A next-generation firewall is a cybersecurity tool that provides enhanced security features. It combines unified threat management (UTM) services with firewall capabilities to offer complete protection via a single platform. NGFWs provide comprehensive application visibility and control and the ability to distinguish between dangerous and safe applications. They also help prevent malware from penetrating a network.
A next-gen firewall is one of the best ways to protect your business network against cyber-attacks. It combines all the security features that a traditional firewall has, along with many additional functions relevant to the digital landscape in which your company operates. These security features are updated frequently to ensure that they are up to date with the latest attack threats. It is similar to how antivirus and EDR software are constantly updated. In addition, NGFW provides advanced packet-content filtering, including malware analysis and anti-ransomware protection. It enables them to prevent malware from infecting your organization’s networks. Next-generation firewalls also help you monitor encrypted traffic, preventing attacks from malicious entities based on HTTPS and SSL. It is essential when organizations use more cloud-based applications and platforms in the current climate.
Next-gen firewalls are designed to protect your organization from sophisticated cyber threats. They combine traditional firewall filtering functionalities with other network security technologies to provide a more advanced defense against cyberattacks. Traditional firewalls rely on port and protocol inspection to filter traffic flowing in and out of the network. They can block or allow data based on this information, but this method could be more effective for today’s complex networks and increasing applications. NGFWs improve network visibility through deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention and application control. They also offer centralized management, logging and reporting functions. They are compatible with various networking devices, such as containers, virtual firewalls, and bare-metal firewalls. They can also work in a software-defined networking (SDN) or software-defined vast area network (SD-WAN) environment. Unlike traditional firewalls, next-generation firewalls inspect traffic from layer 2 to layer 7 of the OSI model. It enables complete application visibility and control, which makes them ideal for large enterprises.
Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) offer a streamlined security infrastructure that is easier and cheaper to manage. It eliminates the need for several security products and helps reduce time spent maintaining and updating them. In addition, NGFWs provide consistent policy management across multiple locations and users. It is essential in a BYOD environment where employees use their devices to access the company network. Traditional firewalls can suffer from device sprawl, which causes inconsistent policies and a host of other problems. Additionally, they are challenging to scale and can lead to connectivity bottlenecks and performance issues. Fortunately, NGFWs are designed to handle high throughput traffic without impacting network speed. The technology also allows IPS engines to be clustered, reducing the number of individual appliances required for inspection. It improves performance and ensures high availability of the traffic inspection service.
In contrast to traditional firewalls, a next-gen firewall can integrate security applications such as intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS), as well as application control and web content filtering. They also enable a deep packet inspection method, which allows them to “visualize” network traffic and provide more detailed information to help users detect malicious activities. Flexibility is essential for the next-gen firewall because it needs to have comprehensive visibility into your entire network at all times. It must be able to monitor every app, file transfer, and communication across your network from all angles. Moreover, flexibility is a critical factor in maintaining high levels of cybersecurity as the threats are constantly evolving. With it, organizations could avoid serious security challenges. As a result, NGFWs must be able to integrate and deliver cloud-delivered threat intelligence solutions to identify and mitigate unknown attacks on your network. They should also be able to manage all your infrastructures centrally, offer organization-wide policies, and automate mitigation tasks through a single console.
The need for scalability is a crucial consideration when evaluating a next-gen firewall. Scalability allows organizations to leverage their firewall’s benefits without compromising network performance and security. NGFWs are built with technologies that increase scalability, including high-speed connectivity and Xstream Flow processors. These technologies accelerate and offload network traffic, resulting in faster data throughput. Another essential feature is application awareness, which allows a next-gen firewall to filter traffic based on applications. It allows for more granular control over applications evading traditional traffic filters using non-standard ports or encryption techniques.
In addition, NGFWs can be managed as part of a centralized security operations center (SOC). Rather than dealing with the complexity and time-consuming management of multiple security tools, organizations can now use a single SOC to manage their entire network. It enables a greater focus on business objectives and allows organizations to save money by reducing the number of specialized security solutions needed. It also increases operational efficiency. Ultimately, a next-gen firewall is an excellent investment for any organization.