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Security setup for new dedicated server

Posted on 2004-10-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hello all!  I am a web developer (which tells you how qualified I am to make decisions on security ;-) ) and  I am currently trying to ensure that my client's new dedicated server solution is properly secured.  They run a coldfusion 5.0 application.  They have their own email application.  The os will be windows 2003 with IIS.  It will be providing hosting for many different sites - all generated by that coldfusion application with some customization here and there.

We are hosting with rackspace and they are providing a Cisco PIX 501 firewall for the server.  My main question is whether or not we need or want a software firewall.  From what I read, software firewalls are a must in addition to the hardware.  But I am hearing from some of the security folks I have spoken with that a software firewall is not desirable for a server setup.   Can you help me clear up the confusion?  Thanks for your time!
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Question by:JGoyer
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mikeleebrla earned 250 total points
ID: 12237759
I would have to say that you do not need a software firewall. A good hardware firewall such as Cisco will block all unwanted traffic so there isn't a need to have a software firewall.  Ive worked in Datacenters in the past and none of our clients ever used  software firewalls since they either used our hardware firewall or provided thier own.  In my opinion software firewalls are for home use to block traffic from entering your computer since most home users do not have a hardware firewall.  I personally have a hardware firewall set up at my home as well.  
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