Firewalls' False Sense of Security

    Date01 Mar 2005
    CategoryFirewalls
    10472
    Posted ByBenjamin D. Thomas
    The Internet front door to almost every bank and financial services company in the world is guarded by two sets of firewalls defining a DMZ. Nearly every e-commerce site sits in a similar DMZ in what has become the de facto standard in Web security architecture. According to Sun Microsystems, "In today's tumultuous times, having a sound firewall/DMZ environment is your first line of defense against external threats." But I would argue that guarding the perimeter is lulling organizations into a false sense of security that results in ignoring the implementation of other security mechanisms in their applications and databases.

    In contrast, the Internet front door to MIT doesn't have a DMZ and pretty much doesn't even have a firewall. Universities begin with an assumption that everything is open, but these large organizations are arguably no more vulnerable to external threats than banks and financial institutions, and perhaps less vulnerable to internal threats.

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