What is a DMZ Network and How Does It Work? Understanding What DMZ Stands For and Its Benefits Explained
What is DMZ Network?
In the network security world, we sometimes create areas called "DMZs". This serves as a buffer area to protect information and terminals that connect to the network from external attacks.
It is very dangerous to place web servers, etc. within the company network because they allow external access and are vulnerable to attacks. Therefore, a DMZ is generally set up. In this column, we will explain how DMZ works and its merits.
What is DMZ Network?
DMZ stands for DeMilitarized Zone, meaning demilitarized zone. It refers to a buffer zone that functions as a middle ground between a "dangerous area" and a "safe area.
In networking, it refers to a segment of network created between an external network (e.g., Internet) and an internal network (e.g., internal LAN). Normally, the DMZ is isolated from the external network, the Internet, and the internal network by a firewall, etc. By installing a server that is open to the public, such as a web server, in the DMZ, even if there is unauthorized access from the outside, the network is isolated, and therefore, a security effect can be expected. This will provide a security effect even if there is unauthorized access from the outside.
There are two types of DMZ mechanisms: single firewall DMZ networks and dual firewall DMZ networks.
(1) Single Firewall DMZ Network
A single firewall DMZ network uses a single firewall. Ports are provided for internal, DMZ, and external use so that all communications pass through the firewall.
In this configuration, only one firewall is required, and the cost is lower than the dual firewall configuration described below.
(2) Dual Firewall DMZ Network
In a dual firewall DMZ network, two firewalls are installed between the inside and outside of the network, and a DMZ is placed between them. This configuration is used when the DMZ and the internal LAN are physically separated, such as when the DMZ is located in a data center.
Cases where a network DMZ is required
Mainly, servers that are open to the outside world are often located in the DMZ. Specifically, mail servers, FTP servers, web servers, etc. These servers need to be accessed from the outside as well as from the inside. If they are installed internally, communications from the external network will enter the internal network, increasing the security risk. Therefore, they must be accessible from both inside and outside, and must be located in the DMZ to allow each communication to pass through the firewall.
Advantages and disadvantages of DMZ servers
The benefits of a DMZ include the following.
First, it improves security. It is possible to restrict communication between the inside and the DMZ, and between the DMZ and the outside, respectively, allowing business as usual while enhancing security.
Furthermore, it is easy to configure and simple to install. Basically, all you have to do is install a firewall, configure it, and you are configured.
Second, there is the potential cost savings: the cost of setting up a DMZ is high, but the cost and time involved in the event of a data breach due to unauthorized access from the outside is greater than the cost and time involved; by setting up a DMZ, the likelihood of an outside intrusion is reduced, and the cost of a data breach is reduced.
On the other hand, the disadvantages include the following.
First, potential risks remain. There is no problem against external intrusion, especially of sensitive data, but unauthorized access from the inside cannot be handled.
Second, there is a one-time cost increase. Although the potential cost of security risk can be reduced, the initial cost of FW and labor will be a burden for some companies. It is also necessary to review the settings from time to time after the DMZ is set up.
In addition, the use of cloud services has been increasing in recent years, and there are cases where a public server to the outside is not set up in the company's network. In this case, there is no point in setting up a DMZ.
DMZ is a relatively easy system to implement, but you also need to first consider whether it is really necessary. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your company's systems and cloud services, and introduce them as needed, taking into account both security and cost.
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