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Sample chat question with Laura DiDio

Laura DiDio discusses the role of firewalls in securing an Internet connection for e-commerce in this Q&A.

Here's a sample of the types of questions that Laura DiDio, Giga Information Group analyst, handled in a searchSecurity...

discussion on "How to repel a hack attack."

Question: What is the best way to establish a secure Internet connection for e-commerce?

Laura DiDio: Internet security is crucial not only to secure the network, but also to maximize the accessibility, availability and confidentiality of data for authorized users. In other words, successful measures secure the business, not merely the network. The first thing to consider is the Internet boundary. This is where the corporate logical network ends and the public network, the Internet, begins. Usually, this boundary is identified by a T1 or similar cable connecting the perimeter router and the Internet service provider. The router represents the most external logical part of the corporate network. The router should, in turn, connect to the firewall or an array of parallel firewalls. An "array of parallel firewalls" is, in fact, becoming more common, because companies are finding that using multiple firewalls is the most efficient way to secure and process data at high speeds. Operating side by side, the firewalls can focus on specific protocols or types of traffic. In any case, the router sends traffic to the firewall. The firewall, in turn, vectors some specific traffic to Web servers and mail servers in the secure demilitarized zone (DMZ). The DMZ is a third network; neither entirely public (like the Internet) nor entirely private (like the corporate LAN). Therefore, the DMZ should be segregated from both by a firewall. Check Point's Firewall-1 may be configured to provide fast traffic inspection and management between all three networks: the Internet, the DMZ and the corporate LAN. Other firewalls like Gauntlet or Raptors are proxy firewalls that have other strengths, but they are not well suited for the secure DMZ. The external firewall or array of firewalls can manage authentication of users and secure traffic management between corporate resources and the Internet. It is difficult to have much more security without sacrificing the availability and overall functionality necessary for most business.

For a complete transcript of this live Q & A, please go to our Chat Archives.

Related book

Complete Guide to Internet Security
Authors : Mark S. Merkow and James Breithaupt
Publisher : Amacom
ISBN/CODE : 081447070X
Cover Type : Hard Cover
Pages : 400
Published : July 2000
Hardly a week goes by without a report of some hacker, disgruntled employee, or techno-thief breaking into a computer system -- vandalizing Web sites, stealing confidential data, compromising trade secrets, or worse. The Complete Guide to Internet Security offers a behind-the-scenes guided tour through the field of information security for IT professionals, systems analysts, CIOs, programmers and anyone intent on making their computer system more secure.

This was last published in November 2000

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