Secure Web Systems

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  1. 1.    Describe the functional differences between firewalls, IDS and IPS software.
  2.  what ways does snort resemble wireshark? Go on to explain how they differ.
  3. 3.     Which is better – NIDS or HIDS? Justify your answer.
  4. 4.     List and explain the main features of a proxy server.
  5. 5.     What is a reverse proxy server?


Describe the functional differences between firewalls, IDS and IPS software.

                     A firewall is software which protects networked machines from malicious intrusion that could breach the confidentiality or data corruption. The program runs on a secure host computer and performs the basic function of inspecting packets to check if they match the criteria required to pass through to the protected network.

What ways does snort resemble wireshark? Go on to explain how they differ.

Wireshark is an open source network protocol analyzer applicable in both Unix and Windows. It allows a user to look at data from a live network or from a capture file on disk right into the level of the packet detail. Wireshark boasts a rich display filter language and the ability to view the reconstructed stream of a TCP session.

Which is better – NIDS or HIDS? Justify your answer.

Both Host intrusion detection systems (HIDS) and network intrusion detection systems (NIDS) are tools used in security management for computers systems or networks. Basically in HIDS approach, anti-threat software is installed in every computer in the network that contains two-way access to volatile environment such as the Web. In NIDS, these anti-threat applications are installed only at strategic points such as servers that interface the unsafe environment and the network entity that is being protected.

List and explain the main features of a proxy server.

Caching: This happens when a user requests for a file. The proxy first browses its cache and forwards it if present; otherwise it forwards the request to the web server.

Connection sharing: Proxies facilitate users to share the internet connection by configuring them to access the web through it instead of providing a direct link to each user.

Filtering: Since the proxy servers handle all the users requests, it can therefore be used to restrict certain URLs.

Security: The proxy server assists in security by hiding the IP address of the users.

Scanning traffic: Sometimes proxies integrate with open source anti-virus software to scan the network traffic for viruses and worms.

Bandwidth Control: The proxies use delay pools to control bandwidth by allocating specific bandwidth to internet traffic. This helps prioritise traffic thus reducing the network overload.

What is a reverse proxy server?

A reverse proxy server is a server similar to a normal proxy server but it is located at the edge of the fire wall. This reverse proxy has its own external IP address on the external NIC and usually links it to one of the internal IP addresses. Reverse proxy’s main aim is to shield the public users ….

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