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Security risks of firewalls and VPNs

What are the key security risks and considerations to adopt firewall/VPN technology?

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Some key security risks and standards that should be considered while adopting a firewall/VPN are:
  • Single point of failure
  • Loose security policies
  • support protection
  • Limitation of technology
  • False sense of security
  • Weak encryption
  • Latency risks
Risks are threats to your objectives. A proper risk analysis should be done before making any technology decision. A risk analysis should address:
  • What is at risk?
  • What is its value?
  • What are the threats?
  • What is the probability of occurrence?
Some firewall/VPN standards to consider:
  • Open architecture
  • Packet filteration
  • Default to denial
  • Auditing capabilities
  • Access control
  • Logging capabilities
  • Intrusion detection
  • Extended user authentication
  • Secured subnets
  • Strong encryption
  • Network management systems
  • Secure back-up
  • Stateful inspection
  • Real-time traffic monitoring & alerting system
  • Device management
  • Secure tunneling

This was first published in August 2005

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