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Firewall Gets Sexier with Age: The Rise of Next-Generation Firewall

It’s uncommon to find something that actually gets better the longer it’s on the shelf - so to speak – but IT has discovered the fountain of youth in the aptly named “firewall.” The firewall was born 3 decades ago and is looking better and better every day – let’s see how it’s done. We won’t keep you in suspense. The Firewall has had work done.

Early Firewall AKA: Security Guard
A firewall is a device designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic and determining what is safe to pass. While it was once an overworked and underpaid gate-keeper between trusted and untrusted networks, firewalls are now deployed to protect internal areas of a network, for example, data centers.

Proxy-Based Firewalls AKA: Toll Booth Operator
First came the proxy-based firewall, which filters all incoming and outgoing requests through separate connections to determine all connections are in adherence to security policy. While this method effectively limited connections between malicious sources and the network, it also limited valid connections, as it became overworked and tended to bottleneck – like an overworked tollbooth operator. Once traffic has backed up, all you can do is wait in line and hope someone will return from break or lunch and open another connection.

Stateful Firewalls AKA: Airport Security
Our tollbooth operator has been upgraded to airport security officer in the Stateful Firewall, which remembers trusted connections (trusted travelers) and allows them to pass with a quick pat-down or a glance, while it closely inspects any unfamiliar connections or requests. This alleviates the bottleneck to a certain extent, but everyone knows that lines at the airport can be cripplingly long even with the pilots, flight crew and diplomats breezing through security.

Web Application Firewalls (WAF) AKA: Border Patrol
Then came web applications, like a crowd of noisy children. Among the thousands of people who cross the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong every day, thousands of school children happily (and loudly) skip home in long lines through special areas of the border – controlled by an automated card system. Web application firewalls are exactly what they sound like – tasked with providing a protective barrier between the network and various HTML attacks. Security has just become automated.

Next-Generation Firewalls AKA: Military Checkpoint
Next-generation firewall could be equated with a promotion from the airport equivalent of “X-ray technician” or border patrol, to a military checkpoint – responsible for the inspection and classification of all would-be travelers by taking information from multiple intelligent sources, blending it and making informed decisions on what traffic will pass and what traffic needs further inspection. Next-generation firewalls set rules for all incoming and outgoing network traffic and enforce these rules. Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN AKA: military police) came on board to work in conjunction with next-generation firewalls – streamlining the process and improving efficiency.

Special Operatives
We all know that threats slip through the cracks all the time – regardless of how diligent and observant our protections are – so the sexiest thing about next-generation firewalls is how well it plays with others – creating a unified front designed to give all-around protection and leveraging the power of the cloud to enhance protection. Products like Sangfor Technologies NGAF incorporate the power of advanced threat protection, DMZ, cloud sandboxing, WAF, AV and IPS to detect and mitigate threat. Deployment of Sangfor’s NGAF is essentially the deployment of a team of highly-trained operatives – on a mission to seek out threats and neutralize them before an attack, using AI-powered malware detection like Engine Zero, or cloud-based intelligence and analytics platforms like Neural-X, to expand security detection capabilities for networks and endpoints. Sangfor NGAF has been deployed by government agencies like The Malaysian Road Transport Department (RTD) to protect their own networks which are essential to the safe travel of all Malaysian citizens.

Why Sangfor?
The firewall has certainly had work done over the years, and you can really tell! Every year the firewall gets sexier, faster and more powerful – but then again, so do the threats it’s supposed to defend against. Next-generation firewall has certainly found it’s place in the world and won’t be abandoned anytime soon, and Sangfor Technologies is committed to providing the sexiest protection available. Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)) Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Visit us at and get in touch with Sangfor Technologies today to see what we can do to custom build IT solutions and keep you moving forward - safely.