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

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

A simple router is the ``traditional'' network layer firewall. destination addresses and ports (see Appendix C for a more detailed discussion of ports) in individual IP packets. Network layer firewalls:These generally make their decisions based on the source. 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. as is testing your firewall to ensure it is connected and working correctly. so to use one you either need to have a validly assigned IP address block or to use a ``private internet'' address block . Updating your firewall and your operating system is essential to maintaining optimal protection. Modern network layer firewalls have become increasingly sophisticated. and so on. One thing that's an important distinction about many network layer firewalls is that they route traffic directly though them. Figure 1: Screened Host Firewall . the contents of some of the data streams. 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.

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

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

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. and blocks all traffic passing through it. . one on each network. 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. It has two network interfaces. The end result will be a fast packet-screening system that logs and audits data as it passes through. It is likely that network layer firewalls will become increasingly ``aware'' of the information going through them. 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. an application layer firewall called a ``dual homed gateway'' is represented. Increasingly.

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

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 may have found yourself hearing about firewalls for your home network as well. "I can't use that site because they won't let it through the firewall. You can use a firewall to protect your home network and family from offensive Web sites and potential hackers. ." 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. you will learn more about firewalls. In fact. Basically. a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your property.If you have been using the Internet for any length of time. you often hear people in companies say things like. how they work and what kinds of threats they can protect you from. It turns out that a small home network has many of the same security issues that a large corporate network does. For example. and especially if you work at a larger company and browse the Web while you are at work. As you read through this article.

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

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

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