Using a Firewall General Configuration Guide

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1 Using a Firewall General Configuration Guide Page 1

2 1 Contents There are no satellite-specific configuration issues that need to be addressed when installing a firewall and so this document looks instead at some of the more popular commercially-available software and hardware firewall implementations that might be used with an Inmarsat service. 2 Introduction Any always-on Internet connection is a potential target for computer hackers. This is not a satellite-specific issue but a problem that exists for any computer or network that is permanently connected to the Internet. The obvious solution to address this risk is to equip your computer or network with some sort of user-provided firewall. A remote network will typically use a scaled-down version of the type of hardware firewall that large corporate networks use whereas a software firewall is ideal for a single remote user where portability is paramount. All firewall software gives at least the most basic protection. It blocks unauthorised inbound access to the PC, on various port numbers, from the Internet. The PC shouldn t respond at all (e.g. stealth mode ) and it should appear invisible. All unsolicited inbound access attempts are blocked regardless of source. Outbound traffic is monitored and only responses from contacted hosts are permitted back in. Firewalls can also filter outbound connections (from the PC to the Internet). Some viruses and Trojans (see the section on viruses in Inmarsat document, Install a Firewall Background Information) try to make surreptitious outbound connections sometimes to transfer information like passwords or credit-card data and sometimes to allow someone else to connect to the PC through the back door. The effective use of anti-virus software will minimise the need for outbound filtering. If you are in doubt about the protection your firewall offers there is a Webbased utility available at which tests firewalls (benignly fortunately). Connect to the site and check your protection on-line! 3 Software firewalls 3.1 Agnitum Outpost This is an example of a software firewall showing all the logical protocol connections running under Windows 2000 Pro, whilst downloading a file via Regional BGAN. Outpost can be downloaded from Built-in firewall profiles are pre-set to model the safe behaviour of download managers (e.g. FTP), Web browsers (HTTP), standard Microsoft Office products etc. All NetBIOS activity can be blocked. Additional add-ins support the blocking of content such as web site adverts, Active X controls, Java scripts, pop-up windows, cookies and potentially malicious attachments. An optional DNS server is also provided. There is also an attack detector, which monitors and logs any connection requests to your PC from unauthorised sources. This software firewall also offers a full stealth-mode as described above. Page 2

3 Whenever a new IP or NetBIOS connection is requested the firewall prompts the user whether the connection type, port number and application is authorised. See below: As can be seen from the software firewall s Allowed list (below) every parameter of the connection can be set up in the customised rules wizard to be allowed or blocked according to protocol, direction, IP address, local port number, remote port and application name. Page 3

4 These can be modified and updated at will as more knowledge is gained of the behaviour of your applications. 3.2 Zone Alarm Other software firewalls such as Zone Alarm from can be downloaded from This firewall is similar to Outpost and an example of how this is presented is shown below: Each known application can be permitted access to the Internet or the trusted intranet. The firewall learns the users profile of common applications and has profiles built-in for easy initial set-up. Programmes access can thereafter be added and deleted under user control and unknown connections are flagged to the user, who has the opportunity to add them to the permitted applications or block them. Unexpected connections or attacks, which are clearly not genuine applications, are reported to the user via an alert window as shown below. Page 4

5 4 Hardware firewalls 4.1 General Many commercially off-the-shelf routers and hubs now come with built-in Firewalls, VPNs etc. If the routing functions of these devices are working, then it is likely that the other options in particular firewall and network access management will also work. Some examples of typical compact hardware firewalls are described below: 4.2 Symantec Symantec Firewall/VPN appliances are integrated hardware and software systems that provide secure connections via the Internet. Symantec Firewall/VPN offers remote sites a method of securing inbound and outbound web, , FTP and other network traffic. For VPN access, they can provide firewall protection and VPN access to satellite locations and branch offices. The appliance utilizes Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall to monitor and cleanse traffic to and from the Internet. It uses IPSec VPN technology to provide the gateway-to-gateway authentication, confidentiality, and encryption required to ensure the integrity of data across public connections. The VPN Global Tunnel offers data traffic control and tunnelling between local sites and the central office or ISPs. 4.3 Netgear The NETGEAR ProSafe Firewall/Print Servers provide users with security; Denial of Service (DoS) protection and Intrusion Detection using Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), URL access and content filtering, logging, reporting, and real-time alerts. VPN pass-through maintains network security with access control and encryption. A built-in print server is available. With 4 auto-sensing, switched LAN ports and Network Address Translation (NAT) routing, up to 253 users can access your Inmarsat connection at the same time. There is also a 100 Page 5

6 Mbps WAN port for high-speed services. Software tools are provided to assist in getting a network up and running. 4.4 Cisco PIX 501 The Cisco PIX 501 Firewall provides security for small offices and teleworkers. Suitable for securing highspeed always on broadband environments (such as Regional BGAN), the Cisco PIX 501 Firewalls provide security capabilities, small office networking features and remote management capabilities. The Cisco PIX 501 Firewall includes Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewalling, virtual private networking (VPN) and intrusion protection. It uses the Cisco Adaptive Security Algorithm (ASA) and PIX operating system. PIX 501 administrators can enforce customized policies on network traffic traversing through the firewall. The Cisco PIX 501 Firewall can also secure network communications from remote offices to corporate networks across the Internet using Internet Key Exchange (IKE)/IP security (IPSec) VPN capabilities. It supports data encryption with 56-bit Data Encryption Standard (DES) or optional 168-bit Triple DES (3DES) encryption. 4.5 SMC Barricade The SMC Barricade is another popular hardware firewall / router which supports an Internet firewall, print serving and Network Address Translation for up to 253 PCs on your LAN. It also features four 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 ports, a WAN port, a DB-25 printer port and a DHCP server. There is also a DB-9 port for PSTN/ISDN connections. The Barricade also supports VPN. The print server feature can be accessed from any PC on the network. Configuration and management is Web-based. 5 Active content protection & network access controls 5.1 SurfinGuard Other software products have been developed which create a safe Sandbox within which active content or PC applications can operate, but from which any suspicious behaviour will be reported for user approval. These are complimentary to virus checking software, as the protection offered does not completely overlap. One such application, for example, is SurfinGuard from Finjan Software, downloadable from SurfinGuard flags any active content coming from the Internet. This flagged active content is forced to run in SurfinGuard 's Sandbox, where it is monitored for security breaches. The user can set various protection levels as shown below: Page 6

7 Any active content downloaded from the web prior to SurfinGuard installation can still be forced to run in the Sandbox by dragging it onto a desktop Safe Zone icon, or by using a Run Safe menu option. Many normal applications, however, cause a security breach when they are run inside a Sandbox (e.g., the Microsoft Word executable winword.exe, will attempt to read/write from the registry to/from a file as part of its normal operation). 5.2 NetNanny Other popular content-control software is available such as NetNanny, which applies WEB filtering through means of black lists and white lists. This is downloadable from This supports the latest browser software and can match key words to block undesired URLs. You can block pop-up windows and cookies. Although this is also available through Internet Explorer 6 for example NetNanny also enables time limits against individual account holders and the ability to block some popular WEB messenger clients. Detailed user access reports are also captured. One feature that may be useful in the Internet café application is a kiosk mode for PC s shared by members of the public. When any content or URL is detected (including Internet Chat session words), which breach set content or security guidelines, a warning message is displayed and the opportunity is presented for an administrator to log-in. See below: Page 7

8 Page 8 Inmarsat Customer Services & Operations

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