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

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

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

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

Figure 3: Dual Homed Gateway . 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. Since the proxy applications are software components running on the firewall. Modern application layer firewalls are often fully transparent. after having passed through an application that effectively masks the origin of the initiating connection. Early application layer firewalls such as those built using the TIS firewall toolkit. 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. Application layer firewalls can be used as network address translators. which permit no traffic directly between networks.Application layer firewalls:These generally are hosts running proxy servers. Application layer firewalls tend to provide more detailed audit reports and tend to enforce more conservative security models than network layer firewalls.

It has two network interfaces. . It is likely that network layer firewalls will become increasingly ``aware'' of the information going through them. 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. A dual homed gateway is a highly secured host that runs proxy software. and blocks all traffic passing through it.EXAMPLE APPLICATION LAYER FIREWALL : In figure 3. one on each network. Increasingly. 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. an application layer firewall called a ``dual homed gateway'' is represented. firewalls (network and application layer) incorporate encryption so that they may protect traffic passing between them over the Internet.

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

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

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

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