In this series, FireMon looks at the five most important capabilities a network operator must build into their management practices in order to keep their environments secure, compliant, and ready to grow. Here is the fourth: scale & perform.
“Agility” has been a buzzword for a lot of years, but only now – as IoT, global supply chains, APIs, and remote workforces have become the norm – is the real value of agility hitting home. It’s no longer a great competitive advantage. It’s survival.
Agility is built on networks that are complex and dynamic, and those attributes make them hard to manage. The typical enterprise is already struggling to scale without degrading performance as they manage at least dozens and often thousands of physical and virtual devices in their multi-vendor security environments. Associated with these devices are thousands or even millions of rules that change as outside factors emerge, such as new business models or threats.
Yet most businesses continue to rely on slow, inefficient, and error-prone processes and are still using policy management systems that don’t scale to serve large multi-vendor environments. There is no way to ensure that policy intent is sustained across the entire network, so security teams have to test every application every time there is a policy change. As a result, assessing the security posture is inconsistent, slow, and often inaccurate. Policy bloat is the norm because no one has time to check whether a policy is still needed, or if it’s redundant, or if it conflicts with another policy. As overwhelmed security and policy teams fall further behind, agility and innovation cannot continue, and security becomes security theater instead of a measurable program.
So how will businesses manage in 2023, when 1.7 billion new devices per year will be attaching to enterprise network infrastructures? Or in 2024, as demand continues to escalate? There is no way they can — unless they change their approach to policy management.
Scale Systems, Not Staff
FireMon enables security teams to gather information from anywhere on the network, from individual firewalls to the datacenter, and to view it in a single format through a single pane of glass. There’s no other way to keep up with the complex, dynamic networks that are the norm today – and becoming more complex and dynamic, with no end in sight.
Enterprises that use FireMon can support changes to thousands of heterogeneous devices and cloud instances simultaneously without slowing performance or ramping up staffing. The network can expand and contract ceaselessly without impacting the ability of security staff to accurately perform their daily network assessments, investigations, or compliance audits.esired workflows are maintained and performance is unhindered, even on the largest and most complex networks. No one else in the industry can give you this capability, because no other solution is built on an innovative horizontal architecture that enables previously-unattainable performance and scalability.
This architecture provides deep, centralized visibility into changing network access vectors. Highly actionable dashboard views give network operators and security teams the ability to continuously monitor network security infrastructure. All functions can run on a single appliance or across multiple appliances, an extremely valuable capability no other provider can match. Simultaneous analysis and normalization can be performed across multiple vendor platforms.
FireMon’s architecture also scales effectively enough to monitor configuration changes across hundreds and even thousands of devices across the enterprise environment – including both virtual and physical devices in hybrid environments. The resulting data is rendered fast enough for users to make timely decisions, while performance is never hampered.
Big Network, Big Savings
This horizontal architecture not only enables greater scalability and security, but greater ROI as well. FireMon customers report a 79 percent gain in efficiency for report generation, and can generate reports for thirty days or three years of data in nearly the same amount of time – in fact, data retention is unlimited. Plus, FireMon can scan 24 million IPs per hour and can certify up to 15,000 devices and 25 million rules. Query results are delivered in less than 10 seconds.
One enterprise came to FireMon seeking the ability to reduce time-to-scan and to scan their entire environment every four hours. Using FireMon, they were able to identify ~1.4 million active IPs within a 96M IP address space.
Real-Time Visibility, Vulnerability, and Risk Management
It’s time to get rid of the error-ridden, time-consuming manual processes that are holding you back from agile scaling. You need to automate your network security policy management so you can get a complete picture of your network’s behavior, risk exposure, and compliance status in real-time, no matter how many changes you make.