Firewalls and Such

Well, let me begin by saying that router configuration is not to be taken on by the faint of heart.  If you are a novice user, please seek professional help now!  I am far from being considered a novice, and I have found the task to be daunting.

It is unusual for a programmer to find themselves dabbling in the security features, but this is where my job has taken me.  I have the task of securing an entire branch from the attacks on the outside and the carelessness of the users.  I have to speak for my users at this point.  It is not an intentional carelessness, but a product of assuming that I can fix anything, which is for the most part true.  I am impressive.  Yet, they do seem to test my ability to keep them safe!

I began a general search on Google (remember that Google will save every search and page click for the rest of time).  I thought a general information search concerning firewall setup should do the trick to get my feet wet beyond the standard port in and outs.

I came across some fantastic links:

Gibson Research – great tools and information

Steve Gibson – blog

I discovered Cisco’s Safe Reference Guide, but I do not know if I am ready just yet to dive into this much complexity.  Our network is small and requires quite a bit of freedoms from the inside.  I am mostly concerned with the outside getting inside.  I am linking, but choosing not to spend endless hours weeding for useful fruits just yet.

I found this – What is a Firewall?  Well, I approached this with a bit of a big head, but I soon realized that finding information on my hard firewall was going to be much more difficult than the typical soft firewall that I was accustomed too.  If you don’t understand the difference between a hardware and software firewall, you need to make the trip to the Portforward site and read this article.

I discovered a neat tool.  Probe My Ports  This truly makes Gibson Research my new friend of the week.

I haven’t gotten any closer to securing this branch, but I have equipped myself with a worthy read for the week, including many sites.  I am looking forward to reading Steve Gibson’s blog even though it is incomplete and more than likely forgotten.

I will let you know what I come across more on this topic worth noting.

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila ….


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