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Intrusion Prevention is Top Priority for Firms Adopting Next-Generation Firewalls
[November 14, 2012]

Intrusion Prevention is Top Priority for Firms Adopting Next-Generation Firewalls

SAN JOSE, Calif. --(Business Wire)--

Skybox Security, the leader in proactive security risk management solutions, today announced the North America results of a survey that provides insight into the priorities and challenges that organizations face adopting and migrating to next-generation firewall (NGFW) technology. The Skybox Security Next-Generation Firewall Management Survey 2012, conducted in conjunction with Osterman Research, polled more than 100 respondents in varying information security and C-level roles involved in the IT decision making process. The companies surveyed range from financial firms to manufacturing companies to government and defense agencies, with an average size of 2,300 employees.

The survey reveals that two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents are adopting next-generation firewalls to increase protection against complex attacks by integrating firewall and intrusion prevention capabilities. However, according to the survey, many organizations experience challenges in realizing the benefits of this integrated protection, citing management difficulties in optimizing rulesets (40 percent) and maintaining the set of IPS signatures to deal with new exploits and malware (38 percent).

One respondent summed up the challenges faced by many, "It's been our experience that the default/recommended settings are only somewhat applicable to our needs. A lot of manual fine-tuning has been (and continues to be) necessary."

"Security teams know that optimizing and validating security rules for any firewall take significant time. Now they need to add tuning of intrusion prevention signatures to their list of daily firewall management tasks," said Gidi Cohen, CEO, Skybox Security. "This makes it even more essential to leverage tools that can make it much easir to deploy, manage, and optimize next-generation firewalls."

Additional Key Survey Takeaways:

  • Organizations are moving to next-generation firewalls to improve their protection against complex threats and improve network performance. The top 5 reasons include:

1. Increased protection against complex attacks

2. Improved firewall performance (speed, throughput)

3. Better malware identification

4. To control access to external applications

5. To enable security for "Bring your own device" (BYOD) IT initiatives

  • 93 percent of respondents plan to use the integrated Intrusion (News - Alert) Prevention capabilities of the NGFWs. 62 percent plan to use in active prevention mode, 33% in detect only mode.
  • The top 3 challenges for ongoing next-generation firewall management are:

1. Optimizing rulesets

2. Maintaining the set of IPS signatures

3. Verifying that access and network segmentation policies are enforced correctly

  • The median time to migrate to next-generation firewalls is 6 months
  • The top 3 migration challenges include:

1. Managing multiple firewalls from different vendors at the same time

2. Validating correct operations of the next-generation firewalls

3. Training staff on the next-generation firewall platform and concepts

"As more organizations migrate to next-generation firewalls, Skybox Security is the only provider to link firewall management, vulnerability management and threat mitigation capabilities into a single solution to optimize the protection provided by next-generation firewalls," said Michelle Cobb, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Skybox Security. "Skybox supports a full set of automated firewall ruleset and configuration analysis, including visibility of the Intrusion Prevention Signatures (IPS) threat mitigation features in next-generation firewalls, helping security teams take full advantage of the ability of next-generation firewalls to block known vulnerabilities."

The full survey findings are available for download at:

About Skybox Security, Inc.

Skybox Security, Inc. is the leader in proactive security risk management solutions, providing automated, non-intrusive tools that detect, prioritize, and drive remediation of critical risks such as exposed vulnerabilities and firewall configuration errors. Skybox solutions prevent potential cyber attacks and data breaches by providing IT decision makers with continuous network visibility and sophisticated security analytics. Organizations in Financial Services, Government, Energy, Defense, Retail, and Telecommunications rely on Skybox Security solutions daily to reduce risk exposure, implement secure change management processes, and achieve continuous compliance. For more information visit

NOTE: Skybox® Security is a registered trademark of Skybox Security Inc. All other registered and unregistered trademarks herein are the sole property of their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change at any time without prior notice. © 2012 Skybox Security, Inc. All rights reserved.

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