Está en la página 1de 12




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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