Illumio Blog
February 26, 2015

A Brief History of the Firewall

Alana Devich,

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To really understand the security landscape we’re living in, we need to put it in the context of what’s been happening until now. A key part of network security—since, well, the beginning of the networkhas been the firewall. So, we offer to you a brief history of the firewall.

#TBT The First Firewall

A Brief History of the Firewall

And so here we are. In a world where the firewall is still seen as synonymous with data center security—but where there is no single place to put a choke point.

...And a Bonus

While I was researching key dates for this timeline, I asked Jimmy Ray Purser, Illumio’s security technologist, if there were any interesting facts or tidbits in his brain about firewalls, and he told me that, yes, there were a few “thingies” he wanted to share with our readers. Here was my favorite “thingy” he told me:

“Firewalls do a good job at what they are designed to do. The problem is they get installed and promptly forgotten about.  Firewalls are like sports cars, they have to be tuned up and customized for the conditions they will be running in. Like cars, they are tested in controlled conditions and advertised using the best possible numbers. The reality is much different. Your network and your data flows are going to not only be different than other companies', but they'll change and morph over time. Firewalls need tune-ups and daily care and feeding. Remember, you’re putting your data out there and challenging the world to come and get it. Give the firewall a break, man! It’s not a miracle box—or a ShamWow. It does not solve all your security issues.”

Topics: Data Center Operations

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