Firewall testing choices and concerns

If you are concerned about the security of your network, then you have probably considered firewall testing. If you do not know anything about firewall testing, do not worry, there are simple steps you can take to make sure that your firewall is doing what it is intended to do: That is, prevent unauthorized access to the computers inside your network. There is nothing particularly fancy or difficult about firewall testing. It is as simple as choosing a service that can provide a variety of scans for known vulnerabilities and open ports.

If you are concerned about the cost of firewall testing, do not be. Basic firewall testing is beautifully simple and in many cases, free. All one has to do is navigate to a firewall testing website and choose the type of test they wish to perform. Most free firewall testing web sites are ad supported, so you may have to deal with banner ads, but they do offer solid port scanning capability. They can give you an idea as to the holes available to get past your security by using known penetration methods.

A free, informal firewall testing scan such as this might not stand up to an audit of the security policies of your company, nor may it satisfy the information officer that all the network data is secure. In a case where you have more stringent firewall testing requirements, you may have to invest some money in procuring an agency that will do a more thorough and sophisticated scan. Still, for a home network or a smaller company, a free scan can at least give you an idea as to where your holes are and guide you towards perhaps investing money in a true firewall testing scan. With security often the target of internal audits, a professional scan is the best way to prove that your firewall is doing what it is supposed to do.

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