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Unless you’re under a rock, you know that the WannaCry Ransomware cyberattack swept worldwide headlines last week.
Organizations scrambled to apply the latest Microsoft security patch to their computers to prevent the spread of the attack. It’s estimated that the ransomware attack hit more than 300,000 victims in 150 countries.
In response to a recent post questioning why someone would want to run a firewall-less network, Lori MacVittie tweeted that performance might be one reason with a link back to a a recent article she wrote: http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2011/02/16/challenging-the-firewall-data-center-dogma.aspx
In her article, MacVittie is not advocating doing away with firewalls, but she is questioning the dogma of a firewall in the data center, specifically firewalls protecting Web Services. The basic premise is that firewalls can be a bottleneck, or worse a point of failure, due to performance issues or denial of service attacks. I completely agree that this design should be questioned in this case. That may seem odd coming from a firewall management vendor like FireMon, but firewalls are not the end-all of security and we don't advocate ineffective use of the technology.
Public facing services, which are most susceptible to denial of service attacks, have a unique access requirement of allowing everyone. When you have a service that is needed by everyone, access control is not really controlling much and does raise the question of why implement a firewall at all. However, this does not mean there is not a role for the firewall in this architecture. In fact, it is now critical to ensure access is controlled from this public system to any other system on the network. In the traditional sense of a DMZ, no access should be allowed from this public system to any other protected system to protect the network in the event of a breach. Addressing this access control requirement results in implementing a firewall technology limiting communication between systems behind the web server.
I agree with MacVittie that just because it is how something has historically been done is not justification for continuing to do it that way. But I also don't see this as a reason to run a network without a firewall; just a discussion about where to implement them. In all cases, regardless of where the firewall is implemented, the key to ensuring it is an effective security control is to effectively manage it.
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?
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.
Helping Enterprise Security Teams Improve Resource Efficiency & Reduce Overall Risk Exposure
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.