State of the Firewall: Important Facts and Findings

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The State of the Firewall 2014 Report, from FireMon (based in Overland Park, KS) a recent survey which surveyed over 700 IT security practitioners representing a wide range of professional roles, organization sizes and vertical industries, shares an in depth look at the importance of firewall industry.

According to the report, the information was gathered during late 2014, and “survey findings reveal a slew of highly-relevant trends related to the continued evolution of network security device infrastructure – ranging from issues of firewall management and adoption of next-generation devices, to forward-looking perspectives regarding emerging technologies including cloud computing and software defined networking (SDN).”

The report reveals that the significance of the topic of firewall management remains high. Despite the longstanding presence of firewalls as a core element of network security, today’s specialists clearly view the devices as a critical element of their defensive posture. Further, as evidenced in the results, the importance of the firewall is increasingly based on the use of API integration and next-generation capabilities.

One section from the Report Summary showsThe State of the Firewall 2014 Survey strongly reinforces the critical importance of firewalls within the context of network security strategy, both today and in the future. At the same time, despite the longstanding presence of firewall infrastructure, today’s practitioners express clear concern regarding a wide range of related management factors, led notably by firewall rules and policy complexity.

  • Firewalls remain highly strategic despite pervasive management challenges, driven by a wide range of requirements, most notably API integration and NGFW capabilities
  • Next-generation devices are seen as critical and being adopted gradually, with a wide range of intentions and a broad set of related management and migration concerns
  • Firewalls will play a significant role in emerging cloud, SDN and DevOps paradigms, which are viewed as major shifts in overarching matters of network evolution

As reported on SearchSecurity, FireMon found that even when choosing a new firewall, respondents were highly concerned with ease of management. A new firewall’s manageability was rated as an important factor by 63%. Third-party integration capabilities were also seen as important, and FireMon CEO Jody Brazil attributed that to the widespread desire among FireMon customers to ease firewall operations management.

92% of respondents said firewalls would remain as critical or become more critical in the next five years, and indicated that is due in part to how the technology is evolving with next-generation firewalls (NGFW)

Firewall Criticality: When asked to estimate how critical network firewalls remain within their organizations’ overall security architecture today, an overwhelming percentage of those surveyed, 96% combined, replied that the devices play a “more critical” or “as critical” role as ever.

Brazil also said that APIs and third-party integration can make it easier to manage a firewall, but policy management is a consistently difficult pain point for enterprises to overcome.

Critical and complex issues, like firewall management should be handled by experts.

Kelly Bakst, of Volcanic Star Internet, believes in the importance of properly maintained and professionally managed firewalls. He states, “My only opinion is that firewall management should be left to ABSOLUTE EXPERTS. People set them up in their own office or place of business, or a vendor does, or whatever. Your data should be in a secured location managed by people who do ONLY THAT for a living. The only thing less secure than having no lock on your front door is installing a $5000 lock improperly. It gives you a sense of security when you have none.”

Bakst goes on, stating, Firewalls aren’t a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. They need constant tuning to thwart new kinds of attacks, software and hardware upgrades, and literally FULL TIME monitoring.  Anyone who tells you they can do that in their spare time – be it business owner or part time self described “expert” – is just not thinking clearly. Firewall security is serious business these days. It can mean the difference between keeping the doors open, or winding up in court.

Firewalls and having them properly managed is no laughing matter. Firewalls are not an area where you can cut corners or strip from the budget. Protection and prevention are always cheaper than damage control and disaster repair.

SLPowers knows firewall management. 

Most so-called firewall management stops at up-down monitoring and update verification. Guaranteed Networks—Secure does all that (of course) but includes even more benefits:

All that plus policy-based access to websites and the most advanced security reporting in the industry—SLPowers has been securing client networks for 30 years.

Advanced Firewall Management protects your small business information at an enterprise level via:

  • Firmware Updates
  • Feature Key Updates
  • Signature Service Updates
  • Certificate Updates/Upgrades
  • VPN Building & Removals
  • VPN Management
  • Gateway Anti-Virus
  • Application Controls
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Deep Packet Inspection
  • Policy Management
  • Periodic Policy Reviews
  • Blocking Sites & Services
  • Category based Content Filtering
  • Off-site Configuration Backups
  • Firewall Restoration
  • Active Directory Integration
  • Custom Content Filtering
  • Intrusion Prevention Services
  • Advanced Persistent Threat Management

Categories: Data Loss Prevention, Data Security, Firewalls

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