Affordable firewalls

Monday, 11 August 2003, 12:15 AM EST

The first line of defense, for networks large or small, is typically the firewall -- that aptly named barrier that is supposed to keep heat from unwanted intruders outside while allowing those within to go about their business normally.

Traditionally, firewalls have consisted of some combination of hardware and software that was powerful, flexible, and pretty much a pain to manage. Thatís not a problem so long as your company can afford to dedicate people to the task, since it gives you ultimate control over your perimeter.

It can become tough, though, when IT budgets -- and especially headcount -- grow tighter, as has happened in recent years.

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