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it is intended to contain and delay structural fire from spreading to adjacent structures. A firewall is a protective system that lies. Typical examples are the Internet which is a zone with no trust and an internal network which is a zone of higher trust. A zone with an intermediate trust level. A firewall's basic task is to regulate some of the flow of traffic between computer networks of different trust levels. 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. The ideal firewall configuration will consist of both. It ignores information that comes from an unsecured. which inspects network traffic passing through it. or software running on a computer.Firewall technology emerged in the late 1980s when the Internet was a fairly new technology in terms of its global use and connectivity. in essence.WHAT IS A FIREWALL? The term "firewall" originally meant a wall to confine a fire or potential fire within a building. In addition to limiting access to you computer and network. While many people do not completely understand the importance and necessity of a firewall. is often referred to as a "perimeter network" or Demilitarized zone (DMZ). a firewall prevents unauthorized use and access to your network. it is used to prevent network intrusion to the private network. situated between the Internet and a trusted internal network. cf. unknown or suspicious locations. 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. between your computer network and the Internet. if your network or computer has access to the outside world via the Internet . Firewalls can be either hardware or software. In the latter case. In the former case. or consider it to be a product for businesses only. and denies or permits passage based on a set of rules. firewall (construction). A firewall's function within a network is similar to physical firewalls with fire doors in building construction. a firewall is also useful for allowing remote access to a private network through secure authentication certificates and logins. The job of a firewall is to carefully analyze data entering and exiting the network based on your configuration. Firewall is a dedicated appliance. When used correctly.

Software Firewalls:For individual home users. and should be considered an important part of your system and network set-up. especially for anyone on a broadband connection. The differences between a software and hardware firewall are vast. but for larger networks. and the best protection for your computer and network is to use both. allowing you some control over its function and protection features. Most hardware firewalls will have a minimum of four network ports to connect other computers. 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. the most popular firewall choice is a software 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. To ensure that your firewall is configured for optimal security and protect however. software firewalls may also incorporate privacy controls. how to enable them. and. Additionally. A hardware firewall uses packet filtering to examine the header of a packet to determine its source and destination. consumers will no doubt need to learn the specific features of their hardware firewall. The downside to software firewalls is that they will only protect the computer they are installed on. depending on your choice of software firewall. web filtering and more. it could also provide protection against the most common Trojan programs or e-mail worms. individual computer and data therein. as each offers . A software firewall will protect your computer from outside attempts to control or gain access your computer. business networking firewall solutions are available. so each computer will need to have a software firewall installed on it. As with any electronic equipment. 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. and they can protect every machine on a local network. and how to test the firewall to ensure its doing a good job of protecting your network. Software firewalls are installed on your computer (like any software) and you can customize it.then you need have a firewall to protect your network. a computer user with general computer knowledge can plug in a firewall. adjust a few settings and have it work. Hardware firewalls can be effective with little or no configuration.

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

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

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

Increasingly. The end result will be a fast packet-screening system that logs and audits data as it passes through. and application layer firewalls will become increasingly ``low level'' and transparent. THE FUTURE of firewalls lies someplace between network layer firewalls and application layer firewalls. It has two network interfaces.EXAMPLE APPLICATION LAYER FIREWALL : In figure 3. 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. firewalls (network and application layer) incorporate encryption so that they may protect traffic passing between them over the Internet. and blocks all traffic passing through it. one on each network. an application layer firewall called a ``dual homed gateway'' is represented.

protocols. These other computers may be media clients or servers set up as origin transmitters. In some cases. However large the network. User experience of the presentation is compromised. If you have access to the firewall. all transmissions between an organization's internal network and the Internet. IP address. For example. ports. a firewall is typically deployed on the network's edge to prevent inappropriate access to data behind the firewall. protocol. You can limit communication by direction. or numerous other combinations. Firewall technologies are configurable. greater latency and startup times affect the time needed to view the clip. however. and delivery of the clip requires more total bandwidth. you can configure it to enable the ports. and addresses that optimize Helix Universal Proxy communication. 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. and sometimes controls. firewalls configured to only allow TCP traffic may cause the user to see frequent buffering of clips. your organization's security policy may prevent optimal streaming. The firewall ensures that all communication in both directions conforms to an organization's security policy.WORKING OF FIREWALL A firewall is a software program or device that monitors. .

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

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

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