You might remember that I published an article in late November called Beginners Guide to securing your pc. You might remember as well that I suggested that there was no need for a desktop firewall at all. And you might even remember that I got some pretty bad comments about my suggestion in the comments section.
I found an article on the Search Security website today entitled security without firewalls: sensible or silly which comes to a similar conclusion six months later. I'm not saying I was the first to advocate systems without firewalls, or at least without desktop firewalls, but it seems I'm definitely not the only one who thinks that this may be a viable solution.
Singer said there's a "horrible truth" about firewalls: they have performance problems, are vulnerable to cascade failures and changing one rule on the network can open up a security hole someplace else. He said a fellow IT professional once conducted a routine firewall test and found several ports wide open. But perhaps the biggest problem of all is that users inside the firewall can't be trusted.
"Firewalls can't protect you from what users are doing inside the company," Singer said. "If I want to steal from a bank, I won't try to punch through their firewall. I'll get a job in the mailroom."
I'd be interested to hear your opinion on the matter. Are you using a firewall? If so what kind of firewall, built-in (like the Windows XP firewall), desktop (like Outpost) or even a hardware firewall?
Update: The original article is only available after you register to the site. This is a change in recent time. All you need to do is enter an email address into the sign up form to read the article on site again.
Update 2: Firewalls have improved a lot in recent time, especially the Windows Firewall has been updated by Microsoft to make it a viable alternative to other firewall products. Experienced users who configure firewalls properly won't run into many of the issues discussed in the article or mine.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.