Geneseo's Internet Connection - Firewall

What is a firewall?

Firewalls are used to permit or deny network traffic as it travels across a network. At Geneseo, we examine traffic as it passes between the campus and the Internet (both directions) and as it travels between user workstations and campus servers (both directions.) The firewall adds an additional layer of protection to every desktop computer, server and network device on campus.

How do our firewalls work?

Our firewalls compare all the traffic they process to several databases of verified malicious traffic. Incoming traffic patterns are analyzed for suspicious or explicitly malicious behavior. Traffic that matches these databases or behavioral patterns is discarded from the network.

Our firewall specifically allows network traffic to enter the campus network if the destination is a proper campus server. It also permits any traffic to enter campus if it is in response to a request from a computer on the campus network. When people browse the web or connect to specific Internet resources, the reply from the Internet will be permitted to enter the campus network.

The firewall prevents any network traffic coming into campus that is not a response to a request from a Geneseo computer. It also blocks uncommon network traffic from coming into or crossing the campus which has not already been explicitly permitted. Our firewalls do behave differently based on the source and destination of the traffic. (Student computers vs servers vs devices like telephones or WiFi transmitters.)

A firewall is a rules-based system. Computers or software that deviate from internet based standards even in the smallest way will probably run afoul of the firewall. Network traffic from computers or programs that keep running while a computer is asleep might be dropped by the firewall. Network traffic from computers that are recovering from sleep mode or after roaming across campus might also be dropped. If you encounter strange internet issues, we recommend you restart your software or even your entire computer. Mobile devices will have this experience more than wired workstations.

Need Help?

If you experience unusual network issues that you suspect might be related to the firewall, please contact your TSP or the CIT HelpDesk at 245-5588. We will work with you to explore alternatives or as a last resort, adjust the firewall.

Click here to visit the Wikipedia Firewall entry.