What is rule impact analysis?

Firewall rules play a crucial role in efficient network security management. Before adding a rule, it's vital to ensure that the proposed new rule won't negatively impact the network.

With firewall rule impact analysis, security admins get a detailed overview of the possible effects of adding a new rule. An important aspect of firewall rule impact analysis is that it's proactive in nature, as it works to prevent security loopholes in the network altogether.

Why should a security admin perform rule impact analysis?

The level of protection provided by a firewall directly depends on the quality of its policy. So, it's important that security admins constantly optimize firewall rules. However, this is neither a one-time activity, nor is it a simple task.

An organization typically has hundreds of rules, and not all firewall rules are independent from each other. In fact, most rules have a distinct impact on a set of other rules. The simplest error can trigger a massive security loophole that either allows malicious traffic to sneak in or blocks legitimate traffic and disrupts normal business.

This is why security admins need to thoroughly measure the consequences of adding a new rule before making the changes live in the firewall.

How does Firewall Analyzer help with rule impact analysis?

Firewall Analyzer's Rule Impact feature lets you perform in-depth impact analysis for a proposed new rule. Before you make the new rule live, you can use the Rule Impact feature to determine if the proposed new rule is going to impact the existing rule set negatively. Thus, Firewall Analyzer acts as an efficient firewall rule planning tool.

Firewall Rule Set Analysis - ManageEngine Firewall Analyzer

This impact analysis feature:

  1. Checks the proposed new rule against the existing rule base for anomalies.
  2. Suggests an optimal rule order by analyzing the proposed new rule for rule complexity and anomalies.
  3. Identifies any overly permissive destination interfaces for the proposed new rule.
  4. Detects and reports on service, application, and interface-level threats.
  5. Singles out blacklisted IP addresses that are used in the proposed new rule.
  6. Provides risk assessment for relevant service, application, and interface ports.

With these reports, you can identify threats, understand risks, remove anomalies, and optimize the proposed new rule. After running the rule impact analysis and clearing out all the complications, you can finally implement the rule in your firewall.

Get started using Firewall Analyzer with a free, 30-day trial, and see for yourself how it can help with firewall policies and maintenance.

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