Why You Need a Next-Generation Firewall
Next-Generation Firewalls (also known as NextGen Firewalls or NGFWs for short) are available as a security and protection upgrade from traditional firewalls. They are smarter hardware or software based network security systems that can detect and block the increasing number of advanced and complex attacks. They enforce security policies at the application port and protocol levels. The all-encompassing protection is why they’re considered a robust unified threat management (UTM) platform.
With cyber threats becoming more and more difficult to deflect or avoid, NGFWs need to be able to stand up to these risks and protect organizations from outside threats. Every organization needs to stay current with how to detect and prevent the latest cyber attacks. The implementation of a NextGen Firewall should be first on everyone’s list for tech upgrades in 2017.
NextGen Firewall Vs. Traditional Firewall: Benefits of a NextGen Firewall
Next-Generation Firewalls have the capabilities of traditional firewalls with further functionalities and systems to detect and prevent threats. In NextGen Firewalls vs. traditional firewalls, there are three key assets that separate NGFWs:
- Enhanced Firewall with SSL Inspection
NGFWs include everything you would expect from a traditional firewall but also include SSL inspection and decryption. With SSL being integrated into so many popular websites, the firewall needs to detect decryption and identify SSL traffic to segregate it from other types. NextGen Firewalls also boast deep-packet inspection and reputation-based malware detection.
- Integrated Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
Traditional firewalls often work in conjunction with an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), but they are not integrated into the firewall itself. Typically, they sit outside the firewall as a complementary layer of security. One of the most important benefits of a NextGen Firewall is that it includes an Intrusion Prevention System so you only have to work with one application and system. It’s in the direct communication path between the source and destination. Furthermore, when you add IPS to a traditional firewall, it increases latency and can slow down the entire operation. Having the systems integrated means better performance for your systems.
- Application Awareness
Traditional firewalls have the flaw that they rely on common application ports to determine the types of applications running and attacks to look for. However, in many cases today, specific applications can run on any port. A NGFW can detect the type of traffic being received on any port, whether it is from a specific application or not. This means that it’s providing more robust security against unexpected attacks. Applications (rather than networking services and components) have become the greatest area of exploitation today by malware and other attacks.
Traditional firewalls control traffic that enter and exit a certain point in a network. Depending on how robust the firewall is, it can either check each data packet individually (stateless method) or examine the general flow of the data (stateful method). Unfortunately, even with the stateful method, traditional firewalls are not able to distinguish between types of web traffic, so they end up letting threats through, or stopping legitimate business data. NextGen Firewalls all operate with the stateful method and therefore have the ability to understand details of web traffic better than traditional firewalls. They have identity awareness that can track the identity of local traffic. This means they can control which user sends and receives data.
NextGen Firewalls – Who Needs One?
The latest breed of NextGen Firewalls are used by small, medium, and large businesses. NextGen Firewalls are part of the immediate future for protection against the ever growing and evolving reality of cyber threats, and they have never been more accessible to organizations of any size.
If your business or industry requires that you upgrade your security services to a NextGen Firewall, contact Outsource IT at 800.759.0786. We can help your enterprise find the best service, make the transition, and maintain your security. Start taking advantage of the benefits of a NextGen Firewall today.