The person conducting the test may for example have

Info icon This preview shows pages 2–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
satisfactory to the organization, the test may have been conducted in a less-than-competent manner. The person conducting the test may, for example, have conducted only a few, rather non-rigorous tests. Worse yet, this person may have been haphazard in conducting the test, perhaps putting at risk network services in addition to data residing on hosts behind the firewall. The organization may never be aware of the methodology that the person who has tested the firewall has used, even though the meaning of the test results are highly dependent upon the type and quantity of tests that have been conducted. The person conducting the test may also not have systematically recorded the steps that were taken and the results of each. One likely result is that the client organization may be misled concerning the security state of its firewall(s), or may be unable to replicate the testing procedures or to understand the specific nature and symptoms of any exposures that surface because of the lack of detailed testing procedures and/or documentation. In short, too many firewall tests are conducted in the absence of a systematic and guiding methodology. Firewall tests conducted in this manner have extremely limited value, and can even be risky, causing disruption of ongoing network operations in addition to political fallout. The primary purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology that SRI Consulting has been using to perform real- world firewall tests for nearly two years. We describe this methodology as an example of the use of a systematic approach to testing firewalls in the hope that it will both lead to a better understanding of the technology of effective firewall testing and elevate the practice of firewall testing. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS The beginning point of a sound firewall test is understanding the basic purpose and logic of testing firewalls. Different organizations may have different specific requirements with respect to firewall 2 The results of anti-virus product testing are often open to challenge because the organization performing the testing may use an older version of a vendor’s product when a new, more effective release is imminent. In addition, what constitutes a representative set of viruses against which to test products is an unsolved issue. Parallel issues face those who want to test firewalls in a similar manner.
Image of page 2

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
testing, but the fundamental purpose of a firewall test is not merely to test the security provided by a firewall machine (although this is often one element a firewall test). Routers may, for example, also perform important security screening functions for inbound traffic. A good firewall test is geared not only upon attacking a firewall system, but also upon additional elements. A major purpose of firewalls is to create a security perimeter around an entire network (Cheswick & Bellovin, 1994); a firewall is simply one component of the network that is designed to create such a perimeter . The real purpose of a firewall test is to evaluate the security of the entire network with respect to the possibility of entry from an external location.
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern