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As any network operator can attest, the words “firewall” and “security appliance” carry multiple connotations; some of which are flattering and others that are… not.
That being said, developing scalable and feature driven security devices is a difficult task, especially while trying to provide the best performance at the most competitive price.
Over the past few years, the number of enterprises that have migrated to hybrid datacenters and cloud architecture has increased dramatically, exacerbating underlying issues such as throughput, redundancy and administration.
As a result, today’s enterprise architectures are far more distributed than ever before – most often a conglomeration of multiple vendors, code versions and management methods.
Imagine being an operator responsible for multiple datacenter network security systems and having to integrate your security management methodology into a cloud environment.
This remains a daunting challenge not only due to many organizations’ inability to find critical staff or the sheer difficulty of centrally managing systems seamlessly, but also in achieving a high level of faith that everything will operate in the same manner after a code upgrade or activation of a new feature.
Since the rest of the networking space has already adopted horizontal scaling for hardware and software, why aren’t we following the same methodology for security? Security appliances are not carrier grade routers, nor should they be treated as such. Yet, the sheer number of features that enterprises require from their security systems often comes at the sacrifice of throughput, creating subsequent traffic flow issues across the network.
As a result, firewalls and other security appliances must evolve to operate as a piece of software on commodity hardware or a virtual machine to both scale horizontally and empower all the necessary features, regardless of their deployment location. A common, easily tunable API abstraction management layer will also be critical in reducing operational overhead for network engineers.
By adopting this mindset, security systems will provide a much higher level of accuracy for threat detection and mitigation, along with administration of rule sets, resiliency and throughput – all while reducing operational and capital expenditures. The rest of the network must communicate and share critical information, especially as we progress more and more into Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Networks Function Virtualization (NFV).
Yet, network security systems continue to operate as islands today.
To change this we must truly embrace the mindset that security is just another key service that operates within the chain that is the network. Only then can we can move forward in developing a more protective, unified, vendor neutral and architecturally agnostic framework.
We encourage you to share your thoughts, and we look forward to reading your comments. We invite you to subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest posts of our new series.
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.
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.