A firewall is a network device that acts as a protective shield to your network by applying conditions given by the IT department. These conditions define what each rule will do, as well as what traffic is allowed or denied. This is why admins need to be cautious while working on firewall configurations, ensuring there are no errors while specifying these rules.
Faulty rules can create doorways through which malicious actors can carry out attacks. For instance, if an admin erroneously applies a rule that allows unwanted traffic, it can lead to unauthorized data transmission or a major network breach.
To avoid configuration mishaps and ensure network security, necessary audit measures must be taken to manage firewall configurations. This can be done by using a network configuration and change management (NCCM) solution.
Network Configuration Manager is an ideal NCCM solution that audits firewall configurations, monitors changes, detects unauthorized usage, and improves network security.
Network Configuration Manager allows you to automate the firewall configuration backup process whenever a change is made. If the configuration change turns out to be faulty, you can quickly revert to the backed-up configuration version anytime in order to prevent a potential data breach. To that end, Network Configuration Manager not only allows you to back up firewall configurations in bulk, but it also provides options to schedule regular backups of these configurations.
Firewall configuration changes made by unauthorized users can cause inconsistencies in your firewall device, making it an easy target for hackers. To prevent this, Network Configuration Manager allows admins to control who can access firewall configurations using role-based access control (RBAC). This helps admins track who did what configuration change and when; on top of this, Network Configuration Manager also triggers change notifications in real time, so you'll know about every change the moment it happens.
It's important for firewalls to comply with regulatory mandates; complying with these mandates helps ensure that sensitive information is properly managed and loopholes in the network are closed.
Network Configuration Manager helps you comply with regulatory mandates by providing default compliance policies for HIPAA, SOX, etc. It also allows users to create compliance policies to build a custom set of internal regulations specific to your business' security needs and sends alerts whenever a rule is violated.
Bulk changes on firewall rules and conditions can be executed across multiple devices using command scripts called Configlets. Commands to allow or deny traffic from specific IP addresses, quality management rules, and access-control lists (ACLs) can be executed on multiple firewall configurations in one go.
Network Configuration Manager provides reports on all the operations carried out on your firewall configurations. You can get detailed information about all compliance rule violations and changes, as well as conflicts between startup and running configurations—all in the form of tables and graphs. Additionally, you can download these reports as PDFs, and use the information provided within them to make well-informed decisions on firewall configurations.
Platforms: Windows and Linux
Vendors: Fortigate, PaloAlto, PFSense, Cisco ASA, Citrix Netscaler MPX, Checkpoint GAIA, Juniper Netscreen, WatchGaurd, etc.
These are just some of the vendors supported by Network Configuration Manager for firewall devices. Check the full list of supported firewall devices; if yours isn't included on the list, you can send us a request for a new template!