Product Reviews

BorderWare Firewall Server 6.1.1

BorderWare’s Firewall Server 6.1.1 is an interesting solution to the problem of making sure the firewall remains in action—it wipes out anything that existed beforehand on the partition where the product is to be installed, then installs the firewall and its operating system in that space. BorderWare’s hardened version of BSD Unix is all that exists on the firewall server and is managed at the console or via a Windows 9x/NT client package called BWClient. This approach is actually quite secure because it keeps administrators from installing extraneous software and drivers on a machine that should be dedicated strictly to firewall duty.

I will say that for Windows administrators, installing Firewall Server may prove a bit tricky, although it shouldn’t pose a real problem to anyone remotely familiar with Unix. If, however, you’re using SCSI drives or need a particularly complicated partition configuration, be prepared to perform some fairly technical drive geometry details. The console itself isn’t exactly user-friendly and GUI administrators will immediately abandon it in favor of BWClient. By the way, the fade effects on the HTML-based documentation slowed and annoyed me to no end. (Is anyone at BorderWare listening?)

Firewall Server boasts a solid set of robust features including NAT, remote administration, application proxies, and access control rules. But it lacks Windows integration, so access control was limited to IP addresses. Still, if you don’t require tight integration between your firewall and Windows, Firewall Server is a scalable, stable, and configurable option.

About the Author

Chip Andrews, MCSE+I, MCDBA is a software security architect at (Clarus Corp.). Chip maintains the (sqlsecurity.com) Web site and speaks at security conferences on SQL Server security issues.

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