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November 2005

Avoiding Network Traffic Confusion with Consistent Firewall Rules

BITS & BOLTS Conflicting firewall rule sets can make policing your network a nightmare. Here's how to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Imagine bearing down on a busy intersection. A traffic cop is furiously waving you on, but as you approach, you notice he's also waving on traffic from the cross street with his other hand. In the ever-changing business environment, this is what security managers face every day: increasingly complex and dynamic enterprise networks, where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Administering additional access control devices and maintaining consistent firewall rules throughout this evolving labyrinth can be a nightmare. Layered controls, multiple network entry points and tools that trigger automated changes conspire to produce conflicts and holes in your rule sets, which can impede and shut down legitimate business traffic and expose your enterprise to attack. But, if you understand how access control rule sets get confused and follow industry best practices to maintain consistency,...

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