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NIST SP 800-41 - Guidelines on Firewalls and Firewall Policies
on Saturday 14 January 2006 print the content item {PDF=create pdf file of the content item^plugin:content.26}
in NIST.gov Publications > Special Publications - SP 800 series

NIST Special Pub 800-41 provides introductory information, recommendations, and guidelines about firewalls and firewall policy primarily to assist those responsible for network security. It addresses concepts relating to the design, selection, deployment, and management of firewalls and firewall environments. It is not intended to provide a mandatory framework for firewalls and firewall environments, but rather to present suggested approaches to the topic.

NIST Special Publication 800-41 "Guidelines on Firewalls and Firewall Policies". This document does a very good job of covering fiewall definitions, best practices, policies, etc.

Download NIST SP 800-41

You can use the NIST.org Forum to ask questions or discuss this document.

Description (taken from SP 800-41, edited):
NIST SP 800-41 is an update to NIST Special Publication 800-10, Keeping Your Site Comfortably Secure: An Introduction to Firewall Technology.2 That document dealt with the firewall landscape of 1994, and while the basic aspects of firewalls described in Special Publication 800-10 are still relevant, numerous aspects of firewall technology have changed.

Special Publication 800-10 dealt with the basics of Internet Protocol (IP) packet filtering and application gateway firewalls, and outlined basic firewall configurations and policy. This document covers IP filtering with more recent policy recommendations, and deals generally with hybrid firewalls that can filter packets and perform application gateway (proxy) services. This document also contains specific recommendations for policy as well as a simple methodology for creating firewall policy.

As the Internet has developed into the modern, complex network of today, Internet security has become more problematic, with break-ins and attacks now so commonplace as to be considered part of doing business. Now, firewall technology is a standard part of any organization's network security architecture. Today, home users on commercial dial-in and cable/DSL connections routinely employ personal firewalls and firewall appliances.

Modern firewalls are able to work in conjunction with tools such as intrusion detection monitors and email/web content scanners for viruses and harmful application code. But firewalls alone do not provide complete protection from Internet-borne problems. As a result, they are just one part of a total information security program. Generally firewalls are viewed as the first line of defense, however it may be better to view them as the last line of defense for an organization; organizations should still make the security of their internal systems a high priority.


The SP 800-41 document was created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST.gov) and is public domain (not subject to copyright).



NIST Special Publication # 800-41


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