TechRant
You’ll never believe how easy it is to configure !!! The Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
Sep 19, 2014

Hello again. It’s been a busy summer and I have not been able to get free long enough to post anything recently. My apologies!!

I have been doing a lot of work with customers on “The Cloud” …. That amorphous marketing term that seems to be all knowing and all seeing today.

Whether it is Public, Private or Hybrid, I have been working on it for one or more of my customers. In spending many hours discussing architectures, service models, and offerings with them, I keep getting the same basic question(s) regarding security and the cloud. I will have more to say on that in some future postings, but for now I thought I would address one of the most basic, but also the most important topics I keep getting asked about: Firewalls.

Whether it is on a host machine, a stand alone physical box, or a virtualized O/S, the need for a firewall is still the same: YOU NEED TO BE USING ONE !!!!!

I seem to get asked a great deal how to do that in a cost effective and integrated way that supports the concept of Defense-in-Depth while also integrating into a multi-level enterprise architecture. The answer(s) are not always simple, but in general it does not have to be overly complicated.

I believe that if you have already paid for something once, you should use it first, before paying for it a second time… Call me crazy, but that’s how mom raised me…

With that little piece of wisdom in hand, and a desire to simplify the complex if possible, I offer you the following post, a simple walk through of how to configure the Built-In Windows Firewall with Advanced Security on Server 2012/2012 R2.

Take a look and see if it will work for you. If it does ( and it should by the way ) then start using it on all of your machines and make the world a safer and happier place…

:)

Managing Firewall Settings

The Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is a host-based firewall that runs on Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and is turned on by default. Firewall settings within Windows Server 2012/R2 are managed from within the Windows Firewall MMC (Microsoft Management Console). To review and set Firewall settings perform the following:

1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar.

2. Click the Tools menu and select Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

Windows Server 2012 Server Manager - Pic 1

3. First review the current configuration settings by selecting Windows Firewall Properties from the MMC landing page. This allows access to modify the settings for each of the three firewall profiles, Domain, Private, and Public as well as IPSec settings.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security MMC - Pic 2

Applying Custom Rules

Custom Rules allow the finest level of control over inbound and outbound traffic to your Windows Server 2012/R2.

1. If you have not done so already load the Windows Firewall MMC by opening the Server Manager from the task bar, clicking the Tools menu, and selecting Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

2. Select either Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules under Windows Firewall with Advanced Security on the left side of the management console.

Note: This will provide a listing on each of the currently configured firewall rules. Rules that are currently enabled are denoted by green checkbox icon, while disabled rules display a grey checkbox icon. Rightclicking a rule will allow you toggle enable/disable.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Custom Rules - Pic 3

3. From the right side of either the Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules tab click New Rule.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Custom Rules - Pic 4

4. Select Custom from the Rule Type radial button and click Next.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 5

5. Select the Program association for the Custom Firewall Rule either All programs or the path to a program and click Next.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 6

6. From the Protocol type field select the protocol type and click Next.

Note: This walkthrough uses TCP on port 80 (HTTP) for example purposes.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 7

7. Select an IP address association for both local and remote addresses and click Next.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 8

8. Select an action to take on matching traffic and click Next.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 9

9. Select the profiles associated with the custom rule and click Next.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 10

10. Provide a name for your Firewall rule and an optional description and click Finish.

New Inbound Rules Wizard - Pic 11

11. Once created the rule will be enabled. The firewall rule can be found on the corresponding Rule tab, either inbound or outbound depending on the type created. To disable or delete the rule find the rule in the MMC, right-click it, and select either Disable Rule or Delete.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Disable Rules - Pic 12

 

 

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