Posted on Nov 19th, 2012 by Kate Shopper

In 2009 Tufin conducted a survey of about 100 hackers at Defcon. About 81 percent said they were "far more active" during the winter holidays than during the summer. Fifty-six percent named Christmas as the best time to engage in corporate hacking, while 25 percent named New Year's Eve.

Are you ready?

Don't wait for a breach, a threat of a breach, a slew of bots hammering on your firewalls, a disgruntled employee, or an audit to be the catalyst for you to find out that your firewalls are not running optimally.  While firewall management often seems a daunting task, policy changes don't have to be painstaking, labor-intensive chores that must be performed by an expert. Automated solutions that effectively take over routine, manual work and free up experts for strategic tasks, save organizations valuable time and ensure they are both compliant and secure.

Automating your firewall policy management means that you will be ready for whomever comes a-hacking at your firewall door, regardless of when your audit is due. Watch Christopher Graham, UK Information Commissioner and Michael Hamelin, Chief Security Architect, Tufin discuss the importance of continuous compliance.

Automating firewall management solutions will catch things that are virtually impossible to flag manually - for instance, that rule 71 is partially shadowed by rule 273, which in turn results in a certain group of database admins having overly permissive access. That is all a hacker needs to know to get inside without even having to hammer through the firewall.  But by learning how to optimize an overly permissive security policy, or how to create a new policy for an unprotected network segment, Mr. Hacker won't be having such a Merry Christmas.

While you can't stop the bad boys and their toys, you don't have to unblock and clean out the chimney for them to climb down either.  Making sure there are no gaps or exposures caused by the very systems you bought to protect yourself is a good place to start protecting yourself.

So go on, give yourself the gift of automation this holiday season before it's too late and you have to make it next year's New Year Resolution.