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Unless you’re under a rock, you know that the WannaCry Ransomware cyberattack swept worldwide headlines last week.
Organizations scrambled to apply the latest Microsoft security patch to their computers to prevent the spread of the attack. It’s estimated that the ransomware attack hit more than 300,000 victims in 150 countries.
Two weeks ago I was writing about what we were hearing from customers while I was at the Infosec Europe event. At the conclusion of that post I wrote about the consistent theme we hear at FireMon over and over again is that “security needs management.” I wanted to return to this theme and explain more of what I mean and why I think it is so important.
In security there are currently something like 1,200 different companies offering security products and technologies. The array and scope of these security solutions is dizzying. But the consistent thing across them is that security is seldom--I would argue never--a set it and forget it” endeavor.
The environment that we operate in is constantly changing. The threats are constantly evolving. If you think that your security posture and settings of last year, last month or even yesterday is enough to protect you, you are sadly mistaken.
Specific to firewall management, it amazes me how firewall rules stack up month after month, year after year, without being managed and cleaned up. Often times when I speak to a new customer I will speculate how many firewall rules they have and how many are still relevant. The ratios are usually pretty bizarre, approaching 40% of rules not being actively used. There rules are no longer relevant, no one knows why they are there or what they are needed for. Unfortunately, the risk of affecting business is usually enough to prevent them from taking corrective action. In a very real way, they are accepting extra cost, effort and risk out of fear of disrupting the business.
This trade off is understandable, considering that a firewall administrator is much more likely to lose their job over disrupting critical business than they will by neglecting these old rules. But this is not sufficient justification to accept this status quo. There is a solution to address this problem.
FireMon will analyze and identify these rules relatively quickly. Understand which rules are unused, which rules are too broadly defined and which rules are in need of optimization. With this information, a firewall administrator can confidently cleanup a firewall policy without the fear of losing their job.
Of course, firewalls are not the only security technology in need of management. The demands of a successful information security strategy demand that your security policies, processes and most important your security technologies be constantly managed. I will continue this discussion in future blog articles.
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.