How To Ensure Your Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall Is Protecting You

The definition of a denial of service attack stateful firewall includes all good firewalls, whether hardware, commercial or free firewall download.

Providing a firewall performs stateful packet inspection and monitors the state of network or computer connections to prevent Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, it is covered by this definition.

Here, we'll be taking a tour of firewalls and talking about...

  1. Customizing and configuring firewalls
  2. Firewall limitations and testing
  3. Supporting firewall articles

1. Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall... Configuring Firewalls

Before installing any firewall software on a Windows XP computer, whether it be a commercial or a free firewall download, be sure that the firewall built into Windows XP is turned off at the Windows Security Center.

If it's another third party software firewall, use the vendor's uninstall utility. If that's not available, use the Windows XP Add Or Remove Programs tool in the control panel.

If you're asking why you should not use the Windows XP firewall, you'll find the answers in Is XP Firewall Safe?.

Never use two software firewalls at the same time, as it can cause conflict on our system. A hardware and software denial of service attack stateful firewall combined is not a problem... the hardware firewall is external to our computer, whereas the software firewall is internal.

Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall... What Configuration Settings To Apply?

Our firewall will protect us according to the rules we set, and we can alter the rules at any time.

If we buy a router, commercial application or install a free firewall download, the firewall will have a default configuration. That is, it will operate according to rules that would be required by average users.

A denial of service attack stateful firewall usually comes acceptably secure for most users.

A software firewall, whether commercial or a free firewall download, is easy to install... but it requires a brief training period while the firewall detects our browser, e-mail, network, and other programs that attempt to connect with remote servers.

When a program on our computer tries to access the Internet, the firewall will stop that attempt and ask whether or not we want that program to have Internet access. We then tell it either to give the program Internet access this one time, always give it access, deny access this one time, or always deny Internet access.

This is very useful when it comes to malware like Trojan horses. By denying a Trojan Internet access, it renders it harmless... it can't communicate with a third party.

We can opt to have our firewall automatically block suspicious activity, or to alert us whenever any program on our computer tries to send information.

Our denial of service attack stateful firewall guards our computer ports in various ways, depending on the security policy that we've chosen. If we choose high security, our computer can be invisible online -- neither our computer nor its ports are visible to crackers.

Since each firewall is different, we'll need to read and understand the documentation that comes with it. This will tell us whether or not the default settings for the firewall are sufficient for our needs.

Additional assistance will be available from the firewall vendor, if it's a commercial firewall. A free firewall download, however, is unlikely to have support.

2. Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall... Firewall Limitations And Testing

Unfortunately, while properly configured firewalls may be effective at blocking certain attacks, we mustn't be lulled into a false sense of security. So, let's have a look at what the limitations of a firewall are and how we can test our firewall to ensure it is configured correctly for our safety...

Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall... Firewall Limitations

Although they do offer a certain amount of protection, firewalls do not guarantee that our computer won't be attacked. In particular, a firewall offers little or no protection against viruses that work by running the infected program on our computer... as many email-borne viruses do.

We, therefore, need to use a firewall in conjunction with other protective measures, such as antivirus and spyware blocker software. For advice on what critical installations we should have on our PC, take a look at The Business Home PC Security Software... The Critical Level.

Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall... Firewall Testing

How do we know if our firewall is doing its job?

Well, there are a number of online sites that provide intruder testing and will grade our firewall for us. Testing our firewall is the only sure way to tell that our computer is really being protected.

The one that I recommend that provides the most exhaustive test is Security Space Desktop Audit.

Although there is a very small charge, you can test your firewall as many times as you like for one year. This is pretty useful, as you could change your firewall configuration a number of times. Without testing again, you won't be sure that you have optimal configuration.

There are also free checks available, like Shields Up. This is nowhere near as demanding as the Security Space Desktop Audit, but it will tell you whether there are any glaring security holes in your firewall.

As with all security and privacy software, to prevent any security breaches, keep up with the latest patches or updates for the firewall and the operating system.

It's probable that your firewall has automatic updates as does your operating system, if it's Windows XP -- just check that the automatic update feature is switched on.

3. Denial Of Service Attack Stateful Firewall... Supporting Firewall Articles


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