Firewalls are a vital part of network protection. Firewalls are used to guard the internal network from peripheral threats that can access data, assets and resources. A firewall is more often than not deployed so that anyone entering or exiting a network must pass through it, somewhat like the drawbridge of a castle surrounded by a moat.A Firewall does have it’s limitations such as the fact that the goodness of a firewall is dependant on the person operating it. But in spite of its limitations, a firewall is still the most effectual way to guard a network which must be connected to the Internet.Firewalls work by examining network transmissions as they move from inside to outside your network, and vice versa, and then applying rules set up by an administrator to:Firewalls can perform the following functions:· “Route packets from the inside network to other networks, and vice versa.
· Translate the IP addresses of an internal network to addresses the Internet recognizes.· Keep a record of network traffic that has passed through the firewall that can be used for other purposes.· Divide a network into segments according to differing security needs.” (Holden, 2003)Firewalls are a great means to provide fortification against several known attack strategies by malevolent users.
Many firewalls go the extra mile and provide logging, caching, authentication services, and filtering all the content going through it. However, it’s not as simple as “fire walling it and forgetting about it.” Firewalls do not defend your network from attacks emanating from inside the network, nor can they guard attacks arriving via links that don’t go all the way through it, for example modem connections. They aren’t great at protecting a set of connections from viruses, and they aren’t very good at distinguishing new types of assaults, either. Finally, and perhaps most prominently, they need somebody who is skilled and well-informed to set them up.
The firewall administrator is the answer to making a firewall work.Works CitedHolden, Greg. 2003. “Guide to Firewalls and Network Security: Intrusion Detection and VPNs”. Publisher: Course Technology.