Using a routable IP address behind a firewall or DMZ

What is your opinion of using a routable IP address behind a firewall or in the DMZ? (Basically the IP would be internic viable, all communication would be via a VPN.) Unfortunately, the VPN in this case will not work with NAT. Thus, a routable IP is required in the DMZ.

This is a common problem, as NAT tends to interfere with many VPN solutions. If you need the VPN to be behind the firewall rather than in parallel with it, using a routable IP address is not only okay, but likely the only way it will work. However, with many firewalls, you can have a separate set of firewall rules for the interface the VPN is connected to. Thus you can setup your firewall to block all ports and protocols other than what is needed by the VPN. That will provide the maximum level of protection.

For more information on this topic, visit these other SearchSecurity resources:
Best Web Links: Infrastructure and Network Security
Ask the Expert: Public addresses in a DMZ
Ask the Expert: The role of a DMZ on a network

This was first published in May 2002

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