The Enterprisers Project, a site providing content for CIOs and IT leaders, included Josh Stephen’s, BackBox CTO, thoughts in an article published today.

Titled ‘4 ways for CIOs to strike a balance between operation and innovation‘ it takes points of view from four industry leaders, including Josh.

In many ways – time in the day, staff on hand, budget – it is a fixed pie balancing between operations and innovation. The more you can automate the former, the more “pie” available for the latter.

Let’s see what Josh had to share:

Firewall considerations

“Automate backups as a service. Backing up the configurations of your firewalls and other network devices is critical to ensuring the continuity of operations. Backups should be captured nightly, before and after changes, and anytime a problem is suspected. Implementing backup as a service allows other systems to programmatically trigger and access configuration backups as a part of their natural workflows. By instrumenting automated backups, you’ll reduce MTTR (mean time to recovery or mean time to restore) and allow your network team to stay focused on innovation.

Implement an ‘upgrade pipeline’ to ensure that firewalls and other network devices are upgraded to their recommended OS levels as rapidly as possible. In most large environments, automated software upgrades must occur daily until the network reaches a stable and secure baseline and then multiple times weekly. Running older versions of software leaves open security gaps and prohibits leveraging the innovative new features available in the latest versions.

Integrate vulnerability intelligence within your firewall and network device upgrade strategy. Once your upgrade pipeline is functioning at pace, you’ll next want to integrate vulnerability data within your upgrade planning and scheduling process. This allows you to prioritize the upgrades based upon mitigated and unmitigated risks associated with the current versions running within your environment.”

Really though, you should read the short, full article here.

See for yourself how consistent and reliable your device backups and upgrades can be