Firewalls are a common security measure for most businesses, but in today’s evolving threat landscape, next-generation firewalls are the only ones capable of providing adequate protection.
A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a cybersecurity system that outperforms a typical stateful firewall in terms of functionality. While the conventional firewall offers stateful monitoring of incoming and outgoing internet traffic, next-generation firewalls combine capabilities such as cloud-delivered threat intelligence control, application awareness, and integrated intrusion prevention.
What are the Five Types of Firewalls?
- Packet filtering firewall: Examines packets’ IP headers and discards flagged ones.
- Circuit-level gateway: This firewall flags harmful material based on TCP handshakes and other network protocol session start signals rather than looking at the packets themselves.
- Stateful inspection firewall: Provides an extra layer of protection by combining packet filtering with session surveillance.
- Application-level gateway: This firewall filters packets via HTTP request string and destination port
- Next-generation firewall: Protects against sophisticated attacks by utilizing application-level, context-aware, intelligent technologies.
What Is a Next-Generation Firewall?
A conventional firewall inspects network traffic in real-time. It screens traffic based on administrator-defined criteria and permits or bans traffic based on port, state, and protocol.
This, and much more, is what a next-generation firewall (NGFW) accomplishes. In addition to access control, NGFWs may also stop current threats like sophisticated malware and application-layer assault. A next-generation firewall must incorporate the following features:
- Stateful inspection, a standard firewall feature.
- Integrated intrusion detection and prevention
- Application monitoring and management to identify and prohibit potentially dangerous apps
- Build upon paths to incorporate future data streams.
- Techniques for dealing with ever-changing security risks
While all NGFW products must have basic firewall functionality, the firewall is no longer just an application that nests in your data center. Because of the widespread deployment of cloud computing, firewalls must now include capabilities beyond physical devices like firewall as a service (FWaaS).
What Makes Up Next-Generation Firewalls?
Next-generation firewalls are more equipped to handle Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Since they can merge the functions of antivirus programs, firewalls, and additional security applications into one solution, next-generation firewalls can be a cost-effective choice for organizations wishing to enhance their primary protection.
Organizations of all sizes, from small and microenterprises to large corporations, benefit from the greatest next-generation firewalls in many ways. Ensure your NGFW meets the following criteria:
1. Advanced security and breach prevention
A firewall’s primary goal is to deter breaches and safeguard your company. However, since protective measures can never be 100% successful, your firewall has to possess an advanced ability to identify sophisticated malware swiftly whenever it manages to sidestep your front-line defenses. Your Next-Gen firewall will have the following features:
- Preventive measures to thwart attacks before they penetrate
- Built-in best-of-breed groundbreaking IPS to detect and neutralize sneaky attacks rapidly
- URL filtering to enforce a vast array of URLs
- Built-in sandboxing and robust malware protection that tracks file activity in real-time to identify and eliminate threats rapidly
- Advanced threat intelligence that feeds the firewall with the most up-to-date information to mitigate emerging threats.
2. Automation and Product Integrations
Your next-generation firewall shouldn’t be a siloed system. It has to be able to interact with and collaborate with the entirety of your cybersecurity infrastructure. Choose a firewall that complies with the following criteria:
- Integrates well with other applications from the same provider
- Shares threat intelligence, event data, and contextual data automatically through the web, email, and network security solutions
- Automated features such as impact evaluation, policy administration, and adjustment, and user identity management
3. Comprehensive Network Visibility
You can’t fight off threats you can’t see. You need to keep an eye on what’s going on in your network at all times so you can notice bad conduct and eliminate it quickly. Your firewall should provide you a complete picture of what’s going on and provide full pattern recognition so you can see:
- Threat activity across hosts, users, devices, and networks
- The location and time a threat arose, where it has moved throughout your network, and what it is executing today
- Active websites and applications
- File exchanges, interactions across virtual computers, and more
4. Quickest Time for Detection
The industry standard for discovering a single threat is currently between 69 and 179 days, which is too long. A next-generation firewall can:
- Identify threats within seconds
- Notice the existence of a successful attack in hours or minutes
- Prioritize notifications to allow for quick and precise response to threats
- Ease your workflow by implementing a uniform policy that is simple to manage and enforces itself automatically across all aspects of your business
5. Dynamic Management and Deployment Options
Your firewall should meet your specific needs, whether you’re a small or medium-sized firm or a large corporation. The next-gen firewall can:
- Choose from a centralized administration across all appliances for each use case
- Deploy on-premises or in the cloud using a virtual firewall
- Seamlessly switch on subscriptions to access greater capabilities. Adapt with features that meet your needs
- Select from a range of throughput speeds
6. Deep Packet Inspection
Deep packet inspection Inspect the data contained within packets. Conventional firewall software only looks at a packet’s IP header to identify its source and destination; therefore, deep-packet inspection is an upgrade.
Why Do You Need the Next-Generation Firewall?
Internal networks are being hit by targeted and advanced cyber attacks more than ever. Conventional firewalls rely primarily on port/protocol monitoring, which is insufficient in a virtual ecosystem with randomly issued addresses and ports. On the other hand, a next-generation firewall scans packets using deep packet filtering, provides layer seven application filtration, and can track and prevent suspicious activities. Security in a multifaceted, versatile environment needs these capabilities.
A firewall is a must-have for any organization. In today’s world, implementing a next-generation firewall is almost as critical as having a traditional firewall. Each day, threats to personal computers and more extensive networks evolve. A next-generation firewall’s adaptability shields devices and organizations from a broader range of intrusions. Security experts should carefully analyze the advantages that NGFWs may give, as there is a lot to gain. Contact us at HRCT to understand more about next-generation firewalls and their application in your business.