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In today’s fast-paced world, network security has become a top priority for organizations of all sizes. As the number and complexity of cyber threats continue to grow, it’s essential to have a robust and reliable Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) solution in place. However, with so many options available, selecting the right NSPM solution can be a daunting task. In this blog post, we will discuss the critical requirements to consider when purchasing an NSPM solution. 

1. Compatibility with your network infrastructure 

Before purchasing an NSPM solution, it’s essential to ensure that it’s compatible with your organization’s network infrastructure whether it’s on-premises, in the cloud, or a mix of both. The solution should support and help you manage the devices and vendors that you use in your network from a single pane of glass. This ensures that the NSPM solution can effectively streamline managing your network security policies and processes without disrupting your existing network operations.  

2. Scalability 

As your organization grows, so will your network infrastructure. Therefore, it’s vital to select an NSPM solution that can scale to accommodate the changing needs of your organization. The solution should be able to scale to meet your needs without running into technological caps that slow things down or simply won’t operate. Large enterprises typically need the ability to support thousands, if not 10’s of thousands of devices and rules in the millions. You many not need those numbers today, but the pace of new technologies can quickly add complexity to your network that you didn’t foresee today. Additionally, the NSPM solution should support multi-tenancy, allowing you to manage multiple networks from a single platform. 

3. Automation and Workflows 

Managing network security policies manually is time-consuming and error prone. Therefore, it’s crucial to select an NSPM solution that offers automated policy management which reduces manual intervention. The solution should provide a user-friendly interface that allows you to create, modify and delete policies quickly across your entire environment on any device and integrate easily into your existing workflows and ITSM platforms. Additionally, the NSPM solution should automate compliance checks, security audits, policy enforcement, and offer rule recommendations and custom alerting. All of which reduce the risk of non-compliance and security breaches. 

 4. Reporting and Analytics 

Visibility into your network security policies is essential to identify potential vulnerabilities and compliance gaps. Therefore, it’s important to select an NSPM solution that provides comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities. The solution should provide real-time insights into your network security posture, highlighting policy violations, non-compliance issues, and potential security threats. Additionally, the NSPM solution should offer both out-of-the box, and easily customizable reports, allowing you to create reports tailored to your specific needs without the need for excessive professional services fees. 

 5. Integration with third-party solutions 

Firewall and cloud support is crucial to a security policy management platform, but so is integrating into your security operations environment. Therefore, it’s essential to select an NSPM solution that can integrate with a large number of third-party solutions. The solution should have an API-first approach, that easily connects with various security tools, such as vulnerability scanners, SIEM, SOAR, threat intelligence platforms, ITSM integrations, and incident response systems. This ensures that you can quickly detect and respond to potential security threats, reducing the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks. 

 6. Ease of Use and Management 

The NSPM solution should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and manage. The solution should provide a centralized dashboard that allows you to manage your network security policies and processes from a single platform. Additionally, the NSPM solution should provide real-time data access, and contextual help and support, making it easy for you to troubleshoot issues and perform tasks. 

7. Support and Maintenance 

Selecting an NSPM solution is not a one-time investment. Once up and running, the solution will require ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that it continues to meet your organization’s changing needs. Therefore, it’s essential to select a proven and time-tested NSPM solution that provides world-class reliable support and maintenance services. The solution provider should offer ongoing regular updates, patches, and bug fixes to keep the solution up-to-date and secure. Additionally, the NSPM solution provider should provide training, certification programs, and ongoing education, allowing your team to stay up to date with the latest features and capabilities. 

Keeping these 7 critical requirements in mind while considering NSPM solutions will ensure that you select the right solution for your organization. Each requirement plays a particular role in this buying process and it is important that each one is thoroughly considered and inspected. To learn more about FireMon’s recommended requirements or to speak with an expert, contact us today. 

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