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I have Windows server 2008 R2 running on Rackspace network and I'm having difficult times to secure it behind a linux and iptables...

I would like to know if the windows firewall is secure enough to leave the server accessible from the public internet without any other security system...


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Yes. The windows firewall is good enough. It can handle blocking IPs/ports just fine. Just make sure you start out blocking everything, then only unblock the services you need.

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Should be ok, temporarily, but really depends on what you're doing, and how much load you expect.

The benefits of a dedicated hardware firewall is that it gives you a buffer in case of misconfiguration of the firewall, Windows, or both, temporary downtime (i.e. when/if firewall service needs to be stopped to apply an update), and vulnerabilities in Windows Firewall itself or any of the dependent services or the TCP/IP stack itself.

This isn't to say that a hardware firewall is itself immune to bugs, but a dedicated firewall is just that: a dedicated piece of a equipment that's (typically) sole purpose is to provide stateful packet inspection, (usually) routing/NAT, and other security-specific services; it doesn't have to make compromises like Windows does.

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