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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



Intent-Based Network Security - How to Turn Intent into Enforcement
May 03, 2018
In our last blog, we talked about what exactly intent-based network security (IBNS) is – and the first step to getting started, i.e. mapping. Here, we're…
How to take the first step toward intent-based network security
Apr 26, 2018
Intent-based network security helps with several areas of top concern for enterprise security leaders - software-defined networking, new application deployment, moving applications across platforms and…
Gaining Control of Cloud Security through Orchestration
Mar 28, 2018
What do you think of when you hear the word “orchestration?” Within the security field, oftentimes “orchestration” becomes synonymous with “automation.” That’s not entirely accurate, but…
Cloud Security and On-Premise Security are NOT that Different
Mar 27, 2018
In our last blog on cloud controls, we discussed how important it was to have visibility into your cloud. This is the most logical place…








Why FireMon Continues to Dominate Network Security Policy Management (NSPM)



Security professionals have a tough time keeping pace with business demands, security risks, regulatory compliance and daily cyberattacks. This leaves little time to dissect the vendor claims hitting you from every direction. 

So, let’s cut through the guff. FireMon created the Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) category. We started all this because security teams were adopting security technology without the means to effectively manage it. They needed a better, faster way to diagnose configuration problems, meet audit requirements and improve their security posture. Considering this was such a valuable area to automate, several others followed us.

When looking at Network Security Policy Management (NSPM), it is important to observe the capabilities of prospective vendors. These capabilities become the automated core competencies of network security teams, with the platform becoming the single-source-of-truth for configuration assurance. You should choose wisely.

Network security policy has been an essential discipline since the first time we let computers talk to one another in a network. This discipline became table stakes for security teams; just a part of the job.  Security teams are answering the questions of how, when, who, why and under what circumstances these machines are permitted to communicate and trade information. That’s foundational to any network security program.

However, it can be a time suck. Often, we develop labor-intensive tasks to discover how network security devices are directing all that network traffic. Once all the data is assembled, security teams take a look and make adjustments. This time devoted to this manual effort has exploded with new regulations, internal standards and mutating networks.

Furthermore, there’s a shortage of skilled labor to do all this labor-intensive work. Let us call this The Complexity Gap. The gap is the distance between device rules/policies and the labor force needed to manage it all.

Blog main image - 800 wide - complexity gap.png

Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) appears on the stage to automate and orchestrate the manual work. How did FireMon become the leader? It must be more than just being the first solution to market, right?

Let’s take a look at each of the reasons FireMon continues to dominate NSPM.

 

Performance At Scale

When looking for any solution to close The Complexity Gap, it is important to acknowledge the methods and architecture used to scale with the enterprise. Scale is ultimately a relational model: one-to-many.  Most importantly, scale needs to happen without any degradation in service. That can prove challenging to many NSPM providers. After all, we are talking about petabytes of data flowing from devices that literally cover the globe.

But superior NSPM begins with performance that can scale; working just as well with 1,000 firewalls as with 10. It all comes down to data ingest and normalization, with the ability to ingest billions of events, changes, traffic patterns and compliance violations. This can be a challenge – for some. The one-to-many scalable requirement is for purposing all that data. But how can I purpose any data that is incomplete? You can’t. Having portions of the story doesn’t really get us any closer to making the best decisions for our network security. 

 

The FireMon Difference

FireMon accomplishes scale from a single console. NSPM laggards require separate instances and consoles. But isn’t the piece-meal approach to network security what we are trying to overcome?

Take one of your data centers…can you picture it? Good. Now, segment each of the firewalls by vendor. I know this may seem strange, but just stay with me. Poll each group of vendor-specific firewalls every 20 minutes, then take the results from Palo Alto and put those in one database, the results from Cisco in different database, Check Point? You got it, another database. What about the sea of Layer-3 devices…sorry, you still need a separate database for each manufacturer.

Still with me? Okay, now simply go to each NSPM console devoted to each device manufacturer. Got a clear picture yet? No? Well, try exporting the results from your separate consoles. You know how to use Excel, right? Put all those results into a single sheet. Trying really hard to ignore that the data from each console has a different timestamp – remember we’re polling, not streaming.  

Now that you have stitched together your report (with an accuracy confidence of around 50%), go repeat this exercise for each of your other data centers. Note: the confidence level will go down with each stitched report.

Now, to be sure, it is not malice or sadism motivating this manual effort. It simply comes from a lack of user empathy. At FireMon, we put on the lens of our customers and developed an architecture that accommodates their fast-paced, ever-changing, demanding lives.

Network security personnel are the heroes of the enterprise. Do you really want our heroes running around from console-to-console, stitching reports together from various sources? Even with this kind of effort, they still wouldn’t be able to have the confidence needed to make the right decision.

FireMon achieves enterprise scale because of our distributed architecture. By shifting the work from the application to a data collector, the user has a web-GUI that distills the picture of all their network devices – processed and normalized by the data collector.

Then, at the data collector level, we use the big data capabilities of Elasticsearch for ingest. Talk about scale…some FireMon customers automate analysis for 1 billion events a day. Superior architecture is what makes this possible.

This foundational architecture is the source of all other good things at FireMon, including Performance At Scale. What’s in it for a FireMon customer? Faster, better answers in all areas of network security.

How does FireMon support live streaming data for real-time monitoring? Architecture.
How does FireMon ingest all that data without polling? Architecture.
How does FireMon support network evolution (cloud, SDN, virtualization)? Architecture.
How does FireMon normalize all that data from various firewall vendors? Architecture.

That’s Performance At Scale. We do this every day. And we do it for thousands of heroes slaying network dragons.

As this series continues, we will explore all the areas that makes FireMon the leader in NSPM.

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

Events

Webinars

May 10, 2018 Final Countdown: 4 Principles You Need Before GDPR Hits

In this webinar, we’ll show you the principles needed for GDPR success:

  1. Risk-based data protection
  2. Measuring security effectiveness
  3. Monitoring data protection
  4. Orchestrating persistent compliance
View
Apr 25, 2018 Monitoring & Performance
In the "real world" most companies are struggling with overwhelming infrastructure complexity, numerous management silos, and a multitude of incompatible management tools. Get the tools to help you identify problems and prevent downtime.
View
Apr 12, 2018 How to Stop Writing Firewall Rules and Start Controlling Network Security Based on Your Actual Intent
Join FireMon and Ultimate Windows Security for this free webinar, where we will examine intent-based security and how to apply it to firewall policy and management.
View
Mar 21, 2018 How to Scale Network Security for the Modern Age
Traditional security models are all about the current state – but in the current state of cyber-security, by the time new rules are written, they’re obsolete. Resources have changed, topologies have shifted, traffic has evolved, and applications grew new arms and legs.
View

News




Resource Library

Audit Compliance

Datasheets

Policy Change

Solution Briefs

Policy Change

White Papers

Visibility Monitoring Management

Analyst Reports

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
FireMon Appliances

Your environment is unique. No matter how many devices you have or where they are located, we have an FM appliance and a deployment option to meet your needs.

Moving to the Cloud
Central security control for expanding cloud intrastructures.
Controlling Cloud Security
Instant visibility, continuous security for the enterprise cloud
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.
Elastisearch
FireMon and Elastisearch: 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
Palo Alto Solution Brief
FireMon Solutions for Palo Alto
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
Gain Control of the Cloud

Cloud technology gives enterprises faster application deployment, instant storage, workload versatility and pricing models that decrease initial capital investment. It is no wonder enterprises are making the move to the cloud.

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.
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
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.