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Firewall Public IP's?


My boss has asked me about possibly firewalling
the local area network.
Normally, I would say "Sure" and assign private IP's,
masq the whole thing, add some filters and boom, its done.

But for some reason, boss wants to keep the public IP's 
assigned to all the workstations.
Its a basic Class C network with around 200 workstations
and a few servers, printers etc etc.

As of now, the only firwalling that is taking place
is at the Router/Gateway that is owned by the ISP.
A few acl's are in place.

Is it possible to add a Debian box in here somewhere,
to be the Firewall and still protect those public IP's?

Thanks for your advice!


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