Ask the Expert

Firewall responsibilities and firewall timeout features

We have a network systems group of more than 150 individuals. Which group is usually responsible for installing firewalls and maintaining their rules? Is there a possible conflict of interest when the systems architecture staff is responsible for maintaining firewalls?

Also, do firewall admin logons utilize a timeout feature on the firewall software, or is timeout usually limited to the operating system (i.e. NT) level?

    Requires Free Membership to View

Some companies combine security with the systems or networks group. Conflict of interest only arises when the same person that sets the rules is also the one that audits the data or the one that determined what the rules should be. It is always good to have a separation of duties.

As for timeouts, every login session to every device should have some type of timeout or password protected screensaver, or some other similar security protection. Admin logins are even more critical as they can change the security parameters of the system. Whether your firewall software supports an independant timeout is something that you will need to discuss with your firewall vendor.

For more information on this topic, visit these other resources:
Network Security Tip: Firewall redundancy: Deployment scenarios and benefits
Network Security Tip: Q&A: Developments in firewalls
Security Policies Tip: The security policy document library: Firewall policy

This was first published in July 2004

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: