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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! 



May 19, 2017 A Practical History of the Firewall - Part 1: Early Days
As a practitioner in the relatively early days of the mass adoption of the Internet (mid to late 90s), I saw the rapid adoption and evolution of firewall technology. I had a limited view, and certainly have an imperfect memory, of this history. As such, over the next few posts, I welcome your comments to help me fill in the missing pieces of this story.
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May 02, 2017 Breaking down the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report
Verizon’s infamous Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) came out last week. It’s a testament to the diverse data Verizon now has that this year’s report is separated out by industry. In other words, more industries are seeing attacks and it allows the data to be divided and still hold merit. A few findings stood out to me as worthy of a deeper look...
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Dec 02, 2013Security Metrics are Key Indicators of Security Health

Healthcare has many parallels to Information Security in that it attempts to diagnose and prevent negative outcomes.  However, if success is measured by “death prevention”, it seems to always fail eventually.  And if we take that same approach to security and only measure success or failure by “prevention of data loss”, we may have a lot of good days, but we will eventually fail, and perhaps catastrophically so.

Instead of waiting for these ultimate outcomes, there are many indicators that we can measure in both healthcare and IT security to positively affect our current situation.

For example, certain risk factors can be evaluated and measured related to prevention of heart disease (WebMD).  Some of these factors are outside of our control: sex, age and family history.  Other risk factors are behavioral and can have a significant impact on health outcomes including: diet, level of physical activity, and whether or not someone smokes.  Similarly in IT security, we cannot change the industry of our organization or the number of employees on staff; we also have very little control over bad actors who may choose to assail us.  But we do have control over what security technologies are deployed, employee education efforts and management of existing controls.  Measuring these items, particularly those over which we can control, will provide valuable information on how we can improve.

But it takes more than measurement to improve.  Knowing that one lives a sedentary lifestyle at the bottom of the activity scale will only improve their health outcome if they chose to change their behavior.  Metrics are merely an information source, but if they are used to inform and change behavior, they will affect outcomes.  Failure to measure these risk factors only perpetuates ignorance and leaves the results in the hands of hope and luck.

So what should you measure to improve your security health?  The answer depends a great deal on the specific situation of the organization.  There is little scientific evidence proving links between specific behaviors in IT Security and the potential outcome of data loss, at least not as conclusively as there are for health factors such as smoking and heart disease.  But there are many good sources of best practices including those provided by groups such as SANS, NIST, and ISO.  There is also valuable research containing correlations between certain activities and breaches in the Verizon Data Breach Incident Report among others.  The key is to understand your organization’s risk factors and then begin to measure them accordingly.

In most cases, some decisions about which risk factors should be address have already been made.  If not scientifically, at least these decisions were often made with a common sense approach.  The decision to deploy any defensive technology such as, firewalls, anti-virus, web filtering, intrusion prevention or others, were made based on the risk factors pertinent to your organization.  In most cases, these decisions were made to address the risks you can’t control (threats) in an attempt to reduce the exposure to those threats.

The next step is to measure the risk factors you can control, in particular, the management of the technologies you have already deployed.  As Gartner suggests, “more than 95% of firewall breaches will be caused by firewall misconfigurations”, clearly indicating it will take more than simply deploying a firewall to improve security, you must effectively manage the technology as well.  Measuring the effectiveness of ongoing management activity with key metrics such as complexity, permissiveness, unused rules, and other best practice measures is a great start.  To continue the healthcare analogy, this could be compared to exercise and heart disease: it may not be easy to get off the couch, but the risk in not doing it is severe and the benefits are proven.

Ultimately, it is the combination of all the risk factors that will determine outcomes in both examples: external, internal, those we can control and those that we can’t.  Measuring these indicators alone won’t protect you.  Measuring these risk factors and choosing to get off the proverbial couch and change IT security management behaviors will have a dramatic affect on the health of your security.



Upcoming Webinars

Jun 06, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT 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.
May 23, 2017 Der Countdown läuft, noch 365 Tage bis zur DSGVO (GDPR): Machen Sie Ihr Netzwerk fit für Compliance
Netzwerksicherheit ist deutlich mehr als Cyberbedrohungen nur zu stoppen. Es geht auch darum für das Unvermeidliche gerüstet zu sein. Nämlich einen Datenschutzvorfall, den die Technik allein nicht hat verhindern können. Die EU Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (kurz DSGVO GDPR) ist, neben anderen mehr, ein solches Compliance-Rahmenwerk mit dem Unternehmen sich auseinandersetzen müssen und das im Mai des kommenden Jahres in Kraft tritt. Dann sind Unternehmen beispielsweise verpflichtet innerhalb von 72 Stunden nach einem Datenschutzvorfall darüber zu informieren.
May 04, 2017 Threat Hunting: Beyond Alerts & IOCs
Organizations are taking a more active role in detecting and responding to advanced attacks – Threat Hunting. In this webinar, you’ll discover the steps you can take to launch your threat hunting capabilities.
Apr 27, 2017 The Life of a Firewall: Seamless, Automated Rule Lifecycle Management

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?

Apr 19, 2017 Closing the Complexity Gap

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.



Resource Library

Audit Compliance


Policy Change

Solution Briefs

Policy Change

White Papers

Visibility Monitoring Management

Analyst Reports

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.
Real-Time Risk Analysis
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.

Firewall Sprawl: How Complexity Is Adding Cost & Increasing Risk
Quantifying the value of Intelligent Security Management
Security Analytics Brings Data-Driven Security Into the 21st Century
Automate Zero Trust Policy And Enforcement
The Return on Security analysis for FireMon’s Security Manager