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No matter how much money ends up spent on IT security, it is a waste if the firewalls are not configured properly, according to research conducted from security professionals.

The poll found 72 percent of respondents agreed that no matter how much money goes toward a security solution, it ends up being a wasted expenditure if the firewalls are not configured properly, according to FireMon, a security management provider, which conducted a survey at the RSA Conference that assessed the views of 350 IT security professionals on the importance of firewalls in the battle to prevent data breaches.

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In addition, 52 percent of respondents experienced a firewall configuration change that opened a potential security breach that caused business downtime.

“We often hear that ‘the firewall is dead’ and an array of security ‘solutions’ have cropped up in this wake, but it is clear from this study that is most definitely not the case,” said Michael Callahan, CMO at FireMon. ”In fact, no matter what security solutions an organization has in place, it means nothing if the firewalls aren’t managed correctly. The problem is compounded with you think about how many organizations have tens or even hundreds of firewalls as part of their security defenses – all of which need to be configured. This creates a gap between the security environment complexity and the resources to manage it where mistakes are likely to occur and risk increases.”

Cyber Security

The key to closing this gap is understanding what the company needs in security and then managing it consistently. In a world where the consequences of having an insecure security system can be catastrophic, companies just cannot leave enterprises vulnerable to an array of cyber threats, such as hackers, data breaches and Trojans.

In addition, business downtime or interruption costs can significantly impact trade and income, but the greatest cost can sometimes be reputational. Customers don’t want to be associated with a brand that puts their data at risk, which is why it is so important for security systems to be fully functioning and free from exploits.

“Incorporating robust, intelligent security management can greatly reduce all the complexity that surrounds the IT security infrastructure,” Callahan said. “It can help identify specific weak points within the firewall and avert any potential breach within a system.”

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