FileWall: Controlling Access to Network File Systems


Filewall describes a system architecture for extending and enhancing file system functionality in a network, without modifying the underlying file system clients and servers.  FileWall is meant to interpose on a network path between file system clients and servers.  It operates by using file systems extensions that transform messages as they flow between clients and servers. 


FileWall provides a powerful method for controlling access to a file system using customized extensions into existing file systems.

It enables tailoring existing files system in a portable, non-intrusive manner to meet specific goals without requiring modification to the file system.

Organizations can utilize this technology to control access across groups of users, minimizing the amount of maintenance work required (per user) to achieve the organization's goals (e.g. for security, reliability, data management, etc.).

Other Advantages Include:

  • Non-intrusive. No changes to file systems, clients or servers are required.
  • No need to install software on the client or server for operation.
  • Ability to detect emerging novel network attacks.


The invention can be used in the following areas: 

  • Cloud Storage - Enabling access to files stored/access remotely across the internet using existing client-side file system interfaces
  • Security - Through software layers for performing file security processing without needing to change underlying software applications (e.g. a file wall that performs as a firewall for files)
  • Maintenance - Eliminating downtime due to administrative maintenance by allowing administrators to redirect file systems dynamically
  • Semantic Extension - implementing new file system semantics (e.g. virtual namespaces for file systems, allowing users on-line mechanisms to sort through the many files they own to quickly find desired files)

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

US 8,868,626. Available for licensing.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Andrea Dick
Associate Director, Licensing
Rutgers University