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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



Notes from the Field: AWS re:Invent 2018
Dec 06, 2018
AWS re:Invent 2018 is in the books, and this one did not disappoint, with presentations and sessions spread across five hotel conference centers populated by…
Oil & Gas Faces a Massive IT and OT Convergence Challenge
Nov 15, 2018
Every industry today has its challenges – regulations, cloud adoption, digital transformation, and on it goes. Oil and gas is a particularly challenging market due…
Charge into the Cloud Security with New Visibility and Orchestration Capabili…
Nov 01, 2018
Like most technologies that change the way we work, cloud solutions offer clear and compelling benefits but also raise new and formidable challenges. Security poses…
Not Just Automation: FireMon Security Manager v8.23 Release Advances Scalable…
Oct 09, 2018
The notion that technology advances go hand-in-hand with vulnerabilities is well accepted. And as risk continues to advance, this relationship requires close attention and our best efforts…








One Firewall Platform is Best Practice. Really?!?



You may have seen the Gartner report, One Brand of Firewall Is a Best Practice for Most Enterprises, where the virtue of a single vendor was extolled. Special attention is given to the greater security risk and complexity from having multiple firewall platforms. This statement, though obvious, has a tone of idealism and fails to appreciate the reality of real-world enterprise environments.

To Gartner’s credit, the research affirms security and network teams are not acting irrationally when deploying multiple firewall platforms. However, what their research does not fully value is how organizations are doing everything possible to stay ahead of business demands, evolving security threats and the hyper-drive of DevOps.

Real-life network security teams are overwhelmed with changes, access requests, audits, compliance mandates and a mutating infrastructure puzzle. These heroes of network security do not have the luxury of ruminating about perfect worlds. 

I want to address some key challenges in the analysis and make the case that “should” is a corrosive notion and interferes with progress in Network Security Policy Management.  “Should” implies an air of judgment and does not offer tangible solutions for how the world is and thus, cannot meet the needs of a 21st century enterprise. This is the only world we’ve got, so we better make network security more practicable for any situation.

Let’s turn our attention to the key challenges mentioned in the Gartner research and how world-class Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) can address these challenges – without forklifting in-or-out a single firewall.

Key Challenges

  1. Having two (or more) different firewall platforms greatly increases the chances of configuration and management problems, and will increase training, deployment and problem-solving costs.
  2. The increasingly complex demilitarized zone (DMZ) and the rise of the hybrid cloud are raising the complexity in firewall rule bases.
  3. Two or more firewall vendor relationships can yield potentially lesser discounts and higher contract administration overhead.
  4. The additional procurement cost and management expense that are required for multiple firewalls decreases available budget for other network security technologies.

If all of this seems obvious to you, you are likely to be a realist firmly rooted in the present. You are probably taking time away from your regular hair-pulling to read this. You are likely to be overworked, seemingly out of options, and ready to throw in the towel…maybe, considering going back to dental school.

But if you continue reading, let me urge you to consider how Network Security Policy Management is well-suited to solve these riddles of a contemporary network.

First, let us look at the statement that multiple firewalls “greatly increases the chances of configuration and management problems.” Of course it does! Any time you add any variable to another you increase the probability of failure. These are links in the chain and any single point that fails can leave an enterprise in a tough spot.

Idealism would say: “Move to a single vendor for your firewalls.”

Realism says: “Manage all those heterogeneous firewalls from a single console.”

It’s the result that we’re going for here. The result we want is a streamlined way of managing the litany of rules and policies that keep our networks secure. If the result we want is fewer configuration missteps and network problems, then organizations can solve this with better network security policy management. NSPM allows staff to centrally manage the policies and rules that govern the traffic in our networks, irrespective of the firewall vendor. 

Idealism would suggest moving all firewalls to a single vendor platform, but unfortunately this is impractical for most organizations. Too many networks have morphed so much during the last 20 years that they are now unrecognizable to the original designers. 

Realism takes note of this situation and pursues solutions to the problem of complexity, rather than the problem of multiple vendors. We are aiming for reduced risk and complexity, not simply removing heterogeneous firewalls. If you are looking to bring down complexity, you need a smarter way to manage the existing environment without changing any of your thoughtfully invested infrastructure.

On to the next…

Related to the first charge, the second key challenge claims that new complexities to the DMZ and cloud environments will force organizations to standardize on a single vendor for policy controls. Please, demonstrate your evidence for this claim.

Organizations the world over are meeting and exceeding the demands of rapidly changing environments, DMZ mutations and cloud adoption all from the comfort of their single console.  The suggestion that the best way forward is to standardize on a single firewall does not take into account break-neck speed of business. These changes to the network do not politely sit tight while security teams solicit, vet, select and implement a new firewall architecture. The world does this routinely annoying thing…it keeps moving. 

Idealism would say: “Move to a single vendor for your DMZ evolution and cloud adoption.”

Realism says: “Choose what you wish, manage the policies regardless.”

NSPM allows organizations to take on new workload types, data warehousing and asset protection that was the stuff of science fiction only a few years ago. With an NSPM, organizations can quickly adopt whatever workloads distribution or data storage (think: AWS S3) without having to change a single firewall. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. We call these people “FireMon customers”. 

Third time is the charm, right?

The third key challenge informs us of the negotiation and administrative benefits of moving to a single vendor. What does this have to do with security? The opening statement in this research topic is that multiple firewalls creates complexity and increases risk. “Using firewalls from multiple vendors increases complexity, not security.” 

This idea places administrative management and contracting above the (correct) practice of finding the best-of-breed. Organizations have adopted a method of selecting that which best fits their own needs: Want a good cloud document management system? Try Box or Dropbox.  Want a superior HR platform? Try Workday or Utlipro or Paycom. Want a good ITSM? Try ServiceNow or Cherwell or BMC Remedy? 

Organizations need choices that address their requirements. Network security teams do not select multiple vendors in a masochistic attempt to create havoc in their lives. They choose the appropriate security enforcement for the given context.

Idealism would say: “Forget what meets your requirements, standardize on one.”

Realism says: “Go for best-of-breed, be a policy hero no matter what is selected.”

NSPM is an enabler of businesses to make the right decision for their specific needs. By consolidating policy design, implementation and compliance into a single console, organizations get the versatility to adapt to their security needs without compromising on any requirement.

Okay, surely the last one is applicable…

This key challenge makes the claim that by consolidating to a single vendor, you will have more dollars freed up to pursue other technologies. Now, this may be accurate, but is it a good practice in reality? Besides, isn’t purchasing the single vendor’s firewalls a, you know, technology purchase? The last I checked, each time an enterprise purchases additional firewalls, they are purchasing additional technology. Most organizations cannot free up the budget dollars necessary to consolidate to a single vendor – we are talking about hundreds, if not thousands, of firewalls. 

Idealism would say: “Consolidate. It costs you now, but you’ll thank yourself later.”

Realism says: “Yes, consolidate…the policies. That’s the endgame.”

No matter what security products you are looking to purchase, they are beholden to security policy. Think about it, every kernel of security comes down to policy: this is allowed, that is not.

NSPM appreciates this reality and works with network security teams to harness the policies that need consolidating. Of course, consolidation is necessary, but not the firewalls. It is the policy management that needs a single view.

What is NSPM?

In the diatribe above, I have attempted to call attention to the idealistic suggestions that having a single-vendor for firewalls is not practicable. Organizations cannot swiftly jettison their infrastructure or simply open a bidding war for vendors to compete for a sole-sourced opportunity.

Realism takes all this into account, applies reasonable decisions to the existing world and keeps the goal in mind. The goal is to consolidate our firewall policies into a single view, analyze where they are effective and take appropriate action when policies need to change. This is the stock-and-trade of NSPM.

Network Security Policy Management closes the complexity gap, enhances security and removes the burdensome task of compliance attestation. There are four critical capabilities for any NSPM. Thank you for asking…they are:

  1. Security Policy Controls
  2. Change Management
  3. Risk and Vulnerability Analysis
  4. Application Connectivity Management

FireMon customers get to experience all four. By having a holistic approach with integrations to any security device, we tame the policy management puzzle with automation and orchestration. 

This is the realist’s approach. The realist wants to achieve security agility, reduce security risk, maintain compliance and respond rapidly to threats. The realist sees through the veil and understands that consolidating their policies and rules is achievable with existing firewalls. This allows organizations to keep business continuity, adapt to DevOps speed and keep an eye on any and all network devices (e.g. firewalls) irrespective of make or model.

Josh Mayfield serves as FireMon's Director of Product Marketing.

Events

Webinars

Nov 06, 2018 AWS Network Security Deep Dive
Running workloads in the cloud makes provisioning and setup easier—just spin up a VM. But you might be surprised by how many firewalls you’ll end up with in the cloud if you follow best practices. Cloud providers are clear on this point. Amazon says, “Security and Compliance is a shared responsibility between AWS and the customer… The customer assumes responsibility and management of the guest operating system (including updates and security patches), other associated application software as well as the configuration of the AWS provided security group firewall.” In short, cloud security is in your court.
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Oct 25, 2018 SC Mag: Continuous Security for the Hybrid Enterprise
The cloud is a notable business advantage, but it does bring numerous security concerns including: a lack of visibility across cloud or between on-premises and cloud environments, monitoring security controls and changes within cloud and multi-cloud environments, and maintaining compliance by monitoring cloud traffic for suspicious and non-compliant behavior. It becomes increasingly complex in hybrid environments because now you're managing security for on-premise, cloud, virtual, container environments, and more.
View
Oct 11, 2018 Improve Visibility to Reduce Vulnerabilities and Protect Patient Data
Healthcare IT organizations, already burdened with budget constraints and the scarcity of technically proficient staff, must also contend with significant blind spots within their own networks. These blind spots occur everywhere, from endpoints into the cloud, and every blind spot increases the opportunity for attacks such as ransomware to be successful. Lumeta has been deployed at some of the largest enterprises and government agencies based on our ability to eliminate 100% of your IP network and connected device visibility gaps, improve your overall security posture, and reduce the risk of patient data theft.
View
Sep 20, 2018 The Future of Network Security
Join our guest, Forrester's Chase Cunningham, with FireMon's Vice President, Product Strategy at FireMon, Matt Dean for a look at the future of network security, which will ultimately enable each business team to fully own their security policies.
View

News

Oct 26, 2018
Want to find the biggest cloud security threat? Look in the mirror
Betanews
Oct 26, 2018
Four Steps To Firewall Automation Success
Information Security Buzz
Sep 12, 2018
Open Git directories leave 390K websites vulnerable
Threat Post
Aug 28, 2018
What are Next Generation Firewalls? How the Cloud and Complexity Affect Them.
CSO Online
Aug 17, 2018
94 Percent of Organizations See Firewalls as Critical Infrastructure
eWeek
Aug 17, 2018
Firewall Still Critical Tool in Network Security
Info Security
Aug 17, 2018
EMEA firms lagging behind US in firewall management & innovation
SC Magazine UK
Aug 15, 2018
Chaos and confusion reign with existing firewall infrastructure
Help Net Security
Aug 02, 2018
5 Ways to Reduce Your Attack Surface
Security Magazine
Jul 09, 2018
Rules automation puts the “Sec” in DevSecOps
Help Net Security
Jun 06, 2018
Toward Central Network Security Policy Management for Hybrid Clouds
ESG
Jun 05, 2018
Zero Trust: Method or Madness?
Info Security
May 30, 2018
CEO: Acquisition adds 'best-in-class' solution to OP's FireMon
Kansas City Business Journal
May 29, 2018
FireMon to Buy Lumeta
Dark Reading
May 25, 2018
FireMon Announces New Immediate Insight Threat Hunting App for the Palo Alto Networks Application Framework
Channel Pro
May 14, 2018
Women in cyber-security: conquering imposter syndrome
SC Magazine UK
May 10, 2018
Firewall as a Service: A Better Defense for Your Business
Channel Partners
Apr 17, 2018
Hottest cybersecurity products at RSA 2018
CSO Online
Apr 17, 2018
RSA 2018: 10 Hot New Security Orchestration, Threat Detection, And Incident Response Products
CRN
Apr 17, 2018
FireMon debuts global policy controller; delivers frictionless network security management for hybrid enterprises
CTR
Mar 15, 2018
8 hot cyber security trends (and 4 going cold)
CSO Online
Mar 09, 2018
What Cybersecurity Risks Are Companies Currently Underestimating the Most? 34 Experts Have Their Say
Verdict Encrypt
  See all news from 2018



Resource Library

Audit Compliance

Datasheets

Policy Change

Solution Briefs

Policy Change

White Papers

Visibility Monitoring Management

Analyst Reports

Policy Change

Case Studies

FireMon + Amazon Web Services
FireMon extends orchestration, vulnerability management, and compliance (both internal policy compliance and regulatory compliance) across on-premises, AWS, and hybrid cloud environments.
Global Policy Controller
Overview of FireMon’s Global Policy Controller solution.
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
FireMon + Palo Alto Networks
FireMon gives Palo Alto Networks users a fusion of vulnerability management, continuous compliance and orchestration capabilities that speed migration to the latest firewall technologies.
FireMon Appliances

Whether you’re monitoring 100 devices or 15,000, on one continent or around the world, we offer a FM appliance with the power and storage capacity to deliver FireMon’s high-performance, highly scalable firewall management and risk analysis solutions.

Compliance and Security for Utilities
Meet NERC requirements and prevent catastrophic infrastructure events.
Immediate Insight and Palo Alto Networks Application Framework
Moving to the Cloud
Central security control for expanding cloud intrastructures.
Risk Mitigation
Eliminate disruptions while removing security risks.
Reduce Security Costs
Continuous security that doesn't break the bank.
Intent-based Network Security
Continuous security starts with intent.
Elasticsearch
FireMon and Elasticsearch: Warp speed security
Continuous Security for Industrial Enterprises
Command security for PCN and SCADA networks
Internet of Things
Taming the ever-expanding IoT attack surface.
Zero Trust
Continuous Security for Zero Trust Networks
Migrations Made Easy
Speed up adoption of NGFW with FireMon.
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
Accelerating Incident Response. Immediate Insight in action - Orchestration, automation and analytics for data assembly and discovery
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
3 Steps to Gain Control of Cloud Security
Better cloud visibility brings better cloud security.
2018 State of the Firewall
The full report walks through budget needs, staffing concerns, five-year firewall strategies, and more about how network security professionals at best-in-class businesses of all sizes see the evolution of firewalls.
A Primer On Intent-Based Network Security
Intent-based network security (IBNS) decouples intent from implementation. In this model, intent becomes the bedrock of policies and controls, and implementation serves as the device-specific enforcement of the declared security goal.
Hybrid Cloud Security: Minding the Gap
Visibility is often a first step toward cloud security
The Four Factors Necessary For Zero Trust

FireMon helps organizations move towards Zero Trust by providing:

  • Visibility into the network
  • Analysis of network traffic flow and possible breach points
  • Security Intent to determine what’s permissible
  • Orchestration to consistently automate what needs to be done
5 Reasons to Implement Security Policy Orchestration and Automation

Reduce your attack surface with a Security Policy Orchestration and Automation solution like FireMon.

Managing Migration Mayhem
Migrations can strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned security professional. Follow this roadmap for a smooth, successful migration.
Four Ways to Reduce Your Attack Surface

Larger attack surface means more opportunities for cybercriminals to do harm. Learn how FireMon can help you remove exposures before they become exploited.

Why GDPR is Nothing to Fear
A practical (and sometimes philosophical) guide to complying with the General Data Protection Regulation.
Four Key Factors for a Successful Migration

Migrations run the risk of cost overrun, delays and disruption of network service - often due to a lack of personnel and process to efficiently and effectively manage. To ensure a successful migration, consider these four key factors: 1) identifying and removing technical mistakes, 2) removing unused access, 3) refining and organizing what remains and 4) continuous, real-time monitoring.

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 & How to Avoid Non-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.
How Intelligent Policy Automation Can Increase the Speed & Security of Change Management Workflows
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.
Frost & Sullivan 2018 North American IoT Cybersecurity Technology Best Practices
Lumeta Honored with 2018 Best Practices Award for IoT Cybersecurity Technology Innovation
Using Security Policy And Automation (SPOA) Tools To Reduce The Attack Surface
Attack surfaces have expanded greatly in the past several years, in part because of the amount of new applications coming online via Internet of Things and increasingly connected technology. Organizations have an admittedly tough time keeping up with all the new touchpoints and the rapid expansion of the attack surface. Complete defense is nearly impossible, and many companies struggle with visibility issues, mismatched or misaligned firewall policies, and an inability to comprehensively test the security configurations they do have
The Zero Trust eXtended Ecosystem

Forrester

Forrester’s Zero Trust Model of information security helps teams develop robust prevention, detection and incident response capabilities to protect their company's vital digital business ecosystem. This report will help security pros understand the technologies best suited to empowering and extending their Zero Trust initiatives and will detail how Forrester sees this model and framework growing and evolving.

Overcoming the Complexity Gap
Bloor
Firewall Sprawl
Aberdeen Group
Quantifying the Value of Intelligent Security Management
Aberdeen Group
Network Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
Forrester
Automate Zero Trust Policy and Enforcement
Forrester
The Return on Security of FireMon’s Security Manager
IANS
Oil and Energy Company Increases IT Operational Efficiency and Enhanced Rule and Policy Compliance with FireMon
This mid-sized US-based oil and energy company was seeking to improve both the operational efficiency of their IT organization and security operations. They needed to streamline their processes for proposing and implementing changes to their firewall rule base. At the same time, they needed to enhance the speed and efficiency with which they performed rule compliance audits post-change. Their ideal solution would need to effectively meet the needs of both their firewall administrators and security analysts.
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.