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Six Firewall Misconfigurations to Avoid

According to Gartner, 90% of companies using cloud technology will configure their cloud environments incorrectly and risk sharing sensitive data, a trend expected to continue through 2025. This data indicates that most firewall breaches occur because of misconfiguration, not flaws in the technology.

Having a firewall doesn’t necessarily mean that your network is secure. It needs to be properly configured and managed to ensure it’s working properly. Here are some common ways a firewall can be misconfigured and how to avoid them.

1. Open Policy Configuration

IT teams often set up a firewall with an open policy when configuring networks. Standard settings allow any traffic from any source to access any destination. This is usually done to maintain flexibility during the initial setup period, but these open settings are sometimes forgotten later. The result is a network that is left open to the world. This problem can be solved by properly documenting how traffic flows through your network and granting access only to resources that actually need it.

2. Inconsistent Location Authentication

Often, as a network gets larger, new authentication methods may be added to applications that don’t match security standards. This can create potential backdoors in your application. The solution to this firewall misconfiguration is to use centralized authentication and to require its use everywhere in the network.

3. Not Logging Data

If you aren’t logging the output of your security devices, you will have nothing to alert you when an attack occurs and will be missing critical information needed to investigate a breach and discover how it happened. To solve this firewall misconfiguration, you need to enforce proper logging and regular reviews of the logs.

4. Weak Access Control

Defining user roles correctly is important to the security of your network. But many teams start with open permissions and only add restrictions as needed. Instead, they should only add those permissions a user needs to do their job. Checks should also be in place to determine that passwords are strong.

5. Never Testing Your Firewall

Testing your firewall is an efficient way to determine if your network is secure, and it should be done on a regular basis. This testing can even be automated with penetration testing tools.

6. Not Applying Patches for Known Vulnerabilities

Another firewall misconfiguration that will weaken your firewall’s security is unpatched software and drivers. Hardware and software vendors release patches whenever they find bugs or flaws. The solution to this firewall misconfiguration issue is to always update your software and hardware with the latest patches.

Your firewall is your first line of defense against cyber attacks. Make sure your firewall is configured and managed properly with Managed Firewalls from TPx. Want to learn more about how TPx can help ensure your firewall is secure and operating properly? Contact a TPx representative and learn how we can help.

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