How Dynamic is your Security Policy?

When enabled, security policy rules in firewalls allow trusted traffic in and keep dangerous traffic out. Here we discuss why your security policy should be dynamic and flexible so you can scale, stay protected against cyber attacks, and have the ability to monitor changing traffic patterns.

How Dynamic is your Security Policy?

The Importance of a Dynamic Security Policy

A strong security policy is essential to protecting an organization against cyber threats. The security solutions that a company deploys within its network are designed to enforce the corporate security policy. If a security policy is too lax or too restrictive, it opens up the organization to cyber risk or inhibits system usability and employee productivity.

 

Beyond being well-defined and strong, a security policy also needs to be dynamic. The cyber threat landscape is constantly changing, and many organizations’ networks are evolving as they introduce new technologies such as cloud, the Internet of Things, and mobile devices. A dynamic security policy enables the company to adapt to changes and remain secure while a less flexible one opens up the organization to potential cyber risk.

Elements of a Dynamic Security Policy

The design of a security policy is important to ensuring that it adequately protects an organization. A poorly-designed or ill-suited security policy can create gaps that an attacker can exploit to gain initial access to the network or expand their footprint on it.

 

However, a well-designed security policy is of limited value without the right security infrastructure to support it. An organization’s firewall is an organization’s first line of defense and the cornerstone of its security. This makes it vital to select a firewall that has features that support a strong and dynamic security policy.

• Unified Security Management

Organizations are facing an evolving threat landscape while trying to secure a diverse set of systems and users. This often results in the deployment of a wide array of security solutions designed to address specific security risks to various devices. Monitoring and maintaining such a large number of security solutions – and enforcing a consistent security policy across them – can be overwhelming for an organization’s security team.

 

For this reason, unified security management is an essential feature in an organization’s next-generation firewall. An organization’s security team should be able to define, review, and enforce security policies across the entire network environment from a single console. This allows security policies to be rapidly and easily updated to reflect changes in the organization’s network infrastructure and cyber threat exposure.

• Identity Mapping and Group-Based Policies

Every user and system within an organization’s network has a role, and there are certain permissions and levels of access that they require to fulfill these roles. A good security policy is designed to provide everything within the network with the access and permissions that they require and no more. This ensures that the organization can operate efficiently and effectively while minimizing cyber risk.

 

However, the users, systems, and roles within an organization can change. This is why support for identity and group-based security policies is essential within an organization’s next-generation firewall. If a new user or system is added to an existing group or the duties of a particular group change, it should not be necessary for the system administrators to manually go through the security policy and update the permissions accordingly. A dynamic security policy should make the necessary changes with minimal input from the security team.

• Automated and Flexible Security Policy Enforcement

Organizations encounter a wide variety of cyber threats and attacks.  Attempting to explicitly define and manually block every attempted attack is an unscalable and inefficient approach to security.

 

A more flexible and dynamic approach to managing an organization’s exposure to cyber threats requires automation and flexible security policies.  An intrusion prevention system (IPS) set to blocking mode automatically identifies and blocks attacks from entering the network or protected system, eliminating the risk that they pose.  The security policies that these systems used can be either tightly defined (like malware signatures) or more wide-reaching, such as the use of URL filtering to block connection attempts to malicious domains.These policies should be automatically updated to provide dynamic protection against the latest threats.

• Dynamic Virtual Workloads

An organization’s security needs can grow slowly over time or spike suddenly in response to traffic surges or other unforeseen events. No matter how well-defined and well-designed an organization’s security policy is, if the organization lacks the resources to enforce it, then it is not adequately protecting the company against cyber threats.

 

Ultimately, we want the benefits of the cloud, in the cloud and on-premises. In the cloud this simply means choosing a NGFW template. And as to on-premises, this means looking beyond legacy HA clustering solutions.

 

The term hyperscale refers to the ability of an architecture to scale as needed to meet increased demand. This involves the ability to seamlessly provision and add more resources to the system that make up a larger distributed computing environment. Hyperscale is necessary to build a robust and scalable distributed system. In other words, it is the tight integration of storage, compute, and virtualization layers of an infrastructure into a single solution architecture.

Improve Your Security Posture with Dynamic Security Policies

A dynamic security policy enables your organization to adapt to changes in the cyber threats faced by your organization and the infrastructure that the company depends upon. A crucial part of maintaining and enforcing a strong and dynamic security policy is deploying a next-generation firewall capable of supporting flexible security policies and enforcing them with an IPS and URL filtering.

 

If you’d like to see a Check Point next-generation firewall in action, sign up for a demo or contact us today.  Additionally, to learn more about the features of the Check Point firewalls that make a dynamic security policy possible within your organization, check out this buyer’s guide to firewalls.

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