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SonicWall NSM 2.1: Centralized Firewall Management Just Got Better
Recently, I published a blog introducing our fresh new SaaS-based centralized firewall manager, SonicWall Network Security Manager (NSM) version 2.0. If you haven’t yet read it, I encourage you to do so; it highlights the many powerful features you need for comprehensive firewall management.
Today, however, NSM is getting even better. We’re thrilled to announce the availability of NSM version 2.1, which adds several new enterprise management capabilities, along with various options for NSM on-premises deployment to help your SOC run with greater control and ease.
The NSM design leverages a unified code base, meaning the same management features are standard on both SaaS and on-prem NSM implementation. Your user experience will be identical. The learning curve is zero. Firewall environments are administered exactly the same way for SaaS-based NSM and the on-premises NSM command console. To fix the many ongoing firewall management challenges that customers face every day, the solution leverages a user-centric workflow approach capable of:
- Helping admins find what they need, get to where they want to work, and complete tasks in far fewer screens and clicks
- Onboarding new firewalls without being physically on-site
- Managing firewall operations effortlessly, with total visibility and control
- Reducing the number of management silos
- Establishing consistent security measures, and more
New features offered in NSM version 2.1 add tools and capabilities for facilitating and accomplishing your essential day-to-day management tasks. Within NSM 2.1, you’ll notice a number of new capabilities, including:
- Role-Based Access Control lets you apply the least-privilege principle to assigning a granular level of firewall management access based on a user’s role and responsibilities. You can designate users as administrators, specialist users or watchers depending on which best aligns with his or her roles and access permissions as defined in your internal security controls.
- Golden Template allows you to convert a device config that is your principle config into a template that can be applied consistently across devices, device groups or tenants.
- Approval Workflow helps you roll out sanctioned security policies through a controlled and auditable process. Once a firewall policy is configured and validated, it goes to designated stakeholders for approval before the policy is committed and deployed. The entire process conforms with change management policy and compliance regulations of enterprises, as well as federal requirements. You’ll gain confidence that the right firewall policies get pushed at the right time.
- NSM On-Prem-specific features now include the added security of two-factor authentication (2FA) before granting access to the system console, as well as Intelligent Platform Monitoring (IPM), which monitors and alerts admins regarding the health and status of the NSM system. IPM helps you proactively remediate critical system conditions as they arise and assures the NSM runs reliably and performs optimally.
Flexible deployment with SaaS, virtual or IaaS options
You can deploy NSM in various ways to best suit your operation, regulatory and budgetary requirements.
For a maintenance-free experience, NSM is available as a SaaS offering hosted by SonicWall Cloud and accessible over the internet. You can scale on-demand while lowering your operational cost, as there’s no hardware and software to deploy; no maintenance schedule; no software customization, configurations or upgrades; no downtime; and no depreciation or retirement costs. All of these expenses are removed and replaced with one low, predictable yearly subscription cost.
For high-performance total system control and compliance, you can opt to deploy NSM as a virtual appliance in a private cloud (VMWare, Microsoft Hyper-V or KVM) or in Microsoft Azure public cloud environments. These give you all the operational and economic benefits of virtualization, including system scalability and agility, speed of system provisioning, simple management, and cost reduction.