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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.
It sounds easy: firewall policy cleanup. How hard can that be? Well, if you have FireMon, pretty simple as it turns out. But how did we get ourselves in this predicament in the first place? What is the root cause of unused or unnecessary firewall rules? To find out, maybe we need to back up and take a closer look at how a rule is created.
Not too long ago, I can recall several conversations in which “change control process” was a foreign phrase to most security administrators. Initially, it was quite a shock for me to sit down with a prospective customer, who literally had no definable procedure for making or “verifying” rule requests outside of an email trail, and (maybe) a spreadsheet. Over time, I began to realize it was just “how things were” but it showed me just how integral FireMon could be to a security organization. As time went on, it became more common to see firewall change-windows implemented, homegrown applications supplant spreadsheets (with varying degrees of success), and basic approval processes begin to emerge. All of which is fine and good, but it misses the most elemental piece of the puzzle in rule creation: creating the rule correctly and effectively in the first place!
Back in 2001, when we launched FireMon into the security space, we knew were onto something very special given the pervasive problem of tracking changes made to the firewall. Overtime, we augmented our capabilities to a point in 2003, when we created a very simple method of testing a policy for expected behavior with a feature we named simply, Policy Test. Despite our lack of whiz-bang-sexy marketing names, this feature proved to be a huge hit with our customer base. One of our largest telecommunications customers used the feature to help thwart SQL Slammer (remember that little slice of fun?). How? Well, using FireMon’s Policy Test a user simply provides FireMon three key pieces of testing criteria: SOURCE, DESTINATION and SERVICE. Submitting this information to FireMon and applying the “test” across the entire environment or focusing on a single firewall, instantly answered the question of, “Am I passing SQL into my network?” Soon our customers were using the tool to uncover all kinds of information hidden inside of their complex policies without pouring over audit logs or wasting time trying to decipher hundreds of rules. You can probably guess where this is going…though more accurately, it isn’t “where” but rather, “when”. That’s right: rule creation. Instead of blindly dropping a rule in at the bottom of a policy or duplicating rules our customers were able to confidently insert rules when, and where needed. Overtime, these 2 activities of making sense of a policy and rule creation comprised the vast majority of the feature’s use and we felt good to have pioneered another piece of the security management puzzle.
What’s next? Internally, that’s a question I hear around the office a lot, and this case was no different. Several customers had asked us to integrate with their workflow solutions, (Remedy, Service Desk, etc.), while others (who had no established workflow solution), asked us to create one. Our response was simply to do both.
So, we created Policy Planner. It offers a simple, web-based front end (so that anyone, anywhere, can create a ticket regardless of technical expertise), and tracks the ticket from request to closure. Roles are defined which serve as checks and balances throughout the process, tickets may be assigned to appropriate administrators, and as mentioned, Policy Planner can integrate with third party service desk solutions serving as either a standalone solution or augmenting an existing, and often larger one.
One of our most well received features in recent memory is the ability Policy Planner has to make recommendations about rule requests. Think of it as having every single administrator who has ever made a firewall rule modification/add/delete at your fingertips when you sit down to create a rule. Using an advanced form of our Policy Test capabilities behind the scenes, Policy Planner can bring unprecedented value in the rule creation process by offering one of 3 pieces of matter of fact advice: “No Change Necessary” – it will tell you if the rule already exists; “Similar Access Exists” – all that is required is a modification to an existing rule; and “Rule Placement” – the rule is needed – no similar rules exist, and it should be placed above rule “X” to avoid hiding or shadowing a rule below it.
The power of the solution is obvious particularly in response to the question at hand which is, “How do I keep my policy free of redundant or unnecessary rules in the first place?” Of course, Policy Planner integrates seamlessly with FireMon closing the loop on rule management.
So what’s next? Quite a bit actually. 2010 promises several enhancements to both products (FireMon and Policy Planner) including the information they share, so you’ll have to stay tuned. Better yet, come see us at RSA 2010 (March) or InfoSecurity Europe 2010 in London in April.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.