Messy firewall rules would leave IT pros grounded for life

If firewalls rules were a room, and IT security professionals were teenagers, their mom would be so mad, she'd ground them for life. This cringeworthy comparison was actually made by security management vendor FireMon, as it polled IT security experts during Infosecurity Europe.

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm guessing she'd also turn off the Wi-Fi and confiscate their smartphones. "No more Instagram!” – “But mooooom!”.

Anyway, enough with the silliness. The point is serious, though. Just over a third (35 per cent) said their company firewall rules aren’t messy.

“Firewall rule management is one of those necessary evils within security management in organisations – it can be time consuming and at times a bit like untangling the wires in your junk drawer,” said Michael Callahan, CMO, FireMon.

Almost a third (32 per cent) inherited half of the chaos from their predecessor, and a quarter confessed they were afraid of turning them off. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) admitted to using two or more firewall vendors within their IT environments, further adding to the agony.

“IT environments, even in smaller organisations, are becoming incredibly complex due to multiple vendors, technology advances in equipment and not to mention stringent compliance requirements. In fact, in the latest FireMon State of the Firewall survey, 52 per cent of the security practitioners agreed that complexity is their biggest firewall management challenge,” explained Callahan.

“Organisations in general, especially IT teams, are expected to do more with less resources. When this happens, good management and automation can close gaps in resources while helping streamline processes and simplify tasks such as firewall rule management.”