In an organization usually have production and preproduction environments segregated in different physical or virtual machines. However, this new appliance is very expensive and the organization is not able to have two different elements.

The appliance has different interfaces that connect to the same machine and the same operative systems and the manufacturer recommends using one interface for production and the other for preproduction but, if both points to the same operative system, what are the benefits of using two different interfaces? Maybe point the production client and preproduction client to different databases and different interfaces and avoid errors?

What are the risks of having a server with 2 interfaces each one in a different security zone?


That's about the same risk you have with a house with two entrances. One entrance connects to a beautiful world where nobody expects any attacks (i.e. preproduction) and the other connects to the dangerous world of the internet (production). So you have to take lots of provisions in your house to make sure that nothing from the dangerous world can enter through the internet door and leave through the other door.

Different network cards by itself don't help here much. It might maybe a bit easier to filter by network card but at the end anything which manages to pass through your filters and gets access to the machine has from then access to both worlds.

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In general, any server connected to multiple networks acts as a bridge point - if you can get sufficient access from either side, you can pivot from the server to the other side.

This is sometimes a fairly normal situation: web servers commonly have one internet facing connection, and one database connection, for one. Ideally, you limit the types of connection between the servers: for the web server, you firewall the internet side to just ports 80 and 443, for instance, and the internal side to the database port required.

In the case where you have multiple connections, it is sometimes recommended for the server(s) to be considered part of neither network. If firewalling on both sides of the server is possible, this can help reduce (but not eliminate) the risks. This isn't always possible for some systems though, especially, ironically, for scanning systems, which, by their very nature, need full access to work.

There isn't really a generic answer without knowing more about the function of the specific appliance, unfortunately.

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