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  |   Business


What Is Egress Security?


A firewall is one of the most crucial parts of network security. With proper configuration, it can function effectively to protect the network from malicious and harmful threats. A specific area that is often overlooked or misconfigured is egress filtering.

An egress filter or otherwise known as Egress Security is responsible for controlling the traffic that is about to leave the network. Before securing an outbound connection, it needs to pass the rules or policies set by the network administrator. Most firewalls have egress filtering in place, but it is not enabled. The typical set-up usually allows any part of the network to connect outside without passing through these filters.

Why is egress security necessary?

If you take a look at the function of an egress filter, it is logical to conclude that it is essential because it is capable of preventing dangerous outbound connections to the network. Although it is not likely to solve all issues with security, there are many good reasons to enable it.

  1. It can prevent malware connection. In instances when a computer within the network is infected with malware, the egress filter will prevent the malware from connecting externally to its host. If the malware is sophisticated enough to try and export data from the computer, egress security will help prevent the malware from connecting to its intended destination.
  2. Block unnecessary services. Network administrators can use the egress filter to block specific protocols so that users cannot access them. For example, you can prevent users from browsing specific websites or using chat services on a video calling application like Skype.
  3. Minimize network’s contribution to cyber-attacks. Enabling the egress filter in your system will also help prevent traffic that allows hackers to use your network to send malware, botnets, and spam.
  4. Better awareness of network activity. Network administrators will have better visibility of the network’s activity.

It is best to configure egress filtering right at the edge of the network. Everything that happens within the system will pass through the filter before it can exit, which means the only hardware that is beyond the filter’s reach is the internet modem.

Balancing convenience and security

The entire process of monitoring and identifying which traffic to allow is often too much for a company’s current workload. Like every aspect of network security, there needs to be a perfect balance between what is convenient, and what is considered safe. If you implement a default policy that allows traffic to exit the network unfiltered, business operations may be uninterrupted, but it is not secure.

Implementing egress security effectively is not easy. But, doing so is worth the hard work. In the future, using egress filtering by default may become commonplace as some industry regulations may start to require it. Even when egress filtering set to default-deny may appear inconvenient, it is in the organization’s best interest to put it in place. Once the users become accustomed to it, it will no longer be a concern, but rather a necessity, as they begin to appreciate the benefits

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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