A firewall is part of a computer system or network designed to block unauthorised access while permitting authorised communications. It is a combination of software and/or hardware that provides a protective barrier between a computer or network, third party systems and the internet.
It is vital that firewalls are properly installed and configured to protect school systems from unauthorised access. We recommend that only one firewall is installed, since multiple firewalls can seriously impede legitimate network traffic.
Firewalls in Hampshire schools
If your school is connected to HPSN2 or HPSN SWAN you are already protected by the corporate Hampshire firewall and there is no need to configure an additional firewall at the school.
However, if your school is not connected to HPSN2 or HPSN SWAN, you will require a locally configured firewall, these schools are advised to contact their local broadband supplier.
- prevents malicious users on the internet from accessing data or services on a private network or intranet
- controls access from the internet to ensure that only certain services on the private network (for example, web servers) are available to external users
- hides the private network from the internet
- controls access between two parts of a private network (eg, to prevent classroom users from having access to office/administrative facilities)
- allows some forms of internet access and denies others (eg, to allow web browsing but deny the use of streaming audio or internet relay chat).
in addition, firewalls:
- Protect your network from attempts to exploit well-known insecurities in web browsers and other client software (by denying access to that software)
- Provide some measure of protection against certain forms of computer virus such as 'worms' and 'Trojans'; although this is the role of a dedicated virus checker, it may run on the same hardware as the firewall.
For urgent issues, call the IT Help Desk on 01962 847007. For anything else, see our contact page.