Fire Safety for your Firewall - Part 1 with Frederick Hall

Title of Chat:  Fire Safety for your Firewall
Date of Chat: 22 Sept 2021
Chat Presenter: Frederick Hall, USAF Network Engineer

Link to Recording: View on YouTube

More about #CyberChats: Learn about upcoming Chats or visit the archives.

Description of Chat: The internet is made up of multiple interconnected devices which create a fabric of networks that allow us to communicate, provide entertainment, and allow us to have access to information. All of these networks need to be protected and the first line of cyber defense is a firewall. In this NCF #CyberChats session, we discussed the important role a firewall has in protecting data, equipment, and devices that are connected to a network from viruses and hackers. This Chat was produced via Nepris and is also available via the website.

Level of Students: High School or Middle School

Big Ideas: This #CyberChat highlights the High School Cybersecurity Curriculum Guidelines' Big Ideas such as SYSTEM SECURITY, DATA SECURITY, and RISK.

Key Questions: 

  • What is a firewall? 
  • Why is a firewall important to cyber defense?
  • How are firewalls used to shape incoming and outgoing network traffic?
  • Where can firewalls located in an enterprise and home network? 
  • How does a firewall protect a computer and network from cyber-attacks?
  • What are some different types of firewalls?

Expected Outcomes:

  • Provide a definition of what a firewall is and its role in defending a network and computer.  
  • An understanding that firewalls are either an appliance (hardware) or a specialized software application. 
  • A firewall protects a network or device by opening and closing communication ports to allow or deny network traffic.  
  • Firewalls can be used to filter harmful websites.
  • The students will understand that using firewalls can help to reduce cyber-attacks.  

About the Presenter:

Fred joined the US Army shortly after graduating from high school, and worked as an Information Systems Operator.  He has worked at many levels in information technology (I.T.) starting at a helpdesk, system administrator, domain administrator, firewall engineer, exchange administrator, and domain/enterprise administrator. He has been stationed in the U.K., Mons, Belgium at NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (S.H.A.P.E.), The US Army War College, Fort Sam Houston, and in South Korea. 

In his civilian career, he has been a network defense operator, enterprise administrator, has worked in cyber operations, and currently is a network engineer. In his off time, he is a merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts of America for Digital Technology and Cyber Safety. He is also a CyberPatriot coach for two high schools in the San Antonio area, Medina Valley High School and Warren High School AFJROTC.

In addition, Fred coaches the Hondo CyberPatriot team in Hondo, Texas. This team is not based in a high school, but is based at the Hondo Public Library, thus giving students from smaller surrounding towns an opportunity to join and learn about cybersecurity. He also teaches the CyberGenrations cyber safety course for senior citizens. Finally, Fred was fortunate enough to be a contributor and character in a chapter book for middle school students that encourages young women to pursue a career in a STEM/STEAM career field; specifically cybersecurity. 

Fred began mentoring at Medina Valley High School with the CyberPatriot program in 2014, and two years ago became head coach for Medina Valley and started another team at Warren High School with the TX-20022nd AFJROTC. Then in 2018 he established a CyberPatriot in Hondo, Texas. The CyberPatriot program is a national cyber defense program that was created by the Air Force Association a little more than a decade ago in the hopes of motivating school-aged youth to learn about cyber defense. The skills and knowledge the students gain from participating in this program will give them the advantage to obtain information technology certifications, scholarships in computer-related fields of study, and ultimately provide an opportunity to start a great career in information technology and cybersecurity.

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