It might be time then to consider the actions that IT team leaders ought to take in order to help restore the balance between the two teams. Ideally, of course, each team would have all the necessary training and expertise it needed to enable it to work across multiple vendors - to understand their individual syntaxes, and the nuances between network and security devices.
However, this isn’t likely for most organisations.
We would suggest therefore that companies should consider automated network control as a means of reducing the risks, saving time and alleviating the inter-departmental stresses brought about by this situation.
Automating the network
At its most basic, successful network security control depends on knowing what is connected and how it is configured.
In organisations where a high volume of firewall changes are required, automation means that security staff are able to analyse these changes wherever they’re required. They are then able to automatically test and provision these changes, across the network, saving considerable time on previous processes of applying rules individually across separate devices. And, where multiple vendors are involved, there is a significant reduction in the need for specialist knowledge of each vendor’s unique syntax, which will give both the networking and security teams a far better understanding of what is required.
Network teams will have the ability to make firewall policy changes quickly in one place, and distribute these changes to multi-vendor devices, which not only reduces the time and effort required, but also eliminates the need to make changes to individual devices.
By reducing the level of specific knowledge required by the networking teams, while still maintaining their understanding of the task in hand, automation will enable both teams to make cohesive decisions and recommendations, and take crucial and timely actions together, within an organisation’s policies.
Freeing up time, sharing expertise
As we can see, employing automation means that the number of manual tasks will immediately be reduced, freeing up time which can be better used by both teams to work more collaboratively on tackling growing security challenges.
Most importantly, automation doesn’t make changes without review or approval – it leverages computing power and analysis to handle repetitive processes such as finding overlapping/unused rules or provisioning changes faster with less risk of human error.
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