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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

May 24, 2017 Support for Check Point R80.10 in Security Manager 8.15
FireMon customers who have Release 8.15 and have Check Point R80.10 will be able to take advantage of Check Point’s Inline Layer Policy Management. Inline Layers allow a security organization to give more engineers more access to more rules while minimizing the risk of giving these engineers access to all of the rules in a policy. For example, a network administrator can create different policies for different users.
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May 24, 2017 A Practical History of the Firewall - Part 2: The Value of Management
The mid-90s was a time when networks were rapidly evolving. For example, ethernet was an option, but not always the local network protocol in use (remember token ring?). Connecting to the Internet was not assumed, it was discussed. Dial-up was still common, and AOL was the dominant player. To suggest that firewalls were mainstream technology would misunderstand the Internet as mainstream. One of the implications of this fast-changing network was a significant amount of ignorance and inexperience. In this context, the manageability of a firewall should not be overlooked as a key market driver for the eventual winner in this market
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Nov 18, 2014Future Considerations: Software Defined

If Software Defined Networking (SDN) becomes the open ubiquitous technology that I think it will, everything changes.

That sounds dramatic, but I believe that SDN will change many aspects of how we deploy and manage networks. It also creates a completely new paradigm for security enforcement and an opportunity to think differently.

I think it will be amazing for people, for the industry, and for everything we try to do in security. It will power an Internet of Things (IoT) and forever elevate the value of data anytime, anywhere. I see SDN as the next critical step that no one will ever know happened.

SDN

When is this amazing change supposed to happen, you ask? It's already started and it will be ongoing for many years to come. It's not something where you can just flick a switch and suddenly it's all there and running; there's still lots of work to do.

But we can flick the switch ahead of time when thinking about how to build SDN strategy, and ultimately a secure one. To do this, you have to drop all current expectations of the technologies that you're running today and think about what SDN is meant to change at all levels.

To get in the right state of mind for this exercise, consider a situation where you've been running a library for many years. It's stacked full of books, magnificent collections for anyone to access and read via a book tracking system that you've spent millions on, essentially putting the Dewey Decimal System online.

Then tragedy strikes one night and the entire collection, along with the building, burns. The insurance money comes in and we are left with a real question. Does it make any sense to rebuild a building full of books, knowing what we already know about technology? Is there still a place for this? Before, due to a long history of value, this option was assumed, but when presented with, or in fact forced to recreate the library, does the design and deployment of a building of books make any sense?

I ask this question because you have to go into SDN with just that frame of mind. Ask yourself if what you're doing today makes any sense in this new design, then go a step further. Ask yourself what you need to do to empower SDN instead of looking at it from the perspective of how it might work based on how you do things today.

What It Takes

Let's flick that switch now and consider how SDN is evolving the network by walking through an SDN-enabled infrastructure from network to application.

SDN extracts network intelligence directly from switches into a centralized controller. This controller contains all the objects in the environment, from switches to applications, and everything between. The controller can send commands like “put, get, forward, delete, etc.”, as well as take in data about the state of any forwarding tables (and that's without getting into the technical details, which is another blog unto itself).

Consider a network where you can make forwarding decisions based on far more than IP data. I'm talking about simply knowing where the connection needs to be and forwarding it across any infrastructure to any application, against any security controls that you may need. Maybe you rewrite the IP header as it moves across physical connections, but that's not even necessary to consider when working with SDN as the process is abstracted away from us.

Think about what you could do with the power to forward packets based on a myriad of possible scenarios from network to application, and being able to track and protect that flow on demand. Running out of CPU and memory in one datacenter? Send the flow over to another. That one getting tapped out? Push it out into a cloud infrastructure.

New version going online of your application? No problem, as the next flow will be directed to the virtual machine running the new code. Problem with the new code? OK then, the next flow goes back to the previous version service, all on demand and orchestrated. I can't wait to see the creative things that people do with this level of program-ability and control.

The Security Perspective

How is security affected by all of this?

For starters, it's simply abstracted to a service with policy eventually moving into orchestration of that service. Don't get me wrong, security policy management remains relevant, but it moves from a dictated security policy to a monitored security policy, just not right away. And over time, traditional enterprise security policies will become less relevant. To show you what I mean, we can jump ahead to the concept of a monitored policy as part of this exercise.

Let's say that an application request comes in the form of a network call to a Web service to return data for a custom application, perhaps a new wearable armband health application. The network then checks its table to see where to send the connection, tags it accordingly, and forwards it on. In turn, the controller knows an application request is on its way for this particular service, and most likely already has a server up and running, ready to service it.

Since the controller knows how many clients it can service per virtual machine, with defined CPU and memory, it keeps spinning up new virtual machines and redirecting traffic accordingly. To include security in this process becomes a simple task. There's no need to deploy hardware and create choke points as security simply becomes another application to the abstracted network.

For example, we can forward the data based on any decision, not just the network setup, and offload a copy for traffic validation; essentially run an on-demand security scan on the same flow and let the controller know if there's a problem. Based on the orchestration decisions, the controller can have the traffic flow quarantined, blocked, redirected or just plain dropped; how and why will be tied to the value and risk of the service.

This is the point where we move from security policy management to security policy monitoring. As applications are defined and brought online, information will be collected on what data is handled by which users and corresponding threat scanning can scale up or down accordingly. It will be this on-demand delivery of security services that will enable rapid scaling of new applications.

While excited about all these the possibilities, I'm fearful of the potential nose dive that could occur if vendors try to create some form of lock in. SDN as a technology can't be stopped by this and will emerge no matter what, it's just a matter of how long it takes. Being realistic, it's just going to take a few generations of equipment to get there.

However, if we truly enable SDN from networks, along with security, and into the application, many of our current challenges go away. Not to say we won't have new issues to consider, but I'll save that discussion for another time.

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Events

Webinars

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.
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Jun 01, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT 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”.
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May 23, 2017 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.
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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.
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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?

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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.

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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
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