FireMon, the leader in Network Security Policy Management (NSPM), has released a commissioned study entitled Automate Zero Trust Policy and Enforcement conducted by independent, research-based consultancy, Forrester Consulting. The study illustrates the many benefits of using a firewall auditing tool, including increased IT staff productivity, fewer data breaches and attacks and improved visibility into network traffic. It also points to a marked increase in the number of organizations who say they can respond to a data breach in under an hour as a result of using firewall management tools.
According to Forrester, in the age of cybercriminals, hacktivists, state-sponsored agents and internal security threats, a Zero Trust (ZT) network that assumes neither internal nor external networks can be trusted is the best approach to security. This makes firewalls and next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) critical to architecting a ZT network.
“While NGFWs play a crucial role in creating Zero Trust networks, the inherent complexity means that if they are not configured properly or managed effectively, they will not be used to their full potential,” said Paul Calatayud, Chief Technology Officer for FireMon. “This study has shown that firewall management tools, such as the FireMon suite of products, help IT departments create more secure environments and save organizations a lot of time.”
The research consisted of an online survey with 188 IT security decision makers at US enterprises in highly regulated industries and found that firms that implemented firewall management and configuration auditing solutions achieved significant productivity and security benefits. Comparatively, firms that have not implemented a solution struggle with time-intensive auditing and change control processes, quality issues, and resource constraints.
“The study shows as enterprises upgrade their firewalls to defend their network perimeters, many fail to modernize how they manage complex firewall rule bases,” said Paul Calatayud, Chief Technology Officer for FireMon. “Nearly half of enterprises that use a next-generation firewall do not use firewall management or configuration auditing tools and that exposes the organization to more risk as well as increases the time it takes to respond to a potentially business-crippling data breach.”
Some key findings from the study include:
- NGFWs are approaching mass adoption, yet configuration auditing solutions are less prevalent
- Users of firewall auditing solutions are three to four times likelier than nonusers to address and implement firewall change requests within 24hours.
- Firms that manually audit their firewalls face more challenges than those that use a solution
- Solution users reap more benefits than nonusers even expect