[unisog] Personal Firewalls

Peter Van Epp vanepp at sfu.ca
Wed Apr 3 17:34:29 GMT 2002

	While we aren't at present recommending these (we are looking at them)
you may want to have a look at www.alphashield.com. This is a hardware firewall
(like a linksys box). Its claim to fame is that it is configurationless. It
only allows connections that are started from the user's machine (still allowing
the user to shoot themselves in the foot). It rejects all external connections
(thus no PtoP connections, no web servers etc). After some period of no
activity from the user machine it "disconnects" which is to say it stops 
passing traffic in to the user machine but does continue to answer DHCP requests
from the provider to keep the DHCP address even when it isn't passing traffic
to the user's machine. Its an interesting concept in that it reduces the 
users ability to misconfigure it so as to remove the protection (and as a 
bonus doesn't generate log alerts that people complain to me about as the 
software firewalls do ...). The no configuration or maintance feature is 
appealing to a manpower strapped University (and is there any other kind :-)).

Peter Van Epp / Operations and Technical Support 
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. Canada

> Hi:
> The University of Toronto is looking into the use of Personal
> Firewalls for staff and students.  I am looking for information
> on what other universities are doing in this arena. Answers to the
> following questions would be appreciated.
> I will compile a summary of responses received and mail them to the 
> list (no information on individual institutions will be broadcast).
> 1. Does the institution recommend firewall software to its users?
>    If so, what products are recommended?
> 2. Does the institution provide licensed firewall software to 
>    its users?
>    - If so, which firewall software is made available?
>    - Is the software provided:
>      - free
>      - at cost
>    - What level of support is provided to the user?
> Thanks,
> Wilfred
> ________________________________________
> Wilfred L. Camilleri, CISSP
> Manager Computer Security Administration
> Computing & Networking Services
> University of Toronto
> 255 Huron Street, Suite 350
> Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1
> Phone: 416-978-1267  Fax: 416-971-2085
> Web: www.utoronto.ca/security

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