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June 2003

Top challenges facing defense-in-depth firewall technology

More from Joel Snyder See Joel's Information Security June 2003 cover story: Designing a defense-in-depth network security model. Why haven't enterprises already done defense-in-depth? We found six barriers to pushing firewall technology to the port level: Cost. The cost of adding firewall "brains" to the inside of the network is substantial, especially compared to the continued cost reduction of standard networking switches and routers. Performance. Firewalls have proven themselves on Internet-speed links, but most enterprises have significantly higher flow rates within the network than towards the Internet. Common tasks such as file sharing and backups would bring a firewall designed for Internet speeds to its knees on a 100 Mbps Ethernet link. Management. Most firewall vendors have found it challenging to define management in terms of many-to-many relationships. Generally, the three-legged firewall (outside, inside, DMZ) is about as sophisticated as they get, and having multiple firewalls in a single configuration has been a ...

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