Blade has made quite a name for itself over the last year or so with the development of its Blade IDS Informer application, which monitors the performance of your intrusion detection system and ensures that it is running to the best of its abilities. The company has now extended this with the release of Firewall Informer, which performs a similar function for your corporate firewall.
Some people might consider this to be overkill - if you have a firewall and it is properly configured, why should you need to monitor it? However, for every improvement in security implemented in a firewall, there is someone out there finding a way round it. Blade Firewall Informer will ensure that your configuration is as robust and secure as the firewall will allow.
Installation is wizard-based and takes a matter of moments. You then need to get your license key from Blade, but this takes nothing more than an email. The product is then immediately up and running. Although the key may seem unnecessary, it is actually an important security concern. Like Blade IDS Informer, Firewall Informer can actually be considered a very powerful hacking tool in the wrong hands.
The solution works by sending packets across the firewall. Using a machine with two NICs on either side of the firewall, you start a pre-defined conversation across the firewall and can measure the results against the estimated performance of the application. Typical uses would be to test any rule sets you have created to see whether your URL blocking is functioning as expected, and verification of all traffic flow. These are built in as standard, but you can customize the type of traffic flowing across the firewall to simulate any sort of real world environment.
Obviously it is not standard procedure to connect a machine across both sides of a firewall, but security risks are removed since Firewall Informer performs complete spoofing of both source and destination IP and MAC addresses.
Online documentation is extensive, with considerable contextual help, as well as a detailed, and totally up-to-date, description of all known attacks that you may encounter. Blade's email and telephone support is exemplary.
While not a firewall, Firewall Informer is an excellent adjunct to your existing application and can offer a necessary added level of protection.