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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

Jul 20, 2017 Threat Hunting? Ditch the SIEM

Threat hunting remains an undeveloped competency for far too many organizations. When surveyed, security professionals confess an overall lack of competency to detect and respond to advanced attacks that slip through their defenses. In my experience, many organizations still rely on alerts from a SIEM (among other prevention systems). Most security teams will painstakingly build models for indicators of compromise, receive alerts from their SIEM, and “do the best they can” to eliminate the intrusion. What are the results?

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Jul 13, 2017 If You Are Not Looking at Risk Vulnerability, You Are Only Seeing Part of the Security Picture

How do you know if your security posture is where it needs to be? Most organizations look at standards, be it national standards, industry standards or their own corporate standards. They may also look at their industry’s best practices. But if you aren’t looking at your risk vulnerability, you are likely not looking at the entire spectrum of your network’s security posture.

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May 17, 2012

The Firewall is the Most Successful Technology

Roger Grimes and I have engaged in a very interesting conversation around the necessity and value of firewalls.  Yesterday I took issue in my blog post with Roger's initial claim that the firewall is dead.  In response, Roger continues his argument in his post, The Firestorm over Firewalls.

Roger seems to have capitulated the argument on ineffective management and instead doubled down on two core points:

    • 99% of all attacks are client-side initiated and the firewall is ineffective at protecting against these attacks

    • The fact that the industry is not more secure is proof that the firewall is worthless

    I still take significant issue with the argument that 99% of all attacks are client-side and Roger's proof that anti-virus vendors block a lot of stuff is not compelling to me.  Remember firewalls block a lot of stuff too with billions of logs of dropped traffic generated every second world-wide.  Neither of these points is sufficient to make or dispel the 99% claim.  The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report I referenced is also not perfect, as Roger points out, as it only covers a minority of all attacks worldwide.  But it is the best source I am aware of, so I think it is still worth referencing.  And pointing to a sample graphic ( on page 8 ) meant to describe a documentation  standard as proof that client-side attacks are responsible for all breaches is not very compelling either.  Especially since it was not written to support this point in any way.  However, even if we do acknowledge Roger's proof graphic on page 8, take a look a the paragraph describing it that claims an egress filter (firewall) could have prevented the breach and it seems to dispel Roger's obituary of the firewall.

    But let's set statistics aside.  I imagine there are plenty of other people who can more credibly respond to Roger's unsubstantiated claim about 99% of attacks are client-side.  And, I don't mean to argue that client-side attacks are not an issue, I simply mean to claim they are not the only issue.

    Instead, I would like to hypothetically accept Roger's postion that 99% of all successful attacks are client-side.  I would argue this change in attack vectors through the years strengthens the case that a well-configured firewall is an effective security control.  It is a matter of attackers coming in through the open window instead of the closed door.  The growth in client-side attacks suggest the direct attack is being successfully thwarted by the firewall and less effective solutions are being exploited.

    The great thing about a firewall is that it employs a positive security model where only what you decide to allow is permitted and everything else is denied.  When managed well, it makes it a great security solution.  In contrast, malware detection and anti-virus software employ a negative security model where everything is allowed and only known bad attacks are denied.  This creates a horrible cat and mouse game that the attackers seem adept at winning by staying a step ahead of the latest signatures.  Which begs the question, if Roger's argument is that client-side attacks are the real problem and the fact that we still have security problems is justification to kill a technology, why does he pick on the firewall.  Shouldn't he instead have called anti-virus or anti-malware or some other client-side technology dead instead?  The firewall, according the Roger's own logic, is the one technology in the game that is working.

    The firewall isn't dead.  In fact, I think Roger's arguments strengthen the case the firewalls are working.  Are they perfect, no.  Are they sufficient to solve all the security problems, no.  Should we get rid of them because they are not perfect, NO!

    And this gets to the heart of the matter: the fact that there remain security issues in information technology is not a matter of one technology working or not.  It is not justification to call an effective technology dead because it doesn't solve everything.  When effectively managed, the firewall is a very effective security solution.  Additional capabilities in NG Firewall technology continue to make it a relevant and central part of a security solution.  It should not be considered THE solution, but it certainly shouldn't be discounted either.

    Events

    Webinars

    Jun 29, 2017 The Hybrid Cloud Reality: Managing Security in Private, Public & On-Premises Environments
    In a recent study, 90% of IT security practitioners reported that their organization has adopted or plans to adopt a cloud solution. Cloud is now.
    View
    Jun 22, 2017 La vida del firewall: administración constante y automatizada del ciclo de vida de las políticas

    El nuevo paradigma de la automatización es la “Administración del Ciclo de Vida”

     

    Te mostraremos cómo FireMon Intelligent Policy Automation utiliza la tecnología de automatización e inteligencia para reducir el esfuerzo e incrementar la eficacia en cada etapa del proceso de cambios.
    View
    Jun 06, 2017 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.
    View
    Jun 01, 2017 4 Steps to Prepare for the Next WannaCry
    Now that the immediate threat of WannaCry has died down, it is time to take a step-back and analyze the situation to see what we can learn from this attack to better protect ourselves from the next “unknown”.
    View

    News

    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
    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.
    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.
    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.

    Overcoming the Complexity Gap
    Bloor
    When You Can't Patch It, Protect It from the Network
    Gartner
    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
    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.