The past can be an informative gateway.
In the 70s when decadence was king, computer mainframes ruled the world and Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were just getting started, New York’s Studio 54 decided who was cool and who didn’t fit their approval.
Stay with me. A link to the IT world is just a sentence or two away.
The owners set up a velvet rope on the outside of the Studio. A river-long line of partiers waiting to get in, queued up, snaking down the street and often around the block.
The owners assessed the merits of each person who came up to the velvet rope by looking them up and down admiring or despising their appearance and wardrobe and then said yes or no. In Studio 54’s case, the more well known or the more outrageous the person looked helped them a great a deal. An average looking night on the towner would be turned away while another, sporting a pirate costume, walked in for a night to remember sitting in an easy chair in the year 2020.
Like magic, the owners told security to unhook the rope and let them in for a night of fun, dance and mingling with the celebrities.
The owner acted as a gatekeeper. Or in security standards – a gateway device.
Only they decided who met their criteria for being part of the group. Sometimes they let security decide, sometimes the owners came out and selected the best from the rest. The others who didn’t pass muster went away to spend the night at another establishment, maybe one with less security and scrutiny.
Here it is, scrutiny. When setting up secure networks, scrutiny is critical.
Within a secure network, you need to have a gateway to analyze, inspect, and translate protocols to protect the network. Gateway is a general term that can mean routers, firewalls, or servers. The primary purpose of a gateway device is to allow traffic between two separate, distinct networks.
These secure hardware devices (your gateway) live on the edge of a network and protect the network nodes. Network traffic passes through, and like a velvet rope, it allows safe traffic to flow and prevents malicious data from entering in the dark hallway and into the neon-lighted dance floor, the internal network.
Gateway devices also block traffic to websites that present a high risk to a corporate or government network.
Networks incorporate several gateway devices like routers, firewalls, and other hardware and software devices. They monitor traffic to social networking sites, web-based email, adult web sites, or gaming sites as well as other sites to prevent threat vectors from disabling network infrastructure.
Like the Studio 54 owners back in the day, they let someone dressed in a clown outfit in, but someone sporting a nice blue suit they would turn away. It was their custom block list.
The difference between gateway devices and the velvet rope is that network hardware operates on objectivity. If it sees a malicious signature, it blocks it. The people unhooking Studio 54’s velvet rope were all about subjectivity and disguises.
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Chief content and technical writer
Rick Bretz possesses comprehensive experience in several subjects including video editing and production, radio/TV and journalism writing, videography, radio broadcasting, IT Management, Information Security and Assurance. He also works as a Senior Cyber Security Engineer for Vulnerability Management, Service/Infrastructure Operations and Platforms Support for the government. Mr. Bretz also is a documentation and technical writer for the Veteran Administration’s Continuous Readiness in Information Security Program. He also served in the US Army beginning in 1979, graduating from leadership schools and from Journalism, Broadcasting, Newspaper Editing and Public Affairs Supervisor courses. He retired from the Army with many writing and broadcasting awards to accept video production and management positions. He holds a BS degree in Information Technology with a Specialization in Security Assurance from Capella University and has a Security + Certification from CompTIA. Mr. Bretz also writes his own blog on topics that interest him that can be reached at pastparallelpaths.com.