Towards Integrated Management of Firewall Appliances

L. Pinto, E. Monteiro, and P. Simões (Portugal)

Keywords

Network & Security Management, Firewall Management

Abstract

In the last few years we witnessed a remarkable proliferation of network firewalls, driven by security concerns and supported by the emergence of low-cost firewall solutions. However, the subsequent relegation of firewall management to less trained technicians or even to final users, in some cases also increased the risk of security problems due to configuration and administration malpractices. This is a troublesome situation. It is impossible to hire highly trained technicians to manage every firewall appliance, and it is also unfeasible in most cases to simplify firewall administration to the point where it requires no expertise at all.

This problem is particularly serious in small to medium-scale networks: they already require professional-level expertise, but they are still too small to justify the most sophisticated and expensive solutions.

In this paper we present a platform for remote management of firewall appliances that is particularly targeted to such environments. When compared with traditional practies, this platform brings two key advantages: it reduces installation and maintenance costs and, at the same time, it improves the configuration and monitoring practies.

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