"Shortly after launching SecureApp, we were approached by IT leaders interested in learning how SecureApp could help improve application uptime and availability," said Ruvi Kitov , CEO of Tufin. "This year's survey results validate what our customers have been saying: that firewall management plays an increasingly significant role in maintaining availability and uptime, but the basics need to be in place. Regular audits and efficient change management processes are the cornerstone of effective firewall management. The fact that many organizations audit their firewalls only once a year and some never audit their firewalls needs to change."
According to the respondents (200 IT experts from around the globe), there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to firewall management fundamentals:
Almost half of respondents audit their firewalls only once a year and 15% never audit their firewalls; 50% spend up to a week or more per quarter on firewall audits.
Almost 1/5 reported they knew of someone who cheated on an audit because they either felt the audit was a waste of time (39.3%) or they did not have enough time/resources (35.6%).
Almost 1/5 of the sample has no idea how current their firewall policy is.
40% have no way to know when a rule needs to be expired or recertified.
30% never test configuration changes before they are implemented.
Half of the sample has to redo more than 25% of all network security changes because they do not meet design requirements.
While survey data indicates firewalls are becoming increasingly relevant outside of their established function in security operations, their role has expanded - not shifted. Clearly, firewall management processes can have a significant impact on an organization's risk posture:
62.4% either believe or are not sure if their change management processes puts them at risk to be breached.
54.7% state their application connectivity management processes could or might create unnecessary IT risk; about 1/3 make 100 or more application related firewall changes per month.
41.5% of those sampled track application connectivity changes via comments in the firewall rule base, almost 1/6 don't track these changes at all.
46.9% report they might have or did have a breach due to an application related rule change.
70% of respondents report application service disruptions up to 20 times per year due to configuration changes.
60% or respondents were asked to make a change against their better judgment.
1/3 of respondents report that much of their security budgets are spent on items that don't improve security; 1/3 had no idea how well their security budgets were spent.
"The role firewalls play in managing application connectivity is both a cause and effect of sweeping trends in enterprise IT; understanding this enabled us to automate the right set of organizational processes between the right set of stakeholders," said Mr. Kitov. "SecureApp customers, such as SIX Group, have already reported dramatic improvements in application connectivity-related change management processes. TSS R13-1 features additional automation that reduces the time spent by organizations on firewall audits to a few hours per quarter. We will continue to conduct this survey every year to ensure our roadmap is aligned with our customers' shifting business requirements."
A PDF version of the report can be found here.
About Tufin Technologies
Tufin&trade is the leading provider of Security Policy Management solutions that enable companies to cost-effectively manage their firewall, switch and router policies, reduce security and business continuity risks, and ensure Continuous Compliance with regulatory standards. The award-winning Tufin Security Suite provides security teams with powerful automation that slashes the time and costs spent managing change and successfully passing audits. Founded in 2005, Tufin serves more than 1,100 customers in industries from telecom and financial services to energy, transportation and pharmaceuticals. Tufin partners with leading vendors including Check Point, Cisco, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, F5, Blue Coat, McAfee and BMC Software, and is known for technological innovation and dedicated customer service.
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