Cyber Security spring clean: is it time for some digital dusting of your firewall rules?

We may all be housebound right now, but if you look out your window… Spring has sprung! The birds are chirping, the evenings are getting lighter and it’s the perfect time for some digital dusting. As Spring is a great time to start afresh, why not have a ‘spring clean’ of your firewall rules, to secure your network for the year ahead?

We are offering a FREE firewall Spring clean

They may say there is 'no such thing as a free lunch'. But in this case, there is! Here at Equilibrium, we feel it is important to support each other during these challenging times, which is why we are offering businesses a FREE firewall policy review over the next 2 months. Our security experts will provide up to 4 hours of free consultancy to evaluate your firewall configurations and associated remote access solutions. This will help identify harmful misconfigurations which could be putting your business at risk.

Don't let security initiatives fall by the wayside

Due to the growing complexities of networks and a severe Cyber skills shortage, IT teams are under huge pressure to deliver unattainable business initiatives. They are faced with a tidal wave of daily tasks such as identifying cyber-threats, optimising next generation features and delivering digital transformation strategies. Unfortunately, this means that important security procedures are often put on the back burner.  One of the most common tasks to fall to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list is the firewall rule clean-up. While this may seem like be a laborious chore, it is crucial to maintaining the security of your corporate network.


What is a firewall and why is it important?
A firewall is a network barrier which helps to defend your infrastructure from malicious attacks. It acts as a protective shield to prevent unauthorised traffic and access to your business-critical systems. A firewall exists to analyse, control and block network traffic which does not meet specified security protocols. However, firewalls are only effective when they are regularly updated and correctly configured. Unfortunately, having poor firewall hygiene can result in harmful security holes which can be exploited by bad actors. Gartner discovered that that 95% of all firewall breaches are caused by misconfigurations.

In recent months, IT teams have been put under immense pressure to quickly implement widespread remote working strategies. In a rush to maintain ‘business as usual’, many firms have focussed on increasing connectivity, without considering the subsequent security implications. In these unprecedented times, firewall hygiene may not be a top priority for overstretched IT teams. However, to safeguard digital assets, it is important to have a ‘spring clean’ of your firewall policies. This helps to identify misconfigurations, remove unused policies and ensure they are carefully tailored to protect your remote workforce. Essentially, as hackers become more sophisticated and fine-tune their attacks methods, so must the security controls that safeguard your critical systems.

Reviewing your business’s firewall configurations may seem like a daunting task. Especially if your network has multiple servers’, applications and devices, all with their own complex requirements. However, this does not need to be an in-house activity. As security specialists, we can help to ‘dust away’ these digital cobwebs.

Why is it important to review your firewall rules regularly?
  • Identify security weaknesses: Reviewing firewall policies helps to identify security weaknesses, before they can be exploited by Cybercriminals.
  • Update policies: Firewall policies need to reflect current business initiatives. A rule review is an opportunity to update policies to meet new businesses requirements (such as securing your remote workforce).
  • Demonstrates due diligence: Policy reviews allow you to streamline your firewall architecture. This demonstrates that your business is doing its due diligence to keep data and systems secure. In the event of a cyber-attack or achieving compliance, firewall reviews are proof that you regularly audit your security procedures.
  • Increase performance: Firewall rule clean-ups help to increase performance and remove conflicting rules. Due to compliance requirements, multiple point solutions and constantly developing threats, some businesses have thousands of firewall policies in place. This can quickly lead to a disorganised mess of policies that are outdated and out-of-compliance.
  • Check firewall versions: It is an opportunity to check that you are using the most up-to-date firewall versions, some outdated versions may have known security vulnerabilities which could introduce network risks.
  • Outdated third-party policies:  Third party suppliers such as software providers, printing companies and CCTV providers may require certain firewall rules in order to connect to the network. Once systems or services are decommissioned, these firewall policies need to be removed.
  • Review change management strategy: It is a chance to review the effectiveness of your change management strategy. To protect the integrity of business-critical systems, it is important to thoroughly review the business risk before approving changes. All changes need to be accurately logged so that firewall administrators can investigate retrospectively if a problem occurs.
  • Remove outdated rules: Although most IT admins have established procedures for adding firewall policies, not many have defined strategies for removing unused rules. This means policies are not effectively controlling network access which then leads to performance degradation and incompliance.

Dust away your digital cobwebs: register for a FREE firewall Spring clean

Over the next 2 months, our security experts will provide up to 4 hours of free consultancy to evaluate your firewall configurations and associated remote access solutions.  If you are interested in registering for a FREE firewall policy review please call our office on 0121 663 0055, or email zoe@equilibrium-security.co.uk.

Would you like to secure your remote users?

If you would like to chat to a member of our team you can call us on 0121 663 0055 or email zoe@equilibrium-security.co.uk