Poor firewall maintenance leaving your enterprise exposed?

Now there’s a thought that makes every IT, Security, and Networking professional cringe.

In fact, improperly managed firewall and firewall devices create one of the greatest business risks, no matter the industry, organization, size, or type.

Often times, outdated firewall rules have the greatest tendency to allow unauthorized network access, cyber attacks, gaps in compliance, and improper rule changes that break business applications or simply drain resources.

The scary part is firewall related risks don’t require sophisticated hacking skills to be exposed.

In most breach cases, an organization is its own worst enemy.  Simple errors and oversights in firewall management cause severe challenges to the point of threatening an organization’s financial solvency and business continuity.

Add network complexity into the mix, combined with all other duties an IT team is responsible for, it becomes clear that firewall management is a business challenge that should be addressed rapidly and accurately.

Don’t believe it?  Well, an enterprise-class Cloud and Managed Services Provider, serving Telecommunications & IT services nationally, certainly recognized the burden of manual firewall management, the demand it had on IT resources and, more importantly, the hefty expenditure.

This Enterprise serves over 8 million customers in any given year, ranging from residential to small mom and pop shops to top-tier enterprises.

With the substantial number of growing customers, the amount of transactions and technical requests that need to be managed are astonishing.

Now consider that this Enterprise attempted to manually manage firewalls…

Imagine managing thousands or merely dozens of firewall rules manually without error.  Is it even possible?  How can this daunting task be automated?

You could simply hand over manual security translation to software intelligence that’s designed to scale with computing demand, right?

Not so fast.  Regardless of what you answered, it’s no easy task to centralize, simplify, and automate the complexities of firewall management.

It’s a good idea to partner this effort with experts, like the professionals at Cloud Automation Solutions (CAS).  CAS solved the complexities of centralized firewall management by automating the provisioning of firewall rules and user VPNs.  Firewall device information was centralized and externalized for data mining.

Prior to developing automated workflows, CAS engaged cross-functional teams to soundly scope an end-to-end centralized solution consisting of user experience, databases, XML schema, and API definitions, to name a few.

However, to manage ever-expanding firewall changes accordingly, it’s imperative to have the necessary tools that allow for and address the following critical components of centralized firewall management:

  • ·      top-notch security
  • ·      change management
  • ·      group policy engagement
  • ·      agnostic device management

Not any old tools or process will do when managing such a monumental and expansive business need.

Unmanageable and overly complex solutions are not just a technical nuisance – they also create needless costs for the business and waste precious IT time.

After all, you want the best possible outcome for setting your organization up for success and not additional labor.

In fact, maintaining a comprehensive set of clean firewall rules is one of the most important firewall management functions, yet many businesses continue to struggle with it.  That’s why it’s critical to have a centralized solution that is well-documented with adaptive policies and procedures, with enforcement and oversight controls that are more technical and less manual.

The goal of centralized firewall management solutions should be to reduce the opportunity for exposure to known and unknown security threats, like open ports and unneeded VPN tunnels.

  • ·      The centralized solution for firewall management allowed this Enterprise to achieve:
  • ·      strict firewall workflow enforcement and adherence to company-wide policies
  • ·      automated notification to identify firewalls affected by a proposed change
  • ·      change management detection to limit risks or compliance breeches
  • ·      less manual supervision due to self-service provisioning
  • ·      accurate lifecycle management of historical modifications

Opting to partner with and engage the expertise of CAS to centralize and automate firewall provisioning resulted in a turnaround time from 30 days to 4 hours.

From customers to customer service representatives to IT and Networking Managers to Engineers and Technicians, the centralized firewall management solution provided by CAS allowed each person to realize cost savings, increased productivity, and less worry and concern for exposure to security threats by all accounts.

Can you say the same for how your business manages its firewalls?

Partner with CAS to accurately assess how to best reduce and eliminate data center and networking threats that jeopardize your business.  CAS offers leading edge cloud automation by providing enhanced implementation and maintenance services that minimize cloud complexity and cost.

Contact CAS: sales@cloudautomationsolutions.com

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