An Assessment of Packet Filter Technology


Authors: Christian Seifert, Ian Welch and Peter Komisarczuk
Source: Adobe PDF (442kb)

Abstract: Packet filters are widely adopted security technologies that provide strong security defenses to a network. However, despite their strength they also pose a danger with a false sense of security. In this paper, we assess packet filter technology to provide an increased understanding of their limitations. We describe shortcomings around design, administration, and performance of packet filters and how these shortcomings decrease the effectiveness of packet filters. While operators of packet filters might be able to address these shortcomings by practicing defense in depth and breadth, we also present research opportunities to continue to improve packet filter technology.

Keywords: Packet filters, network security, computer security.

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