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Last updated April 17th, 2024 by Erez Tadmor

Recently, our partner, Microsoft, released an article discussing Microsoft’s implementation of Azure Firewall Manager to streamline and centralize control over its extensive firewall ecosystem.

The article discussed how introducing Azure Firewall Policy Analytics within Azure Firewall Manager has allowed cloud network engineers to more efficiently optimize firewall policies, since Policy Analytics provides visibility into traffic flows, rule effectiveness, and potential vulnerabilities across the firewall ecosystem.

Implementing Policy Analytics leads to significant improvements, including identifying and removing duplicate rules, troubleshooting, and reducing response times for network issues. This represents a significant advancement in firewall management and security policy optimization within a large enterprise setting, which dovetails with Tufin’s core mission and network security offerings.  

Like Firewall Manager, Tufin aims to simplify firewall management, enhance security posture, and enable organizations to manage complex network security environments efficiently.  

Managing Complex, Multi-Vendor Network Environments  

The article noted that firewalls have traditionally been linked with legacy networks. Although this reference was focused on legacy networks, it paves way to highlight how Tufin goes beyond legacy network support. 

Tufin specializes in addressing the challenges associated with managing complex, multi-vendor network environments characterized by diverse technologies, multiple firewall platforms from different vendors, and the need for specialized subject matter experts. 

Managing multi-vendor environments poses significant challenges for global, large-scale, or complex organizations, especially in the context of mergers and acquisitions, geolocation separations, and regulatory compliance requirements. As organizations expand globally or undergo mergers, they often inherit diverse IT infrastructures comprising different vendor technologies. This diversity can lead to fragmented security policies, inconsistent configurations, and increased complexity in managing firewall rules and policies across disparate systems.  

Geolocation separations further complicate matters by necessitating tailored security controls based on regional regulations and data sovereignty laws.   

Tufin’s solutions are designed to address the complexities and challenges inherent in managing multi-vendor network environments. By centralizing management, automating processes, ensuring compliance, and reducing operational overhead, Tufin enables organizations to manage diverse technologies and vendors effectively while enhancing overall network security and efficiency.  

Visualizing Traditional Hardware Firewalls into a SaaS Environment  

Virtualizing traditional hardware firewalls into a SaaS environment, such as with Microsoft Azure Firewall, and consolidating control over the entire ecosystem using tools like Microsoft Azure Firewall Manager, represents a growing trend across all vendors.   

As organizations transition to the cloud and store increasingly critical data in cloud environments—particularly newer companies that have been cloud-native since inception—managing firewalls as a SaaS product is viewed as more secure.  

The trend of virtualizing traditional hardware firewalls into a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) environment, exemplified by solutions like Microsoft Azure Firewall and Azure Firewall Manager, aligns with Tufin’s approach to network security management and policy orchestration.   

By integrating with and extending the capabilities of SaaS firewalls like Microsoft Azure Firewall, Tufin empowers organizations to achieve robust network security and operational efficiency in cloud-centric IT landscapes.  

Here’s how:  

  • Centralized Policy Management: Tufin enables organizations to maintain consistent security policies and configurations across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, including SaaS-based firewalls like Microsoft Azure Firewall, regardless of the underlying firewall technology or cloud platform. 

  • Visibility and Compliance: Tufin enhances visibility into policy configurations and network traffic; capability extends to SaaS firewalls, allowing organizations to monitor and audit policies effectively in cloud environments where critical data resides. 

  • Automation and Orchestration: As SaaS firewalls streamline maintenance and updates, Tufin’s automation capabilities automate policy provisioning, change management, and compliance checks.  

  • Security Posture Optimization: Tufin helps organizations optimize their security posture by identifying and remediating policy violations, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations across hybrid environments, including SaaS-based firewalls.  

Tackling “Zombie Servers” 

The issue of “Zombie servers,” or servers left unattended or unused that still consume resources, poses a significant challenge regarding network security and resource management. The only way to address this situation is through adaptive cleanup automation that integrates with the migration team’s processes, ensuring no doors are left open when migrating an app.   

Tufin’s network security and policy management solutions play a crucial role in addressing the challenge of Zombie servers by providing visibility, automating remediation processes, enforcing compliance, and optimizing network resources 

The Day-to-Day Impact of Tufin 

In one section of the article, a cloud network engineer spoke about how implementing Policy Analytics eliminated duplicate rules and increased operational efficiency. Tufin’s solutions share the same impetus for improved rule management, resource allocation, overall firewall management.  

Global and complex organizations require comprehensive insights and management capabilities across their diverse infrastructure, spanning multiple cloud providers and vendor technologies.  

Tufin addresses this challenge by offering a consolidated platform that provides unified visibility and control across significant cloud platforms like Azure, AWS, and GCP and supports over 40 other vendor technologies.   

Tufin’s solution goes beyond insights to include automated mitigation workflows, enabling organizations to automatically remediate security issues or policy violations based on predefined playbooks.  

The Value Tufin Brings Around Network Topology  

In the article, one engineer was quoted saying, “[Introducing Policy Analytics within Firewall Manager] solves a big pain point for large organizations with tens or hundreds of firewall deployments. After only six months in preview, more than 1,000 enterprise customers have activated Policy Analytics. From the conversations I’m having, the demand for these capabilities is strong.” 

Like the demand that Microsoft’s firewall management elicits, this underscores Tufin’s value around network topology—not just across Azure, but AWS, SASE, and 40+ vendors too.  

Tufin provides organizations with specific and actionable value in network topology management by offering centralized visibility and analysis across diverse cloud and vendor environments such as Azure, AWS, SASE, and over 40 other supported technologies. This comprehensive visibility allows IT teams to map out dependencies, analyze traffic flows, and optimize network performance globally.  

By delivering detailed insights into network topologies and dependencies, Tufin empowers global enterprises to strengthen security, optimize resource allocation, and navigate complex IT environments confidently and efficiently.

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