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MAIC is the result of ISPs in the Mid-Atlantic Region combining efforts to provide a larger customer base with expanded coverage areas while maintaining the local ISP service level.

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1] Understanding Firewalls

Architecturally speaking, a firewall is a fireproof wall that segments a building into two physically distinct halves. Thus preventing a fire, which started in one half of the building, from spreading to the other half of the building.

Similarly, in Information Technology terms, a firewall is a device that divides a network into two distinct halves, one being your private network and the other being the Internet.

NETWORK
FIREWALL
INTERNET

But there the analogy ends, as we want to be able to use the Internet but we don't want the Internet to (ab)use us.


2] How To Build a Firewall, or, How Our Business Braved the Internet and Survived.

As we would like to be able to talk to the Internet, but not have the Internet able to reach us, one of the two major functions of a firewall is to act like an unlisted phone number. We can call IBM and ask for information, but IBM can't look us up and call us. The other major function of a firewall is to act like call blocking, where certain phone numbers can not call us (actually, we don't want anyone calling us!).

On the Internet, the equivalent of an unlisted phone number is a non-routable IP address. Every single machine behind our firewall will have one of these "unlisted" IP addresses, and that makes it hard for someone to even find us in the first place.

On top of that, our firewall will also block every single person on the Internet from talking to our network. This function is called IP filtering, and just like a phone call, we know whether we or someone else on the Internet originated the call. If we originated the call out to the Internet, the call goes through, but if someone on the Internet originated the call, our firewall just hangs up.




3] Why COMSEC is the Right Choice for your Enterprise, or The Gory Financial Details.

Your enterprise can purchase the best firewall money can buy and still have its security compromised simply because the firewall administrator made a human error configuring the firewall. Unfortunately, misconfigured firewalls have been the originating cause of many of the well known "hacks" such as the CIA home page incident, where it was replaced by a crude picture of the President and First Lady. Our solution is to maintain the firewall for you, instead of selling you the box and wishing you good luck.



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