Are proxy servers a more secure alternative than packet-filtering firewalls?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
In the world of security, judging proxy servers and packet-filtering firewalls together is like comparing apples and oranges. While proxy servers play a limited security function, their basic role is to boost performance. The tools cache frequently requested content on the local network and provide a central point for performing content filtering of end-user requests.
Firewalls, on the other hand, act as the "traffic cop" for all inbound and outbound network traffic, ensuring that it meets network security policy. If your networking strategy calls for a proxy server, I would strongly recommend using it in conjunction with a firewall.
That said, some network firewalls combine proxy functionality with packet filtering. These so-called "proxy firewalls" establish connections with local systems on behalf of remote users (and vice-versa), eliminating the direct connection between systems. Such an arrangement allows the proxy firewall to perform content filtering and provide Layer 7 defenses. If you can afford one, these firewalls provide the strongest available level of firewall protection on the market today.
- Michael Cobb takes a closer look inside application-layer firewalls and how they can defend Layer 7.
- Learn why some enterprise professionals are holding back on application firewalls.
Related Q&A from Mike Chapple
Web application firewalls may be a way to better security, but organizations need to be aware of the compliance implications of WAFs.continue reading
An SEC report shows over three-quarters of financial institutions were subject to at least one cybersecurity attack. Expert Mike Chapple looks at ...continue reading
The Data Accountability and Trust Act is likely to become a law this year. Expert Mike Chapple advises organizations on how to prepare.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.