Hi world, I’m finally back to blogging and I never thought it would be for a school assignment or project. I use to own some rather embarrassing blogs and I’m still a proud owner of a Tumblr page that gets an update once a blue moon (shameless personal blog promotion).
We touched on several new terminologies and concepts during the first two lessons of COM125 but I would like to focus on a few that caught my attention. Namely the firewall, intranet and extranet!
Firstly, the firewall and we’re neither picturing a literal wall of fire nor the first definition as per the picture below:
Sticking to the latter definition, the firewall is a security system that is programmed to prohibit unauthorised network access to protected networked environments such as intranets and extranets. Firewalls are generally used to ensure people outside of the Intranet or the company cannot utilise the protected networks. There are various types of firewalls and depending on its degree of sophistication, it may even possess other capabilities such as filtering content, sorting out spam data and anti-virus competence all aimed to protect the devices from malicious virus and hackers lurking out in the dark cold world, the Internet that is.
Personally, I feel that the image above provides a rather ironic analogy (using water vs fire) thus I’d like to offer my own analogy, especially for the science community – a cell membrane to the interior of the cell is like the firewall to the protected network. The cell membrane is known to be selectively permeable only to certain substances and thus regulate the flow of these items in and out of the cell. Furthermore, its basic function is to separate and protect the intercellular components from the external environment.
As per mentioned in the previous paragraph, the intranet and extranet are protected networked environments. Although this is not the first time I’ve personally encountered this term, I’m glad that I’m now informed about its definition and uses. Flashback to 2014 when I embarked as a greenhorn on my first full-time job, my IT Manager attempted to the best of his ability to explain terms like VPN, extranet and intranet to me… undoubtedly it was an arduous task for him and I’m relieved that he did not blow his top as I spent the day staring into space trying to grasp the terms as if they were Greek, Alien language and Morse code combined.
There are various definitions on the Internet to define an intranet:
Importantly, only authentic and permitted users (for example bonafide employees of an organisation) are allowed access to the private network whereby they gain access to the protected environment and a plethora of useful organisational communication tools and many other systems. This system is especially crucial for large organisations to ensure that the confidential and valuable company information is securely kept within the network.
Before we move on to the next term extranet, I would like to share some intranet names which surfaced from a brief Google search:
From Reddit (for the South Park fans):
I would like to correct the Reddit contributor and swap the word “ironically” for “obviously” or “coincidentally”
Now moving on to the extranet! Similarly, to an intranet, it can only be accessed by members of the organisation. However, an extranet extends the authorised access to the protected network to a list of external parties such as customers, suppliers, business partners. It provides a safe virtual environment for communication, file transfers and information transaction between the organisation and its salient partners. An extranet effectively boosts effective communication and increases the connectivity of the organisational members to their external counterparts. Furthermore, it cuts costs and saves precious minutes and hours from travelling to physically meet with the clients and vendors. Albeit implementing successful intranet and extranet systems are neither easy nor inexpensive, more and more organisations are opting for these networks, especially so with burgeoning B2B partnership numbers.
Here’s a screenshot of a diagram from this week’s lecture slides to sum up the portion about the intranet and extranet:
Lastly, I must admit that I was initially worried for this assignment and was slightly dreading blogging but after reading the article by Rebecca Blood (listed as one of the readings in the COM125 syllabus), I feel inspired and even excited to start blogging again.
“Free-style blogs are nothing less than an outbreak of self-expression. Each is evidence of a staggering shift from an age of carefully controlled information provided by sanctioned authorities (and artists), to an unprecedented opportunity for individual expression on a worldwide scale. Each kind of weblog empowers individuals on many levels.” – Rebecca
If you have survived till the end of this blog entry, congratulations and thank you!
Feel free to drop me a comment and I have no fans so you have my full attention~