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Learn iptables with online courses and programs

iptables is used by system administrators to build network security and create IP packet filter rules. Learn iptables with online courses and programs delivered through edX.

What is iptables?

iptables is a Linux-supported user-space utility program used by system administrators to build, test, and manage firewalls for network security. It keeps Linux operating systems secure from intruders and defends against cybercrime. 

As a building block of cybersecurity, firewalls help protect servers and infrastructure from cyberattacks. In iptables, administrators can set default firewall policies to block or admit incoming traffic, port requests, or outgoing IP addresses. iptables works through a packet filtering framework, which is known as netfilter in Linux. iptables is the interface to netfilter, which ultimately allows users to build out frameworks for firewalls.Footnote 1 Essentially, iptables helps create system barriers that protect Linux sites from untrustworthy or unauthorized networks. 

With iptables, you can manage firewall rules, operate network traffic, monitor network traffic, and allow or deny IP addresses. 

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iptables course curriculum

An iptables tutorial may cover basics such as how iptables works, iptables terminology, and system processes. You may also learn how to create chains, manipulate firewall rulesets, and address server traffic.Footnote 2 Since iptables is built for Linux, familiarity with the Linux operating system is helpful when learning to work in iptables. 

In an iptables tutorial, you may get the chance to practice using tables and chains, setting rules to build sturdy firewalls, controlling traffic, and allowing or denying network access. Learning iptables can be useful for those interested in a career in computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity. 

Interested in learning more about iptables or related topics? edX offers a wide variety of courses for people of all backgrounds. From specialized boot camps to full programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or pursue a master's degree, you can explore the range of learning opportunities to find the right fit for you. 

Jobs that use iptables

The ability to use iptables can come in handy for a number of different roles. Since iptables is a network security tool, it can be used in network maintenance, cybersecurity, and systems management. Some jobs that may use iptables include:

  • System and network engineer: These professionals are knowledgeable about computer networks and are responsible for resolving security issues, upgrading software, and operating related network services.Footnote 3

  • Systems administrator: Professionals in this role manage operating systems, provide technical support, operate network files, and monitor security.Footnote 4

  • Cybersecurity analyst: These professionals are responsible for monitoring network systems with an eye for security and implementing firewalls. 

  • Linux support specialist: Professionals in this role work with the Linux operating system to troubleshoot issues, install updates, and monitor infrastructure. 

Become a systems administrator online

Systems administrators are information technology professionals that maintain computer systems and networks, as well as identify and prevent security threats for clients.Footnote 5

To become a systems administrator, you should build your knowledge of:

  • Computer science

  • Information technology

  • Coding and programming languages

  • Command usage and syntax

  • Operating systems

  • Network security procedures

  • Firewalls

  • Storage and virtualization

  • Server coverage

  • Kernel modules

  • DevOps

  • Troubleshooting and problem solving 

  • Backup, restore, and recovery procedures

If you want to prepare for a job in this field, research the educational and skills requirements expected for these different positions. Some employers may search for specific credentials like a bachelor’s in computer science or even a master’s in data science. Others may test specific skills that can be learned in a coding boot camp or through a cybersecurity boot camp. Explore how learning with edX can help you prepare for your next career. 

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