Having your firewall up and running is a great move toward enforcing network security best practices. However, this measure is not enough. Businesses need to engage in a regular firewall audit exercise to help them determine the effectiveness of their firewall policies.
While network security experts can do this manually, it takes a lot of time and can be susceptible to human error.
Fortunately, there are firewall audit tools designed to automate firewall auditing processes. These tools have features that make it easier for organizations to review, analyze, and spot potential weaknesses in their firewall rules.
But how do you choose the best firewall audit tool for your business? Find the answer by going through this comprehensive review of the best firewall audit tools, covering features, pricing, benefits, and drawbacks.
- Tufin: Best overall (Read more)
- AlgoSec: Best for firewall visibility and analytics (Read more)
- SolarWinds NCM: Best for creating custom firewall filters (Read more)
- AWS Firewall Manager: Best for AWS users (Read more)
- Titania Nipper: Best for automated vulnerability and compliance audits (Read more)
- Cisco FMC: Best for advanced malware and intrusion detection (Read more)
Top firewall audit software comparison
Below is an overview of the features of the best firewall audit tools and how they compare with each other.
|Tool||Real-time traffic monitoring||Custom audit-ready report generation||Compliance audit||Risk analysis||Intrusion and malware prevention||Pricing|
|Tufin||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||Contact the vendor for a quote|
|AlgoSec||✔||✔||✔||✔||✘||Contact the vendor for a quote|
|Solar Winds||✔||✔||✔||✔||✘||Starts at $1,894 per year|
|AWS Firewall Manager||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||Starts at $106.40 per month|
|Titania Nipper||✔||✔||✔||✔||✘||Contact the vendor for a quote|
|Cisco FMC||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||Contact the vendor for a quote|
- Key features of firewall audit software
- Benefits of working with firewall audit software
- How do I choose the best firewall audit tool for my business?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Tufin’s firewall audit tool is designed to help organizations assess the security and compliance of their firewall configurations. With Tufin, organizations can easily analyze firewall policies to identify violations in their firewall rules.
The tool can alert your network security team when there are any violations in your firewall architecture. In addition, Tufin can automatically generate security audit reports on demand based on different criteria, such as firewall vendors, time periods, and cloud service providers.
Tufin also helps organizations demonstrate network security compliance with standards and regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, NERC CIP, and GDPR.
- Reach out to the vendor for a quote.
- Automates firewall audit processes.
- Real-time alerting for violations in firewall configurations.
- Compliance checks for multiple regulations and standards.
- Customizable firewall audit report.
- Offers 24/7 customer support.
- Security and audit reports are customizable and can be generated on demand.
- Supports continuous compliance by automating firewall changes.
- Lacks transparent pricing.
- No free trial.
Best for firewall visibility and analytics
AlgoSec is a firewall audit tool that can provide comprehensive visibility and analysis into your entire security topology. The tool offers a firewall management capability that allows organizations to visualize and manage their security across the cloud and on-premise.
AlgoSec can monitor the impact of security policies on traffic, troubleshoot connectivity problems, and plan changes. The tool can automatically associate the relevant business applications that each firewall rule supports, making it easier for security teams to review the firewall rules quickly.
AlgoSec does not provide pricing information on their website, but they do offer a free demo and an in-depth cost calculator to estimate your expenses—and savings. You can fill out a sales contact request form to negotiate customized pricing.
- Network visualization capability.
- Connects applications to security policy rules.
- Capacity to monitor the impact of network changes on business apps.
- Capacity to define and enforce network segmentation.
- Offers network segmentation.
- Identifies compliance gaps across your entire firewall.
- Spots risky firewall rules and the assets they expose.
- Lacks intrusion and malware detection capability.
- Non-transparent pricing plan.
Best for creating custom firewall filters
SolarWinds is a network management system that offers several key features for firewall auditing. Organizations can leverage SolarWinds automation and a centralized system to track and review network configurations, changes, and backups across multiple devices.
In addition, SolarWinds NCM allows you to identify devices that violate your firewall rules, and detect failed backups and inconsistent configurations in your firewall changes. It also provides real-time insight into your firewall activities, supported by an alert system that signals you when changes occur in your firewall configurations.
SolarWinds starts at $1,894 for a one-year subscription, or a perpetual license for $3,671. They have a convenient license configuration tool to generate a custom quote.
- Vulnerability detection.
- Network auditing for compliance.
- Network automation for config change management.
- Configuration backup and restore.
- Offers network insights for Cisco and Palo Alto.
- Real-time tracking of changes in firewall configurations.
- Alert system that notifies you when changes occur on the firewall.
- Regular audit configurations for any change that renders a device non-compliant.
- Provides a 30-day free trial with full functionalities.
- Transparent pricing model.
- Could benefit from broader vendor support.
- Performance can be slow.
AWS Firewall Manager
Best for AWS users
AWS Firewall Manager provides centralized management and control over firewall policies, allowing administrators to easily define and enforce security rules across multiple AWS accounts and resources.
AWS Firewall Manager offers an automated rule enforcement capability, eliminating manual errors in firewall security configurations and ensuring compliance with firewall rules across the organization. The solution also integrates with other AWS security services like AWS WAF, AWS Shield, and VPC security groups to automatically enforce security policies across the entire infrastructure.
Additionally, AWS Firewall Manager provides comprehensive auditing and monitoring features that allow administrators to monitor security groups, track rule changes, and ensure policy compliance from a centralized dashboard.
AWS firewall manager offers a generous 12-month free trial, after which you start getting charged. The pricing is determined by the services you use and the AWS region in which you are located.
However, AWS provides a detailed pricing guide for their firewall management solution. For a firewall manager policy with one account, pricing starts at $106.40 per month, or $182 per month for a firewall manager policy with seven accounts.
To get accurate pricing, you can use AWS’s cost calculator or contact the sales team directly.
- Automated rule enforcement for firewall rule compliance.
- Central management dashboard.
- Cross-account protection policies.
- Supports Hierarchical rule enforcement.
- Allows you to automate firewall rule compliance.
- Offers an alert capability to notify you when firewall rules are violated.
- It can automatically integrate with all your resources across AWS Organizations.
- Transparent pricing model.
- It may not be ideal for auditing third-party firewalls.
- Setting up and configuring AWS Firewall Manager can be complex.
Best for automated vulnerability and compliance audits
Nipper, developed by Titania, is a firewall security auditing tool designed to assess the security posture of firewalls, routers, and switches. It works well with firewall vendors such as Fortinet, Palo Alto, Cisco, CheckPoint, and many more.
Nipper can identify vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and potential security weaknesses in your firewall and generates detailed reports with prioritized recommendations for remediation, enabling efficient security enhancements. The software uses virtual modeling, which helps to reduce the rate of false positives.
Titania offers a 30-day free trial; beyond that, you’ll have to contact them for pricing information, as they do not publicize it.
- Automated risk prioritization.
- Precise remediation with recommendations for technical fixes.
- Configuration assessment.
- Automatic audit scheduling capability.
- Supports a wide range of firewall products, models, and versions.
- Offers vulnerability and compliance audits.
- Supports integration with SIEM tools like Splunk.
- Lacks transparent pricing.
Best for advanced malware and intrusion protection
Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center (FMC) offers a centralized firewall administration management platform that can streamline routine firewall tasks.
The Cisco FMC tool allows administrators to configure and deploy network security policies, monitor network traffic, detect and prevent malware and intrusion attempts, conduct URL filtering, and generate firewall auditing reports.
It provides a graphical interface that simplifies the management of multiple firepower devices, including writing a firewall policy and scaling its enforcement across multiple security controls within your network.
Cisco doesn’t publish pricing information, due to the wide variability of their solutions. You can reach out to their sales team for a quote, or to schedule a free demo or trial.
- Network analysis and visibility.
- Automated security for dynamic defense
- Intrusion attempt blocking.
- Writing and scaling policy enforcement.
- Flexible deployment, including on-premises hardware, public and private cloud.
- Categorizes intrusion events by risk or applications.
- Offers a centralized firewall management capability.
- Supports intrusion prevention and malware protection.
- Lacks proper documentation.
- Non-transparent pricing plan.
Key features of firewall audit software
Firewall audit solutions offer a range of vital features that aid in firewall management and auditing, including rule and traffic analysis, compliance monitoring, configuration management, event logging and analysis, and integration and automation tools.
Firewall audit tools analyze the rules configured in the firewall to identify any misconfigurations, conflicts, or redundant rules. With rule analysis, administrators ensure the firewall rules align with the organization’s security policies and best practices.
A firewall audit tool can automatically monitor and analyze network traffic passing through the firewall. In addition, it can provide detailed insights into the type of traffic, its volume, source, destination, and potential security risks associated with certain types of traffic.
Many firewall audit tools support compliance monitoring and reporting. They can assess the firewall’s configuration against industry standards or regulatory requirements, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or GDPR, and generate reports to demonstrate compliance or highlight areas of non-compliance.
Firewall audit tools can centralize the management of firewall configurations. With a centralized firewall management capability, it becomes easier to track changes made to firewall rules, compare configurations over time, and roll back to previous configurations if necessary. This helps ensure consistency and control in firewall management.
Event logging and analysis
Firewall audit tools typically offer event logging and real-time monitoring capabilities. They collect and analyze firewall logs to detect and alert on suspicious activities or potential security incidents. This helps administrators quickly respond to and mitigate threats.
Integration and automation
Many firewall audit tools integrate with other security tools and systems, such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions or vulnerability scanners. This integration enables automated workflows, enhances security intelligence, and improves overall security operations.
Benefits of working with firewall audit software
Working with firewall audit software provides several benefits for organizations, such as a centralized management console, enhanced security and operational efficiency, risk mitigation, and compliance enforcement.
Firewall audit software provides a centralized platform to manage and monitor firewall configurations across multiple devices or locations. It simplifies the management process by offering a unified view of the firewall rules and policies. Administrators can easily track changes, analyze trends, and ensure consistent security policies throughout the network infrastructure.
Improved security is the main purpose of firewall auditing. Firewall audit software helps organizations ensure the integrity and effectiveness of their firewall configurations.
It helps identify misconfigurations, rule conflicts, or vulnerabilities in the firewall settings, allowing organizations to address them promptly. This strengthens the overall security posture and reduces the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.
Manual firewall audits can be time-consuming and error-prone. Firewall audit software is built to automate the auditing process, saving time and effort for IT teams. It streamlines the identification of rule inconsistencies, redundant rules, or obsolete configurations.
This allows administrators to focus on critical security tasks and resolve issues more efficiently, ultimately improving operational effectiveness.
Firewall audit software helps organizations identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities in their network defenses. By regularly auditing firewall configurations, organizations can proactively detect and mitigate risks before they are exploited by malicious actors.
This proactive approach reduces the likelihood of security incidents and minimizes potential damage to the network infrastructure and sensitive data.
Compliance and regulatory requirements
Many industries and organizations have specific compliance requirements that include firewall configuration audits. Firewall audit software assists in meeting these requirements by providing automated checks and generating comprehensive reports. It helps organizations demonstrate adherence to industry standards and regulations, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA.
How to choose the best firewall audit tool for your business
Choosing the right firewall audit tool for your business can be challenging. To make it easier for you, here’s a list of key factors to focus on when considering options, including assessing your security needs; evaluating features and functionality, as well as ease of use; and determining scalability, integration, and costs.
Assess your security needs
Begin by evaluating your unique security requirements. Consider the size and complexity of your network, the sensitivity of your data, and any regulatory compliance needs.
Identify your specific auditing and security objectives, such as rule analysis, traffic monitoring, vulnerability assessment, compliance reporting, or event logging.
This assessment will help you prioritize the features and functionality required in a firewall audit tool.
Evaluate features and functionality
Look for firewall audit tools that provide rule analysis to identify misconfigurations, traffic analysis for monitoring network traffic, vulnerability scanning capabilities, compliance monitoring, configuration management, event logging and analysis, and comprehensive reporting.
Ensure the tool’s features align with your identified security requirements and that it offers the necessary capabilities to meet your auditing and security objectives.
Consider ease of use
Choose a firewall audit tool that is user-friendly and easy to navigate. An intuitive interface, clear documentation, and an efficient workflow will enable your team to effectively perform audits, analyze results, and generate reports.
Consider the level of technical expertise required to operate the tool, as a tool that requires extensive training or specialized knowledge may impact productivity and adoption.
Consider the scalability of the firewall audit tool to accommodate your current and future network infrastructure needs. Ensure that the tool can handle the number of firewalls and network devices in your environment, taking into account any growth projections.
A scalable tool will adapt to your evolving requirements and prevent the need for frequent tool replacements.
Evaluate the tool’s ability to integrate with other security systems and tools within your environment. Integration with SIEM solutions, vulnerability scanners, and other security management platforms can enhance your security operations, provide comprehensive visibility, and streamline workflows. Therefore, verify that the tool supports the necessary integrations and data-sharing protocols.
Consider the cost
Evaluate the cost and licensing structure of the firewall audit tool. Consider both upfront costs and ongoing maintenance expenses, including licensing fees and support contracts.
While most top firewall audit tools do not have their pricing on their site, you can still contact them and compare their pricing models. Look for transparency in pricing and explore if the tool offers a trial period or demo to assess its suitability before making a financial commitment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is firewall audit software essential for organizations?
Firewall audit software helps organizations maintain a strong network security posture by thoroughly examining firewall rules and policies for adherence to industry best practices and regulatory standards.
Can firewall audit software automatically recommend optimizations to firewall rules based on industry best practices?
Yes, many firewall audit software solutions have intelligent capabilities to analyze firewall rules and policies against industry best practices. They can provide recommendations for rule optimizations, such as removing redundant rules, consolidating similar rules, or improving the order of rules to enhance efficiency and security.
Can firewall audit software generate customized reports tailored to specific compliance requirements?
Yes, advanced firewall audit software offers customizable reporting capabilities, allowing organizations to tailor the reports in a way that will align with specific compliance requirements and regulations they need to adhere to. This enables organizations to select relevant audit metrics, security controls, and compliance frameworks to be included in the reports.
Bottom line: Using firewall audit software in your organization
Firewall audit software plays a crucial role in fortifying network security by providing organizations with powerful features to assess, analyze, and optimize their firewall infrastructure.
These tools are designed to automate critical firewall audit tasks such as policy compliance checks, real-time traffic monitoring, regulatory compliance support, and advanced reporting.
Organizations can easily enforce safe and consistent firewall rules by leveraging these capabilities, promoting better network security.
We also reviewed the best firewall software for small and medium-sized businesses to protect their networks on a budget.