Configure SEM to monitor firewalls for unauthorized access

Configure SEM Manager to monitor your firewalls and detect unauthorized access such as port scans, unusual data packets, network attacks, and unusual traffic patterns.

To set up a firewall monitor, configure your firewalls to log to SEM, and then configure a new connector in the SEM Manager. When an unauthorized user attempts to access your SEM VM or appliance, the event displays in the default Firewall filter running on the SEM console. You can also create custom filters that display network traffic to and from specific computers, as well as view web traffic and other traffic events across your network.

Click the video icon to view a tutorial about the threat intelligence feed available in SEM.

For more information, see Using the Threat Intelligence Feed in SEM in the SolarWinds Success Center.

Configure a firewall to log to a SEM appliance

You can configure your SEM appliance to collect firewall information from firewalls manufactured by Cisco®, Check Point® Software Technologies, Juniper® Networks, and others. Set your firewall to log to your SEM appliance to centralize its log data with your SEM events. See the SolarWinds Success Center or contact Technical Support for more information.

Configure a firewall connector on a SEM Manager

After you configure your firewall to log to your SEM appliance, configure the corresponding connector on your SolarWinds SEM Manager. Many of the firewall connectors are similar, and some will include unique settings.

This example describes how to configure a Cisco PIX and IOS connector on your SEM Manager.

  1. In the SEM events Console, navigate to Node > Manager Connectors.

  2. Find the connector to configure. Type part of the connector name (Cisco PIX) in the search box, or use the filter menus in the Refine Results panel.

  3. Select the connector, and then click Add Connector.

  4. Complete the connector configuration form. The following fields are common across most connectors:
    • Name: Enter a user-friendly label for your connectors.
    • Log File: Enter the location of the log file that the connector will normalize. This is a location on either the local computer (Agents), or the SEM appliance (non-Agent devices).
    • Output: Normalized, Raw + Normalized, Raw. You only need to configure these values if SEM is configured to save raw (unnormalized) log messages.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Under Configured connectors, select your connector, and then click Start.

View network traffic from specific computers

You can create custom filters that highlight specific firewall events. For example, to monitor traffic from a specific computer, create a filter for all network traffic coming from the targeted computer. Use connector profiles and other groups to broaden or refine the scope of custom filters. The following procedure provides an example of creating a filter to monitor all traffic from a targeted computer.

  1. In the SEM Events console, click the Events tab.
  2. To create a filter at the group level in the Filters panel, move the mouse pointer over a group heading to expose the vertical ellipsis, and then select Add New Filter.

    -OR-

    To create a filter at the root level, click the add icon, and then select Add New Filter.

  3. Enter a descriptive name for your new filter.
  4. In the drag panel on the left, expand Event Groups, and then drag Network Audit Alerts into the filter builder.

    When you drag a value into the filter builder, the correct drop location is illuminated with a blue line.

  5. Under Network Audit Alerts, drag SourceMachine into the filter builder.

  6. Mouse over Network audit Alerts.SourceMachine to expose the filter builder toolbar.

  7. Click the or add it hyperlink and enter a wild card character (*) to avoid entering the fully qualified domain name of the computer.
  8. Click Save.