What is a Next-Generation Firewall?
Next-Generation firewalls (NGFW) are the modern standard that every business should have in place to protect itself. Next-Gen firewalls go beyond conventional firewalls by offering application awareness. They can identify which applications are in-use by analyzing network or internet traffic sent through them. Next-Gen firewalls provide various security services that defend against real-time attacks, malicious activity, or even employees misusing resources while on the job (e.g., pornography or illegal downloads).
Next-Gen firewalls include features like:
- Intrusion Prevention (IPS)
- Stops a malicious actor from exploiting a known vulnerability
- Application Control
- Blocks risky or unwanted applications from being used by staff
- Identity Awareness – for both users and groups
- Helps identifies users and monitor their usage
- Advanced Threat Protection
- Identifies when a user or device is trying to “call home” (communicate externally) to a malicious actor. Hackers will sometimes send out installation files or scripts to try and get onto remote systems. If they are successful, the software they managed to get on will “call home” for instructions.
- Block access to websites based on classification (e.g., pornography)
- QoS/Bandwidth Management
- Can be used to limit or prioritize speed for a user, group, or service
- Sandbox Explosion and Antivirus Inspection
- Tests incoming files before the user is permitted to use or open them
Next-Gen Firewalls vs. traditional firewalls
Traditional firewalls lack application awareness, and therefore offer basic inspection. While this approach was effective in the past, it doesn’t hold up to today’s more complex IT environments.
Next-Gen Firewalls are, in a word, more intelligent. They can filter traffic based on the type of application or behavior. This allows them to make complex and precise decisions that are more effective than traditional firewalls.
NGFWs also use real-time external sources to identify zero-day threats. Using a much more dynamic and flexible approach, they can identify and defend against sophisticated attacks.
Why use a Next-Gen Firewall?
NGFWs offer a much more robust and granular level of protection. The capabilities of conventional firewalls are limited; they are not aware of the applications passing through. Traditional firewalls can block traffic, but not based on the type of application.
With a traditional firewall, attackers can evade detection by coming through a different service, which a NGFW would prevent. Since NGFWs have context-aware capabilities and can receive Next-Gen automated updates, they can temporarily adapt to ever-changing threats and block attacks even if you are vulnerable.
Next-Gen Firewalls offer streamlined consolidated security that is easier and less expensive to maintain, update, and control. Several security services have been bundled into one solution, meaning less to monitor and maintain.
We can help you implement a Next-Gen Firewall.
If you are interested in implementing a Next-Gen Firewall, SIRKit can help. We are a full-service Managed Services Provider that specializes in solving complex issues and communicating in plain English.
At SIRKit, we make IT easy. We identify risks with proactive compliance checks and rectify issues in advance. We monitor systems 24/7 and apply updates regularly. As a managed service provider, we take security seriously, stay current with advancing tech, and manage risks for our clients.
IT services should protect you. You can count on us to go the extra mile and deliver a uniquely refreshing experience. We want to be the last IT partner you ever have. Reach out to us today for a no-obligation quote.