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McAfee, Inc. Sponsored Survey Finds Organizations Receive Limited ROI on Legacy Firewalls.

New Attacks and Increased Rule Sets Among Top Reasons for High Cost and Low Efficiency

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Most organizations are receiving a poor return on their firewall investments, according to an IDC multimedia white paper sponsored by McAfee Inc. (NYSE:MFE). The findings are outlined in a study titled "The State of Today's Firewall Management Challenges," which concludes that an increasing number of network attacks, combined with an increasing amount of firewall rule sets, contribute to the high cost of operating firewall architecture, as well as the lack of effectiveness against vulnerabilities.

"What's apparent from the survey is that firewall management is a key challenge facing organizations today," said Charles Kolodgy, research director at IDC. "The more rules included in the firewall, the harder it is to manage and less effective it can become. Firewall rules don't make an organization more secure, but better rule management and improved firewall technology does."

IDC surveyed 260 firewall managers and IT executives in United States and Europe, finding that many legacy firewalls depend on cumbersome technical rules that complicate an organization's ability to audit and control compliance requirements. As a result, organizations drive up manual labor costs by dedicating employees to updating firewall rules, or chasing access or availability issues. Additionally, many network attacks result in data breaches, placing extreme costs on the organization.

"There's a huge disconnect between the traditional firewall and the level of protection required for most enterprise environments," said Greg Brown, Senior Director of Network Security Product Marketing at McAfee. "Firewalls must offer comprehensive security features without increasing complexity. Additionally, rules management must be simplified and should enforce the actual business security policy in order for organizations to receive the maximum benefit."

IDC's survey results illustrate the following:

* The average enterprise faces about 300 network attacks every year while 10 percent of the organizations experienced more than 1200 attacks per year.

* Respondents indicated that losses from data breaches were equivalent to more than 75 percent of their costs for operating firewall architecture.

* Firewall rules continue to grow to the point where firewall rule sets can number in the thousands or even tens of thousands. The larger the firewall rule set, the more complex rule management becomes, and the harder it is to keep rules current and to prevent gaps in the protection.

* Those who have large firewall rule sets admit that firewall rule management reduces business responsiveness.

McAfee is dedicated to addressing these issues by enabling firewall protection that keeps with the volume of today's threats and the changing application environments. Earlier this month, McAfee released its next generation firewall with user behavior analysis and rule management. By investing in proper firewall solutions, organizations should be able to drastically cut the average yearly breach loss of more than one million dollars.

To download the full multimedia white paper sponsored by McAfee, "The State of Today's Firewall Management Challenges," (June 2009) visit

About McAfee, Inc.

McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee is committed to relentlessly tackling the world's toughest security challenges. The company delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems and networks around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the web more securely. Backed by an award-winning research team, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security.

NOTE: McAfee and any additional McAfee marks herein are registered trademarks of McAfee, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. McAfee Red in connection with security is distinctive of McAfee brand products. All other registered and unregistered trademarks herein are the sole property of their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change at any time without prior notice. [c] 2009 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 30, 2009
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