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A CSO's guide to impact of new technologies and threats on security policy

AlgoSec is the market leader in network security policy management. AlgoSec enables security and operations teams to intelligently automate the policy management of firewalls, routers, VPNs, proxies and related security devices, improving operational efficiency, ensuring compliance and reducing risk. More than 1000 of the world’s leading enterprises, MSSPs, auditors and consultancies rely on AlgoSec Security Management Suite for unmatched automation of firewall operations, auditing and compliance, risk analysis and the security change workflow. AlgoSec is committed to the success of every single customer, and offers the industry's only money-back guarantee.

Rake Narang: What are the challenges with managing security policy today?

Nimmy Reichenberg: In short, the challenge is twofold - first, how does an organization ensure its security policy is doing what it is supposed to be doing (according to Gartner 95% of firewall breaches are due to misconfiguration) and second, how does an organization maintain business agility and operational efficiency, so that security does not “slow down the business”. In multiple surveys that we have conducted, the network security infrastructure was cited as the most time-consuming to manage and audit. Every hour spent by the security team on management on auditing takes away valuable time from proactively defending the network and sensitive information from new and sophisticated threats.

Rake Narang: Why are firewall policies so complex and hard to manage - and what can organizations do?

Nimmy Reichenberg: Both modern networks and modern threats are complex, so it is natural to find complexity in firewall policies. However there are factors that add complexity which can certainly be dealt with. For starters, many firewall policies have been in place for a while, and contain unused rules, redundant rules or rules that can be optimized to reduce complexity. Many organizations have different firewall types, including next-generation firewalls, and vendors in the network - all which require different expertise and additional time to manage. Additionally, most rules on the firewall exist to support connectivity for a business application (E.g. corporate email, online stores etc.) - so having visibility of how the firewall policy relates to applications greatly simplifies its management. There are solutions on the market that can greatly reduce this complexity by automating policy and risk analysis, auditing and change management and providing a centralized view of policies across groups of firewalls - regardless of what type and brand.

Rake Narang: What is the impact of new technologies and threats on security policy?

Nimmy Reichenberg: The security infrastructure that protects our network has evolved to address challenges brought upon by modern threats such as APTs, as well as challenges introduced by modern networks such as cloud computing, virtualization and BYOD. This creates a need for more policies, in the form of firewall rules, IPS definitions etc. and adds even more complexity to the network security environment. Take a “next-generation” firewall rule for example - traditional firewall rules consisted of source/destination/service, but a next-generation firewall additionally specifies WHAT applications, WHICH users and from WHAT devices. This added complexity amplifies all the challenges we talked about - compliance, change management, troubleshooting etc. and organizations should look at automation to contain this complexity.

Company: AlgoSec
265 Franklin Street, Boston MA 02110 U.S.A.

Founded in: 2004
CEO: Yuval Baron
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: United States
Products: The AlgoSec Security Management Suite which consists of 3 separate but integrated products - Firewall Analyzer, FireFlow and BusinessFlow
Company's Goals: To automate security policy management in complex environments, allowing organizations to maintain a secure and optimized network security policy while maintaining business agility and operational efficiency.

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