Firewall – Maintenance

firewallWhen you choose to have a maintenance for the Firewall, look for the following:

Keep a track of End of Life:
Most of Technology products have End Of Life [EOL] Dates. The EOL calendar mentions the following dates:

  1. Last Order Date (LOD)/End of Order (EOO)
  2. Last Date to Extend Maintenance Contracts
  3. End of Support

Ensure that the above dates are not too close to Today

Maintain details of the Maintenance contract with the OEM

Ensure that you/your team gets a support agreement number from the Original Equipment Manufacturer directly to derisk yourself from the risk of the secondary service vendor not giving you service.
The vendors who provide the service contracts do not have huge margins in this deal, so you are directly dependent on the Service Level Process of the OEM.
Your team will have to develop some relationship with the OEM people directly.

Keep the metrics [measurement criteria] clear

The Service contract should mention:

  1. Mean Time to Respond in minutes/hours/days:
  2. Mean Time to Repair in minutes/hours/days:
  3. Mean Time to Replace in minutes/hours/days

Manage Changes in the Firewall.

Your team needs to have a Change Management Process in place for the firewall: –
These will include details like:

  • How are Changes in the firewall managed?Who authorizes changes?
  • Are Changes Documented?
  • If any change is done by Vendor – is the admin password changed by your team? Ideally the Vendor team should not have an access to your passwords or they should be changed after vendor has done maintenance.

Assess the Firewall’s  Vulnerability.

Prepare a Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing Plan and Document. This will include:

Penetration Testing Types used for assessing overall security:

Social Engineering: Human errors are the main causes of security vulnerability. Security standards and policies should be followed by all staff members to avoid social engineering penetration attempt. e.g. Employees should be aware not to mention any sensitive information in email or phone communication. Security audits can be conducted to identify and correct process flaws.

Application Security Testing: Using software methods one can verify if the system is exposed to security vulnerabilities.

Physical Penetration Test: Strong physical security methods are applied to protect sensitive data. All physical network devices and access points are tested for possibilities of any security breach.

Record the findings.

Penetration Testing tools used:

  • Date of Last Audit.
  • Findings of Last VAPT audit:
  • What actions have been taken to reduce risks:
    1. Technical Actions.
    2. Training to Employees.

Have a Disaster Plan ready.

In case of an emergency, your team needs to establish a ThinkingMancommunication channel with the OEM directly.
Your team needs to have a Disaster Recovery Plan [DRP] documented and updated in place.

The DRP document will include details of:

  • Name of the Person who created this document.
  • Last updated and checked on [date]:
  • Last updated by:
  • How to contact First Level Service Provider– all contact details with timings including after office hours contact. [If you sign for a 8 x 5 service agreement – you will get 8 hours support, 5 days a week. If your business requires extended support 24 hours x 7 days then either you have to go for a 24 x 7 support offering OR
    Have the DRP designed so that business does not suffer when the firewall is down/ non-functional.
  • Details of the backup of the firewall – who / when /how?
  • Restoring and testing the backup: who / when /how?
  • How to deal with exigencies e.g. What to do in case firewall goes down on Friday 6:00 pm and service person will come only on Monday at 9:00 a.m?

If you need any assistance in setting up any of these please drop an email to email[at]
We are always glad to help.


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