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Deep packet inspection: The next phase of firewall evolution


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Firewalls are the most effective defense against cyberintruders on the network, and they are becoming increasingly better at blocking network-based attacks. Stages in firewall evolution include: 


Access control lists

Routers and gateways make decisions based on source and destination IP addresses, as well as the protocol that a connection is attempting to use. Each protocol is associated with a different port number—for example, port 80 for HTTP or port 110 for Post Office Protocol. Many gateways simply block all access, with exceptions for standard protocols such as HTTP for Web access and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol for e-mail. However, attack applications can be tunneled over port 80 to circumvent the firewall.

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