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Securing debian


I work with a network, which is part of a much bigger network.  The big
network is managed by someone else.

I am setting up a debian box, it will eventually do mail and web stuff for

At the moment I have to ask for ports to be opened on our networks router,
and they are not really happy with me going back to them again and again,
asking for new ports to be opened.

Should I ask for all access control to be removed from the ip address of the
box, and then secure the box within debian, or is it well worth having that
extra level of security on the router ? 

The services I want are

To be able to send and receive emails.  SMTP
To access email via IMAP and POP3, including ssl.
To access apache, including ssl
To access files via ftp, including ssl.
To access to bos via SSH

Also, I would like to be able to be abble to offer staff access to our
network, including nt servers, from their homes, what VPN solutions are
there available for MAC and Win2k clients to connect through a debain box ?



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