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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

20. Apr 2017 Shrinking the Complexity Gap
Security teams are under tremendous pressure these days. Data breaches are rising across all industries, and the average total cost of a data breach is a whopping $4 million. Regulators have put compliance requirements in place to try and minimize these breaches, but that has just led to an overabundance of resources thrown at the problem, with very little to show for it at the end.
Read more
14. Apr 2017 Making security part of the company culture

My years of experience managing security programs, across a broad spectrum of industries, has given me a greater understanding of how technology and people both play a critical role in influencing the overall security posture of any organization.

Read more
12. May 2010The Do's and Don'ts of Firewall Audit Tools

Neil Roiter recently published an article about our space of Firewall Management describing the Do's and Don'ts when considering purchasing a product like FireMon.  Below are my thoughts on this article (http://www.csoonline.com/article/593151/Firewall_audit_dos_and_don_ts) and how FireMon meets these requirements.

Overview:

Neil does a nice job covering the key points of evaluating the products without discussing any specific features.  His recommendations focus on technology buying criteria generically versus any particular feature.  For example, one of his suggestions is to test the products in a bake-off before buying.  Another suggestion is to make sure it has the right reports you need.  These are clearly not specific recommendations for which product to buy, but suggestions on what to consider when buying.  To help our customers answer these questions, I have provided Secure Passage's responses to these recommendations.

Do's

Look for good device coverage (and an open API to extend to new devices)

Secure Passage provides support for the leading firewall vendors including Check Point, Cisco, Juniper, McAfee and Palo Alto (coming soon).  Additionally, FireMon has the most comprehensive network device support for routers and switches from Cisco and Juniper (coming soon).  Additional support for F5 BigIP was recently added that provides in-depth support for change management AND configuration analysis.

Dating back to 2006, FireMon has provided an open API for generic device support.  As long as a device allowed for command line access (ssh, telnet, tftp, ftp, etc), FireMon can provide change management functionality to that device.  This has enabled our customers to extend their FireMon deployment to many different systems including Bluecoat, Procurve, Fortinet and more.

Be careful of competitors claiming support for large number of devices.  In recent years, competitors have adopted FireMon's open device plugin concept.  However, they have much more heavily marketed their ability.  Unfortunately, they have not added any functionality.  For these vendors that have a long list of supported products, be sure to ask exactly what that support entails.  In most cases, it is nothing more than a scheduled retrieval of configurations with Change Notification.  There is nothing wrong with this and it is comparable to FireMon's generic device support.  However, be cautious as the marketing of device support is deceiving.

Test the products before you buy

This is of course a great idea and one that we strongly encourage.  Just as with nearly all our customer evaluations, if you take the time to evaluate the products in the market, you will see that FireMon provides significantly more functionality than its competitors.  Since FireMon was first introduced to the market in 2001, Secure Passage has made the product available for evaluation prior to purchase.  The evaluation version is a complete and fully functioning version of the product, only limited by how long it can be run.  This allows a user to test it in a full production environment to get a good idea of the value it will provide after purchase.

It is also worth noting that FireMon is very simple to get implemented.  We offer the evaluation as a Virtual Machine, or if the situation dictates, it can be evaluated on a FireMon appliance.  In either case, FireMon can be up and running in your environment in less than an hour, generating useful analysis and change reports immediately.

Be very wary of competing technologies that are reluctant to offer you an evaluation.

Determine reporting requirements

This seems obvious, the product better offer the reports you need.  FireMon offers a full compliment of reports out of the box including policy optimization, security analysis, compliance reports (such as PCI and NSA Best Practices), change reports and many more.  Within minutes of installing FireMon, you can generate analysis reports against the managed devices.

But don't be limited by what a vendor provides you.  In all my years of selling and implementing security solutions, I have never seen two identical companies.  And when it comes to reporting, you better purchase a product that will meet your unique needs.  With this in mind, FireMon was architected to be extensible.  Customize any existing report.  Create brand new reports.  Share ideas with other customers.  Download and run custom reports that other customers created.  This is the idea behind Nexus, our online community providing extensions to FireMon's analysis and reporting.

Recently, we were exhibiting at a Check Point experience show and a prospect approached us asking about a report to search a Check Point policy for all rules with a specific name.  They mentioned that the competitors could not do it.  We couldn't either (at least not when he asked).  I asked him to come back by the booth in 20 minutes.  In less than 20-minutes, we customized an existing report that searched rules by comment to offer a search by name.  This customer had a very specific reason to need to do this and even though we had never heard the request before, the extensible and open nature of FireMon analysis allowed us to provide this report in minutes.

Don't get locked into what the vendor thinks you want...get what you want.

Consider workflow

The idea behind workflow in the firewall management space was a natural extension from the change management functionality these tools provide.  FireMon has a complete and integrated workflow application that we call Policy Planner.  The power of Policy Planner as a workflow tool is clear:  manage the change process to ensure only the correct rules are created.  Firewalls are unique from hosts and the inputs for a firewall change are very unique as well.  This is often the driver for a customer to implement a firewall-centric workflow application.  But don't just stop with workflow, make sure it adds real value to your process.

If the only thing a workflow tool adds is a few firewall specific fields, you should question if it is worth replacing the system you already have in place.  Instead, the workflow should solve some real pain with the firewall change process.  The biggest issue is making sure the right change is made.  This is where FireMon's Policy Planner stands alone.  With a feature called Rule Recommendation, that is integrated right into the workflow process, Policy Planner will recommend what change (if any) should be made to the firewall policy.  Too often, unnecessary or ineffective changes are made.  Rule Recommendation prevents these mistakes by identifying if a change is necessary, what change should be made and just as critical, where in the policy the change should be made.  This not only prevents mistakes, but drastically reduces the time and effort to make the change.  This is what a workflow tool should do:  automate and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Review and refine policies and procedures

This is a very powerful and key point.  Don't just buy more technology, make sure the technology will work for you to improve your security.  With FireMon's extensible reporting framework, it is possible to fit FireMon into your process.  If it is too painful to change existing processes it usually won't happen.  Don't assume some cool technology will change human nature.  Choose a product that be flexible in how it is implemented into your organization.

In most cases, start small.  Using the 80-20 rule, focus on the big problems with easy solutions.  For example, using FireMon's rule usage analysis, you can identify unused rules that can be removed from a policy.  If you are facing a compliance audit that requires justifying your rulebase, just think how much simpler that task will be if you first delete 35% of your policy that is unused.  Implement effective change management right out of the box.  If you have problems with administrators making bad changes, start with effective monitoring and be alerted about those changes.  With no change to the existing process, you can begin to change behavior.

Over time, begin to take advantage of the full power of the system.  Refine your policies to meet your desired goals.  Now that you have FireMon in place, it is possible to monitor and enforce more comprehensive policies.  Improve your change process with more effective, real-time assessments of all changes.  Implement workflow to more proactively manage change.  This is what management, and FireMon, is all about.  Don't just fix it once, fix it for good.

Don'ts

Don't overlook scalability

Enterprise networks can be large, complex, distributed environments.  You don't funnel all your network traffic through one choke point, so don't buy a management product that tries to do it either.  Scalable management solutions should solve the following problems:

    • Single view of the entire environment

    • Distributed monitoring to handle a growing load

    • Geographic distributed monitoring to avoid network overhead

    Only FireMon can achieve these capabilities.  With a distributed architecture comprised of a central reporting and data server and distributed data collection modules, FireMon can scale to meet the needs of any enterprise network.  This architecture means that you keep a single view of the network without requiring all data flow back to a central choke point.  It also means you can scale to thousands of devices in one installation.  FireMon is unique in this capability.

    Don't buy more than you need

    This is a great point.  FireMon has always been priced by device with a very affordable entry point for any customer.  Wether you are managing 2 firewalls or 2,000, FireMon will provide value at a reasonable price.  The driving force behind FireMon has always been to solve real problems.  We initially built the product to solve a real management problem of change that remains today.  And further development has remained focused on this principal of solving real customer problems.  This may seem obvious, but there are many products in the world that are created because someone had a cool idea, not because it was necessary.  FireMon has invented some very cool features through the years including policy comparison, rule usage, policy test and traffic flow analysis to name a few.  But every one of them was designed to solve a tangible and real customer need.

    Don't use underpowered hardware

    Often this goes without saying, but should definitely be considered.  Although FireMon provides a VM for evaluation, rarely is that the right production deployment.  This is not unique to FireMon.  FireMon is many things, including a reporting server and database server.  These types of applications don't fare well on shared hardware due to I/O constraints.  This is not to say it can't be done, rather just adhere to this suggestion...carefully consider hardware needs for this and all applications.  For specific recommendations, speak with a Secure Passage representative about your environment.

    Other Considerations

    This article was very informative and a good starting point for review.  One of the key points was to evaluate the products prior to purchase.  We strongly encourage this and welcome an opportunity to prove our solution against any competitor.  But there are a couple of other key points worth mentioning:

    Compliance

    As the article indicates, compliance is often a key driver for these types of technologies.  When evaluating solutions for compliance, don't just look for a product with compliance reports, look for a solution that will actually improve your compliance.  A good example of this is documentation.  Nearly all compliance regulations require justifying the access that is permitted through the firewalls.  Wether you are considering PCI, NERC or general standards like ISO 17799, documenting why a firewall is configured a certain way is part of the regulation.  Implementing change management is good, but only part of the answer.  Look for tools like FireMon that can streamline the process of maintaining a documented configuration.  It is required, so make it as simple as possible.  With FireMon, when the audit comes around, it can be as simple as generating the report.

    Community Support

    You are not alone in your desire or necessity to improve firewall management.  You don't have to be alone when it comes to implementation either.  With a strong community of support, you can get answers to your questions from your industry peers.  Find out how others are attacking the same problems.  And just as importantly, get solutions to those problems.  With FireMon's open community, get the solutions you need from the experts in the industry.

    Events

    Webinars

    19. Apr 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
    30. Mar 2017 Data Orchestration for Incident Response
    The biggest challenge security teams face when it comes to the alert triage process is preparing the data for analysis. Analysts can spend 80% of their time or more just to assemble the data to answer the question of whether an alert is a false positive or real incident.

    Immediate orchestrates the data assembly process, freeing up critical time and resources to actually respond to identified events.

    Join us for this webinar to learn how you can streamline the incident response process by orchestrating data assembly from a variety of disparate, external sources, including:
    - FireMon Security Manager
    - Palo Alto Networks AutoFocus
    - VirusTotal
    - Packet Capture
    - Threat Intelligence Feeds
    - And more!
    View
    07. Mar 2017 Prepare su red para cumplir con la Ley de Protección de Datos

    En la actualidad, uno de los retos principales es preparar las redes de seguridad, no sólo para enfrentar las amenazas, sino también para enfrentar los cumplimientos. El día 26 de enero se publicó en el Diario Oficial la LEY GENERAL DE PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS PERSONALES EN POSESIÓN DE SUJETOS OBLIGADOS.

    ¿Está tu red preparada?
    ¿Cuentas con los procesos necesarios para el cumplimiento?

    En esta era digital los datos personales de nuestros clientes y proveedores pasan por una red y se almacenan en una base de datos. Éstos, por ley, deben protegerse por medio de sistemas y procesos. Uno de los objetivos de esta ley es establecer las condiciones de tratamiento de datos personales y fomentar la cultura de protección.

    La Ley de protección de datos es mucho más que un simple aviso de privacidad; esta ley describe derechos y obligaciones que de incumplirse pueden ser penalizados. Asiste a este Webinar para conocer más y prepararte. Te mostraremos:

    • Cómo puedes preparar tu infraestructura y procesos para cumplir con la nueva ley
    • Cómo puedes automatizar el seguimiento continuo
    • Cómo puedes centralizar la documentación necesaria para una auditoria
    View
    02. Mar 2017 The Benefits of Firewall Management Tools on Productivity & Security

    In the fall of 2016, we sought the answer to a very simple question: What benefits do users who have a firewall management tool deployed with their firewalls see over nonusers? To find out, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey 188 IT security decision makers.

    In their study, “Automate Zero Trust Policy & Enforcement,” Forrester Consulting found that organizations with firewall auditing and configuration tools realize more benefits that those without, including:

    • Increased IT staff productivity
    • Fewer data breaches and attacks
    • Improved visibility into network traffic

    In this webinar, guest Speaker Josh Zelonis, Senior Analyst with Forrester, will review and discuss the results of the study with FireMon CTO Paul Calatayud who will bring his own experiences and best practices for deploying firewall management tools to improve productivity and reduce risk.

    View

    News

    22. Dec 2016
    Uber fights phishing with custom email IDS platform
    SC Magazine
    20. Dec 2016
    Westcon-Comstor taps BeyondTrust software for distribution program
    Tech Target
    16. Dec 2016
    Is your personal data ever really private?
    CBS MoneyWatch
    15. Dec 2016
    Yahoo embarrassment: Federal agents had to tell the company it had been hacked. Again.
    The Kansas City Star
    12. Dec 2016
    Firewall Sprawl: Four Security Gaps Exposed
    Bitpipe
    09. Dec 2016
    'We could not deliver your parcel' email could be scam
    USA Today
    07. Dec 2016
    OBAMA'S CYBERSECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS A SMALL STEP FORWARD, BUT NEED TEETH AND POLITICAL WILLPOWER
    IT News
    07. Dec 2016
    Cybersecurity pros tell Trump to heed commission's recommendations
    SC Magazine
    07. Dec 2016
    Holiday security matters to #hackers with Paul Calatayud @paulcalatayud of @firemon
    The Charles Tendell Show
    07. Dec 2016
    Keeping up with evolving cyber security needs
    Channel Pro
    25. Nov 2016
    Computing Security Excellence Awards 2016: and the winners are...
    Computing
    24. Nov 2016
    Consumers and Retailers, Here is How You Should Prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
    IT Security Guru
    21. Nov 2016
    Public sector cybersecurity: under threat but fighting back
    The Guardian
    15. Nov 2016
    Firewall DDoS Attack BlackNurse
    Information Security Buzz
    14. Nov 2016
    Report illustrates value of intelligent security management
    Digitalisation World
    11. Nov 2016
    Industry-first study quantifies security management impact on security-related risks and operational costs
    IT Security Guru
    08. Nov 2016
    FireMon concludes third quarter of 2016 with largest bookings on record
    IT Security Guru
    05. Nov 2016
    FireMon acquires Israel-based company
    Big News Network
    04. Nov 2016
    Kansas City’s Entrepreneurial Community Honoring Some of its Best & Brightest
    Thinking Bigger
    04. Nov 2016
    FireMon acquires FortyCloud for Multi-cloud Management Capabilities
    IT Security Guru
    03. Nov 2016
    Experts question Microsoft's Windows zero-day response
    Tech Target
    02. Nov 2016
    Phillip Hammond’s £1.9bn cyber defence strategy: security professionals deliver their verdict
    IFSEC Global
    01. Nov 2016
    UK to increase national cyber-defence grid
    Digital Forensics Magazine
    29. Oct 2016
    Enterprise Security Weekly #20
    Audioboom
    27. Oct 2016
    Cloud Pact: FireMon Acquires FortyCloud
    ISS Source
    26. Oct 2016
    Pushing Further Into The Cloud, FireMon Acquires Security Broker FortyCloud
    CyberParse
    26. Oct 2016
    The Multi-Cloud Enterprise Is Becoming the Norm
    IT Business Edge
    26. Oct 2016
    The Relationship Between IoT, Cloud Security, and DDoS
    IT Business Edge
    26. Oct 2016
    US Treasury tells banks to provide more cyber attack information
    Computer Weekly
    25. Oct 2016
    FireMon acquires FortyCloud to go beyond cramming workloads into the cloud
    451 Research
    25. Oct 2016
    FireMon buys FortyCloud
    The Register
    24. Oct 2016
    Huge DDoS Attack Brings Down Twitter, Spotify And AirBnB
    Information Security Buzz
    21. Oct 2016
    Firemon to be 'laser focused' on fewer partners
    CRN
    21. Oct 2016
    DNS devastation: Top websites whacked offline as Dyn dies again
    The Register
    21. Oct 2016
    Dyn DDoS part 2: The hackers strike back
    ZDNet
    18. Oct 2016
    The Computing Security Excellence Awards shortlist revealed!
    Computing
    13. Oct 2016
    FireMon appoints Paul Calatayud as CTO
    SC Magazine
    12. Oct 2016
    Seasoned CISO joins FireMon as Chief Technology Officer
    IT Security Guru
    06. Oct 2016
    On Entrepreneurship: For new FireMon CEO, it’s growth over profitability
    Kansas City Business Journal
    06. Oct 2016
    What If You could Visualize Every Change On Your Network? with @FireMon
    The Charles Tendell Show
    05. Oct 2016
    3 questions with FireMon's new CEO
    Kansas City Business Journal
    30. Sep 2016
    As September draws to a close, MicroScope checks in on this week's executive appointments in and around the channel
    Computer Weekly
    29. Sep 2016
    FireMon boss looks to streamline channel for enterprise push
    ChannelNomics
    27. Sep 2016
    High-growth security management vendor forges ahead with new CEO at the helm
    IT Security Guru
    07. Sep 2016
    FireMon grabs Blue Coat man to head global channels
    ChannelBiz
    07. Sep 2016
    Automation isn’t one-size fits all
    Help Net Security
    02. Sep 2016
    FireMon announces new standard in change automation
    Vigilance
    30. Aug 2016
    Why are organizations in APAC less secure?
    IDG Connect
    22. Aug 2016
    65% Of IT leaders Expect A Serious Data Breach To Hit Their Business In The Next Year
    Information Security Buzz
    19. Aug 2016
    Company security measures often 'knee jerk' reactions
    IT Pro Portal
    22. Jul 2016
    65% of IT pros would be grounded by Mum for their messy firewall rules
    SC Magazine
    21. Jul 2016
    Messy firewall rules would leave IT pros grounded for life
    IT Pro Portal
    07. Jul 2016
    IT security pros compromise ethics and mostly 'fire-fight', not do security work
    SC Magazine
    07. Jul 2016
    Almost a third of cyber security pros surveyed admit to compromising ethics to pass audits
    VanillaPlus
    07. Jul 2016
    IT Pros compromise ethics to pass audits, FireMon says
    IT Pro Portal
    02. Jul 2016
    Thinking your way to safety
    Computing Security
    02. Jul 2016
    LinkedIn secure after acquisition
    Computing Security
    01. Jul 2016
    Over-stretched IT Security Pros Spend More Time Fire-fighting than Doing Meaningful Security Work
    IT Security Guru
    23. Jun 2016
    FireMon: The Enterprise Security Management Vanguard
    CIO Review
    22. Jun 2016
    Security Experts Insight on UK Parliament Report On Cyber Security
    IT Security Guru
    20. Jun 2016
    Will MPs' TalkTalk Hack Recommendations Make the UK More Secure?
    TechWeek Europe
    03. Jun 2016
    Are firewalls still important? Making sense of networking's greatest security layer
    Computer World UK
    10. May 2016
    Firewall importance remains
    ChannelNomics
    30. Mar 2016
    The changing role of firewalls in network security
    Betanews
    30. Mar 2016
    Firewalls still at the heart of network security infrastructure
    IT Pro Portal
    28. Mar 2016
    Like It Or Not, Firewalls Still Front And Center
    Dark Reading
    29. Feb 2016
    Wir sind gekommen, um zu bleiben
    Manage IT
    26. Feb 2016
    FireMon fits new CFO’s entrepreneurial bent
    Kansas City Business Journal
      See all news from 2016



    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
    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
    What's changing and how to respond to PCI DSS V3.2
    Gartner
    The Return on Security analysis for FireMon’s Security Manager
    IANS