7 Best Practices for Firewall Management for Experts


What is Firewall Management?

Firewall management involves the maintenance of firewalls to ensure network security. With organizations employing multiple firewalls for maximum protection, effective management ensures seamless integration of a number of different rules and policies. 

It’s not just about deploying firewalls. Rather, it’s a rigorous process of aligning and coordinating rules and policies across diverse defense layers. This guarantees that possible vulnerabilities are addressed, potential threats are thwarted, and network operations continue smoothly. 

A well-managed firewall environment protects against cyber risks, ensuring data integrity, user privacy, and overall organizational resilience.

How Do You Manage Firewalls?

Managing firewall rules involves a systematic approach to configuring, reviewing, and updating the rule set that governs network traffic. 

The process begins with:

  • Defining a clear policy framework.
  • Outlining what traffic is allowed or denied based on factors such as source, destination, application, and service. 
  • Regular review and assessment of rules to maintain their effectiveness and relevance in the face of changing threats and network requirements.

Effective firewall rule management also involves:

  • Prioritizing rules.
  • Optimizing rule order to enhance performance.
  • Minimizing potential conflicts.

Additionally, it’s essential to regularly audit the rule set, removing obsolete or redundant rules that can introduce vulnerabilities or confusion. Automation tools can aid in rule management by analyzing traffic patterns, suggesting rule adjustments, and ensuring rule consistency across multiple firewalls.

Ultimately, a well-managed firewall rule set contributes to a secure and efficient network environment while aligning with the organization’s evolving security needs and operational goals.

Who Should Manage Your Firewall?

Determining who should manage your firewall is a critical decision that directly impacts your network’s security and efficiency. For organizations with dedicated IT teams, entrusting firewall management to skilled professionals within the organization can provide a level of control and customization tailored to specific requirements.

Internal management ensures the team is intimately familiar with the organization’s network infrastructure and security needs, enabling swift responses to emerging threats or changing operational demands.

Alternatively, outsourcing firewall management to specialized security providers offers benefits, especially for smaller businesses lacking in-house expertise. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) bring a wealth of experience and round-the-clock vigilance, ensuring that firewalls are continuously monitored, updated, and optimized.

This approach allows internal teams to focus on core business functions while leveraging the expertise of external specialists to maintain a robust defense against cyber threats. 

Ultimately, the choice between internal management and outsourcing depends on the organization’s resources, expertise, and risk tolerance, all aimed at achieving a secure and well-managed firewall environment.

How Do You Choose the Best Firewall Management System?

Choosing the best firewall management system involves evaluating key factors such as:

  • Scalability
  • Automation
  • Integration 
  • User-friendly interfaces

A robust system should offer centralized control for efficient policy enforcement and real-time monitoring, enabling quick response to threats. Integration with threat intelligence sources and regular updates ensures the system’s effectiveness against evolving risks.

Furthermore, assessing vendor support, compliance features, and reporting capabilities aids in selecting a solution that aligns with the organization’s security goals, operational needs, and growth trajectory.

Here are seven key strategies and best practices that will not only enhance your firewall’s efficiency but also bolster your organization’s overall cybersecurity posture:

7 Best Practices for Firewall Management

Here are seven of the best tips we have to help you improve your firewall management.

1. Block All Access by Default

Start with a default-deny policy where all traffic is blocked by default. This approach ensures that only explicitly allowed traffic can pass through the firewall. By denying access to all unauthorized requests, you significantly reduce potential attack vectors and minimize the risk of breaches.

2. Keep Track of Authorized Users

Implement robust user authentication and authorization mechanisms. Regularly review user access privileges to ensure only authorized personnel have the necessary permissions to access critical resources. This principle of least privilege limits the exposure of sensitive data and mitigates insider threats.

3. Keep Your Firewall up to Date

Regularly update your firewall’s firmware, software, and threat intelligence feeds. Outdated systems are vulnerable to known exploits, making timely updates crucial. By staying current, you address potential vulnerabilities and ensure your firewall remains effective against emerging threats.

4. Optimize Your Firewall Rules

Periodically assess and optimize your firewall rule set. Eliminate redundant, conflicting, or unused rules to streamline performance and accuracy. A well-organized rule set enhances rule enforcement and reduces the chances of misconfigurations.

5. Conduct Regular Firewall Audits

Regular audits validate the effectiveness of your firewall rules and their alignment with security policies. Through thorough testing, audits identify rule discrepancies and areas of improvement, ensuring your firewall operates as intended to protect your network.

6. Document All Firewall Changes

Maintain comprehensive documentation of every change made to your firewall’s rules and configurations. This documentation acts as a reference for troubleshooting, compliance audits, and accountability. A documented change history helps identify unauthorized alterations and facilitates understanding of network changes over time.

7. Use a Centralized Management Solution

Implement a centralized firewall management platform to streamline control and monitoring. Centralization provides a holistic view of network traffic, simplifying rule deployment, monitoring, and incident response. A unified interface enhances operational efficiency and ensures consistent policy enforcement across your network.

For a security solution that aligns with the above best practices, explore Perimeter 81’s Firewall offerings and elevate your network protection.

Perimeter 81: Best-in-Breed Firewall Management Services

Perimeter 81 offers best-in-breed Firewall Management Services designed to elevate network security. 

Perimiter81 Firewall Services include Firewall as a service, which provides enhanced network security in an integrated solution that offers granular access control, seamless traffic management, and comprehensive data visibility. FaaS enables you to safeguard your organization against potential breaches through firewall-level cloud protection, cost-effective agility, improved security measures and simplified remote work. 

Furthermore, Perimeter 81’s commitment to advancing network security aligns with the company’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework that transforms network security by seamlessly converging networking and security services. 

Lastly, by integrating cloud-native architecture, Perimeter81 also offers Zero Trust security in combination with SASE to ensure secure and efficient access to applications, data, and resources from anywhere in the world. 

Incorporating firewall management with SASE and ZTNA (Zero Trust Networks), Perimeter81 not only empowers businesses with exceptional firewall management but also paves the way for a secure, scalable, and future-ready network infrastructure.

By fusing state-of-the-art technologies like Cloud-Based Firewalls and harnessing the potential of innovative frameworks like SASE and Zero Trust, organizations are empowered to successfully navigate a new realm of protection. 

From intuitive Firewall-as-a-Service solutions to the strategic implementation of default-deny policies and centralized control, these best practices not only fortify defenses but also usher in a visionary approach to safeguarding digital assets both today and in the future. 


What is the Task of Firewall Management?
When it comes to network firewall management, various individuals and teams play distinct roles as follows:

The OIT staff undertakes crucial tasks such as designing and maintaining the managed firewall infrastructure, provisioning firewalls in consultation with customers, and offering ongoing support. They also troubleshoot both infrastructure and customer-reported firewall issues while also providing training to firewall administrators. 

On the other hand, firewall administrators fulfill essential responsibilities such as completing relevant training courses, possessing a deep understanding of their environment and applications, and crafting and overseeing their firewall policies. While OIT staff can offer assistance, it’s the administrators who define and manage firewall policies. They access and manage these policies via interfaces like the command line or specific appliances. 

Additionally, administrators are accountable for troubleshooting their own policies before engaging OIT, ensuring a proactive approach to problem-solving. Collaboratively, these roles ensure an efficiently managed and secure firewall environment.
What is Firewall Security Management?
Firewall security management refers to the centralized administration of an organization’s network security policies using specialized software. This approach enhances the control and visibility over the network’s security measures. By consolidating the management process, the software provides a unified platform to oversee and regulate the actions, traffic, and users permitted to enter and traverse the network. This comprehensive management solution empowers administrators to efficiently implement and enforce security policies, leading to a more secure and controlled network environment.
How do I Make my Firewall More Secure?
Firewalls act as virtual gateways controlling the flow of web traffic in private networks. Designed to slow the spread of threats like fire, they create ‘choke spots’ to manage incoming traffic against predefined parameters. Monitoring user access, limiting VPN access, and updating firewall software are critical steps in bolstering firewall security. 

To make your firewall more secure, you would be wise to take the following steps:

Limit VPN Access – Utilize a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) to restrict user access to necessary parts of the server, mitigating the risk of data breaches.

– Monitor User Access – Default to blocking all network traffic and allow only specific types to recognized services, granting more control over network access.

Shut Off Unused Network Services – Identify and disable unnecessary services to reduce vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors.

– Update Firewall Software – Regularly update firewall software to address new security issues and ensure network safety.

– Automate the Process of Firewall Updating – Automate updates to eliminate human intervention, ensuring the firewall remains consistently secure.

Buy New Security Hardware – Consider upgrading to new firewall hardware when encountering resource issues, avoiding potential performance pitfalls.

Secure Wireless Access – Eliminate rogue wireless access points, establish secure wireless network access, and encourage VPN usage for enhanced security.