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An Introduction to Firewalls

By: David Moss, NUIT Technology Support Services Vince Celindro, NUIT Telecommunications and Network Services Robert Vance, NUIT Telecommunications and Network Services Barbara Mims, Office of Alumni Relations and Development

Agenda
Firewall Basics for the Beginning User NUIT Firewall Offering Case Study Desktop Firewall Software Implementation for the Office of Alumni Relations and Development Questions and Answers

What is a Firewall?
A firewall is hardware, software, or a combination of both that is used to prevent unauthorized programs or Internet users from accessing a private network and/or a single computer

Hardware vs. Software Firewalls


Hardware Firewalls
Protect an entire network Implemented on the router level Usually more expensive, harder to configure

Software Firewalls
Protect a single computer Usually less expensive, easier to configure

How does a software firewall work?


Inspects each individual packet of data as it arrives at either side of the firewall Inbound to or outbound from your computer Determines whether it should be allowed to pass through or if it should be blocked

Firewall Rules
Allow traffic that flows automatically because it has been deemed as safe (Ex. Meeting Maker, Eudora, etc.) Block traffic that is blocked because it has been deemed dangerous to your computer Ask asks the user whether or not the traffic is allowed to pass through

What a personal firewall can do


Stop hackers from accessing your computer Protects your personal information Blocks pop up ads and certain cookies Determines which programs can access the Internet

What a personal firewall cannot do


Cannot prevent e-mail viruses
Only an antivirus product with updated definitions can prevent e-mail viruses

After setting it initially, you can forget about it


The firewall will require periodic updates to the rulesets and the software itself

Considerations when using personal firewall software


If you did not initialize an action and your firewall picks up something, you should most likely deny it and investigate it Its a learning process (Ex. Spooler Subsystem App) If you notice you cannot do something you did prior to the installation, there is a good chance it might be because of your firewall

Examples of personal firewall software


ZoneAlarm <www.zonelabs.com> BlackICE Defender <http://blackice.iss.net> Tiny Personal Firewall <www.tinysoftware.com> Norton Personal Firewall <www.symantec.com>

***Please be sure to read the license agreement carefully to verify that the firewall can be legally used at home and/or the office.

Windows XP Firewall
Currently *not* enabled by default Enable under Start -> Settings -> Control Panel Select Local Area Connection Select the Properties button Click the Advanced tab

Windows XP firewall

Updates to Windows XP Firewall


*Will* be enabled in default installations of Windows XP Service Pack 2 Ports will be closed except when they are in use Improved user interface for easier configuration Improved application compatibility when firewall is enabled

Mac OS X firewall
*Not* enabled by default Enable under System Preferences Select Sharing Click Firewall tab Click Start button

Mac OS X firewall

NUIT Firewall Service

Why Netscreen?
Comparison of the Big 3
Hardware vs. Software Transparent Mode vs. Routing Mode Distributed Management Pricing Models

The Process
A Department requests a FW Consultation TNS Organizes a Meeting The Department Provides the List of Machines they want to Protect TNS Measures Bandwidth Requirements TNS Prepares a FW Proposal The Department Makes their Decision

The Process continued...


TNS Installs the FW in a Passive State TNS Logs All Traffic from the Target Hosts TNS Develops a Rule Set The Department Oks the Rule Set TNS Activates the Rule Set Everyone's Happy =)

Final Notes
Rule Management Default Allow vs. Default Deny Firewalls do NOT Solve the Entire Problem

Additional Information
Visit the following websites:
http://www.it.northwestern.edu/reference/firewall/firewall_strategies_wp.html http://www.juniper.net/netscreen_com.html

Or simply email:
nsg-net@northwestern.edu consulting-services@northwestern.edu