Issue No.09 - September (2008 vol.19)
Firewalls are the mainstay of enterprise security and the most widely adopted technology for protecting private networks. An error in a firewall policy either creates security holes that will allow malicious traffic to sneak into a private network or blocks legitimate traffic and disrupts normal business processes, which in turn could lead to irreparable, if not tragic, consequences. It has been observed that most firewall policies on the Internet are poorly designed and have many errors. Therefore, how to design firewall policies correctly is an important issue. In this paper, we propose the method of diverse firewall design, which consists of three phases: a design phase, a comparison phase, and a resolution phase. In the design phase, the same requirement specification of a firewall policy is given to multiple teams who proceed independently to design different versions of the firewall policy. In the comparison phase, the resulting multiple versions are compared with each other to detect all functional discrepancies between them. In the resolution phase, all discrepancies are resolved and a firewall that is agreed upon by all teams is generated.
Security and Privacy Protection, Operating Systems Software/Software Engineering, Reliability, Configuration Management
Alex X. Liu, Mohamed G. Gouda, "Diverse Firewall Design", IEEE Transactions on Parallel & Distributed Systems, vol.19, no. 9, pp. 1237-1251, September 2008, doi:10.1109/TPDS.2007.70802