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Choosing the Right Firewall Platform

Firewall Platforms

Firewall solutions are available on a number of platforms and can generally be segregated into three groups: Hardware-based products and software-based products on Linux/Unix or Windows. For some environments, a hardware-based firewall is a great choice. For others, nothing beats a Linux- or Unix-based firewall and for a great many, a Windows-based firewall is the best choice.

Selection Criteria

problem. If they are organized in their effort, they have established a “Security Policy”, or description of permissible activities using company computers and network(s). A firewall is an important component of the organization’s security infrastructure that will enable enforcement of that policy.

Additional selection criteria, beyond the needs specified in your “Security Policy”, include:

  • Budget: the cost of the firewall and its maintenance must be within the company’s means.
  • Value: the cost should also be in line with the assets it is there to protect - you won’t spend $100,000 to protect information worth $100,000.
  • Requirements: The degree of technical expertise held by your firewall administrator will influence your firewall choice.
Each of the three types of firewalls can be compared according to these criteria.


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