Towards Integrated Management of Firewall Appliances

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


Network & Security Management, Firewall Management


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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