AlgoSec is making a play to bring its firewall management capabilities to virtual environments.
The latest update of the company’s Security Management Suite (version 6.1) has added support for Check Point Security Gateway Virtual Edition. Support for other hypervisor-level firewalls is coming in the future, but the company would not commit to a firm timeline of when that would be or what products will be added to the list.
“Virtualizing the data center makes segregating virtualized servers, or segregating virtualized subnets, more difficult, since ‘there is no wire to place a firewall on’,” said Avishai Wool, CTO, at AlgoSec. “The physical wiring is replaced by virtual settings inside the ESX server. Thus conventional firewall technology is unable to see traffic between virtual servers – such traffic is happening only inside the ESX – and if the firewall doesn’t see the traffic it cannot apply policy to it.”
“This,” he continued, “is where virtual firewalls enter the picture…Once this technological step has been taken, the organization needs to manage the policy it wishes to apply to the virtualized data center, and the challenges are essentially the same challenges of managing regular firewalls: maintaining good change-control process, risk and compliance auditing, avoiding policy bloat and cleanup, the ability to explore and troubleshoot connectivity problems, etc.”
AlgoSec Security Management Suite integrates the AlgoSec Firewall Analyzer, which automates firewall, router and VPN audit and analysis, with AlgoSec FireFlow, which automates the policy change workflow process. According to Erdheim, the technology can be used to find duplicated policies and risky rules, and recommend changes. It can also be used to generate compliance reports.
“Managing the configuration of physical firewalls is complex, as IT professionals must pour through hundreds to thousands of rules – across different geographies and firewall vendors,” said Wool, in a statement. “This complexity is further extended through the implementation of firewalls for virtualized environments, so it is imperative that organizations can effectively manage firewall policies in hybrid environments – to reduce risk from misconfigurations, improve IT and business productivity and ensure compliance.”