RECIPESavvy system builders are well aware that hordes of hackers stand ready to descend on your clients' operations and steal everything from personal identities to state secrets. Worse, some hackers are out to destroy your clients' valuable data—and your reputation along with it. So unless a system builder enjoys rebuilding disks, recovering data, and fielding downtime complaints, they should know at least a little something about firewalls. Namely, how firewalls work and how to select the best firewall for a specific installation.
In this Recipe, I'll explain both the options for firewall protection and the differences between hardware and software implementations. By the end, you should be able to point a client to the firewall that best fits their budget, complements their operations and, of course, provides them with the best possible protection.
I'll also show, in step-by-step fashion, how to build a configurable and secure Linux firewall from a recycled PC. Since the software I recommend is freeware, this will also allow you to offer incredible cost savings to your clients.
To start, let's look at the subject of firewalls in general, both the hardware and software varieties.