“Firewalls can’t solve today’s most urgent security priorities. After all, more than 80 percent of network traffic is inside the perimeter.” Forrester

Configuration auditing for firewalls, routers and switches is critical to network security

Security within a network perimeter is just as important as the security on devices forming the perimeter. Making firewalls, routers and switches pivotal to the security of all networks. It’s why all these network devices should maintain a secure configuration that matches both network policy and functional intent.

Firewall, router and switch devices are managed through complex configurations. Errors arising in a device’s configuration could represent a critical security risk to the network, its data, and applications. So, every firewall, switch and router in a critical network should be assessed daily to check for misconfigurations, in line with zero trust security best practices.

The only accurate way to detect misconfigurations in network devices

Unlike software and firmware vulnerabilities that can be addressed by keeping up to date with patches – misconfigurations persist through patching. The associated risks are only addressed once the misconfiguration has been corrected.

The only way to accurately detect misconfigurations is to virtually model the configuration as a single entity to consider interdependencies across the network.

Using a configuration auditing tool that does not virtually model the configuration elements results in errors in the risk findings report and inaccurate alerts. In this scenario, critical configuration risks often remain unchecked. Where tools cannot be used daily because of resource constraints, the problem is compounded.

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Accurate configuration assessments in seconds with Nipper

Nipper is able to achieve unrivalled accuracy in configuration auditing by virtually modelling the entire device configuration as a single entity. It provides advanced network contextualization that suppresses irrelevant findings.

This fast, accurate and granular approach to detecting misconfigurations is enabling cyber teams to prioritize remediation workflows for firewalls, routers and switches, based on risk criticality. Which can be viewed through Nipper’s security and/or compliance lenses.

The high-fidelity analysis also enables Nipper to provide remediation advice and in some cases, technical fixes that can be used in workflows to mitigate identified security risks. This is proven to improve both Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Repair/Remediate (MTTR) insecure configurations.

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Nipper Enterprise for configuration auditing at scale

Networks are increasingly complex, change frequently, and need to be assured daily. For many of our customers, continuous security auditing is now mandated.

Using Nipper Enterprise network owners can, for example, assess the security and compliance posture of 300,000 devices in a CMDB against 34 NIST 800-53 network controls.

In snapshot mode, the solution reports the organization’s actual state of asset configuration and RMF posture. Results are prioritized by risk criticality for compliance assurance.

This assurance can also be provided continuously by allowing Nipper Enterprise to connect to and assess network devices on up to an hourly cadence.

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Why use Nipper or Nipper Enterprise for configuration auditing?

Not only do Nipper solutions provide unrivalled accuracy in detecting misconfigurations in firewalls, routers and switches – they also report:

  • Network risk context for effective security risk prioritization,
  • Accurate remediation advice for all security risks found, and
  • Security risks automatically overlaid onto regulatory risk management frameworks, to help deliver security from compliance.

It's helping network owners and risk managers improve and maintain the security and compliance posture of their entire network.

Why should I add Nipper to my security automation stack?

For every firewall, switch and router in an organization’s protect surface that hasn’t been assessed by Nipper or Nipper Enterprise, there could be:

  • An unknown security gap which impacts the entire network
  • An identified technical fix for a critical risk that is easy to implement
  • A non-compliance with a regulatory RMF or security standard
  • A risk to CIA that is not being measured/reported/managed effectively and/or
  • An overwhelm of inaccurate or inconsequential network security alerts that are wasting scarce resources in the effort to improve security.

Our software helps you detect, manage and mitigate these risks by prioritizing issues by criticality and delivering risk-prioritized remediation advice.

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