Has your corporate IT infrastructure undergone major changes in the last five years? If so, how has your perimeter defense changed in that same time period? If your company is like many, the changes in your IT infrastructure have been accompanied by the addition of new rules to your firewalls, and perhaps you’ve upgraded to a “next generation” or “Unified Threat Management” (UTM) firewall. But have you taken the time to overhaul your firewall policies, or are they a complex nest that reflects the complicated history of changes to (instead of the present state of) your environment?
Next generation and UTM firewalls have become much better at integrating features previously provided by separate appliances and systems, such as intrusion detection and prevention, web content filtering, botnet identification and blocking, identifying application traffic using non-standard ports (or trying to slip out on a standard port for another application), and so forth. But if you’ve just been making rule changes piecemeal, or translated them one-to-one from an old device to a newer device, you may not be getting the full advantage of the new features.
A traditional firewall blocks or permits traffic based on source and destination IP, protocol, and port number. The rules are individually fairly simple, but when they accumulate they can become a mess, and may be processed more efficiently and maintained more readily if rules are combined into groups, they are ordered based on the most frequent traffic passing through your firewall, and descriptive objects are created that reflect your current environment’s organizational structure and security needs. Some functions that can be accomplished with difficulty based on traditional firewall rules may be performed much more easily by using features of more modern firewalls like application control or identification.
EarthLink Business offers a firewall migration and tuning service that will review your rules and security requirements and design a new rule-set designed to take advantages of the features of one of our firewalls—Hosted Network Security, our carrier-class network-based firewall for MPLS network customers; Data Center Firewall, our carrier-class firewall in each of our data centers; or Managed Premises Security, our dedicated perimeter firewall for your business locations.