It is very crucial for an enterprise network to efficiently organize its firewall security policies to safeguard its business environment. Today's business world is highly driven by two main factors; technology and information. An incorrectly organized firewall means an open door to hackers for unauthorized access, and all your precious business information can leak out within a blink of an eye.
Less secured firewalls can cause many hazards such as:
i) If your firewall security policies are not up to date, it becomes more vulnerable to cyber hackers and illegal network access.
ii) Improper firewall changes effectively increase network complexity and break off business applications.
iii) Your business might face difficulty to comply with industry and government instructions.
Threats to firewalls not only originate from outside interference, but even your own IT team can also pose a great risk if they do not follow best practices for firewall security management. Below we have articulated some best practices for secured firewall management to optimize your system memory and make business processes run smoothly.
i) Proper documentation of firewall policies:
You need to properly document your firewall policies to make it effective. So, when necessary, the IT security team can easily and quickly understand what to do. While documenting, keep these things in mind:
• The main intention of the firewall policies.
• Which services does it impact?
• The inclusion and expiry date of the policies.
• Person who included the policy.
In your effort of documenting firewall policies, you should also give a look at existing rules to know whether they are in the perfect order or not. You might discover that there are some policies running by default on which your IT team had no prior knowledge.
ii) Get a good hold on traffic control by default blocking:
Unwanted traffic can create great risk for your system and avoid this, default block all traffic and only permit those exact traffic which your system requires. By this, you will have a good hold on your traffic control. This will also help in reducing the probability of any possible breach in the system.
iii) Auto-update firewall policies:
You know, 99% of firewall breaches occur due to human error like improper configuration, old and obsolete policies, etc. So, technology does not cause breaches, human mistakes cause. So, rather than manually updating your firewall policies, try to auto-update it. Through auto-update, your firewall rules will be updated in real-time as soon as the update is available. It will also reduce some extra burden from your IT team.
iv) Regular audit of firewall logs:
In all firewalls, there is an in-built reporting system that provides details of traffic-related information. But we generally overlook them. Auditing firewall logs regularly will help you identify any potential abnormality or change, and do further modifications quickly. By auditing firewall logs, you can also spot 'false positives'. These are those traffic which is not meant to trigger any security policy but somehow, they are doing so. Through regular auditing, you can eliminate these issues and streamline your firewall policies for the better end-user experience.
I hope these industry-recognized best practices will serve its purpose and help you run your business in a more secure environment.