In this Issue:
- What is a firewall?
- How to select the right firewall for your needs
- Expert Advice: Checklist for firewall best practices
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a set of related programs located at a network gateway server that protects the resources of a private network from potential intruders. Firewalls do not verify that information is coming from a secure source. Instead, they enforce a set of rules that determine what information is allowed to pass.
There are two basic types of firewalls: packet-filters and proxy servers. Many commercial firewall products are hybrids of these two types. Regardless of which type of firewall you choose, someone has to configure the firewall to make it work properly. The rules for access must be defined and entered into the firewall for enforcement.
Firewalls are not the end-all, be-all solution to information security. They are, however, a
necessary component of an effective information security infrastructure. In this introductory
resource, we've gathered expert information to help you learn about how firewalls work -- and more
importantly, how to pick the right one for your needs.
Depending on the size of your company and how much money you're willing to spend on securing your information, there are different types of firewalls that come packaged with various features and functions.
Frank Prince, senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., explains more about
how various types of firewalls work -- and why he thinks most companies should seek outside help
when selecting and implementing a firewall.
Expert Advice: Kevin Beaver, CISSP
Our firewall expert, Kevin Beaver, has
compiled a checklist of best practices to help you make sure that your firewall is configured
correctly for optimal performance and effectiveness.