Cybersecurity is surely one of THE most critical aspects of any businesses IT set-up. Of course, one of the main ways to protect your network online is with a firewall. These act as a barrier to any malicious online activity and stop it from harming your systems.
While firewalls have been around for a while, Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) are becoming increasingly popular. If you are wanting to find out what you should look for in an effective one, read on.
1. Awareness of applications
A key job for any Next-Generation Firewall is to identify applications to limit, block or allow but not in a way that relies on ports or protocols. This is a big difference to traditional firewalls that do base their decisions on these factors. Application awareness allows your NGFW to have better visibility into unknown applications within the overall framework of your network. It gives a much better scope for your firewall to monitor for attacks and deal with them more efficiently.
2. Awareness of identity
Next-Generation Firewalls give much better granular application control of applications and this is something yours should have. This is good because it allows your NGFW to identify potential threats better and deal with applications in terms of groups of users or machines that they are using. You should also make sure your NGFW supports all the major ID protocols to allow you to control the traffic that enters and exits your network. These protocols will also allow you to monitor what users in the network can send and receive for added safety.
3. Fully integrated IPS
In traditional firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS) were deployed separately. When choosing an NGFW, you should ideally go for one where this is integrated into a whole. This will give much better performance than them running separately and more useful information on the traffic flow. It won’t affect the function of each and they will still provide superb security to your network.
4. Inbuilt antivirus
When looking at using an NGFW, make sure it has this feature. This is really handy for allowing your NGFW to inspect files as they try to gain access and see if they are infected. This feature will also see them able to effectively identify malware in an incoming file or those coming from a downloaded internet page. In terms of full coverage, it just gives another layer of security to your network.
5. Can monitor SSL traffic
This is another very handy security feature for your NGFW to have. It gives your firewall the ability to monitor encrypted traffic for viruses or other nasty surprises. Get one that allows the Firewall to support inbound and outbound SSL decryptions in your network. This will help it prevent any threats coming in via encrypted streams.
Consilium is a leading partner of Palo Alto Networks; a market leader in NGFW firewalls. For more information click here.
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