Extranets can be difficult to design and implement due to
the complexities of security, performance, management and policy
that are encountered when bridging information systems. Security
and management policies will influence the success of an Extranet's
deployment as much if not more than the specific technology that
One key to a successful and secure Extranet is to ensure that
all access is controlled through a single gateway that can be
monitored, audited and controlled. You should not be allowing
partners or customers directly through your corporation's firewall
and onto your Intranet. A much safer architecture is one where
a secure server is available outside of your LAN for partners
to access through the Internet.
A firewall is inserted between the Internet connection and
your LAN. The firewall controls information that can travel between
your LAN and the Internet. A firewall will protect your LAN,
and it will not inconvenience users who need to transfer information
over the Internet.
The use of a Firewall is always the best option. A firewall
is a dedicated computer in that it runs only the firewall software,
and sits between the local LAN and the Internet. The firewall
will only allow very specific information to travel between these
An Extranet provides the security assurances required to protect
confidental data on your LAN, and it provides a highly configurable
and cost-effective access for all employees to the Internet.