RE: Hardware Firewall vs Software Firewall

From: Mickey S. Olsberg (
Date: 10/01/01

From: "Mickey S. Olsberg" <>
To: "'Phil Kramer'" <>, <>
Subject: RE: Hardware Firewall vs Software Firewall
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 12:01:26 -0700

I agree wholeheartedly with Phil's opinion, but would add one note. The
only case in my opinion which justifies the speed over security is
very-high bandwidth applications, such as a certain place I know that
contains 36,000 nodes behind its firewalls. Still, you must weigh the
need for security against the need for speed, and security should
*always* win.


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Kramer []
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 8:23 PM
Subject: Re: Hardware Firewall vs Software Firewall

My personal opinion is not hardware vs software, but what firewall is
most secure. You can talk about PIX, CheckPoint, Linux with IPtables,
IPchains and IPfilters but from a security point of view a pure
application proxy is more secure. How many people can notice a 20 ms
pause? If you want speed get a router with ACLS, that's what PIX is.
All these stateful inspection/packet filter technolgies work at too low
a level (layers 2-4) to provide enterprise security. For web servers,
mail servers etc. you need layer 7 checking.

Phil Kramer, SANS GSEC
Systems Solutions Technologies, LLC
Phone: 615-646-5766

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