What is a DMZ — in the digital world?

We’re answering your question, “What is a DMZ?” in the digital world.

To find the answer, we’re going interplanetary.

Watch here:




Need a spot for a high-tension diplomatic dinner between Klingons and the Federation?

The Starship Enterprise is a prime candidate.

In the 1991 movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Enterprise becomes a neutral zone where Captain Kirk and Chancellor Gorkon can do diplomacy without violence.

You might call it a ‘demilitarized zone’ or a DMZ — at least for the moment.

(“In space, all warriors are cold warriors,” says one of the Klingon representatives.)

You’ll also find a DMZ in the digital space.

A place where two sides can meet and — hopefully — interact safely.


The Enterprise serves as a DMZ for Klingons & the Federation
The Enterprise crew & Klingons hold a diplomatic dinner aboard the ship in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Image: These are the Voyages/Paramount Pictures

How It Works

Your business may have its own computer network with precious stuff, like your human resources info, your customer details and your financials.

You put a DMZ between your business network and the Internet.

This way, customers can reach into the DMZ to get things they need, like product or bill-pay info, without bringing in the wild and crazy Internet stuff that can take you down.

You also put up firewalls around the DMZ to keep bad traffic from getting in.


Lego illustration of a DMZ
Illustration of a DMZ protecting a business network from the Internet. Image: Archer News

Under Attack

Anything “touching” the Internet is constantly under cyberattack.

If you put it into a DMZ, it will be more protected.

Attackers can sometimes find a way in from the Internet, through the first firewall, the DMZ, the second firewall and into your business network.

Determined attackers can go through the next firewall into the industrial computer network running big equipment.

You have to keep watch for DMZ intruders.

But overall, the DMZ helps you keep things clean — hopefully, more successfully than Captain Kirk and Leonard McCoy, accused of killing the Klingon chancellor in Star Trek VI, and found guilty in a Klingon trial.

(“My God, man!” McCoy says to the judge. “I tried to save him!”)

Luckily, Kirk and McCoy escape and manage to restore interplanetary peace — at least for the moment.


More “What is?” from Archer News:

What is a PLC?

What is ICS?

What is a zero-day?

What is a honeypot?

What is Shodan?

What is a VPN?

What is EKANS and what does it want from you?

What is SIS? Your life could depend on it

What is a botnet?

What is Mimikatz?

The top 4 things you need to do with your home router


Main image: Lego astronaut on planet. Image: Mar_d

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