Organizations need to replace firewalls or do a firewall migration for various reasons. Firewall replacement can happen because your hardware is reaching the end of life. Sometimes your firewall is old and you want to replace it with new technology. Firewalls are always going to be an important part of IT security strategies. It can protect you from protecting your business from data breaches.
Firewall migration can be a complicated process. Organizations should think about their firewall migration plan. Make sure that you are covering product selection, configuration planning, current state analysis, and transition planning. In this article, we are going to give some tips that will help you in changing your firewall.
Decide if you want to buy a new firewall
You should first check if you need a new firewall. Make sure that you are looking into the current firewall characteristic. Start by checking the warranty, capabilities, performance, and age of your firewall. If your current firewall is still working properly, then you don’t need to worry about buying a new firewall.
Gather firewall requirements
Every firewall will come with different features. Thus, you should check the capabilities that are needed to meet your requirements. You might need features like IPS, IDS, antivirus, performance, and web filtering. Sometimes firewalls can’t keep pace with higher internet circuit speeds. Thus, you should look for next-generation firewalls. These firewalls are perfect for every organization. According to a report from Statista, more than 50% of companies are using next-generation firewalls.
Pick the hardware and vendor
There are various firewall products and vendors available in the market. Every firewall product comes with its own weakness and strength. Thus, you should examine your business requirements, sizing, and network complexity. This will help you in finding the right firewall for your business.
Make sure that your working with your IT partner and team during the procurement process. This will help you in figuring out if you need extra features. You can maximize the network performance by using features like clustering and redundancy.
Detailed Firewall analysis
You should audit your current firewall before moving to another firewall. Make sure that you are checking the current firewall that you are using. Try to capture important details like ISP details, IP network settings, configurations, policies, VPN, and network patching.
Firewall configurations will accumulate various unnecessary details like address objects, unused services, and networks. Make sure that you are analyzing the current rule base for determining the policies that are active. Thus, you don’t need to worry about inactive policies. Sometimes there are old services that you can remove. You can also run various firewall migration tools for collecting this data in an automated way.
Review the current state
You should first have a complete understanding of the current state. After that, you should focus on reviewing your current state. Make sure that you know about the changes that you need to make before configuring any new hardware.
You should ensure that you are meeting the best practices of IT security. Try to find the areas that you need to modify. Remove all the unused policies, services, and objects that you have identified.
If you are unsure about some services or policies, then you should check with other members of your IT team. You might find the person who changed the firewall configuration.
Pre-configure your new firewall
You need to create an IT security policy before working on your new hardware. Make sure that your IT security policy is matching with your business requirements. Your current needs will be different from your original business needs.
You need to migrate and convert your current-state details. This will include things like reporting, antivirus filtering, app and web control, and policies.
You should also determine and configure the features that you want in the new firewall. These features might be new for you. Thus, you should ensure that you are configuring your new firewall properly.
You should test your firewall before moving it to the main environment. Make sure that you are running a series of tests for finding problems in your new equipment. You should also test your internet access. Make sure that you can connect to your core business systems and cloud applications. You can use scripts for testing your firewalls.
If some issue is identified, then you should modify your security policy. Make sure that everything is resolved before you deploy your firewall. If the problem is still not solved, then you can roll back and look for the main issue.
You should create documentation of your firewall. Make sure that all the alerts and monitoring are adjusted correctly. After that, you should ensure that the support and warranties are current. Set reminders for renewals as it will help you in renewing your hardware.
Patch your new firewall
You should always implement your new firewall during a maintenance window. This will ensure that minimal systems and users will be impacted. Make sure that you are determining when your networks have the least utilization. You can target this period for updating your firewall.
Alert your other IT members which will be impacted by the migration. Thus, they can take necessary steps before the migration. You don’t need to inform everyone in your organization. However, you should alert your support team and other important areas. These areas will be most impacted by the firewall migration.
You should run tests to check if your firewall is working properly. Minor changes will be required to ensure that your firewall is working properly. These changes can be made if you are monitoring your firewall properly. You can deal with these minor problems by properly monitoring your firewall.
If you have an IT helpdesk, then they will help you in solving your connection issues. Make sure that your IT helpdesk is giving the highest priority to the firewall issues. These problems can have an impact on your entire network security. Thus, your IT team should give top priority to firewall monitoring.
You can follow these steps for changing your firewall. However, it is very difficult to change your firewall. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in changing your firewall. They will help you in finding the best firewall for your business. Also, they will help you in creating an IT security strategy for your business. Thus, you don’t need to worry about handling your IT security. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.