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Installing a Next-Generation Firewall: Why all the hype?

2021-08-11
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If you are prioritizing increased network security, you are not alone. STAT. Your firewall is often the first line of defense for malicious software and viruses. Modern firewalls have evolved to be on both the defense against threat actors, and on the offence, seeking down threat. The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has made adaptation completely necessary to work seamlessly with a myriad of different devices.


What is Network Firewall?

With IT names like network firewall, software, cloud, and hardware-based firewall, application firewall, and more, it's unsurprising you don’t know exactly how network firewalls are different.


The industry standard used to be a choice of network firewall, and web application firewall, or WAF. WAFs protect applications and deal with HTTP/S security loopholes. Web applications are bombarded with DDoS attacks, SQL injections, brute force attacks, and even spam, and need excellent protection before their viruses get loose within your network.


Network firewalls focus on protecting both inbound and outbound traffic. Networking firewalls use transparency and routed modes to operate around, and are placed at the network perimeter. They also protect the system from any vulnerabilities and attacks, and use packet filtering, proxy and stateful inspection algorithms to protect the network.


How does Network Firewall Work?

A network firewall will constantly regulate and monitor both incoming and outgoing traffic for attacks like:

  • Remote login
  • Denial of service (DoS)
  • Ransomware
  • Macros
  • Viruses

Configure your firewall to block everything, or give access to restricted sites based on business needs. The point is, a network firewall is convenient and lets you configure it to your liking, with no downtime – all while offering the most cutting-edge network security on the market.


What is a Next-Generation Firewall?

A next generation firewall is next-level network firewall security, working at a much higher level than a traditional, stateful firewall. While traditional firewall usually concentrates on stateful inspection of incoming and outgoing network traffic, a NGFW has the added benefit of application awareness and better control, integrated intrusion prevention, and cloud-delivered, AI-powered threat intelligence.


How do users benefit from using Next Generation Firewall?

IT departments love next generation firewalls because of the huge advantages over traditional firewalls.


Application awareness

Traditional firewalls were built for a day before we used multiple apps at the same time and with different ports, making it difficult for this technology to keep up. WAF is a great choice too, but with its focus on the application layer, it doesn't always cover all bases. Next-generation firewalls monitor traffic from all application layers, using AI and machine learning what is safe to send or receive. This element is automated, requiring no day-to-day supervision from IT staff, and intelligent enough to determine what exactly is being sent or received. Simply put, if you want to allow users to use Facebook, you can. If you want to block the Facebook app, you can do that too – or select which users are allowed to access what restricted areas of the internet.


Single Console Access

The more we simplify IT, the happier and more efficient we will be. As we saw above, there are often multiple security appliances before a company deploys their first NGFW. Each of these products required individual attention for patches, updates, maintenance and operation. Next generation firewalls are great because they offer control over many network security elements, from a single console.


Cost-Efficient

While deploying the NGFW was more expensive than replacing the legacy technology, NGFW saves you money in the long run. Because you can replace three of your outdated security appliances with a single NGFW, you will start saving the moment you take them offline. The cost was negligible when you consider how much you will save by eliminating several complex systems in one blow.


Multi-Functional

Both NGAFs and traditional firewalls provide basic packet filtering, network and port address translation, stateful inspection, and some support VPNs. Where the next-generation firewall is different is it’s intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion protection systems (IPS), behavioural analysis of traffic, threat signature or unusual network activity. In short, NGAF means deeper inspection and improved packet-content filtering of all network traffic.


Simplified Infrastructure

NGFWs have an array of functions including integrated antivirus, spam filtering, deep-packet inspection, and application control. All this in a single NGFW console. Yet, its highly automated and requires no extra devices or space, meaning your infrastructure is more compact and powerful, and less complex.


Optimal Use of Network Speed

With so many network security solutions all running at the same time, sometimes it can affect the end user speed. Traffic slow-downs mean the speed of the internet once it reaches the end users, is only one-third of what it should be. Next-gen firewall throughput is always consistent, creating a better user experience.


Antivirus, Ransomware &  Endpoint Security

NGFWs have integrated antivirus and malware protection, and uses machine learning and AI to track new threats and log them for recognition later. It scans all the approved applications within the network, for hidden vulnerabilities or business critical data leak risks, mitigating risk from unknown applications.


Capability to Implement Role-Based Access

IT can’t be a one-size-fits-all. In reality, each person at a company will need different internet permissions, based on their job. Marketing employees must be able to use social media platforms and streaming sites at work. The CIO will need total internet access, while the computers in reception cater to reception and guests. NGFW allows you to implement role-based access, tailoring network access to the needs of every employee.


Questions about Next Generation Firewall?

The best way to find out if a network firewall is for you, is to ask the experts. Sangfor researched, designed and developed NGAF to be a converged, comprehensive and easy-to-use network firewall solution. Users are protected from internal, external, existing, zero-day and future threats.

Sangfor NGAF works closely with Sangfor Neural-X, an AI-enabled threat intelligence and analytics platform, and Engine Zero malware protection, for the most real-time threat intelligence., to keep networks safe from those with malicious intent. NGAF integration with Endpoint Secure further cements it’s already stellar reputation for excellent performance.


For more information about Sangfor NGAF, visit us online, or email us directly at marketing@sangfor.com, and see how Sangfor makes your IT simpler, more secure and valuable.