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Inbound filters are a type of software based traffic filter allowing only designated traffic to flow towards a network.
Inbound filters are employed by routers to limit traffic towards a remote server. They specify rules and policies which govern a specific port, service, server or network. Inbound filters are implemented in network hardening, security planning to manage the traffic flow and allow only secure and trusted networks, hosts or autonomous systems to access the internal network.
A remote Web application server has to manage traffic and data communication from the Internet and other connecting networks. Though the application server primarily exists to serve such remote users, it can also be prone to client requests originating from untrusted networks or zones. To circumvent these threats, servers apply filters to allow only trusted members to gain access. This inbound filter defines the way an external entity can access the host server.
These inbound filters define the set of IP addresses, networks or autonomous systems accessing the server apart from the level of access granted. Inbound filters vary in their technique and implementation because the rules can be customized by the network administrator to suit requirements of prevailing operational conditions.