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5 Tips for Choosing a Network Security Policy Management Solution

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Jade Kahn, CMO at AlgoSec, discusses what organizations should look for when choosing a Network Security Policy Management solution 

In January 2020, no-one could have predicted how unpredictable the coming year would be. But despite the seismic changes to the way we work, the biggest security threats to organizations were mostly the same old threats we have been facing for the past five years. Why? Because all too often, the fundamentals of effective security management are being neglected, meaning security processes are inefficient – which in turn leads to vulnerabilities. 

To address this problem, companies must look to enact a comprehensive network security policy management solution that both protects the business but also allows it to move in the market with agility. Here are five tips for choosing the right solution for your business.  

Your security should support your business, not be a barrier to it 

While it is paramount that you implement a robust security solution to protect your assets, that security should not impede business agility.  As well as maintaining business continuity, your security estate should also enable the business to be flexible and adaptable to changing demands and conditions.  But all too often, security processes are largely manual, complex, and error-prone. 

Removing the complexity of security enables real business outcomes, since processes become faster and more flexible without compromising security or compliance. AlgoSec’s Network Security Policy Management (NSPM) provides organizations with holistic, business-level visibility across cloud and on-premise environments, including business processes and the applications that power them and the servers that host them. Our business-driven approach to security policy management enables organizations to reduce business risk, ensure security and continuous compliance, and drive business agility. 

Never fly blind: Visibility is the key 

The challenge of visibility comes back to this; you can’t protect what you can’t see. So, the first thing you need to understand is what you have in your network, which means building a complete repository of all your network and security devices. Having comprehensive visibility across your network environments is fundamental to establishing and maintaining robust security and compliance.  

AlgoSec’s powerful AutoDiscovery capabilities help you understand the network flows in your organization. You can automatically connect the recognized traffic flows to the business applications that use them while seamlessly managing network security policies across your entire network estate. AlgoSec also proactively checks every proposed firewall rule change request against your network security strategy to ensure that the change won’t introduce risk or violate compliance requirements. 

Automate. Automate. Automate. 

During a conversation with one of the top US airlines, we discovered that they needed to manage 56,000 rules; that is an enormous amount of information. Manually checking each of these rules, which are often poorly documented, is incredibly time consuming and prone to errors, leading to misconfigurations and potential security holes. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report stated that over 40% of all breaches it investigated resulted from misconfiguration errors. 

Automation eliminates these manual mistakes. Achieving true Zero-Touch automation in the network security domain is not an easy task but over time, you can let your automation solution run handsfree, as you conduct more changes and gain trust through increasing automation levels step by step. 

AlgoSec’s solution enables IT and security teams to manage and control all their security devices – from cloud controls in public clouds such as Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, etc, SDNs, and on-premise firewalls from one single console. With AlgoSec you can automate time-consuming security policy changes and proactively assess risk to ensure continuous compliance.  

Stay compliant 

With ever-tightening regulations governing information processing and security, organizations must meet much stricter audits of security policies and controls to maintain their compliance posture. While regulatory and internal audits cover a broad range of security checks, the firewall is featured prominently since it is the first and main line of defense.  

Ensuring and proving compliance typically requires significant organizational resources and budget and with the growing litany of regulations, the cost and time involved is increasing rapidly. Manual audit work takes a significant amount of time to product a report for each firewall in the network and as networks grow in complexity, auditing quickly becomes a colossal task. 

AlgoSec’s solution automatically identifies gaps in compliance, allowing you to remediate them and instantly generate reports. In addition, all firewall rule changes are proactively checked for compliance violations before they are implemented, and the entire change approval process is automatically documented, enabling you to ensure continuous compliance across your organization better than any firewall auditing tool. 

Choose a solution that supports your growth 

A final consideration when planning your network security is how your solution will cope with future changes, for example a migration to the cloud. According to the latest Gartner research, 90% of its customers are using cloud services. It is a multi-billion-dollar revenue generator and one of the fastest growing market segments. As businesses move forward into the new decade, trends towards digital transformation and remote working create new challenges for security teams.  

Consider what your organization will go through over the next twelve months. Are you planning on moving over to the cloud? Are you likely to see a large growth in the number of employees in the next 12 months? Are you going to be remaining largely remote or on premises? When evaluating network security policy management vendors, make sure you choose a solution that will seamlessly integrate with your existing tools and vendors, and be able to adapt and grow as your business does, like AlgoSec.  

Watch our webinar in your free time to learn how to choose the right NSPM. 

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