Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Desktop Security

Our comprehensive desktop-security plan is four-pronged, consisting of software firewalls, encrypted channels, antivirus tools and user education. In fact, before you buy a single security item, you must have a user-education program and a system to enforce and maintain it.

The Always-On Alternative

Applications or drivers that run on the end user's PC--software firewalls--usually act as a kernel shim. The software intercepts the data being passed between the kernel and network card drivers, inspecting all network traffic passed through it.

There are two major types of software firewalls: port blockers and application blockers. Port blockers, which include the built-in Windows 2000/XP firewall and the IPtables on Linux, work just like gateway or Internet firewalls and can block communications only to or from specific TCP/UDP ports.


Special Issue:
Affordable IT


• Introduction

• Desktop Management

• Desktop Security

• Patch Management

• Protocol Analyzers
• Network Monitoring

• Network Configuration

• Storage
• Whiteboxes &
  Used Gear

• All-In-One Gateways
• Mobile & Wireless
• E-Mail
• Web Servers

• Load Balancers
• Remote Access Security

Regrettably, port blockers are useless on the desktop. For one thing, you'd have to open a wide range of ports for a user to take advantage of his or her most common applications. What's more, these firewalls can't distinguish between Internet Explorer and a hostile program sending traffic over Port 80.

  • 1