In the contexts of Information Technology and of humanity,  I define “gateway” as a portal for change. We, and our data, may enter new environments by passing through that gateway.

 

When you discover your network communications are limited by what can be reached locally, your options are to give up, or to send your IP traffic out a gateway to other networks.

 

There’s no guarantee what you’ll find through the portal will be improve your situation, or make it worse. Just understand that the knowledge and risks that come from passing through a gateway are essentially limitless.

 

I remember a gate that my childhood friends and I climbed through to access a favorite fishing hole. Yes, we were trespassing. And sometimes we were hurt there. But every single trip through that gateway was an adventure. It became a gamble of risking injury or getting caught against the possible payout of big fish (and peer admiration!), or splashing and swimming, or even the opportunity to perform amateur forensic analysis at the site of some impromptu beer party. Past this gateway we sought adrenaline on our path to some future and mystical condition called “adulthood.”

 

If simply passing through a gateway changes your environment, it becomes a bridge to new opportunities, and as such, may require a guardian to keep out what is unwanted, and to allow you (or your data) pass through. Not unlike the Bifrost Bridge of Norse mythology, recently referenced in Marvel Universe movies.

 

It has a guardian who sees and knows much—but perhaps not all, and perhaps not enough!

 

How does your IT environment deal with gateways?

  • Does it limit traffic by source, destination, source port, and destination port?
  • Does it filter content and/or restrict other access?
  • Who has access to the keys to your gateway?
  • Who reviews and inspects the behavior of your staff who hold the keys to the gate, thus ensuring their power is not abused or misused?

 

Tell us about your own Bifrost Bridge and its Guardians—how you keep them working as needed, how you learn to improve their performance, and how SolarWinds can be a gateway into silos to which you previously had no access!