it using the following steps:
- Open the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager
- Create a new group & disable policy inheritance for this group under
(Clients > Group Name > Policies)
- Now edit firewall policy; Create new Non-Shared policy
- Click on Windows Integration
- Click on – Restore if Disabled – this will enable Windows firewall on start-up
- Click on OK
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