What You ve Accomplished So Far

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What You've Accomplished So Far

If you've read the entire chapter and been building your firewall along the way, at this point, you've accomplished the following tasks:

  • Gained a rudimentary understanding of firewalls and how they provide security to a network

  • Started with a base Red Hat Linux system and pared it down to the minimum you need

  • Configured a set of network filtering rules to implement a simple yet very functional firewall suitable for a small network for home or office

  • Configured Network Address Translation and installed DHCP and DNS servers to provide completely transparent access to computers on your network

This is quite a feat, if you think about it! You've now got a fully functional firewall and internal network, which goes a very long way indeed toward maintaining your privacy and system integrity against hostile crackers on the Internet. Best of all, you built it yourself!

Hopefully you see how assembling a firewall really isn't so very different from configuring any other computer; it's simply a matter of installing what you need, and understanding how to properly configure what you install. Assembling a firewall does, however, require a certain expertise in assembling networks and creating a secure set of firewall rules, and this brief introduction certainly can't make you an expert in those areas. However, you should be capable of appropriately tuning and customizing the Linux system itself! If you find yourself interested in those more arcane topics, then you should check the bibliography at the end of this chapter for some excellent resources.

So, you now have a firewall. What do you do with it? Well, for one thing, you have to monitor it. No firewall will ever be 100% secure, and so you need to be aware of security exploits that may be discovered in software you've installed, and you need to monitor the system so that you know what's happening to it. These topics are discussed in the next section.

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Tuning and Customizing a Linux System
Tuning and Customizing a Linux System
ISBN: 1893115275
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 159

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