SWOT Assessment: FireMon Security Manager Suite v7.0

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1 SWOT Assessment: FireMon Security Manager Suite v7.0 Analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats Reference Code: IT Publication Date: 12 Aug 2013 Author: Andrew Kellett SUMMARY Catalyst FireMon Security Manager is a suite of security policy and risk management solutions that help organizations to update, repair, and maintain network defenses. Its role is to improve and automate the management of firewalls and associated network devices such as routers and load balancers. Key capabilities include planning, reporting, and analyzing firewall policy changes; helping to increase visibility and reduce costs when scheduling changes; and providing the analytical intelligence to understand usage trends and traffic flow rules. Supporting products include the Policy Planner firewall request and change management solution, and Risk Analyzer, which offers an integrated range of risk analysis facilities. Key messages FireMon Security Manager provides a single view into an organization's network security infrastructure. It supports a broad range of popular firewalls and network devices from leading manufacturers. One of the product's key strengths is its ability to plan, report on, and analyze changes to firewall and network device policies in real time. The product acts as an aid to achieving and maintaining compliance through its ability to understand network architectures, cut back on unnecessary access, identify redundant rules and traffic flows, and improve existing network access rules. Firewall suppliers claim that all the control and management functionality required to maintain devices is already available without the need for external specialists, but this ignores industry best practices for managing the mix of security and network products that typical organizations have deployed. Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 1

2 Ovum view The continuous management and day-to-day maintenance of firewalls and associated network devices should not be as difficult to achieve as it clearly is. Issues including lack of visibility across corporate networks, mixed operating environments that involve a variety of different product manufacturers, and network and security device volumes that range between the hundreds and thousands of devices that need to be maintained, all have a significant impact. The type of security management solutions that enterprise organizations need to have in place to deal effectively with business protection and compliance requirements must address all of the above issues. At the same time they must offer workable solutions that can be maintained by the often under-pressure resources of the average enterprise security team and by the security operations center (SOC) and network operations center (NOC) operations that are becoming more widely used by national governments and large enterprise organizations. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENTERPRISES Why consider the FireMon Security Manager Suite? FireMon Security Manager is relevant to enterprise organizations that need to manage 25 or more firewall devices. The product addresses enterprise network monitoring, management, and risk analysis requirements on a number of levels. It offers a single database approach to the maintenance of supported firewalls and network devices irrespective of their make or origin. In addition, usage data is stored and maintained so that actions can be prioritized, and informed change management decisions can be made based on the business protection policies and compliance requirements of the organization. Equally, when considering the compliance requirements of the enterprise and security audit demands, FireMon Risk Analyzer addresses attack and vulnerability issues, and FireMon Policy Planner deals with change management issues. SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths FireMon offers a single-source database approach to firewall management FireMon Security Manager is a scalable, high-performance, security policy and risk management solution that captures all the data needed to analyze network change requirements, and prioritizes remediation activities in line with business and security obligations. Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 2

3 The solution can be used to qualify risk and prioritize remediation requirements Security and risk are key drivers. Through its ability to analyze network configurations, identify vulnerabilities, and prioritize change management activities, the FireMon Security Manager Suite can be used to identify security issues and the risks they pose. Rule redundancy identifies vulnerabilities that are often overlooked Better device and network visibility can improve an organization's security and compliance position. Security Manager shows how traffic flows through a rule, so that one broad rule can be converted into several new rules with narrower access requirements. It also identifies rules that are not being used, helping administrators to clean up the clutter of unnecessary rules and decreasing the risk posed by too much access. Weaknesses Mainstream firewall suppliers believe their own administration tools are sufficient Mainstream suppliers of firewall solutions claim that all the control and management functionality required to maintain devices is already available from within their products, and that additional security management services are not needed. However, their perspective and focus on their own products ignore the mixed range of devices deployed across the typical enterprise. It also ignores the need for information integration, and with it, the benefits of a single source of security management. The FireMon Security Manager Suite is not seen as a fully automated solution The few security management vendors who take a push approach to policy and rule update automation will argue that the FireMon solution lacks the required levels of automation. However, FireMon chooses not to support this approach because its customers and many industry experts agree that the separation of monitoring, management, and implementation continues to be seen as best practice. Opportunities Markets continue to open up for single-source security management tools FireMon is an established player across all regional markets. North America and EMEA are the most mature markets for security management solutions, and continue to provide opportunities. Asia-Pacific and Latin America are also seen as sources of opportunity for FireMon, particularly because support for key Asia-based device suppliers, such as AhnLab, Hillstone Networks, Huawei, and Secui, is available within the standard FireMon Security Manager solution. Large enterprise, government, and MSSPs provide continuing growth opportunities The target market for FireMon continues to be large enterprises, the government sector, and increasingly, managed security services providers (MSSPs), as this area of the market continues to Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 3

4 expand. In each case, the common target is organizations with large complex networks and complex network security requirements. Organizations with 25 or more firewalls, operating across any industry vertical, can benefit from implementing FireMon Security Manager. Threats Consolidation within the security management market is expected This is a competitive sector of the security market, but also one with significant growth and high profit potential. The market leaders are security management specialists that have the ability to monitor, manage, and maintain firewalls from most of the major network device suppliers. This makes them targets for any large device vendor that prefers to provide its own range of management services. Technology changes provide both opportunities and challenges The technology world never stands still for very long. Leading players within the security management sector are challenged by the need to keep pace with business and technology changes. For the security management community, the current technology challenges include the requirement to manage next-generation firewalls and their extended functionality and control requirements, including support for more granular inspection services and policy controls. DATA SHEET Key facts about the solution Table 1: Data sheet Product name Security Manager Suite including Policy Planner and Risk Analyzer Product classification Security policy and risk management Version number 7.0 Release date August 2013 Industries covered All Geographies covered All Relevant company sizes Large Platforms supported Appliance or virtual appliance. Languages supported English Licensing options Perpetual Deployment options On-premise, on-premise (managed) Route(s) to market Distributors, resellers, VARs, integrators, and MSSPs URL Company headquarters 8400 W 110th Street Suite 400 Overland Park Kansas USA Source: Ovum Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 4

5 APPENDIX Further reading Methodology "Proactive security is required in highly regulated industries", IT (April 2013) Ovum SWOT Assessments are independent reviews carried out using Ovum s evaluation model for the relevant technology area, supported by conversations with vendors, users, and service providers of the solution concerned, and in-depth secondary research. Author Andrew Kellett, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions and Security Ovum Consulting We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at Disclaimer All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business). The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based on information gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we are not always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect. Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 5

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