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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

May 19, 2017 A Practical History of the Firewall - Part 1: Early Days
As a practitioner in the relatively early days of the mass adoption of the Internet (mid to late 90s), I saw the rapid adoption and evolution of firewall technology. I had a limited view, and certainly have an imperfect memory, of this history. As such, over the next few posts, I welcome your comments to help me fill in the missing pieces of this story.
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May 02, 2017 Breaking down the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report
Verizon’s infamous Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) came out last week. It’s a testament to the diverse data Verizon now has that this year’s report is separated out by industry. In other words, more industries are seeing attacks and it allows the data to be divided and still hold merit. A few findings stood out to me as worthy of a deeper look...
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Sep 16, 2010Detox Step 2: Remove Unused Access

There is an old riddle about firewall management -

Question: What goes in but never comes out?

Answer: A firewall rule!

Most organizations have well established methods and procedures for adding rules into a firewall, but very few organizations have strategies for removing rules that no longer serve a legitimate business purpose.  If you are a firewall administrator, see if you can remember the last time someone in you company called you and said, Hey, remember that rule I had you add 6 months ago, I'm done with that project now, you can delete the rule.  Contrast that with how often you have been told, You have to make this change right now, the business depends on it.  It's no wonder firewall policies grow out of control.Of course, there are many reasons a firewall rule becomes obsolete:

    • A contractor needed some access and the contract is now over

    • A network was migrated to a different location when a department switched buildings

    • An application was upgraded and the legacy client / server protocol was replaced with a new HTTP interface

    • A hosted application was migrated to the cloud

    • A business partnership was terminated

    • And many more....

    Regardless of the reason, rules that no longer serve a business purpose should be removed to both reduce policy complexity and remove the risk associated with the access.  Consider an application in the DMZ that has been taken off-line and the firewall team was not notified.  Some days or months later, that IP address is reused for a new system.  Whatever access was permitted to the old system is now open to the new system putting it and the organization at risk.

    Of course the best solution is a business process that ensures this never happens.  It is worth pursuing this and making rule expiration, rule review and a comprehensive rule aging process part of firewall management.  However, it is also worth implementing a technology solution to identify any rules that slip through that process.

    Identifying unused rules or objects is difficult as they are not technically incorrect and static analysis of a policy will not reveal the problem without tremendous environmental knowledge.  To identify these rules and objects, it is necessary to analyze the active policy against the actual network traffic patterns.  By associating firewall access logs with the rule that generated them, it is possible to identify most used rules, which objects are used in a rule and perhaps most importantly, which rules are never used.  Once identified, these rules can be removed to reduce policy complexity and improve security.

    By no means is this sufficient to fully clean up or validate a policy.  Just because a rule is in use does not justify the access it permits.  However, this is a very good step in cleaning up a firewall to remove the access that is neither used or needed.

    Removing these unused access rules is just one step towards detoxing your firewall.  Feel free to attend our webinar to learn more.

    Events

    Webinars

    Upcoming Webinars

    Jun 06, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT Top 5 Risks of "Dirty" Firewalls
    Firewall rules are notoriously complex and voluminous in nature. Even small organizations have multiple firewalls and significant complexity. But large organizations are overwhelmed.
    Register
    May 23, 2017 Der Countdown läuft, noch 365 Tage bis zur DSGVO (GDPR): Machen Sie Ihr Netzwerk fit für Compliance
    Netzwerksicherheit ist deutlich mehr als Cyberbedrohungen nur zu stoppen. Es geht auch darum für das Unvermeidliche gerüstet zu sein. Nämlich einen Datenschutzvorfall, den die Technik allein nicht hat verhindern können. Die EU Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (kurz DSGVO GDPR) ist, neben anderen mehr, ein solches Compliance-Rahmenwerk mit dem Unternehmen sich auseinandersetzen müssen und das im Mai des kommenden Jahres in Kraft tritt. Dann sind Unternehmen beispielsweise verpflichtet innerhalb von 72 Stunden nach einem Datenschutzvorfall darüber zu informieren.
    View
    May 04, 2017 Threat Hunting: Beyond Alerts & IOCs
    Organizations are taking a more active role in detecting and responding to advanced attacks – Threat Hunting. In this webinar, you’ll discover the steps you can take to launch your threat hunting capabilities.
    View
    Apr 27, 2017 The Life of a Firewall: Seamless, Automated Rule Lifecycle Management

    So you’ve purchased a new firewall. Now what?

    You’ve got to decide which access is allowed, which isn’t allowed and whether or not rules are compliant with internal and regulatory standards.

    Things are running along smoothly and then the dreaded “change.” A user submits a new access request and the fun begins. Is this access necessary? Safe? Compliant? And what happens when it’s time to retire unused rules?

    View
    Apr 19, 2017 Closing the Complexity Gap

    How Effective Security Management Can Help Teams Cover the Exponentially Increasing Gap between Technology & the Resources Available to Manage It

    Security teams today are under tremendous pressure due to the rising frequency and impact of breaches and a business that wants to move faster and faster. The answer to both of these challenges has always been to add more technology and staff resources.

    However, each new technology added creates complexity. More rules are created and more data is generated. As networks continue to evolve, this complexity will only grow. And while staff resources may increase, they will never match the exponential growth of technology.

    FireMon calls this phenomenon The Complexity Gap and has set out to help security teams close it.

    Join us for this webinar with Frost & Sullivan where we’ll explore the causes of “The Gap” and how workforce multipliers such as intelligence and automation help staff manage their security more efficiently and more effectively.

    View

    News




    Resource Library

    Audit Compliance

    Datasheets

    Policy Change

    Solution Briefs

    Policy Change

    White Papers

    Visibility Monitoring Management

    Analyst Reports

    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
    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
    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
    The implications of firewall policy complexity, why it remains a problem today and how to resolve it.
    Real-Time Risk Analysis
    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.
    Intelligent Policy Automation
    Automation Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All
    Intelligent Security Management

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

    2016 State of the Firewall
    2nd Annual State of the Firewall Report based on survey of 600 IT security practitioners.
    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.

    Firewall Sprawl: How Complexity Is Adding Cost & Increasing Risk
    Aberdeen
    Quantifying the value of Intelligent Security Management
    Aberdeen
    Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
    Forrester
    Automate Zero Trust Policy And Enforcement
    Forrester
    The Return on Security analysis for FireMon’s Security Manager
    IANS