Demilitarization zones (DMZs) are typically used to describe a neutral zone during a period of war, or in some cases, a period of peace. The warring parties may agree not to engage each other in the DMZ. DMZs, however, are used in cybersecurity as well. For a better understanding of DMZs and how they protect against cyber threats, keep reading.

What Is a DMZ?

In cybersecurity, a DMZ is a metaphorical middle ground between a business’s private network and the internet. The internet, of course, is a public network. As a public network, it’s a vector for malware and other cyber threats. Rather than connecting directly to the internet, businesses can connect to a DMZ. The DMZ will shield the business’s private network from incoming cyber threats.

How a DMZ Works

A DMZ is essentially a perimeter network, such as a subnetwork. As previously mentioned, it sits between a private network and a public network. Businesses typically use DMZs between their own local area networks (LANs) and the internet.

The purpose of a DMZ is to protect the business’s private network from cyber threats, specifically cyber threats that originate from the internet. DMZs are typically configured with a firewall. Businesses will configure the firewall to filter malicious traffic. As incoming data packets reach the DMZ’s firewall, they must pass the filtering criteria. Any data packets that fail the filtering criteria will be rejected.

Single vs Dual Firewall

While some DMZs only have a single firewall, others have two firewalls. Known as a dual-firewall DMZ, it offers an additional layer of protection against incoming cyber threats.

Dual-firewall DMZs are used for the same purpose of protecting businesses’ private networks from cyber threats, but they feature two firewalls rather than a single firewall. The first firewall the is front-end firewall, which ensures that incoming traffic packets can only reach the DMZ first. The second firewall is the back-end firewall. It forces outgoing traffic packets to go through the DMZ before reaching the internet.

In Conclusion

A DMZ is a safe buffer zone that sits between a private network and a public network. It typically features one or two firewalls. Dual-firewall DMZs offer the highest level of security. Even with a single firewall, though, a DMZ is worth using if you run a business. It will neutralize incoming cyber threats so that they are unable to reach your business’s private network.