What is network security policy management?
Network security policy management is the process of creating, implementing and maintaining policies and procedures to protect an organization’s network and data against unauthorized access, use, disclosure and disruption, modification or destruction.
Specific activities include identifying and mitigating security risks, testing and deploying changes to connectivity and security rules, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations and more.
AlgoSec provides the leading solution for simplifying and automating network security policy management across on-premise firewalls, SDNs and in the public clouds.
Its centralized management enables sweeping visibility, effective risk detection and intelligent automation. These capabilities come together to drive stronger security, sustained compliance, reduced risk and faster application delivery – all while cutting manual work, costs, and compliance efforts.
Why do you need firewall and network security management?
Centralized firewall and network security management is essential for preserving a secure, compliant environment – across the devices and workflows in your IT ecosystem.
It’s also fundamental for solving a range of connected issues that generate security risks and non-compliance concerns:
- Technical debt
- Shadow IT
- Inconsistent, redundant and obsolete rules
- Visibility blind spots
- Growing network complexity
- IT personnel changes
- Emerging security vulnerabilities.
A firewall and network security management solution helps you achieve IT security and compliance goals – at scale – through extensive integration options, full-scale visibility and intelligent automation. It keeps your hybrid network safe by providing clear processes for aspects ranging from change management to compliance reporting, and monitors if these processes remain effective as your requirements evolve.
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Network security management FAQ
Frequently asked questions about network security management and AlgoSec’s network security policy management platform.
How does firewall security management differ from network security management?
Firewall security management is one of the specialized components of network security management – the practice of ensuring the overall safety of the entire network and its devices.
Specifically, firewall management involves configuring rules to allow or block specific types of traffic based on factors such as IP address, port and protocol. Network security management covers a wider range of tasks, but both processes are essential for reducing the organization’s attack surface and for effective risk management.
What key role does firewall configuration management play in network security?
The security and exposure of web, email, VPN and database servers, routers, workstations and other devices depend on effective firewall configuration management. That’s because firewalls are responsible for blocking unwanted or malicious traffic (e.g. malware, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, etc.) and allowing legitimate traffic to pass through.
Besides creating traffic filtering rules, managing firewall configurations also involves securing access, keeping the firewall up to date. And since most regulatory authorities expect organizations to have firewalls as part of their security controls, the effectiveness of firewall configuration management cascades across compliance requirements as well.
How does network security management help with risk management?
Network security management activities help identify the sources of IT security risk, apply mitigating measures and monitor the effectiveness of this cycle as the business environment evolves. Specific processes include:
- Identifying potential vulnerabilities (e.g. application connectivity flows, weak credentials, unpatched software, open ports, etc.) through security assessments and penetration testing.
- Prioritizing risks and keeping security teams aligned on which high-impact security threats need fast resolution to avoid breaches and situations of non-compliance.
- Implementing security controls (e.g. firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, encryption, etc.) that strengthen the organization’s security posture.
- Pushing firewall rules to devices so they don’t open security holes and increase exposure to cyberattacks.
- Continuously monitoring the network for evidence of security breaches, (e.g. unusual activity, unauthorized access etc.).
- Applying cybersecurity incident response plans in the event of a successful attack (e.g. isolating affected systems) to avoid or minimize downtime and ensure business continuity.
How can I proactively assess and manage security threats?
Information security offers a range of options to proactively determine and manage security threats across people, processes and technology:
- Regular security assessments that scrutinize networks, systems and applications to identify vulnerabilities and exposure to cyberattacks. Examples include penetration testing, vulnerability management and threat modeling.
- Multi-layered security through tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems and antivirus software.
- Policy and procedures reviews and updates that ensure they remain compliant and effective against bad actors’ evolving tactics.
- Network monitoring with real-time notifications to identify signs of compromise such as unusual login and account activity, suspicious or unknown files, and evidence of device tampering.
- Network log management that documents activity across cloud environments, web applications, endpoints and other systems, creating a trail of examinable evidence.
- Threat hunting searches for indicators of compromise from bad actors who may have evaded detection and maintained a covert presence in the network.
- Patch management that pinpoints outdated devices and software, delivering necessary upgrades to close security holes and fix known issues.
- Security awareness initiatives such as training employees and establishing a communication channel they can use to report potential security issues.
The right technology reduces the complexity of managing multiple security layers and makes the entire process feasible and efficient. For instance, the AlgoSec Network Security Policy Management platform proactively evaluates the impact of proposed policy changes to minimize risk, prevent outages and maintain compliance. Because it also integrates with leading vulnerability scanners, AlgoSec maps security vulnerabilities to their business applications, so you can effectively assess and prioritize risks based on reliable context data.
Can AlgoSec unify visibility and management across cloud, SDN and on-premise enterprise networks?
IT and security managers who choose AlgoSec to simplify their network environments mention easy integration and comprehensive network insight as their main ROI drivers. That’s because the AlgoSec Network Security Policy Management platform provides full visibility across firewalls and security controls deployed on public and private clouds, as well as SDNs such as Cisco ACI and VMware NSX.
The consolidation it enables makes it easy to:
- Have an up-to-date map of all the devices on the network
- Understand the information flow between firewalls
- Extract information about specific firewall rules
- Trim the firewall ruleset – by as much as 90%
- Reduce rule project reviews – from 1 month to 1 day according to our customers
- Make firewall rule changes in minutes instead of days.
Can I stay compliant using network security policy management solutions?
Network security policy management solutions are indispensable to technical and business teams that need to coordinate across complex compliance tasks. They provide tangible benefits throughout the security policy management lifecycle:
- Automated discovery and visualization
- Real-time network topology updates
- Ongoing clean-up and optimization
- Automatic security rules documentation
- Continuous compliance checks
- Ready-to-use reports.
An example of this is AlgoSec’s Network Security Policy Management platform, which generates pre-filled, audit-ready compliance reports for industry regulations (e.g. PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, ISO 27001, etc.). The AlgoSec solution also enables you to create customized corporate policies, which reduces audit preparation efforts by as much as 80% according to customers.
I want to migrate my applications securely. Can AlgoSec’s Network Security Policy Management platform help me achieve this?
Absolutely! AlgoSec’s Network Security Policy Management platform simplifies the entire process of migrating applications to the cloud or another data center.
Its easy-to-use, customizable workflows help you automatically bring documentation up to date, clean up firewall rules, generate and push security policy changes to devices and lots more. It also keeps network access and the security policy’s integrity and compliance intact throughout the process.
Customers mention effective orchestration of all migrations tasks as a core driver for ROI and report reducing rule migration time by 80%.
What is the typical pricing range for network security policy management solutions?
The cost of network security policy management solutions depends on:
- Pricing model – per license, per user, per endpoint or device or per usage (e.g. gigabytes processed).
- Contract duration – one-time fee or subscription (yearly, monthly).
- Add-ons and modifiers – pricing per integration, per update, per deployment hour.
This results in a broad pricing range with large discrepancies between low-end and high-end network security policy management solutions. Yearly costs for complex environments with hundreds of users and multiple providers typically start at a few thousand US dollars and go up to six figures.
If you’re interested in AlgoSec, you can request a quote, contact sales or locate a partner near you. We’d love to help!
Additional network security policy management features
AlgoSec’s Network Security Policy Management platform supports the following use cases
Auditing and Compliance
Avoid costly non-compliance with automatic checks and context-specific advice on proposed rule changes. Generate quick, audit-ready reports for regulations like PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, NERC and many more.
Save 80% of the time spent on network security changes with automatic tracking and validation. Stay on top of things with real-time notifications, even when using a managed security service provider.
Combine security modeling capabilities with deep knowledge of firewall information and application connectivity flows to ensure proper isolation. Automated micro-segmentation rules reduce your attack surface and monitor efficiency over time.
Firewall & Network Security Risk Management
Reduce risk across hybrid cloud environments by implementing a lean set of standardized firewall rules. Prevent errors and misconfigurations with automatic checks and quick remediation and clean-up.
Use out-of-the-box workflows to discover, map and migrate application connectivity with full compliance and no downtime. Reduce rule migration time by 80%, deploy necessary policy changes as you go, and increase your security posture and business agility.
Improve application deployment speed and security with real-time policy visibility and fast troubleshooting. Simplify your DevOps workflow with smart automation and free your team up for other important tasks.