Firewall and Virtual Private Network (VPN)

  1. Final Project – This project provides you an opportunity to solve a comprehensive problem in firewall and virtual private network (VPN) implementation at various levels. You will play the role of an employee participating in network design and planning of a specific business situation.

Required Source Information and Tools

The following tools and resources are needed to complete this project:

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  • A web browser and access to the Internet to perform research for the project
  • (Optional) A tool for creating basic network diagrams, such as draw.io or Microsoft Visio

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

  • Apply core competencies learned throughout the course to a single project.
  • Analyze and apply knowledge of firewalls, VPNs, and other network defense measures.
  • Demonstrate logical reasoning and decision-making skills.

Overall Project Scenario

Corporation Techs provides remote and on-site support to small and mid-size businesses. Clients use Corporation Techs’ services to solve problems involving malware removal, to manage data recovery and network issues, and to install hardware and software.

Due to recent developments, most technical representatives will begin working from home within the next six months. Because Corporation Techs provides 24/7 support, its systems and communications pathways must be fully operational at all times. In addition, the company has been experiencing unprecedented growth and is preparing to double its client-facing staff.

You are a junior network architect who is responsible for helping to plan and design network enhancements to create a more secure internal network, and to ensure secure remote access.

Deliverables

The project is divided into several parts. Details for each deliverable can be found in this document.

  • Project Part 1: Network Design
  • Project Part 2: Firewall Selection and Placement
  • Project Part 3: Remote Access and VPNs
  • Project Part 4: Final Network Design Report

Project Part 1: Network Design

Scenario – The Corporation Techs’ current network consists of 1 web server (accessible by the public), 2 application servers, 2 database servers, 2 file and print servers, and 50 workstations. The web server runs Linux/Apache, the other servers run Microsoft Windows Server, and the workstations run Microsoft Windows. The network is connected through a series of switches, is not physically connected to other networks, and runs Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). The network is protected by a single border firewall. The senior network architect, whom you work for directly, has verified the company’s business goals and has determined the features and functions required to meet those goals.

The senior network architect has asked you to create a network design that includes the following components:

  • Current infrastructure elements
  • A logical topology that separates the Accounting and Sales departments
  • Redundant communications
  • Justification for continuing with IPv4 or upgrading to IPv6

Tasks

For this part of the project, perform the following tasks:

  1. Conduct research to determine the best network design to ensure security of internal access while retaining public website availability.
  2. Design a network configuration with physical and logical topologies. Identify major network elements (e.g., servers, switches, gateways) and their locations within the private and protected network segments.
  3. Include a high-level plan that ensures communications are available 24/7.
  4. Recommend whether to continue using IPv4 or upgrade to IPv6, and explain why.
  5. Create a basic network diagram that illustrates the current network and enhancements. Include a few workstations to represent all workstations on the internal network. The diagram will be very high level at this stage and include only necessary details. You may use a software tool or simply pencil and paper. You will update this design later in the project.
  6. Create a draft report detailing all information as supportive documentation.
  7. Cite sources, where appropriate.

Required Resources

  • Internet access
  • Course textbook

Submission Requirements:

  • Format: Microsoft Word (or compatible)
  • Font: Arial, size 12, double-space
  • Citation style: APA style
  • Length of report: 3–4 pages

Self-Assessment Checklist

  • I determined the best network design to ensure the security of internal access while retaining public website availability.
  • I designed a network configuration with physical and logical topologies, and identified major network elements and their locations within the private and protected network segments.
  • I created a plan that ensures communications are available 24/7.
  • I recommended whether to continue using IPv4 or upgrade to IPv6, and explained why.
  • I created a basic network diagram that illustrates the current network and enhancements.
  • I created a professional, well-developed report with proper documentation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • I followed the submission guidelines.

Project Part 2: Firewall Selection and PlacementScenario

The senior network architect at Corporation Techs has informed you that the existing border firewall is old and needs to be replaced. He recommends designing a demilitarized zone (DMZ) to increase network perimeter security. He also wants to increase the security of network authentication, replacing the current username and password approach.

Tasks

For this part of the project, perform the following tasks:

  1. Research and select firewalls for the Corporation Techs network.
  2. Describe each firewall, why you selected it, and where it should be placed for maximum effectiveness.
  3. Address network, server, and workstation firewalls.
  4. Describe a plan for creating a DMZ, and explain how it makes the network more secure.
  5. Research network authentication and create a high-level plan for secure authentication to internal network resources.
  6. Create a draft report detailing all information as supportive documentation.
  7. Cite sources, where appropriate.

Required Resources

  • Internet access
  • Course textbook

Submission Requirements:

  • Format: Microsoft Word (or compatible)
  • Font: Arial, size 12, double-space
  • Citation style: APA style
  • Length of report: 3–4 pages

Self-Assessment Checklist

  • I researched and selected firewalls.
  • I described each firewall, why I selected it, and where it should be placed for maximum effectiveness.
  • I addressed network, server, and workstation firewalls.
  • I described a plan for creating a DMZ and explained how it makes the network more secure.
  • I created a high-level plan for secure authentication to internal network resources.
  • I created a professional, well-developed report with proper documentation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • I followed the submission guidelines.

Project Part 3: Remote Access and VPNs

Scenario

As you are aware, many remote users will soon need access to the internal network and services. A remote access and virtual private network (VPN) plan is needed to connect it all together.

The senior network architect has asked you to create the plan that will allow secure remote access to the internal network while preventing unauthorized access. He specifically requested that all information transferred between remote users and the organizational servers be protected against snooping.

Tasks

For this part of the project, perform the following tasks:

  1. Research and recommend the most appropriate VPN technology. The most likely solution is either an Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) VPN or SSL/TLS VPN. Describe the VPN technology and explain why it is the best choice for Corporation Techs.
  2. Recommend any other forms of remote access that are relevant and describe how they would be used.
  3. Create a draft report detailing all information as supportive documentation.
  4. Cite sources, where appropriate.

Submission Requirements:

  • Format: Microsoft Word (or compatible)
  • Font: Arial, size 12, double-space
  • Citation style: APA style
  • Length of report: 3–4 pages

Self-Assessment Checklist

  • I researched and recommended an appropriate VPN technology.
  • I described the VPN technology and explained why it is the best choice.
  • I recommended other forms of remote access that are relevant and described how they would be used.
  • I created a professional, well-developed report with proper documentation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • I followed the submission guidelines.

Project Part 4: Final Network Design Report

Scenario

You are ready to create and submit a final network design and plan to the senior network architect, who will present it to senior management and other decision makers.

Tasks

For this part of the project, perform the following tasks:

  1. Create a final network diagram that includes the basic diagram and all relevant network enhancements.
  2. Create a professional report that includes content from each draft report. Include details for all relevant information, persuasive justification for your recommendations, and methods to measure the success of each major network enhancement. Include a 1- to 2-page executive summary.
  3. Use simple, clear language that primary stakeholders (non-IT) can understand easily.

Submission Requirements:

  • Format: Microsoft Word (or compatible)
  • Font: Arial, size 12, double-space
  • Citation style: APA style
  • Length of final report: 10–16 pages, including executive summary and network diagram

Self-Assessment Checklist for Final Report

  • I developed a network design that meets the requirements.
  • I created a professional, well-developed report with proper documentation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • I described technology recommendations, provided justification for those recommendations, and described methods to measure the success of each major network enhancement.
  • I included an executive summary and a final network diagram.
  • I included citations for all sources used in the report.
  • I followed the submission guidelines.

Additional Instructions

  • The papers must include exactly all four parts of the project. Make sure your submission includes ALL the deliverables as requested.
  • DO submit only the deliverables listed under Tasks.
  • DO NOT submit the information in the self-assessment checklist. That is just to make sure your paper is completed and includes all the requested information.
  • Make sure you adhere to the format, font, citation style, and length requirements, listed under Submission Requirements.

Please let me know if you can actually take this project seriously and do it

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