What Makes Data Diodes Superior To Firewalls?

  • May 08, 2023

Cybersecurity threats have increasingly become more rampant and sophisticated these days. As such, there is also a need for more cybersecurity technologies that can effectively overcome threats and combat cyberattacks. Among the most common cybersecurity technologies being adopted by many companies or organisations today are data diodes and firewalls.

These two solutions are considered complementary since data diodes deliver additional security measures for network segments that are especially vulnerable. However, by looking into more detail, one can clearly determine that data diodes and firewalls have absolutely different concepts. Read on to learn more about the difference between data diodes and firewalls, and why the former is the superior cybersecurity technology. 

Differentiating Data Diodes From Firewalls 

The term “firewall” is often associated with the physical barrier that is installed in vehicles and buildings to obstruct the spread of fire from one area or section to the next. However, in cybersecurity, a firewall is a network security device that tracks and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic in accordance with the previously set security policies of an organisation.

Firewalls are implemented by flexible code and configuration that effectively slow down threats but do not necessarily stop them. Most of the time, especially with extra inspection capabilities, a firewall provides a software barrier that is enough to halt minor threats only. However, modern cyberthreats are becoming more sophisticated, with intricate and coordinated attacks from several angles occurring all at once. Firewalls were not designed to stop these types of threats completely.

On the other hand, hardware-enforced data diodes were specifically created to physically isolate networks from external threats by providing an air-gap between them. A data diode is basically a unidirectional network communication device that allows the secure, one-way transmission of data between segmented networks. In Singapore, data diodes are in-demand in different industries due to the effective security they bring.

The lack of configurable and routable connectivity in data diodes minimises their flexibility to an extent, but it also brings more edge to their security profile. Complex threats can use persistent and coordinated tactics to overcome multi-factor authentication, passwords, biometrics, and advanced RBAC, but jumping the physical gap in data diodes using electronic tools continues to be impossible. As such, data diodes remain one of the most robust cybersecurity technologies available today.

Specific Factors That make Data Diodes Better than Firewalls

1. Security

In terms of security, there is really no questioning that data diodes are more secure than firewalls. Data diodes are physically implemented with a hardware-based security mechanism that enables them to deliver absolute confidentiality and segmentation between networks.  

Meanwhile, firewalls are effectuated by configurable code and policy that make them prone to misconfiguration, zero-day exploits, and software bugs. Moreover, data diodes provide protection from the unknown, which cannot be provided by firewalls and other software-based security tools. These data diodes do not require regular maintenance or patching to remain secure, and the effectiveness of their enforcement mechanism is not reduced over time.

2. Capabilities 

Firewalls are known for having sophisticated communication capabilities that make them the standard network security solution. When data diodes were introduced, many people questioned whether they could meet the same capabilities as firewalls. The short answer to this question is yes. 

Several providers, such as Allied Solutions, invest years of engineering and intelligent design to build a communication facilitation software layer on top of data diodes’ patented hardware platform. This complex layer of compatibility, functionality, and connectivity enables data diodes to deliver a solution that has both excellent security and comparable communication capabilities.

3. Physical vs. Virtual Segmentation

As with a physical firewall, software firewalls are not able to provide a true separation between network segments but instead act as a virtual barrier to potential threats. As such, cyberthreats are likely to break through eventually, especially if given sufficient time and severity.

On the other hand, since a data diode separates a network into two parts, an attacker would need to physically carry the threat from the affected segment over to the other in order for it to reach the protected segment. For this reason, data diodes are considered to have better and more secure segmentation than firewalls. 


There are many reasons why data diodes are superior to software firewalls. Whether in terms of security, capabilities, or segmentation, data diodes offer better advantages that make them the ultimate cybersecurity solution today. Furthermore, in comparison to firewalls, data diodes are far easier to install and maintain, are available in a wide array of options, and can be purchased at competitive price points. Ultimately, data diodes provide a highly trusted, unhackable security that businesses should leverage.

If you are looking for the most reliable data diode in Singapore to better protect your networks and enhance your cybersecurity posture, Allied Solutions is the provider you need! Allied Solutions offer the most premium automation systems and industrial manufacturing systems that are suitable for numerous industries, such as data diode by ST Engineering and TrakSYS software by Parsec. Feel free to contact us today for more information.

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