FireMon Benefits

Daniel James
Security Engineer at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Any organization will have a best practice of looking at their firewalls at least once a year, going line-by-line. But whenever we have something like a PCI assessor coming in, we want to make sure we do our due diligence. We want to look at anything that has popped up, or that we might be unaware of, or that we put on the back burner, because it's impactful to the business. We can't really do that unless we can query our environment or set it up to keep us informed of everything that conflicts with our best practices. That's where we get the great majority of the value out of the product. One of the most concrete examples of how it has helped our organization - and it's not the most spectacular example - is that with Security Manager specifically, we have the ability, as security engineers, to review and approve firewall rules before they are implemented, even though that task is performed by our networking engineers. What that allows us to do is maintain a separation of duties, which is very important for a lot of compliance checks. I can't be the person who makes a rule and the person who says that the rule that I just made is okay and up to standards. There's a conflict of interest there. So one of the main things that adds value or improves the security posture of our environment is the ability to separate roles and responsibilities. As part of our processes, I can say to the networking team, "Submit to me what it is that you're planning on doing." Using FireMon, I can look at the firewall and the firewall rule without having to have access to the actual firewall. After they are done with their change, I can validate that what I said they could do matches what they actually did do. Having that mechanism as an option in our environment holds everyone up to a higher level of best practices, because they know someone can validate that they're not just doing whatever they want to do without anybody being the wiser about it. The solution helps to close a visibility gap we previously had. That goes back to reemphasizing the fact that we're trying to maintain that separation between security engineers and network engineers. I don't want access to the firewalls themselves, but I am accountable for every rule that's on them. Everything we do goes through FireMon. Is it instrumental in my being able to see something and correct it? Absolutely. Because of FireMon, we have found several instances of objects that were created where the intent was for it to be four ports, but it got fat-fingered and someone put in a much wider port range. It has helped us to identify misconfigurations. It has helped us to identify out-of-band changes, where stuff was done that wasn't necessarily approved. Because it has its own repository of industry best-practices, it has helped us to highlight hundreds of rules that have unwanted objects in them. If I don't have to spend two days walking through all of our firewalls to do that, and I can run a report that I know is pulling back authoritative information, then I'm able to accomplish more because of it. It certainly helps reduce our overall auditing time. The alternative to not having the product is doing a manual review. What the product is designed to do is to show me everything that violates this standard or that rule. If I can do that - and even if I have to spend a day or two coming up with standards and the rules for me to check against - in two days I have the results that a manual process would take me several weeks to achieve. Now, cleanup still takes just as long. I can't say, "Fix all of these," and it automatically cuts tickets for me - yet. With proper future-proofing, optimization, and integration, it would be able to do that for us as well. But overall, it definitely helps reduce auditing time. Another advantage is that is has helped to clean up rules that have not been reviewed in several years. There are thousands of rules every year that we clean up directly, based off of the reports. To give more context to this answer, one of the main functions of anyone in security is: If we don't need it, we need to get rid of it. But there's always that battle between the needs of enforcing best practices and accommodating the business. Anyone who has ever used this solution, or competitors' solutions, or gone through a firewall cleanup process, has experienced this scenario: "Well, we deleted 300 rules and something broke and now we need to find out which of those rules we need to turn back on." And that happened because they were working from a report that they only ran once a month or once a quarter. What this tool allows me to do is not only disable unused rules, but to specify conditions like, "anything that is unused for at least six months, or at least a year." I can now put unused rules into different categories. Something hasn't been used in a year is very low risk. If it was used two months ago, there's a higher risk if I disable it. So it helps reduce potential impact, which is a unique feature. View full review »
Orlando Paulino
Information Security Analyst at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
We want to eliminate all firewall rules that have FTP access on them. We don't want to use FTP any longer. With the help of FireMon, we were able to go in and check all the firewalls that have rules with FTP on them and we opened up a project with the network team so we could eliminate all those rules. FireMon has been very helpful with closing visibility gaps we previously had. Since I got here, it has helped us dig into stuff. And whatever help we need, any projects we have that we haven't been able to figure out by ourselves, they have gone in and helped us out. I called them once because I wanted to see if they had a report that I could run for rules that have not been used in 365 days. With their help, I was able to run that report and provide it to the network team so they could eliminate those rules that had not been hit in a year. The list I gave to the network team had 7,917 rules. Finally, the solution has helped to reduce our overall audit time by about 50 percent. That's awesome. View full review »
Network Security Engineer- Senior at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
We have some really complex firewalls out there, a lot of rules - too many rules. It's to the point where the firewalls become physically unhealthy. The config is so large that the hardware can't keep up. FireMon allows us not only to very easily identify those firewalls that might be getting overly complicated, but it also allows us to easily remediate those complications. It's probably saved us a lot of downtime that could have resulted from firewall issues caused by the config. It helps close a visibility gap we previously had. For example, Cisco's primary firewall management tool, either using command-line or GUI, does not cover all the appliances at once. You have to go in one-by-one. FireMon is able to see across every appliance, in a single view and that makes it easier to manage things. In addition, it reduces our overall audit time. I don't deal enough with the audit side of the house to know by how much it has been reduced. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about FireMon, Tufin, AlgoSec and others in Firewall Security Management. Updated: February 2020.
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Info Assurance Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
The firewall administrators have gained time back by using this tool, simplifying the firewall rule set. The solution helps to clean up rules which have not been reviewed in several years. It gives us the ability to go to one place to look for potential firewall rules that are inappropriate, or which don't meet compliance. Instead of manually searching hundreds of firewalls for a policy, we can go to this one location and find the rules which are now out of compliance. View full review »
Chris Goodrich
IT Security Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
It is the single place where we go to review all of our firewall changes. The solution makes it easier for us to track all the changes made. It is a central place where we can look at all the firewall rules, because we have three different firewall vendors. It saves us time and creates efficiencies by looking at the general picture. This solution has helped to clean up rules that had not been reviewed in several years. It is used for all of our firewall changes. At the moment, we are not looking to do more than use it for that. This solution has helped to reduce our overall audit time. We are under PCI, so it was a requirement. We had to do something like this, and it just made it easier. The solution was prebuilt to do that, and we didn't have to build our own spreadsheet. View full review »
Shabeer Chundaparambil
Manager Security Solutions with 10,001+ employees
Not experienced yet with the product. We are still doing our evaluations and having other discussions with different vendors to understand product capabilities. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about FireMon, Tufin, AlgoSec and others in Firewall Security Management. Updated: February 2020.
398,567 professionals have used our research since 2012.