FireMon Review

We use the forwarding capabilities and we use it for cleanup.

What is most valuable?

We use the forwarding capabilities because we don't have another way to report on the firewall. We use it for cleanup and also for our biannual firewall review. Pretty much that's the big reason that we use FireMon.

How has it helped my organization?

The time that it takes for us to do the review: Previous to FireMon, we would have to go through the firewall pretty much manually, every line. This took an incredible amount of time. With the FireMon product, we did notice a significant decrease in the time that it takes for us to do any type of review. Also, just a general report, if you have an inquiry throughout the year, without actually doing a full review, you can just go to FireMon and click a few buttons and it tells you what you need to know. There's no need to dig around and spend additional time. So, it's mainly time.

What needs improvement?

We've had issues with backups. We almost lost our database at one point. It would be nice to be able to back up the backup configuration to a network share or some other function. The only way that we know how to do it right now is to do a manual backup. Or the server backs itself up to itself, which is not helpful. If you lose the server, the backup that's stored on the server is also lost. So, it's not that helpful.

One thing that is missing is the ability to export the entire rule base of a firewall. Suppose we were going to be migrating to a different firewall. Not getting rid of FireMon, but moving to a different firewall; either a different vendor or a different model of a firewall. So instead of taking bad stuff, or maybe old stuff out of the current firewall and going to a new firewall and using the exact same configuration, we may want to export that information into an Excel spreadsheet or some other format, so that we could work with that data outside of FireMon. That would be really helpful. I've called FireMon, I've also played around trying to figure out if I could get it to work and I still didn't get it. Nobody knew how to get the info out of FireMon to work on it. Also, potentially the ability to import it back into the system and maybe get some sort of a diff report; a difference of the configuration from the system.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used FireMin for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have an issue sometimes with the listener for logging. Sometimes the listeners, the ports, go down and the server has to be rebooted. It's very, very rare that that happens, but we have noticed that's really the only stability issue that we've had. The server application itself seems to be very, very stable. Even when the port goes down, the app stays up. It just has to be reset. That may be every three months or so we may notice that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have three major production firewalls pushing thousands of logs every hour to this one box. We have two boxes in both of our data centers but they push a lot of logs to these guys. We've never had any issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate support a 4/5. I sort of get the feeling when I send an email that it's a little bit of a slow response time. There are things that we do need immediate attention on and sometimes when you call, they'll ask you to send an email in. That's sort of a backwards approach to technical support. If I've already got somebody on the phone, they should be able to take my information and proceed with handling the triage of the call. I shouldn't have to hang up the phone, write an email, and then wait for a telephone call back from them. I would rather see some sort of support model that has a better flow to it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we did not have a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was fairly straightforward. Our system is in a virtual environment. We pretty much turned logging on for the firewall, pointed it to the FireMon server, added the firewall to the FireMon server. Within seconds, there were tens of blocks being pushed over there. The reports pretty much created themselves. You just had to run them.

What other advice do I have?

If someone asked me for advice, I would definitely say that it would help them, especially with being able to navigate through if you have a complex rule set. I would definitely suggest FireMon. It's been extremely helpful for us to have. Even though they're missing a few functions, it's still workable from our standpoint.

Being able to export to Excel isn't a huge turnoff. It's a nice feature to have but I would definitely suggest purchasing FireMon. Especially if you have a large environment where you're trying to trim down your rule base, you're trying to optimize your firewall, or you're just trying to find stuff that's sort of lost in your configuration.

Also change management: I believe it's a PCI requirement. We use FireMon as well for notifications and that's helped satisfy a PCI. I don't have anything in front of me that shows me all the requirements but I believe a review of rules that are changed is part of that requirement, so they help fulfill that, too.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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author avatarit_user630399 (FireMon Customer Success Manager at FireMon)

Thank you for providing your detailed feedback on FireMon Security Manager. We truly appreciate the investment of your time to post a review.

To address your "Room for Improvment" comments:

The FireMon backups are placed in /var/lib/backup. This can be configured to be an NFS mounted file system from an external host. This would satisfy your desire for having backups placed on a network share.

The entire policy for a device can be exported to an XLS file from the | Policy | Policy View tab in Security Manager. The resulting XLS file will have separate worksheets for the security rules, network, objects, user objects, application objects, etc…

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you better utilize FireMon.