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Half Of Firewall Rules Configured Improperly, Survey Says

Firewall administration, audit still mostly a manual process, leads to errors and breach risks, reports survey.

Most organizations are still struggling to keep tabs on their firewall operations and changes in the network that require writing new firewall rules, a new study released today reveals.

Around 85% of the 100 network administrators surveyed in Tufin Technologies' 2011 Firewall Management report say that half of their firewall rule changes eventually need to be fixed because of improper setup. Just 7% say their firewall audit processes are automated, and 40% say they spend a month or more per year on handling firewall audits.

"We were surprised to learn that half the sample is still doing basic tasks manually, such as tightening up permissive rules, looking for shadowed rules, or recertifying rules," said Shaul Efraim, VP of marketing and business development at Tufin. "There is no benefit to having experienced administrators spend their days searching for needles in haystacks."

Close to half of the respondents pinpoint redundant rules manually, while 20% have no process for finding these redundancies. Around 43% say they manage firewall rules manually, and 41% say they don't have a way to determine when a firewall rule must be retired or fixed.

More than 20% say they knew of someone who cheated on a firewall audit, mainly due to lack of time. And 23% have never performed a firewall audit at all.

Close to 30% say it takes them several hours to change a firewall rule, and some 66% say their change management processes leave their organizations prone to breaches due to lack of formal processes (56%) and/or manual processes with too many steps or people in the process (29%).

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

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