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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 19, 2017 A Practical History of the Firewall - Part 1: Early Days
As a practitioner in the relatively early days of the mass adoption of the Internet (mid to late 90s), I saw the rapid adoption and evolution of firewall technology. I had a limited view, and certainly have an imperfect memory, of this history. As such, over the next few posts, I welcome your comments to help me fill in the missing pieces of this story.
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May 02, 2017 Breaking down the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report
Verizon’s infamous Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) came out last week. It’s a testament to the diverse data Verizon now has that this year’s report is separated out by industry. In other words, more industries are seeing attacks and it allows the data to be divided and still hold merit. A few findings stood out to me as worthy of a deeper look...
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Oct 30, 2014Natural Selection: The Future of the Firewall

When Jody Brazil and the folks at Firemon asked me if I’d write a post for this ”Future of the Firewall” series my first thought was, “if I had a nickel for every time someone told me the firewall was dead, I ‘d be rich.”

Yes, the good old firewall, the security technology everyone loves to hate, has been on supposed life support for years. But yet it’s a $9 billion market according to Gartner. We should all be that sick.

To be fair, today’s next generation devices bear little resemblance to those old Check Point boxes you may remember. It’s sort of like comparing a Model T Ford to a Tesla.

However, just as both cars can get you from A-B, today’s firewalls are doing the same things those old Check Point or Cisco Pix boxes did. While the speed, bandwidth, scalability and capability has increased, firewalls do the same thing now they did then, controlling ingress and egress.

Going into the future, firewalls will still perform this task.

I don’t want to leave the impression that nothing has or will change, though. Firewalls have evolved and collectively these changes have drastically shifted the model. For me, the biggest change is where the firewall lives; it’s no longer merely the drawbridge over the perimeter moat providing entrance to the castle.

Shrinking

A better analogy for how firewalls have changed might be found in comparing dinosaurs to birds. Just as the dinosaurs evolved into birds and took fight, firewalls have transformed. Initially they flew inside. One significant innovation was use of firewalls deployed inside the network to isolate segments, with highly sensitive data kept behind these internal systems.

Other firewalls evolved into big honking boxes sitting at the core of the network. Instead of perimeter devices, these firewalls performed ingress and egress monitoring/control at a critical choke point for all network traffic.

And just as some firewalls flew inside, other firewalls flew away altogether. Some flew to the cloud, where the servers were going, to protect the web servers and applications that serve as the interface for computing interactions.

Some of these firewalls became specialized for the web. The rise of the WAF has been a major addition to firewall capability. Highly specialized to protect web sites and applications, WAFs added IDS/IPS functionality (and weren’t the only firewalls to do this) as well as dynamic protection capability. I think the evolution of the WAF is far from over. As we continue to move into an app-centric world, protecting the app servers grows both more critical and more complex; WAFs will rise to the mission.

At the same time the number of WAFs will continue to expand, making WAF management as critical and sophisticated as firewall management is today. Future firewall management solutions will treat WAFs as another firewall; rules and policies will flow across both WAFs and traditional firewalls.

Another major evolution occurring up in the cloud is the advent of virtual firewalls. After growing feathers, they shed their bodies! I’ve always thought of virtual firewalls no differently than appliances, though. Box or no box, you still need to set your ingress and egress rules and policies, and I don’t that will change in the future. While virtual firewalls may outnumber physical appliances, management won’t change. Of course virtualization introduces its own challenges; instead of dealing with hardware failures, we need to manage virtual environments.

The biggest change over the last few years has been the rise and dominance of the “next gen” firewall. Call it a UTM if you want, just don’t call it late for dinner. The next gen firewall has rejuvenated the entire space.

No longer “dumb” devices that block ports and IPs, NGFWs feature much “smarter” technology, combining IDS/IPS, anti-spam, DLP and more, offering a full spectrum of defense. They’re also “application aware” and much better suited to today’s app-centric world.

In the future, NGFWs will continue to grow smarter, with “brains” allowing them to be more effective and utilize more techniques to secure, automate and protect. We’re already starting to see the “son of next gen”, and it won’t stop there.

The fact is that this is the future of the firewall. No matter how they evolve or morph, no matter where in the network they live, or what they look like, we’ll add more intelligence and automation. They’ll become more effective.

Two things won’t change: they’ll have to be managed and they’ll continue to control the ingress and egress of bits into, and out of our networks, servers and devices.

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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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May 23, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT 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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Mar 30, 2017 Data Orchestration for Incident Response
The biggest challenge security teams face when it comes to the alert triage process is preparing the data for analysis. Analysts can spend 80% of their time or more just to assemble the data to answer the question of whether an alert is a false positive or real incident.

Immediate orchestrates the data assembly process, freeing up critical time and resources to actually respond to identified events.

Join us for this webinar to learn how you can streamline the incident response process by orchestrating data assembly from a variety of disparate, external sources, including:
- FireMon Security Manager
- Palo Alto Networks AutoFocus
- VirusTotal
- Packet Capture
- Threat Intelligence Feeds
- And more!
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Resource Library

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Solution Briefs

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White Papers

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Analyst Reports

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