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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 3: Conducting Frequent & Regular SCAs with Comprehensive Automation & Data-Driven Analysis

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 from Gartner.

Previously, we examined how establishing a baseline, integrating business and function requirements, and methods for evaluating configurations can be automated and lead to greater configuration assurance. Let’s revisit Gartner’s recommendations for practices devoted to SCAs.

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.

In Part 1 and Part 2, we took a hard look at the first two recommendations and discovered methods to establish baselines and how to use Real-Time Monitoring and Customizable Compliance Reporting. Additionally, we saw how integrating Risk Analysis and User-Specific Reporting can speed up the process of getting to execution – the ultimate goal. FireMon addresses each of these recommendations with automation, orchestration and detailed analysis to more effectively configure network security devices. 

This is an important step for many organization. Firewalls are swelling with rules that interfere with configuration assurance. Rules may be hidden (e.g. shadowed rules), necessity undocumented, redundant or outdated. However, the number of rules is accelerating exponentially.

Not only is the rulebase skyrocketing, the standards for audit and compliance continue to morph. Each time there is an audit, security and operations teams are scrambling to find the right data.

Let us dive into Gartner’s third recommendation. Once an organization has successfully conducted an SCA using the framework, it should be relatively simple to repeat the steps with regular frequency, right?

Unfortunately, to accomplish SCAs, organizations often develop labor-intensive tasks to figure out what the environment looks like, what adjustments should be made, which reports to generate, compliance standards to meet and security concerns for countless devices and applications. Let us call this The Complexity Gap. The gap is the distance between device rules and the labor force needed to manage it all.

Open Ended Up to 1024 Px Wide - SecurityGap.jpgWe saw how methods of integrating multiple business units and evidence-driven risk analysis can get organizations closer to configuration assurance. 

The difficulty with regular and frequent SCAs is that the elements we are measuring continue to shift. The world has this pesky tendency to move, leaving security teams in a tough position to answer the call each time we need another SCA.

What can you do? Well, you automate.

Let us take a moment and see how FireMon customers are conducting regular and frequent SCAs at the drop of a hat.

Comprehensive Automation

Automation and orchestration are the epitome of buzzwords. But before you dismiss this, see how each have functional roles for frequent and regular SCAs. To be sure, automation and orchestration must extend beyond simply pushing a rule to a firewall. There is no use in automating a bad rule, in fact, it erodes our configuration assurance.

Instead, FireMon customers take advantage of Intelligent Policy Automation (IPA) and reduce the labor hours involved with frequent SCAs. By automating several steps in the process, FireMon users can reduce human error and speed up validations – leading to stronger configuration assurance. Automation and orchestration bring together all the relevant data in a coherent frame, allowing you to cleanup unnecessary rules, simulate attack paths, and recertify rules that conform to your security intent.

IT security projects have definitive timelines. Our ears hurt a little when hearing, “Great work! Now do this every month.” However, if you’re going to conduct regular and frequent SCAs, automation becomes your new best friend. If the organization wants to have a steady diet of security configuration assessments (SCAs), we have you covered. We do this with comprehensive automation.

Data-Driven Rule Analysis

Secondly, when conducting routine SCAs, it is important to let data reign supreme. Too often, organizations rely on biases and rules-of-thumb to determine the best way to configure their security systems. However, FireMon customers take advantage of data-driven analysis to reduce all that time spent pulling and slicing data to determine a rules effectiveness and necessity.

One critical aspect of being data-driven is to see how real-life traffic flows throughout the network. This is a clear point of evidence to better inform which decisions we make during the SCA. Traffic Flow Analysis (TFA) allows you to see precisely how a rule is implemented across multiple vendors and device types. Seeing which rules are on a certain firewall doesn’t really tell us much. But having a global view of policy that traverses all devices and allows/denies traffic is much more informative.

FireMon is the only solution with this granularity for TFA. Now, you can eliminate overly permissive or fundamentally flawed rules to policy during your SCA. By automatically seeing where the traffic is flowing, regular and frequent SCAs become woven into the security team’s routine. It’s the only way to conduct rigorous SCAs with any regularity.

Often, audit and audit findings drive many projects to improve the rulebase. These findings can be an accelerator to conduct regular assessments, have continuous compliance for audit and have sub-second reporting for all documentation.


Let’s go back to The Complexity Gap. If you want to follow the recommendations from Gartner, you will be taking on a serious program – regular and frequent SCAs for verifying compliance and security policies. This can be a daunting task. But by consolidating data, automating analysis, orchestrating moving parts and regularly inspecting the traffic, you can follow this recommendation. You can regularly and frequently conduct SCAs, because you’ve automated the heavy lifting.

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

Audit Compliance


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.