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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

Jul 20, 2017 Threat Hunting? Ditch the SIEM

Threat hunting remains an undeveloped competency for far too many organizations. When surveyed, security professionals confess an overall lack of competency to detect and respond to advanced attacks that slip through their defenses. In my experience, many organizations still rely on alerts from a SIEM (among other prevention systems). Most security teams will painstakingly build models for indicators of compromise, receive alerts from their SIEM, and “do the best they can” to eliminate the intrusion. What are the results?

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Jul 13, 2017 If You Are Not Looking at Risk Vulnerability, You Are Only Seeing Part of the Security Picture

How do you know if your security posture is where it needs to be? Most organizations look at standards, be it national standards, industry standards or their own corporate standards. They may also look at their industry’s best practices. But if you aren’t looking at your risk vulnerability, you are likely not looking at the entire spectrum of your network’s security posture.

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Apr 05, 2011

Is a secure, firewall-less network possible? Perhaps, but why would you?

SC Magazine UK had an interesting article by Dan Raywood. Raywood interviews Kevin Dowd of CNS Networks as he sets up a network that doesn’t use any network firewalls. The premise is that in light of the recent Night Dragon attacks as detailed by McAfee has the time of the perimeter firewall finally passed.

Dowd goes through a lengthy explanation that a firewall is not a silver bullet. That keeping network topography as simple as possible is key to making security more practical. Cutting services that are masked by firewalls but unnecessary is another suggestion. To sum it up Dowd recommends:

If you are going to deploy servers, laptops, desktops or any networked equipment the following rules are the simplest way to stay secure:

    • Work out the services you actually need

    • Work out who will need to access those services and create restricted access

    • Disable or remove everything else

    • Review the network regularly

    Dowd and Raywood end the article saying:

    We therefore believe that businesses should think about effective implementation of security controls to protect their networks and focus on proper internal security, from employee passwords to ensuring that each application and system is properly hardened. Done properly this could, with specific networks, mean that you could remove the need for a firewall completely.

    So let’s start with what we agree with. A firewall is not a silver or magic bullet. There are no silver or magic bullets in security. If you think there are, you probably also believe a large Bunny is going to hide some colored eggs at your house this month.

    We also agree with KISS – keep it simple stupid.  Adding complexity makes your network … well, more complex. However, on this one you have to realize that sometimes complexity can’t be avoided.

    Overall though, my real problem with Dowd and Raywood’s article is just because a firewall isn’t perfect doesn’t mean you throw the baby out with the bath water. I am not aware of anyone saying that by using a firewall you don’t have to use other security technologies. Also using a firewall does not give you an excuse to leave your common sense at the perimeter. In general, I absolutely do not disagree with the premise that an over reliance on firewalls is foolish and would severely put the network at risk.  But using them as a core and central device to limit risk is an appropriate implementation.

    Specifically though I have a few more comments on this experiment that Dowd and team ran. They tested the theory by running devices connected directly to the Internet.  In the experiment, they limited what services were running to only those necessary and only to known and trusted hosts.  This is very good practice.  However, in even a moderate size network, this implementation would contradict one of the primary concerns which is complexity.

    Consider the scenario where a DMZ is established to permit access to public servers.  It is not possible to limit the services to only the publicly available services as it is necessary to monitor and manage the servers.  So, management services are enabled such as SSH, SNMP, backup services, etc.  Each service increases the attack surface.  Anderson (one of the team leaders in the article) addresses this by using native host firewalls to limit access to services from only known hosts.  Whether he is referring to actual host firewalls (such as iptables) or application specific configuration parameters (such as Apache access control) is unclear, but he is referring to access control filtering at the host level.  So, to effectively control access, every host must be individually configured to define access.  While it may seem an easy solution to standardize configurations as a solution to this problem, it does not address the reality of how these devices are often used.  Different groups of users require different access to different servers.  A traditional network firewall is better suited to address these problems.  Grouping similar devices together into the same rules allows for convenient and easier to manage access rule definitions.  Unique access can be handled as appropriate.

    Another particularly interesting fact about this article, is that Anderson is not recommending a firewall-less network.  In fact, Anderson is instead recommending a firewall for every host in the network.  This unfortunately is too complex for most environments beyond the most simple of networks.  And, it reinforces the basic premise that firewalls should be deployed as an effective tool to limit risk to an organization.

    In conclusion, though we always welcome discussion around appropriate use and management of firewalls and innovative ways to secure the network, just because a particular attack was successful is not a reason to take up the “throw the firewalls out” chant.

     

    Events

    Webinars

    Jun 29, 2017 The Hybrid Cloud Reality: Managing Security in Private, Public & On-Premises Environments
    In a recent study, 90% of IT security practitioners reported that their organization has adopted or plans to adopt a cloud solution. Cloud is now.
    View
    Jun 22, 2017 La vida del firewall: administración constante y automatizada del ciclo de vida de las políticas

    El nuevo paradigma de la automatización es la “Administración del Ciclo de Vida”

     

    Te mostraremos cómo FireMon Intelligent Policy Automation utiliza la tecnología de automatización e inteligencia para reducir el esfuerzo e incrementar la eficacia en cada etapa del proceso de cambios.
    View
    Jun 06, 2017 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.
    View
    Jun 01, 2017 4 Steps to Prepare for the Next WannaCry
    Now that the immediate threat of WannaCry has died down, it is time to take a step-back and analyze the situation to see what we can learn from this attack to better protect ourselves from the next “unknown”.
    View

    News

    Jun 07, 2017
    Qakbot malware from 2009 returns, causes Active Directory lockouts
    SC Magazine UK
    Jun 06, 2017
    Botched security: Celebrities, other patients, affected after plastic surgery files are breached and stolen
    SC Magazine
    Jun 06, 2017
    Election cyberattack proves people are still the biggest flaw
    SearchSecurity
    Jun 01, 2017
    250K Photos Leaked in Cosmetic Surgery Extortion Attack
    Info Security
    Jun 01, 2017
    OneLogin Breach Reignites Concerns over Password Managers
    Dark Reading
    Jun 01, 2017
    OneLogin Breach Reignites Concerns over Password Managers
    Dark Reading
    May 29, 2017
    How to manage the Complexity Gap
    IT Pro Portal
    May 26, 2017
    Hackers upgrading malware to 64-bit code to evade detection
    SC Magazine UK
    May 25, 2017
    83 percent of security staff waste time fixing other IT problems
    Betanews
    May 24, 2017
    Unsanctioned Computer Support Costs Companies $88K per Year
    Dark Reading
    May 23, 2017
    WannaCry Successor Is New ‘Doomsday’ SMB Worm That Uses 7 NSA Hacking Tools
    Information Security Buzz
    May 23, 2017
    WannaCry? Not really. A report from the 11th Eskenzi PR IT Analyst and CISO Forum
    Computer Weekly
    May 18, 2017
    Cisco Warns Of Un-Patchable WannaCrypt Vulnerabilities
    Information Security Buzz
    May 16, 2017
    Here comes the cloud...and it's all right
    SC Magazine
    May 15, 2017
    10 ways cyber security will evolve in the face of growing threats
    Information Age
    May 12, 2017
    Managing Complexity Is No. 1 Security Challenge in FireMon’s Annual State of the Firewall Report
    Computing Security
    May 12, 2017
    Sabre Breach
    Information Security Buzz
    May 12, 2017
    FireMon Announces Industry’s First Intelligent Cloud Security Management Solution
    IT Security Guru
    May 12, 2017
    FireMon Releases Third Annual State of the Firewall Report
    Dark Reading
    May 12, 2017
    WikiLeaks drops 'Grasshopper' documents, part four of its CIA Vault 7 files
    Wired
      See all news from 2017



    Resource Library

    Audit Compliance

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    Solution Briefs

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    Visibility Monitoring Management

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    Policy Change

    Case Studies

    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.
    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.
    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.

    Overcoming the Complexity Gap
    Bloor
    When You Can't Patch It, Protect It from the Network
    Gartner
    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
    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.