which inspects network traffic passing through it.WHAT IS A FIREWALL? The term "firewall" originally meant a wall to confine a fire or potential fire within a building. or consider it to be a product for businesses only. Firewalls can be either hardware or software. A zone with an intermediate trust level. it is used to prevent network intrusion to the private network. unknown or suspicious locations. Typical examples are the Internet which is a zone with no trust and an internal network which is a zone of higher trust. In the former case. in essence. a firewall is also useful for allowing remote access to a private network through secure authentication certificates and logins. The ideal firewall configuration will consist of both. if your network or computer has access to the outside world via the Internet . or software running on a computer. A firewall is a protective system that lies. When used correctly.Firewall technology emerged in the late 1980s when the Internet was a fairly new technology in terms of its global use and connectivity. and denies or permits passage based on a set of rules. It is a software or hardware that is normally placed between a protected network and an unprotected network and acts like a gate to protect assets to ensure that nothing private goes out and nothing malicious comes in. In the latter case. The job of a firewall is to carefully analyze data entering and exiting the network based on your configuration. is often referred to as a "perimeter network" or Demilitarized zone (DMZ). cf. firewall (construction). It ignores information that comes from an unsecured. While many people do not completely understand the importance and necessity of a firewall. it is intended to contain and delay structural fire from spreading to adjacent structures. A firewall's basic task is to regulate some of the flow of traffic between computer networks of different trust levels. a firewall prevents unauthorized use and access to your network. Firewall is a dedicated appliance. In addition to limiting access to you computer and network. A firewall plays an important role on any network as it provides a protective barrier against most forms of attack coming from the outside world. situated between the Internet and a trusted internal network. between your computer network and the Internet. A firewall's function within a network is similar to physical firewalls with fire doors in building construction.

a computer user with general computer knowledge can plug in a firewall. Software Firewalls:For individual home users. Many software firewalls have user defined controls for setting up safe file and printer sharing and to block unsafe applications from running on your system. web filtering and more. individual computer and data therein. consumers will no doubt need to learn the specific features of their hardware firewall. TYPES OF FIREWALLS Hardware Firewalls:Hardware firewalls can be purchased as a stand-alone product but more recently hardware firewalls are typically found in broadband routers. A hardware firewall uses packet filtering to examine the header of a packet to determine its source and destination. so each computer will need to have a software firewall installed on it. but for larger networks. it could also provide protection against the most common Trojan programs or e-mail worms. The downside to software firewalls is that they will only protect the computer they are installed on. as each offers . This information is compared to a set of predefined or user-created rules that determine whether the packet is to be forwarded or dropped. not a network. As with any electronic equipment. To ensure that your firewall is configured for optimal security and protect however. Most hardware firewalls will have a minimum of four network ports to connect other computers. and how to test the firewall to ensure its doing a good job of protecting your network. and should be considered an important part of your system and network set-up. software firewalls may also incorporate privacy controls.then you need have a firewall to protect your network. The differences between a software and hardware firewall are vast. Hardware firewalls can be effective with little or no configuration. A software firewall will protect your computer from outside attempts to control or gain access your computer. business networking firewall solutions are available. allowing you some control over its function and protection features. and the best protection for your computer and network is to use both. especially for anyone on a broadband connection. Software firewalls are installed on your computer (like any software) and you can customize it. depending on your choice of software firewall. and. how to enable them. adjust a few settings and have it work. the most popular firewall choice is a software firewall. and they can protect every machine on a local network. Additionally.

the contents of some of the data streams. Updating your firewall and your operating system is essential to maintaining optimal protection. Network layer firewalls tend to be very fast and tend to be very transparent to users. Modern network layer firewalls have become increasingly sophisticated. as is testing your firewall to ensure it is connected and working correctly. and so on. so to use one you either need to have a validly assigned IP address block or to use a ``private internet'' address block . Network layer firewalls:These generally make their decisions based on the source. Figure 1: Screened Host Firewall . A simple router is the ``traditional'' network layer firewall. and now maintain internal information about the state of connections passing through them. since it is not able to make particularly sophisticated decisions about what a packet is actually talking to or where it actually came from.different but much-needed security features and benefits. destination addresses and ports (see Appendix C for a more detailed discussion of ports) in individual IP packets. One thing that's an important distinction about many network layer firewalls is that they route traffic directly though them.

In a screened host firewall. access to and from a single host is controlled by means of a router operating at a network layer. . The single host is a bastion host. a network layer firewall called a ``screened host firewall'' is represented. except that it is. a network layer firewall called a ``screened subnet firewall'' is represented.In Figure 1. In a screened subnet firewall. effectively. access to and from a whole network is controlled by means of a router operating at a network layer. Figure 2: Screened Subnet Firewall EXAMPLE NETWORK LAYER FIREWALL : In figure 2. a highly-defended and secured strong-point that (hopefully) can resist attack. It is similar to a screened host. a network of screened hosts.

Figure 3: Dual Homed Gateway . Application layer firewalls can be used as network address translators.Application layer firewalls:These generally are hosts running proxy servers. it is a good place to do lots of logging and access control. are not particularly transparent to end users and may require some training. Since the proxy applications are software components running on the firewall. and which perform elaborate logging and auditing of traffic passing through them. Modern application layer firewalls are often fully transparent. which permit no traffic directly between networks. after having passed through an application that effectively masks the origin of the initiating connection. Having an application in the way in some cases may impact performance and may make the firewall less transparent. Early application layer firewalls such as those built using the TIS firewall toolkit. Application layer firewalls tend to provide more detailed audit reports and tend to enforce more conservative security models than network layer firewalls. since traffic goes in one ``side'' and out the other.

and application layer firewalls will become increasingly ``low level'' and transparent. . The end result will be a fast packet-screening system that logs and audits data as it passes through.EXAMPLE APPLICATION LAYER FIREWALL : In figure 3. firewalls (network and application layer) incorporate encryption so that they may protect traffic passing between them over the Internet. an application layer firewall called a ``dual homed gateway'' is represented. and blocks all traffic passing through it. A dual homed gateway is a highly secured host that runs proxy software. It is likely that network layer firewalls will become increasingly ``aware'' of the information going through them. Firewalls with end-to-end encryption can be used by organizations with multiple points of Internet connectivity to use the Internet as a ``private backbone'' without worrying about their data or passwords being sniffed. THE FUTURE of firewalls lies someplace between network layer firewalls and application layer firewalls. It has two network interfaces. Increasingly. one on each network.

User experience of the presentation is compromised. The firewall ensures that all communication in both directions conforms to an organization's security policy. You can limit communication by direction. . all transmissions between an organization's internal network and the Internet. In some cases. and sometimes controls. For example. greater latency and startup times affect the time needed to view the clip. firewalls configured to only allow TCP traffic may cause the user to see frequent buffering of clips. however. However large the network. protocol. Firewalls positioned between your Helix Universal Proxy and other computers may cause communication failures if the firewall does not allow for the types of communication Helix Universal Proxy requires. These other computers may be media clients or servers set up as origin transmitters. protocols. IP address. If you have access to the firewall. Firewall technologies are configurable.WORKING OF FIREWALL A firewall is a software program or device that monitors. ports. and delivery of the clip requires more total bandwidth. you can configure it to enable the ports. or numerous other combinations. your organization's security policy may prevent optimal streaming. a firewall is typically deployed on the network's edge to prevent inappropriate access to data behind the firewall. and addresses that optimize Helix Universal Proxy communication.

how they work and what kinds of threats they can protect you from. Basically. you have probably heard the term firewall used. you will learn more about firewalls. You can use a firewall to protect your home network and family from offensive Web sites and potential hackers. "I can't use that site because they won't let it through the firewall. that's why its called a firewall.If you have been using the Internet for any length of time." If you have a fast Internet connection into your home (either a DSL connection or a cable modem). you often hear people in companies say things like. For example. and especially if you work at a larger company and browse the Web while you are at work. you may have found yourself hearing about firewalls for your home network as well. In fact. It turns out that a small home network has many of the same security issues that a large corporate network does. a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your property. Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next. As you read through this article. .

Without a firewall in place. at every T1 line coming into the company). only one of them is permitted to receive public FTP traffic. Packets that make it through the filters are sent to the requesting system and all others are discarded. Web servers. With a firewall in place. The firewall can implement security rules. If an incoming packet of information is flagged by the filters. hackers can get to the machine and exploit the hole.A newer method that doesn't examine the contents of each packet but instead compares certain key parts of the packet to a database of trusted information. it is not allowed through. try to make telnet connections to them and so on. Telnet servers and so on. For example. Firewalls use one or more of three methods to control traffic flowing in and out of the network: • • Packet filtering . all of those hundreds of computers are directly accessible to anyone on the Internet. In addition. Stateful inspection . the landscape is much different. Information traveling from • . In addition. Proxy service . Allow FTP connections only to that one computer and prevent them on all others. whether files are allowed to leave the company over the network and so on. If one employee makes a mistake and leaves a security hole. the company can control how employees connect to Web sites. The company will therefore have hundreds of computers that all have network cards connecting them together. the company will have one or more connections to the Internet through something like T1 or T3 lines. A company will place a firewall at every connection to the Internet (for example.Packets (small chunks of data) are analyzed against a set of filters. A person who knows what he or she is doing can probe those computers. one of the security rules inside the company might be: Out of the 500 computers inside this company.WHAT FIREWALL DOES? A firewall is simply a program or hardware device that filters the information coming through the Internet connection into your private network or computer system. A firewall gives a company tremendous control over how people use the network. try to make FTP connections to them. A company can set up rules like this for FTP servers. Let's say that you work at a company with 500 employees.Information from the Internet is retrieved by the firewall and then sent to the requesting system and vice versa.

WHY IS FIREWALL NEEDED? Malicious hackers cause mayhem and embarrassment by breaking into corporate network environment. Malicious code can silently invade desktops from any web site visit or by clicking an email attachment.inside the firewall to the outside is monitored for specific defining characteristics. and even stops malicious code attacks. Firewalls performing packet filtering. With the growth of mobile and remote systems as a component of networks. having proxy services and NATing features help to secure your network environment at the gateway. but in principle. causing serious network disruptions. The actual means by which this is accomplished varies widely. These policies can be set by a user or locked down by an administrator. and the other to permit traffic. the firewall can be thought of as a pair of mechanisms: one which exists to block traffic. organizations need to lock down and secure their networks. Firewall at the desktop level inspects inbound and outbound traffic on your computers. and then allows or blocks connections based on policies for addresses. where desktops and remote devices exchange information directly. stateful packet filtering. Otherwise it is discarded. the information is allowed through. Desktop Firewall protects desktops from attacks inside or outside the corporate network. protocols and applications. If the comparison yields a reasonable match. which can cause significant impact to business operations. A firewall is a hardware device or a software that secure access control at the gateway and desktops. . ports. and then attack others in the network at the later stage. then incoming information is compared to these characteristics.