01:00 PM
Connect Directly

5 Signs That The Firewall's Not Dead Yet

Demise of firewall is a long way off, according to recent survey results.

It's been nearly two decades since the security pundits declared the death of the firewall, and yet the technology still lives on. Like tape storage and mainframes, firewalls are just the type of technology that continues to not only survive, but thrive in the IT ecosystem, due to their established role in the network. And a new survey out by firewall management firm Firemon offers some compelling evidence that firewalls will continue to be integral to IT security strategies for many years to come.

Sign 1: More Critical Than Ever

Firewalls still remain a crucial element within network security regimes. According to the Firemon survey, conducted among 700 IT security practitioners, only a scant 4 percent of organizations reported that firewalls are less critical than in years past or not critical at all. Meanwhile, 58 percent of organizations said that firewalls are as critical as they've always been. And 37 percent reported that they're actually more critical now than they've ever been.

Sign 2: Firewall Management Rears Its Head

One of the biggest signs that firewalls are about as entrenched as it gets is the overwhelming complexity of firewall rules and policies. The bigger and more established the infrastructure, the more complicated management tends to be. And according to 52 percent of respondents, firewall complexity is the biggest concern that IT practitioners have today about their firewalls by a long shot. The next biggest is gaps in firewall enforcement, and that only garnered 14 percent of the vote.

Sign 3: Next-Gen Firewall Future-Proofing

Meanwhile, organizations aren't necessarily staying completely staid with their firewall implementations. According to the survey, next-generation firewalls are an increasing presence within enterprise firewall infrastructure. Nearly half—48 percent—of organizations state that NGFW make up at least 25 percent of their overall firewall infrastructure.

Sign 4: Firewalls And Virtualization

As organizations have shifted to virtualized and cloud environments, firewalls continued to play a role in maintaining access controls in this infrastructure, according to nearly 90 percent of respondents. According to the survey, 40 percent of organizations reported that firewalls and next-generation firewalls play a high-value role in the virtualization environment.

Sign 5: Firewalls Will Stick Through SDN Shift

Most IT professionals are realistic about how they see firewalls evolving under the shift to software-defined networking. Just 4 percent of IT pros believe that SDN platforms will eliminate the need for a stand-alone firewall. Approximately 43 percent of security pros say that firewall technology will adapt to the new network model of SDN and continue to play an important role in securing the network. Meanwhile, an additional 11 percent are skeptical about SDN, stating that it is a buzz-word technology that will have little impact on the role of the firewall. 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: just wondering...Thanx
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
The Dark Reading Security Spending Survey
The Dark Reading Security Spending Survey
Enterprises are spending an unprecedented amount of money on IT security where does it all go? In this survey, Dark Reading polled senior IT management on security budgets and spending plans, and their priorities for the coming year. Download the report and find out what they had to say.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.