Access control lists (ACLs) perform packet filtering to control the movement of packets through a network. Packet filtering provides security by limiting the access of traffic into a network, restricting user and device access to a network, and preventing traffic from leaving a network. IP access lists reduce the chance of spoofing and denial-of-service attacks, and allow dynamic, temporary user-access through a firewall.
IP access lists can also be used for purposes other than security, such as to control bandwidth, restrict the content of routing updates, redistribute routes, trigger dial-on-demand (DDR) calls, limit debug output, and identify or classify traffic for quality of service (QoS) features.
An access list is a sequential list that consists of at least one permit statement and possibly one or more deny statements. In the case of IP access lists, these statements can apply to IP addresses, upper-layer IP protocols, or other fields in IP packets.