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Get to know us better! Gain valuable insights into how we think by visiting our blog, or take a look at the industry events we're frequenting on our events page. You can also geek out with us by attending one of our security management webinars, or dive head first into the products and solutions we provide in our Resource Library. There's lots to keep you busy! 

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Blog



Cloud Security and On-Premise Security are NOT that Different
Mar 27, 2018
In our last blog on cloud controls, we discussed how important it was to have visibility into your cloud. This is the most logical place…
Reduce Your Attack Surface: Visualize Vulnerabilities
Mar 19, 2018
In the simplest terms, the “attack surface” is the sum total of resources within your infrastructure that could be exploited. There is a four-step process…
Gain Control of your Cloud Security Though Better Visibility
Mar 16, 2018
At almost every trade show or security event we attend, typically the two biggest topics attendees ask us about are: Effective firewall cleanup Visibility…
Orchestration & Zero Trust
Mar 07, 2018
This is our final stop in a blog series walking through Zero Trust and how achievable it is. Previous entries: Zero Trust vs. Microsegmentation The need for…








Combating Firewall Complexity - Four Things You Need



Firewalls continue to play an important role in network security; however, firewall infrastructure has grown more and more complex, adding significant costs and increasing risk. According to FireMon’s 2015 State of the Firewall Report, 95% of surveyed security professionals indicated that firewalls remain as critical if not more critical to security than ever. Over 50% of those respondents cited firewall complexity as their most problematic security management concern.

A recent report from the Aberdeen Group Firewall Sprawl: How Complexity Is Adding Cost & Increasing Risk reinforces these findings. Through their research, they found that nearly half of organization’s today have multi-site, multi-vendor environments.

Going a step further, they developed a complexity index to quantify the issue – (N^2 – N) / 2 where N equals the number of sites plus the number of vendors. For each additional site or vendor, complexity exponentially increases. And with it, so do operational costs, inconsistencies and errors, number of threats and vulnerabilities and finally, likelihood of risk.

With that being said, it appears that firewalls are here to stay, and complexity will only continue to grow as new network technologies and threats develop. The key to combating this is to understand the primary contributing factors and how one might address them.

With eight years under my belt at FireMon, I’ve seen a lot of firewall installations that fall prey to some of these challenges:

    • Lacking Capabilities within existing technologies that enable proper management. For example, trying to perform behavioral analysis of a large firewall policy without the aid of automation.

      • Time or moreover, efficient processes for managing the constant change in the security environment.

        • Inadequate Resources – I have yet to hear anyone tell me they have too many resources.

          • Cost – This tends to go hand-in-hand with skilled resources.

            • Heterogeneous Environments as opposed to homogeneous environments. I’ve seen very few single vendor deployments but rather a mixture of many different brands. Aberdeen Group’s research quantifies my anecdotal experience.

            So what can you as a security professional do about it? Look for solutions or processes that give you the following:

              • Visibility – It’s an unfortunate reality, but most of today’s organizations with complex networks do not have adequate visibility necessary to properly manage their security infrastructure. Nor do they have confidence that the technologies they have in place are doing what they’re supposed to. Couple that with reduced resources and an ever growing threat landscape and the result is a recipe for disaster. Having detailed visibility into firewall rules and policy effectiveness allows organizations to clean up outdated or redundant rules and close security gap, lowering overall firewall complexity and level of risk.

                • Intelligence – It takes a clear understanding of an organizations compensating controls coupled with a knowledge of vulnerabilities in the environment to properly protect well-known threat entry points. This is all a component of managing risk. With real-time monitoring and vulnerability mapping, your security team has the situational awareness it needs to identify and remediate problematic issues before they evolve into real-world risk.

                  • Integration – Exchange of information between disparate systems cannot be underestimated. The ability to share security information in real time without restricting it to a single application, system or device can empower stakeholders to make decisions specific to their responsibilities. Security posture is greatly improved by extending real-time, enterprise-wide security metrics to those who need it most. This lends itself to compliance initiatives, business enablement, risk avoidance, etc.

                    • Automation – Automation can be interpreted differently by different people – in this case we’re looking at automation of change workflow. It’s important to assess the impact of any new access being provided. Access should be restricted to just what is necessary to meet the needs of the business. New access should also be vetted against the corporate security policy to ensure it does not break compliance or introduce unacceptable risk. Being able to sandbox proposed changes to assess impact and then send them for review and implementation through an existing ticketing system can speed up the process and reduce the likelihood of incorrect or risky changes. Automation of this task the only way to accomplish this with high accuracy and repeatable success.

                    As VP of Customer Technology, Tim Woods has more than two decades of experience in information security and data technology. With a proven track record of leading sales teams to success and deep domain expertise in security and technology, he is a driving force of many thriving companies.

                    Events

                    Webinars

                    Upcoming Webinars

                    Apr 25, 2018 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST Monitoring & Performance
                    In the "real world" most companies are struggling with overwhelming infrastructure complexity, numerous management silos, and a multitude of incompatible management tools. Get the tools to help you identify problems and prevent downtime.
                    Register
                    Apr 12, 2018 How to Stop Writing Firewall Rules and Start Controlling Network Security Based on Your Actual Intent
                    Join FireMon and Ultimate Windows Security for this free webinar, where we will examine intent-based security and how to apply it to firewall policy and management.
                    View
                    Mar 21, 2018 How to Scale Network Security for the Modern Age
                    Traditional security models are all about the current state – but in the current state of cyber-security, by the time new rules are written, they’re obsolete. Resources have changed, topologies have shifted, traffic has evolved, and applications grew new arms and legs.
                    View
                    Feb 28, 2018 Migrations Made Easy
                    Firewall migration projects are filled with risk: cost overruns, misconfigurations, connectivity failures, and security risk. Every year, security teams review, test, and procure new technologies to keep data protected.
                    View
                    Feb 13, 2018 Network Segmentation: Implement Roadblocks on the Attack Surface, Stop Malicious Spread
                    Most organizations that I talk to still have their networks designed for 90's era attacks. A hard perimeter and little to nothing on the inside. The one common exception is the part of the network that processes credit card data since PCI DSS specifically identifies the Cardholder Data Network (CDN) and requires controls around it.
                    View

                    News

                    Sep 05, 2017
                    SAO v. SIEM Security Suites: And the winner is...
                    TechBeacon
                    Aug 30, 2017
                    Jimmy Nukebot Explodes on the Scene, Transforming NeutrinoPOS
                    Info Security
                    Aug 17, 2017
                    The Top Security Challenges for 2017
                    SC Magazine
                    Aug 14, 2017
                    Creditseva, KS Enterprises Breaches Highlight Need for Improved Cloud Security
                    eSecurity Planet
                    Jul 31, 2017
                    What is IT governance? A formal way to align IT & business strategy
                    CIO.com
                    Jul 28, 2017
                    How organizations can work toward GDPR compliance
                    Information Management
                    Jul 09, 2017
                    4 Signs Check Point Software's Best Days Are Ahead
                    Motley Fool
                    Jun 07, 2017
                    Qakbot malware from 2009 returns, causes Active Directory lockouts
                    SC Magazine UK
                    Jun 06, 2017
                    Botched security: Celebrities, other patients, affected after plastic surgery files are breached and stolen
                    SC Magazine
                    Jun 06, 2017
                    Election cyberattack proves people are still the biggest flaw
                    SearchSecurity
                    Jun 01, 2017
                    250K Photos Leaked in Cosmetic Surgery Extortion Attack
                    Info Security
                    Jun 01, 2017
                    OneLogin Breach Reignites Concerns over Password Managers
                    Dark Reading
                    Jun 01, 2017
                    OneLogin Breach Reignites Concerns over Password Managers
                    Dark Reading
                    May 29, 2017
                    How to manage the Complexity Gap
                    IT Pro Portal
                    May 26, 2017
                    Hackers upgrading malware to 64-bit code to evade detection
                    SC Magazine UK
                    May 25, 2017
                    83 percent of security staff waste time fixing other IT problems
                    Betanews
                    May 24, 2017
                    Unsanctioned Computer Support Costs Companies $88K per Year
                    Dark Reading
                    May 23, 2017
                    WannaCry Successor Is New ‘Doomsday’ SMB Worm That Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools
                    Information Security Buzz
                    May 23, 2017
                    WannaCry? Not really. A report from the 11th Eskenzi PR IT Analyst and CISO Forum
                    Computer Weekly
                    May 18, 2017
                    Cisco Warns Of Un-Patchable WannaCrypt Vulnerabilities
                    Information Security Buzz
                    May 16, 2017
                    Here comes the cloud...and it's all right
                    SC Magazine
                    May 15, 2017
                    10 ways cyber security will evolve in the face of growing threats
                    Information Age
                    May 12, 2017
                    Managing Complexity Is No. 1 Security Challenge in FireMon’s Annual State of the Firewall Report
                    Computing Security
                    May 12, 2017
                    Sabre Breach
                    Information Security Buzz
                    May 12, 2017
                    FireMon Announces Industry’s First Intelligent Cloud Security Management Solution
                    IT Security Guru
                    May 12, 2017
                    FireMon Releases Third Annual State of the Firewall Report
                    Dark Reading
                    May 12, 2017
                    WikiLeaks drops 'Grasshopper' documents, part four of its CIA Vault 7 files
                    Wired
                      See all news from 2017



                    Resource Library

                    Audit Compliance

                    Datasheets

                    Policy Change

                    Solution Briefs

                    Policy Change

                    White Papers

                    Visibility Monitoring Management

                    Analyst Reports

                    Policy Change

                    Case Studies

                    Security Manager
                    Overview of FireMon’s Flagship Firewall Management Solution
                    Policy Planner
                    Overview of FireMon’s Change Automation Solution
                    Policy Optimizer
                    Overview of FireMon’s Rule Recertification Automation Solution
                    Risk Analyzer
                    Overview of FireMon’s Attack Simulation and Risk Measurement Solution
                    Immediate Insight
                    Overview of FireMon’s Immediate Insight Solution
                    FireMon Appliances

                    Your environment is unique. No matter how many devices you have or where they are located, we have an FM appliance and a deployment option to meet your needs.

                    Moving to the Cloud
                    Central security control for expanding cloud intrastructures.
                    Controlling Cloud Security
                    Instant visibility, continuous security for the enterprise cloud
                    Risk Mitigation
                    Eliminate disruptions while removing security risks.
                    Reduce Security Costs
                    Continuous security that doesn't break the bank.
                    Intent-based Network Security
                    Continuous security starts with intent.
                    Elastisearch
                    FireMon and Elastisearch: Warp speed security
                    Continuous Security for Industrial Enterprises
                    Command security for PCN and SCADA networks
                    Internet of Things
                    Taming the ever-expanding IoT attack surface.
                    Zero Trust
                    Continuous Security for Zero Trust Networks
                    Migrations Made Easy
                    Speed up adoption of NGFW with FireMon.
                    Intelligent Security Management
                    Delivering next-generation security management that boosts productivity and accelerates the agility of business
                    Intelligent Policy Automation
                    Intelligent Policy Automation: Orchestrating Change Management with Speed and Security.
                    Hybrid Cloud Management
                    Visibility into and control over Cloud Services, including AWS and OpenStack Platforms
                    Accelerated Incident Response
                    Immediate Insight in action - Orchestration, automation and analytics for data assembly and discovery
                    Change Simulation & Risk Scoring
                    Proactively reduce risk based upon network exposure and host accessibility
                    Check Point Solution Brief
                    FireMon solutions and Check Point
                    Cisco Solution Brief

                    FireMon’s Intelligent Security Management platform enables users with Cisco Systems switches, routers and firewalls (Pix, ASA, FirePower) to work smarter, applying intelligence to the entire security program

                    Fortinet Solution Brief
                    FireMon solutions for Fortinet
                    Juniper Solution Brief
                    FireMon solutions for Juniper
                    NSX Solution Brief
                    FireMon solutions for NSX
                    Palo Alto Solution Brief
                    FireMon Solutions for Palo Alto
                    Gain Control of the Cloud

                    Cloud technology gives enterprises faster application deployment, instant storage, workload versatility and pricing models that decrease initial capital investment. It is no wonder enterprises are making the move to the cloud.

                    The Four Factors Necessary For Zero Trust

                    FireMon helps organizations move towards Zero Trust by providing:

                    • Visibility into the network
                    • Analysis of network traffic flow and possible breach points
                    • Security Intent to determine what’s permissible
                    • Orchestration to consistently automate what needs to be done
                    5 Reasons to Implement Security Policy Orchestration and Automation

                    Reduce your attack surface with a Security Policy Orchestration and Automation solution like FireMon.

                    Managing Migration Mayhem
                    Migrations can strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned security professional. Follow this roadmap for a smooth, successful migration.
                    Four Ways to Reduce Your Attack Surface

                    Larger attack surface means more opportunities for cybercriminals to do harm. Learn how FireMon can help you remove exposures before they become exploited.

                    Why GDPR is Nothing to Fear
                    A practical (and sometimes philosophical) guide to complying with the General Data Protection Regulation.
                    Four Key Factors for a Successful Migration

                    Migrations run the risk of cost overrun, delays and disruption of network service - often due to a lack of personnel and process to efficiently and effectively manage. To ensure a successful migration, consider these four key factors: 1) identifying and removing technical mistakes, 2) removing unused access, 3) refining and organizing what remains and 4) continuous, real-time monitoring.

                    Top 5 Requirements for Your NSPM Solution
                    Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) continues to be a difficult practice for organizations the world over. In the last 20 years, network security policies (e.g. firewall rules) have grown by more than 3,500%. Yes, you read that number correctly. Why is that?
                    Achieving Gartner's Recommendations for Secure Policy Configuration Assessment
                    Gartner research has uncovered a number of security policy challenges for enterprises. Among these challenges are the typical assessments necessary to fortify policy for compliance and improved security posture.
                    The Top 4 Myths of Policy Compliance
                    Welcome to the world of overflowing regulations and compliance standards, of evolving infrastructure and the ever-present breach. It's a world where 72% of security and compliance personnel say their jobs are more difficult today than just two years ago.
                    Planning Considerations for Compliance with GDPR
                    The GDPR deadline is approaching quickly. If you haven’t started your GDPR journey yet, now is the time.
                    2017 State of the Firewall
                    Networking continues to evolve, yet the firewall remains critical to securing today’s enterprises. FireMon is proud to present its 3rd Annual State of the Firewall Report
                    Firewall Cleanup Recommendations
                    The implications of firewall policy complexity, why it remains a problem today and how to resolve it.
                    Risk Solved: Automated, Real-Time Risk Analysis & Remediation
                    Risk analysis with real-time change configuration is key to managing security risks in your IT infrastructure.
                    Real-Time Data Triage
                    Our Immediate Insight platform from FireMon can help organizations overcome the limitations and gaps inherent to the current analytic market.
                    Bridging the SIEM Alert Triage Gap
                    Immediate Insight enables security teams to improve event triage and incident response, extending the value of your existing full-featured SIEM.
                    Automation Isn't One-Size-Fits-All
                    Intelligent Policy Automation
                    Intelligent Security Management

                    Helping Enterprise Security Teams Improve Resource Efficiency & Reduce Overall Risk Exposure

                    The Top 5 Myths of Data Breaches
                    Five of the biggest myths that exist about data breaches, and explain how and why they occur.
                    Firewall Sprawl: Top Four Security Gaps Exposed

                    Firewall technology has come a long way since its initial, most rudimentary forms. Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) are the latest development, and organizations are accelerating adoption to the new technology. But NGFWs aren’t a fix-all solution.

                    2016 State of the Firewall
                    2nd Annual State of the Firewall Report based on survey of 600 IT security practitioners.
                    Using Security Policy And Automation (SPOA) Tools To Reduce The Attack Surface
                    Attack surfaces have expanded greatly in the past several years, in part because of the amount of new applications coming online via Internet of Things and increasingly connected technology. Organizations have an admittedly tough time keeping up with all the new touchpoints and the rapid expansion of the attack surface. Complete defense is nearly impossible, and many companies struggle with visibility issues, mismatched or misaligned firewall policies, and an inability to comprehensively test the security configurations they do have
                    The Zero Trust eXtended Ecosystem

                    Forrester

                    Forrester’s Zero Trust Model of information security helps teams develop robust prevention, detection and incident response capabilities to protect their company's vital digital business ecosystem. This report will help security pros understand the technologies best suited to empowering and extending their Zero Trust initiatives and will detail how Forrester sees this model and framework growing and evolving.

                    Overcoming the Complexity Gap
                    Bloor
                    When You Can't Patch It, Protect It from the Network
                    Gartner
                    Firewall Sprawl
                    Aberdeen Group
                    Quantifying the Value of Intelligent Security Management
                    Aberdeen Group
                    Network Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
                    Forrester
                    Automate Zero Trust Policy and Enforcement
                    Forrester
                    The Return on Security of FireMon’s Security Manager
                    IANS
                    Large Healthcare Provider
                    The customer sought a data analysis tool to correlate application data with network and security data to spot service-impacting anomalies. They did not have an accurate picture of interoperability between applications and the underlying infrastructure.
                    Major Airline
                    Following a merger with another airline, this customer was left managing a large number of firewalls and routers from different security vendors using a home-grown application.
                    National Insurance Provider
                    This national insurance provider had three problems to tackle regarding their firewall policies. First, the number of rules under management was overwhelming staff and processes. They needed to increase visibility and effectiveness of their firewall change request/workflow ticketing process. And they also need help maintaining compliance PCI DSS requirements.
                    Managed Service Provider
                    Each time this Global MSP engaged a new customer, they had to onboard the firewalls – sometimes hundreds per engagement – into their network. Part of the onboarding process required assessing the policies against internal best practices – a manual, line-by-line process that took an average of 16 hours/firewall and was extremely error-prone.