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How to Setup a Reliable DMZ Network

August 18th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Business people working on a computer together in an office

The average cost of a cyberattack is $200,000 for organizations of all sizes. If you are looking to improve network security to avoid a cyberattack, a DMZ network may be a good solution for your organization.

No one wants to experience a cyberattack and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair their network.

If your network security is not reliable or up to date, your organization may have vulnerabilities in its network that can lead to a cyberattack.

Coeo knows how important reliable network security is and has delivered network security solutions to thousands of organizations.

We want you to understand how to set up a DMZ network so you can improve network security and avoid a cyberattack.

By the end of this article, you will know what a DMZ network is and how to set up a DMZ network.

What is a DMZ network?

A Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) network is a perimeter sub-network segmented away from the main network and used to host all publicly accessible websites and services in order to protect your internal network from external threats.

A DMZ adds additional security outside of your private network. Think of the term demilitarized zone the same way the term is used in war.

The demilitarized zone in war is a neutral zone that forbids military actions within a specific area.

This can be thought of in the same way that a demilitarized zone in network security functions.

The DMZ is not part of your private network or the public internet so it is a secure neutral zone your organization can access.

This allows you to send out data and other information through this zone to the public internet or other private networks without having to worry about it being compromised.

How to set up a DMZ network

If your organization is looking to set up a DMZ network, there are a few steps you can take to accomplish this including:

Determine the purpose of the DMZ network

Before setting up the DMZ, it is important you determine what the purpose of the network will be. As part of this step, identify the services and applications you want your DMZ to host.

For example, you can host web, email, and DNS servers in a DMZ.

Make sure your organization thoroughly considers the servers and applications you need in the DMZ network before moving forward with the setup.

Design the network architecture

After determining the purpose of the DMZ and the servers, applications, and services that are going to be included in it, you can begin mapping out the network design and architecture.

It is important to leverage IT expertise when planning the network. If your organization does not have this IT expertise internally, you should work on planning the network architecture with your service provider.

As part of this process, it is recommended that you create a separate network segment using dedicated physical or virtual switches.

By doing this, you will isolate your DMZ network from your internal network providing an extra layer of security.

Define DMZ zones

The next step is to determine DMZ zones. It is important to divide your DMZ network into zones based on the different levels of trust required.

For example, it is important to set up a zone for external-facing servers accessed by the public with different security than internal-facing servers that are only accessed by employees working with sensitive information such as legal documents.

Once these zones are created, it is important to assign the appropriate network addresses and defined routing rules for each zone.

Implement Network Address Translation (NAT)

Implementing a NAT will allow you to hide the IP addresses of your servers from external users allowing for better security.

Implement Intrusion Detection/Prevention systems

Another step in the process is placing IDS/IPS devices in your DMZ network that will monitor traffic entering and exiting your DMZ network and check for any malicious actors to help prevent cyberattacks.

Monitor, regularly update, and test

Once your DMZ network is set up and your security services are implemented, it is important that you continue to monitor your DMZ network.

Be sure to set up monitoring systems to keep track of activities within the DMZ network.

Regularly checking the performance and reviewing logs to detect suspicious behavior and security incidents will ensure your network continues to perform reliably.

In addition, it is important to ensure your network is constantly updated whenever a new version is released containing the latest security patches.

It is also important to update the firmware for all devices within the DMZ network.

It can also be beneficial to conduct penetration testing and vulnerability scans to identify any weaknesses within your network and address them before being the victim of a cyberattack.

Next steps to setting up a DMZ network

Now you know what a DMZ network is and how to set one up in your network. This will help you understand and implement a DMZ network into your organization’s network to improve security.

No one wants to experience a cyberattack and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair their network after this happens.

Understanding what a DMZ network is and how to integrate it into your IT infrastructure will help your organization avoid a cyberattack.

Coeo knows how important reliable network security is to an organization and has helped implement DMZ networks for thousands of customers to improve network security.

We want you to know what a DMZ network is and how to set one up so you can determine if a DMZ network will improve your organization’s network security.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about DMZ networks and network security or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

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Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.