3 Tips for Maintaining a Highly Functioning Firewall

“I’ve updated the user interface to make it cluttered and complex,” said no software designer ever. “I’d like the font on our wedding invitation to be messy and hard to decipher,” said no bride to be ever. Clean and simple is the way to go. Your firewall is no exception.

A complicated firewall is not only convoluted, but dangerous. Unnecessary objects and rules open the door for misconfigurations, performance degradation, and compliance gaps that hike up operational costs and raise cybersecurity risk.

To help you simplify your firewall for optimal performance, here are three easy, safety-conscious tips you can follow.

Toss unnecessary objects

That shirt with the spaghetti stain on the front. Those running shoes that couldn’t even motivate you to drive to the gym. If you’ve ever organized your closet, you know that the first course of action is to weed out the items that are already out of rotation. The same rule applies to cleaning up your firewall.

Unnecessary objects fall into three categories. There are unattached objects, which are ones that aren’t associated with any rule. Then there are unused objects, which feature address ranges that don’t match any packet during a specified time. Finally there are empty objects that don’t contain any IP address or address range. Do your firewall a favor and remove all three members of this troublesome trio.

Break free from rules

Cleanup rule number two: do away with rules—at least the unnecessary ones.

Here’s how to identify them: examine firewall logs and compare actual traffic to the rules in the policy. Then, simply remove any unused rules.

As you review your firewall, keep an eye out for covered, or duplicate rules. A prior rule or a combination of earlier rules prevents traffic from ever hitting these. Covered rules and duplicates deplete the firewall and decrease performance. (And don’t even get us started on disabled rules…) Cut them out and free your firewall!

Rinse and repeat

Similar to most messes, a cluttered firewall is a byproduct of everyday life. Firewall rules must frequently be added and enabled to protect your network from emerging cyber threats and accommodate shifts in the structure of your organization. Change is unavoidable—just be sure to pick-up after yourself as you go.

Note all newly unnecessary objects and disabled rules and set aside time to tidy up. These routine cleanings ensure that your firewall functions at tip-top shape.

Cleaning is always easier with a little help from the experts. eMazzanti offers three Firebox firewall options that present detailed data in an easy-to-read format to grant you full visibility into the system at all times. And for extra vigilance, we can provide comprehensive security planning, oversight, and management—plus business continuity planning, just in case.

When it comes to your firewall, keep it clean, simple, and secure. To find out more about firewall and security services from eMazzanti, get in touch

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