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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! 



Cybersecurity: Why businesses in EMEA are behind the US
Aug 15, 2018
Recently released, the 2018 State of the Firewall Report 2018 [insert web link over report title] - FireMon’s fourth annual survey of over 300 security…
Continuous Security Starts with Intent
Aug 07, 2018
It was back in August of 2011 when Hewlett-Packard, one of the most reliable PC/hardware producers of the modern age, announced that it was going…
FireMon 8.22: Enhanced Security and Expanded Automation & Compatibility
Jul 19, 2018
With the release of v8.22 the goal is to increase your team's efficiency while improving FireMon’s usability, enhancing operational security and stability, expanding automation, and…

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.



                    Upcoming Webinars

                    Aug 16, 2018 10:00 am - 11:00 am CDT Migrating to the Cloud? Don’t Forget Your Firewalls
                    Running workloads in the cloud gets rid of a lot of work and some risk but you might be surprised how many firewalls you’ll end up with in the cloud if you follow best practice.
                    Jul 31, 2018 Executing Consistent Security Policy Across a Multi-Cloud Environment
                    The cloud is a notable business advantage, but it does bring numerous security concerns including: a lack of visibility across cloud or between on-premises and cloud environments, monitoring security controls and changes within cloud and multi-cloud environments, and maintaining compliance by monitoring cloud traffic for suspicious and non-compliant behavior.
                    Jul 26, 2018 The Time for Intent-Based Security is Here
                    In this session, we will explore strategies for defining security intent and reveal how to take IBNS from a great idea on paper to a great idea in practice.
                    May 10, 2018 Final Countdown: 4 Principles You Need Before GDPR Hits

                    In this webinar, we’ll show you the principles needed for GDPR success:

                    1. Risk-based data protection
                    2. Measuring security effectiveness
                    3. Monitoring data protection
                    4. Orchestrating persistent compliance
                    Apr 25, 2018 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.


                    Resource Library

                    Audit Compliance


                    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.
                    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.
                    FireMon and Elasticsearch: 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
                    Accelerating Incident Response. Immediate Insight in action - Orchestration, automation and analytics for data assembly and discovery
                    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
                    2018 State of the Firewall
                    The full report walks through budget needs, staffing concerns, five-year firewall strategies, and more about how network security professionals at best-in-class businesses of all sizes see the evolution of firewalls.
                    A Primer On Intent-Based Network Security
                    Intent-based network security (IBNS) decouples intent from implementation. In this model, intent becomes the bedrock of policies and controls, and implementation serves as the device-specific enforcement of the declared security goal.
                    Hybrid Cloud Security: Minding the Gap
                    Visibility is often a first step toward cloud security
                    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 & How to Avoid Non-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.
                    How Intelligent Policy Automation Can Increase the Speed & Security of Change Management Workflows
                    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’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
                    Firewall Sprawl
                    Aberdeen Group
                    Quantifying the Value of Intelligent Security Management
                    Aberdeen Group
                    Network Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
                    Automate Zero Trust Policy and Enforcement
                    The Return on Security of FireMon’s Security Manager
                    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.