Basic LAN Security - Hardware, Software or Both?

By daryl ·
As the only techy in our small organization, I manage our small network. To date, I have relied on the firewall in our router (Linksys WRT54GS) as well as a software (by Eset) on every desktop to provide protection from unauthorized outside users. My question is: would it be wise to implement a new, dedicated security device that could protect my entire LAN so that I can eliminate the software firewalls? My goal is to make interactivity easier inside my LAN (being able to find other computer, printers, etc.). If I'm not crazy with this idea, does anyone have a suggestion for such a device?

My desktops are Win XP and Vista. I also use a Linksys VOIP box for Vonage. I keep shared data on a Netgear ReadyNAS NV+.

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Well the de facto standard has been

by CG IT In reply to Basic LAN Security - Hard ...

a layered approach both for firewalls as well as antivirus and malware protection.

The old castle security model works well and has done so for centuries. Multiple walls of defense with small openings that are easily defendable.

If you rely solely on a perimeter firewall, if that is ever breached, the hacker now has access to everything. If there are other firewalls in place, they have to overcome those as well.

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forget software

by dr.engnr In reply to Basic LAN Security - Hard ...

imho, software firewalls are nothing but resource hogs that cause issues rather than preventing them. You can get a used Cisco asa for cheap but if you have a really small network the linksys will be fine. why is it that software firewalls are so popular anyway? the router that is connecting you to the internet is, by default, blocking all incoming ports. if you have a worm on your network or something that you don't want to 'replicate' then your antivirus should handle it, not your firewall.

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Basically What I Was Thinking

by daryl In reply to forget software

I've been suspicious that my reality is just what you described: that is, my software firewalls are redundant and possibly even problematic.

My router is a Linksys WRT54GS. It does have a firewall component and I'll need to verify settings. I DO use a public IP for this router to allow for remote connection to our NAS (username and password required, I hope that is enough?).

On a related, but tangential thought, I'd like to upgrade my router to support 802.11n. Any suggestions that would provide sufficient firewall security and be a great router? I have my eye on a Linksys WRT160N.

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