Firewall management app turns firewalls back into network security devices

Pressures to keep network traffic flowing through firewalls combined with fear and anxiety over causing interruptions to business processes has created a situation where firewall administrators are quick to add rules but hesitant to remove any. As a result, firewalls have gone from being security and compliance devices to nothing more than access devices, bloated with permissive policies that grant access more often than they deny it.

In response to this problem, Secure Passage announced FireMon eVolution (version 5.0). FireMon eVolution is a firewall management solution that provides a comprehensive and integrated set of features that includes: Rule Lifecycle Documentation, Traffic Flow Analysis and a PCI-DSS Compliance Reporting Framework. FireMon provides information needed to make decisions that turn firewalls back into high performance, risk reducing security devices that facilitate the smooth flow of network traffic and ensure compliance with major industry regulations.

Features and benefits:

  • Rule Documentation: In many compliance situations, including PCI DSS 1.1.3, rules that allow “risky” access to an organization’s sensitive network segments and systems must be justified through documentation. The documentation must provide context regarding why a rule exists, a roadmap that links it back to the business unit that it was created to support and historical data that shows who has taken any actions on it and why. This feature serves as the documentation repository and provides comprehensive audit reports. Comprehensive audit reports that provide justification are needed to prove compliance and reduce the amount of time that internal security and audit personnel are required to spend justifying policies to external auditors
  • Traffic Flow Analysis: Provides analysis that understands the complete flow of traffic including source, destination and service. This enables FireMon to start with an existing policy, analyze the traffic through the firewall, and automatically define the necessary rules to enable appropriate access to meet the existing network traffic needs. This level of analysis enables firewall managers to improve firewall performance and build better security policies. With this feature, firewall managers can eliminate broad permissive rules, such as an “Any, Any, Any, Accept,” and use detailed analysis of heavily utilized rules to make policy modifications that enhance performance
  • PCI-DSS Compliance Reporting Framework: Provides integrated visibility, documentation and analysis of rules. When used in conjunction with Rule Documentation, this feature provides firewall administrators with a comprehensive PCI DSS solution, as it not only provides visibility and analysis functionality but also rule justification that PCI DSS requires. Included is a PCI DSS Compliance Report that enables organizations to evaluate their security posture as it relates to PCI DSS 1.2 and to test policies currently installed on a firewall against 15 specific PCI standards. This feature significantly improves audit efficiency and reduces the time and cost associated with rule justification as it automates the rule-to-business unit mapping process.

Additional FireMon eVolution features:

  • Audit Logging: This feature automates the capturing and recording of details of every change event in context of the firewall policy
  • Rule Usage Consolidation: FireMon collects detailed usage data to support Rule Usage Analysis features
  • Policy Planning: Enables firewall administrators to manage changes to the firewall, from the initial access request to solution design, through implementation and verification
  • Cisco ACL support: Cisco IOS ACLs enable Cisco routers to perform basic packet filtering and to take action on the traffic if it meets specific criteria
  • Juniper NSM support: Using FireMon’s new NSM Device Wizard, users can easily add all of their NetScreen devices managed by an NSM at one time.

FireMon supports Check Point, Cisco, Juniper and McAfee firewalls. In addition to firewall management, it also provides policy management for routers and switches.

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