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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! 



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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May 17, 2012The 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.



    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.
    May 23, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT 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.
    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.
    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?

    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.

    Mar 30, 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!


    Resource Library

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    White Papers

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    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
    Quantifying the value of Intelligent Security Management
    Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
    Automate Zero Trust Policy And Enforcement
    The Return on Security analysis for FireMon’s Security Manager