As organizations expand their IT infrastructure, ensuring that all new applications are secure becomes increasingly essential. NGFW can help prevent cyber attacks by scanning for vulnerabilities and providing advanced threat intelligence. NGFW solutions provide granular application controls and flexible usage-based policy optimization. They also offer unified management and hybrid cloud support.
Despite the common misconception, small businesses are not immune to cyber-attacks. Hackers target SMEs for their low profile, less secure data, and weaker financial resources. Small and medium-sized enterprises must invest in NGFW. NGFWs are designed to protect networks from modern threats by incorporating security capabilities like antivirus, intrusion prevention system (IDS), data loss protection (DLP), and application control into one platform.
They also can interface with other systems like software management platforms, help desk ticketing tools, and vulnerability scanners for an integrated approach to network protection. Many NGFWs also include deep packet inspection (DPI), an upgrade to traditional packet filtering that examines the entire contents of each data packet, not just the header. This allows the firewall to detect malicious packets that would otherwise slip through the cracks.
Some NGFWs also can decrypt HTTPS traffic, enabling them to see encrypted data packets and prevent malware that could be hidden within. Some NGFWs feature a network sandbox for advanced malware protection, sending suspicious files off-device and into an emulated environment that looks like the network to identify and stop malicious behavior before it can affect the business. This is a valuable feature for companies that use VPNs and remote access to connect to critical information and systems.
When purchasing an NGFW, finding one that meets your business’s security needs and future growth is essential. A flexible NGFW that scales seamlessly will allow your firm to add more branches, remote sites, and data centers without losing the firewall’s protection or threat detection capabilities. An ideal NGFW will also include several integrated security capabilities that can help to reduce management complexity, particularly for SMEs with financial and staff constraints.
Look for an NGFW that can integrate antivirus, intrusion detection and protection system (IDPS), data loss prevention (DLP), application control, and more in one solution. Lastly, an NGFW should be able to inspect encrypted traffic, often used by malicious actors in attacks. NGFWs that can decrypt SSL/TLS communications provide your network with an added layer of security. Lastly, when selecting an NGFW, look for affordable hardware and deployment options that fit your budget.
NGFWs combine the capabilities of firewalls, antivirus, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), data loss protection systems (DLP), and web filters into one system. This reduces the number of different products to manage and can help organizations to simplify their infrastructure security. Selecting a fully-featured NGFW with enough throughput to support your organization’s expected future bandwidth usage is also essential. Otherwise, you could experience bottlenecks and a negative impact on performance.
Choosing the best NGFW requires careful consideration of your budget, business needs, and personnel expertise. While a quality firewall can take a bite of your operating expenses, a severe ransomware attack could put you out of business. NGFW solutions provide a robust way to prevent breaches through fine-grained policy management, streamlined threat intelligence, and built-in malware protection. They can even decrypt SSL communications to monitor threats hiding in encrypted network traffic. In addition, they can be integrated with a web application firewall (WAF) to protect against a broad spectrum of attacks.
Unlike the traditional stateful firewalls, which only operate at layer 4 (the transport layer), an NGFW can work up to layer 7 of the OSI model (the application layer). It also has advanced threat prevention capabilities that detect various threats, such as command and control traffic, malware delivery, and ransomware distribution. Moreover, an NGFW can also decrypt and inspect HTTPS-encrypted tunnels to block malicious traffic hiding behind such encryption.
This is possible because NGFW solutions use deep packet inspection to identify applications and users and enforce granular zero-trust access controls. It can even detect network-based exploits by analyzing the contents of every packet for known vulnerabilities. As for the business aspect, an NGFW can also prevent data breaches and loss of productivity by allowing employees to securely use Internet applications without compromising security. In addition, it can avoid unnecessary bandwidth bottlenecks by limiting or blocking non-business applications and ensuring priority is given to mission-critical apps.
Moreover, it can help businesses save time and money by allowing them to update their data on a single platform instead of manually doing it across different portals. This will reduce the risk of inaccurate data flow that may result in obsolete orders and other costly errors. This is especially useful for SMEs that compete with larger buyers with similar buying preferences.