![if !IE]> <![endif]>
THE NEED FOR FIREWALLS
Information systems in corporations, government agencies, and other organizations have undergone a steady evolution. The following are notable developments:
• Centralized data processing system, with a central mainframe supporting a number of directly connected terminals
• Local area networks (LANs) interconnecting PCs and terminals to each other and the mainframe
• Premises network, consisting of a number of LANs, interconnecting PCs, servers, and perhaps a mainframe or two
• Enterprise-wide network, consisting of multiple, geographically distributed premises networks interconnected by a private wide area network (WAN)
• Internet connectivity, in which the various premises networks all hook into the Internet and may or may not also be connected by a private WAN
Internet connectivity is no longer optional for organizations. The information and services available are essential to the organization. Moreover, individual users within the organization want and need Internet access, and if this is not provided via their LAN, they will use dial-up capability from their PC to an Internet service provider (ISP). However, while Internet access provides benefits to the organization,
it enables the outside world to reach and interact with local network assets. This creates a threat to the organization. While it is possible to equip each workstation and server on the premises network with strong security features, such as intrusion protection, this may not be sufficient and in some cases is not cost-effective. Consider a network with hundreds or even thousands of systems, running various operating systems, such as different versions of UNIX and Windows. When a security flaw is discovered, each potentially affected system must be upgraded to fix that flaw. This requires scaleable configuration management and aggressive patching to function effectively. While difficult, this is possible and is necessary if only host-based security is used. A widely accepted alternative or at least complement to host-based security services is the firewall. The firewall is inserted between the premises network and the Internet to establish a controlled link and to erect an outer security wall or perime- ter. The aim of this perimeter is to protect the premises network from Internet-based attacks and to provide a single choke point where security and auditing can be imposed. The firewall may be a single computer system or a set of two or more systems that cooperate to perform the firewall function.
The firewall, then, provides an additional layer of defense, insulating the inter- nal systems from external networks. This follows the classic military doctrine of “defense in depth,” which is just as applicable to IT security.
Copyright © 2018-2023 BrainKart.com; All Rights Reserved. Developed by Therithal info, Chennai.