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SECURE NETWORK ACCESS

Chris ScheelsNovember 19, 2020

Make Firewall Complexity, Simpler

Legacy firewalls add complexity, impede agility and thwart Zero Trust implementation. Fortunately, Appgate SDP can augment your firewall as a network security overlay that reduces overhead and simplifies access controls.

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Lack of agility and complexity are the unconventional adversaries for today’s security professional.

In order to secure Digital Transformation efforts and remain competitive in the digital economy, enterprises must become agile and efficient. However, as enterprise IT architectures evolved and broke conventional perimeter security controls, traditional solutions like the firewall have grown exponentially more complex to manage. Complexities introduce human error, drain resources, increase friction and create exploitable vulnerabilities.

The recent Ponemon Institute research on "Rethinking Firewalls: Security and Agility for the Modern Enterprise" uncovers several concerns with firewalls as they relate to agility and enabling Zero Trust.

In this report, Ponemon surveyed 603 IT and security practitioners to learn more about how decision-makers and influencers perceive their firewalls and how they fit into their security ecosystems. It holds some valuable information to take to heart.

57% responded that it can take 3 weeks up to a month to change firewall rules. Additionally, 76% said it takes too much time to secure new apps or change configs.


This is the antithesis of agility. Today’s modern enterprises need to remain highly agile to compete. This lack of agility leads to loss of productivity or revenue while the enterprise waits to deliver firewall changes. One of our customers creates 30,000 new resources on a daily basis that live an average of 5 hours. This type of agility can’t be accomplished with a technology that takes three weeks to grant access.

Appgate SDP solves this problem with a unique feature that can be used to dynamically build entitlement policies and conditional access via metadata and cloud resolvers. It has the ability to interrogate the environment to automatically find and protect new resources in minutes, almost as fast as you can spin up new apps. Furthermore, Appgate SDP can be automated entirely to “run as code” for secure, controlled and rapid entitlement updates.

60% believe legacy firewalls don't have capabilities to protect critical apps and systems from attack.


Firewalls were originally designed to connect remote users, LANs or subnets of non-routable IP addresses. This was an easy way to gain connectivity, but not an ideal way to segment applications to prevent unauthorized users from accessing. Trying to microsegment or provide fine-grained access using firewall ACLs is highly complex, prone to rule overlap and human error.

Appgate SDP cloaks your entire infrastructure using Single Packet Authorization (SPA), which hides all exposed access ports while reducing most network-based and credential stuffing attacks. It further protects applications with surgical access to only authorized users, using fine-grained micro-segmentation to stop lateral movement, thwart internal threats and halt the spread of ransomware infections.

60% said that legacy firewalls are little help enabling Zero Trust and 60% said they don’t support the flexibility and high-speed requirements of a Zero Trust environment. Further, 62% describe the lack of granular policies.


This impacts firewalls ability to implement Zero Trust, which requires just-in-time fine-grained access to only resources users are authorized to access. Appgate SDP was built from the ground up as a Zero Trust platform that enforces the principles of least privileged access, providing granular access that is identity-centric and context-aware. It continuously evaluates the identity and contextual risk throughout the entire session, not just the initial access request.

Augment Your Firewall with SDP:


Appgate's Software-Defined Perimeter won't replace your firewalls entirely but it does solve firewall agility and complexity problems. Appgate SDP provides surgical access controls and hyper agility, while removing a massive amount of complexity from trying to control access using antiquated firewall technology. The number of rules you will remove from your firewall will be startling and you will no longer wait three weeks to change firewall rules.

Zero Trust, Made Easier:


Appgate SDP was built on the principles of Zero Trust and will provide Least Privileged Access (LPA) that is dynamic. It will quickly find new resources and programmatically protect them in minutes. Appgate SDP is the most agile and comprehensive secure access solution that makes hard, easier.

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