Security Sometimes Means Sacrificing Accessibility




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March 19, 2012
Balancing Security And Performance As A Network Admin
By Michael Marr
Network Administrators play a delicate game of balancing uptime and security. Increased security often comes at the sacrifice of accessibility and/or performance. Steps to increase accessibility and uptime often create security issues. Thus, measures that can potentially bolster performance, uptime, and security are sought out as holy relics in network administration. The Pareto principle suggests that, in a majority of cases, 80% of the problems will arise from 20% of the sources. If it is possible to identify the 20% of countries causing 80% of our security problems, it is possible to ban the complete ip blocks from those countries and effectively eliminate 80% of our problems? Is this a reasonable solution, or just plain overkill?

I recently came across a server that, over the years, has accumulated quite the iptables definition. A given ip was banned anytime it was identified as performing malicious activity. Sometimes whole ip blocks were banned. Although there was no documentation on a per-ip basis, the assumption is made that any ip or block banned was likely involved in a ddos...

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