Shockingly, almost a third of IT professionals only audit their firewalls once every five years Tufin Technologies, today announced the results of its annual InfoSecurity UK firewall management survey. According to the survey, conducted by Tufin Technologies, of 242 IT professionals mainly from organizations employing 1000 to 5000+ employees, 1 in 10 admitted that either they or a colleague have cheated to get an audit passed. However it isn't all bad news; compared to a similar survey conducted in 2009 the number of people admitting to cheating has halved in number. Among those who have cheated lack of time and resources are cited as the main reasons, underlining the ever increasing pressure on today's IT departments. With 25% responding that firewall audits take a week to conduct attempting to avoid this painful process is understandable. What's more 30% of respondents only audit their firewalls once every five years and even more worrying 7% never even conduct an audit. With this in mind it's less surprising to find out that 36% of IT professionals admit their firewall rule bases are a mess increasing their susceptibility to hackers, network crashes and compliance violations. The survey also found that:
- 31% only audit their firewalls once a year
- 22% don't know how long it takes to audit their firewalls
- Of those that admit their firewall rule base is a mess, 25% believe this makes their network susceptible to crashes and 38% susceptible to compliance violations
- 56% responded that automation tools would save them a lot of time
"Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on selecting and implementing firewalls, yet much less attention and resources are invested in making sure the firewalls are optimized at all times for potential security risks and compliance breaches," said Michael Hamelin, Chief Security Architect at Tufin Technologies. "It is a cause for concern that so many companies are only conducting audits sporadically and are admitting that their firewalls are in a mess. The consequences of a firewall with rules that are out of sync leave networks open to exploitation. Without the right automation tools, managing firewalls is complicated and time consuming making it very tempting for IT professionals to cheat to get their audit passed. But in the long run it will only cause more problems." IT still top priority in the boardroom Despite our gloomy economic environment it is encouraging to see that IT has remained high on the budget priorities with 59% of companies revealing that they have not been forced to focus on cost savings at the expense of their company's security. With malware at record highs and more and more compliance legislation being passed, businesses are clear that it is not in their interests to cut IT spend.