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Why FireMon Continues to Dominate NPSM - Part 2: Real-Time Monitoring
Dec 05, 2017
In Part 1, we looked at how any solution that closes the Complexity Gap require Performance At Scale. If an organization is going to wrap…
Gartner’s Recommendations for Security Policy Configuration Assessment Part…
Nov 28, 2017
In Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series we saw how to implement Gartner’s first three recommendations for security configuration assessments (SCAs).…
Gartner’s Recommendations for Security Policy Configuration Assessment Part…
Nov 22, 2017
In this series, we're looking at the essential parts of a Security Configuration Assessment (SCA).  Let’s continue the dialogue and look at the other recommendations…
Gartner’s Recommendations for Security Policy Configuration Assessment Part…
Nov 20, 2017
In this series, we’re taking a look at Gartner’s recommendations for Security Policy Configuration Assessment and identifying areas where FireMon can help security teams accomplish…

Gartner’s Recommendations for Security Policy Configuration Assessment Part 1: Establishing Secure Policy Configuration Baselines

Gartner research has uncovered a number of security policy challenges for enterprises. Among these challenges are the typical assessments necessary to fortify policy for compliance and improved security posture. In this series, we will look at each of the identified recommendations from Gartner to help overcome challenges that interfere with configuration assurance. You’ll discover how FireMon automates security policy management, bringing ease and sanity to security policy assessments.

The Gartner piece begins with the statement:

Secure configuration assessment is essential for identifying risks arising out of weak and misconfigured systems and devices. Security and risk management leaders should helm this effort and coordinate among various departments to meet compliance and security needs.

No argument there. Of course, it is essential to probe our network security devices to make certain we have properly mitigated risks. Did you know the primary culprit for DDoS, compliance failure, malware, data exfiltration is a misconfigured firewall? This may seem obvious, but often we forget how critical configurations are. No matter the sophistication of your security devices or products, the principal reason organizations run into problems stems from misconfiguration. Call the device ‘next gen’, call it ‘revolutionary’, call it a ‘silver bullet’ – it still must be configured correctly. 

The second portion of Gartner’s opening statement suggests having a cross-functional approach with multiple groups in the business and security establishing the appropriate benchmarks. Everyone agrees that leaders should coordinate various departments for security and compliance mandates. The question is: how?

Gartner makes four recommendations to get organizations closer to security policy Utopia. Primarily, these recommendations center around secure configuration assessments (SCAs) to provide greater configuration assurance. 

In this series, we will take a look at each of the recommendations and identify areas that FireMon helps security teams accomplish them all. What will help our effort is looking at each of the recommendations and asking, “How?”

Let’s take a look at the recommendations.

Security Policy Configuration Assessments – Recommendations

  • Establish secure configuration policy baselines and minimum standards for system configurations by making use of sources such as business and functional requirements based on regulatory and statutory compliance requirements; benchmarks such as NIST and CIS; internal security policies; risk management; and results of threat assessment and incident management.
  • Develop SCA capabilities by defining the objectives and scope, and selecting tools and an operating model to conduct regular SCA scans.
  • Conduct frequent and regular SCAs to verify compliance with security policies, detect policy breaches and improve enforcement of policies.
  • Engage IT operations to ensure that findings are being addressed by holding regular communication and cooperative meetings.

For this post, we will examine the first of Gartner’s recommendations. From the start, we can look at our prevailing question “how?” and discover methods for achieving baselines and standards. 

First, we can see how the advice to establish a baseline has its benefits. By having a baseline, you can quickly locate areas where you are off course and take corrective measures to get where you want to go. As with any security program, a healthy recognition of where you are provides you with a realist’s understanding of the current state. From there, we can accomplish just about anything. 

The second portion of this recommendation is to make sure you integrate the various business and functional requirements that inform what a policy ought to be. This also makes sense. Having a good understanding of the business’s needs and the functional capabilities levered by various groups, allows security teams to approach security configuration with much more valuable detail to inject those requirements into their systems. Special focus should be paid to regulatory and internal standards, serving as a benchmark of acceptability.

The FireMon Difference

Let me explain how FireMon customers are accomplishing this recommendation. FireMon customers have a strong appetite for data – they are infovores. Eating up all this data and information from security devices can be an overwhelming task. But as the recommendation states, it is important to get a baseline of the current state in order to see any configuration policy improvements. How does one gain access to the details for this baseline?

Real-Time Monitoring

FireMon is the only network security policy platform with real-time monitoring. This allows the user to get an up-to-the-second view of what is happening within their environment (e.g. rules, traffic flows, applications, users, etc.). This becomes the baseline and the reality-check of what’s happening right now. Formerly, security teams would pull data from security devices to get a snapshot of its configuration and then ‘stitch’ that data into a coherent whole – usually with Excel. 

But once they begin seeing data coming in as a live stream, they have an ongoing baseline from which they can make more appropriate decisions. If establishing a baseline is a primary concern, and everyone would agree that it is, then it stands to reason that in a world of dynamic networks that are evolving faster than fruit flies, real-time monitoring is the only way to have a steady pulse on the current state.

Customizable Compliance Reporting

Interestingly, the second half of Gartner’s recommendation calls attention to the necessary elements to maintain a compliance benchmark and functional requirements aligned to business needs. Though this seems obvious, prior to using FireMon, our customers would frequently piece-meal their reporting to accommodate the business demand and compliance mandate.

In the absence of FireMon, that is the only option. The security devices have their own outputs, fields, capabilities and reporting structures. What is a network security engineer to do? The answer is: you stitch. By stitching data together, you burn up countless labor hours…just to do it all over again for the next audit or compliance check. Checks that are constantly changing as the business and compliance mandates adjust.

With FireMon, these same security teams have an automated way to customize their reporting; accommodating any future standard, business need, regulatory requirement, etc. FireMon is the only network security policy management solution with customizable compliance reporting that doesn’t require professional services or custom development.


As we turn to the other recommendations, we have established that the recommendations coming from Gartner are patently wise. Without a strong baseline and configurations informed from business and regulatory needs, security teams will not have configuration assurance. With FireMon, they push the button for warp-speed, leading to improved security posture and reduced security risk. We see this kind of security policy success every day. We call these people, “FireMon Customers.” 

Josh Mayfield leads platform sales for Immediate Insight, FireMon's security analytics solution.



Dec 06, 2017 6 Ways to Evaluate Firewall Change Requests to Ensure Security and Compliance and Prevent Risk Creep
Firewalls are like Roach Motels – rules check in but they don’t checkout. When you look at a firewall with thousands (or tens of thousands) of rules you have to wonder if they are all still needed. Join Ultimate Windows Security and FireMon to find out how to automate the work flow of firewall change requests, capture and document rule changes, evaluate the impact of rules and compare rules to the characteristics of the actual packets being passed by those rules.
Nov 09, 2017 6 Steps for Firewall Assessment for Compliance and Security
Don’t let the pendulum swings fool you; firewalls are not dead, and the perimeter still matters. But in addition to the perimeter we recognize the need for more internal segmentation to limit lateral movement and protect segregated zones like the red forest. So, we need and probably should have more firewalls than ever.
Oct 31, 2017 Think GDPR Doesn't Impact You? Think Again...
Companies across the globe are scrambling to meet the new compliance directives that are imposed by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to go into effect in 2018. If you’re thinking, “I’m not in the EU, so it doesn’t matter”, think again.
Sep 26, 2017 GDPR: Security Management Best Practices You Need to Know
In this webinar, FireMon’s resident GDPR expert, Tim Woods, will help lay the groundwork for a plan to comply by the 2018 deadline. We’ll also cover the vital role security management plays in protecting data from the start, including these specific capabilities you need to comply with Articles 25, 32, 35 and 58.


Sep 05, 2017
SAO v. SIEM Security Suites: And the winner is...
Aug 30, 2017
Jimmy Nukebot Explodes on the Scene, Transforming NeutrinoPOS
Info Security
Aug 17, 2017
The Top Security Challenges for 2017
SC Magazine
Aug 14, 2017
Creditseva, KS Enterprises Breaches Highlight Need for Improved Cloud Security
eSecurity Planet
Jul 31, 2017
What is IT governance? A formal way to align IT & business strategy
Jul 28, 2017
How organizations can work toward GDPR compliance
Information Management
Jul 09, 2017
4 Signs Check Point Software's Best Days Are Ahead
Motley Fool
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
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
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
  See all news from 2017

Resource Library

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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
Check Point Solution Brief
FireMon solutions and Check Point
Cisco Solution Brief

FireMon’s Intelligent Security Management platform enables users with Cisco Systems switches, routers and firewalls (Pix, ASA, FirePower) to work smarter, applying intelligence to the entire security program

Fortinet Solution Brief
FireMon solutions for Fortinet
Juniper Solution Brief
FireMon solutions for Juniper
NSX Solution Brief
FireMon solutions for NSX
Palo Alto Solution Brief
FireMon Solutions for Palo Alto
Top 5 Requirements for Your NSPM Solution
Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) continues to be a difficult practice for organizations the world over. In the last 20 years, network security policies (e.g. firewall rules) have grown by more than 3,500%. Yes, you read that number correctly. Why is that?
Achieving Gartner's Recommendations for Secure Policy Configuration Assessment
Gartner research has uncovered a number of security policy challenges for enterprises. Among these challenges are the typical assessments necessary to fortify policy for compliance and improved security posture.
The Top 4 Myths of Policy Compliance
Welcome to the world of overflowing regulations and compliance standards, of evolving infrastructure and the ever-present breach. It's a world where 72% of security and compliance personnel say their jobs are more difficult today than just two years ago.
Planning Considerations for Compliance with GDPR
The GDPR deadline is approaching quickly. If you haven’t started your GDPR journey yet, now is the time.
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 Recommendations
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.
Automation Isn't One-Size-Fits-All
Intelligent Policy Automation
Intelligent Security Management

Helping Enterprise Security Teams Improve Resource Efficiency & Reduce Overall Risk Exposure

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.

2016 State of the Firewall
2nd Annual State of the Firewall Report based on survey of 600 IT security practitioners.
Avoid These 'Bottom Ten' Networking Worst Practices
Overcoming the Complexity Gap
When You Can't Patch It, Protect It from the Network
Firewall Sprawl
Aberdeen Group
Quantifying the Value of Intelligent Security Management
Aberdeen Group
Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
Automate Zero Trust Policy and Enforcement
The Return on Security of FireMon’s Security Manager
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.