The campus border firewall is part of a comprehensive and broad-based OIT security program to protect campus users from malicious online attacks. A firewall is a device or set of devices designed to permit or deny network transmissions based upon a set of rules and is frequently used to protect networks from unauthorized access while permitting legitimate communications to pass.
Campus units that need to provide access to services from the Internet can request an exception; however, departments are strongly encouraged to use the VPN service as an alternative to seeking a border firewall exception.
To most desktop users the firewall does not have an impact on daily operations. An exception would be for those that need to access some on-campus services, such as Windows Remote Desktop, from an off-campus location. In this case, use of a VPN client is necessary to connect to your computer or other campus resource. Learn more about using the campus's VPN client.
Ports can be opened for specific systems where there is a legitimate academic or business need for the traffic and there are not any inherent risks to the request (e.g., insecure protocols, known vulnerabilities, etc.). Exceptions can also be made for research networks that have specialized academic needs.
The firewall is a common-good service provided to the campus. Exceptions can be made at no cost with an appropriate business or academic justification.