Definition: Firewall

As a geek I often find myself explaining some aspect of computing to a relative novice. Recently I was asked what a “firewall is”, without skipping a beat I replied:

“A firewall is a device you install on your computer network to stop things working”

Seems like a fairly reasonable definition to me . . .

3 thoughts on “Definition: Firewall

  1. Pat Bettels

    Hmm.. spoken like a true developer🙂

    If we were honest with ourselves, it should probably be:
    A firewall is a device you install on your computer network to make developers pay attention to what they doing and write their code in a security conscious manner rather than assuming everything will work in their open network and Administrator account.

    Remember that Lease Privilege phase you went through about a year ago….

    Keep up the good work. Nice to see technical articles on you blog again.
    Pat

  2. Mitch Denny Post author

    Hi Pat,

    Not sure about. More of a frustraited user response. The other day I wanted to get onto a system that I had out on the Internet to check some code I had stored up there but I couldn’t because the firewall stopped me getting to the HTTP port which happened to be hosted on an irregular port.

    The reality is that TCP/IP is designed to allow systems to connect across networks as peers and it is up to the endpoints to defend themselves. Firewalls are actually what is causing people to get sloppy with security.

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