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Next-Generation Firewalls: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Business
Next-generation firewalls are more secure and offer many additional benefits that traditional firewalls don’t provide. Here’s what you need to know.
You already know the importance of protecting your data and network with a reliable firewall. But did you know that there’s now a better option? Next-generation firewalls are more secure and offer many additional benefits that traditional firewalls don’t provide. Here’s what you need to know about next-generation firewalls.
What is a Next-Generation Firewall?
A next-generation firewall is simply a network security device that provides additional capabilities above and beyond those offered by a traditional firewall. These firewalls provide inspection of incoming and outgoing network traffic, plus the added benefit of application awareness, integrated intrusion protection, and cloud-delivered threat intelligence. Essentially, it is a setup that takes into account modern technology capabilities and includes them in the protection matrix of a standard firewall.
Why Do Next-Generation Firewalls Matter?
There are numerous reasons why next-generation firewalls matter. As technology continues to expand, the methods hackers use to break into computer systems are only getting more advanced. With a next-generation firewall, you can rest assured that your IT system is secure and features all of the components needed for total protection.
What Should a Next-Generation Firewall Contain?
There are multiple elements that a next-generation firewall should contain. The most common are:
Breach Prevention and Advanced Security
Of course, the point of having a next-generation firewall is to provide breach protection and advanced security. Your NGFW should utilize URL filtering to enforce policies and include built-in sandboxing to help provide advanced malware detection.
Comprehensive Network Visibility
Part of stopping threats is seeing accurately where they come from. Next-generation firewalls work to do this by providing transparent reporting on threat activity across all users, hosts, and devices. A quality setup will also allow you to see when and where a threat originates, where else it has been in your network, and its current status.
Flexible Management and Deployment Operations
You don’t have to have a large corporate structure to make next-generation firewalls work for you. A proper setup will allow you to manage every use case and deploy it either on-premises or in the cloud via a virtual firewall. It should also allow you to customize settings to meet your exact needs.
Fastest Time to Detection
Time is of the essence when it comes to a threat. Most quality next-generation firewalls should be able to detect an issue within seconds—not weeks or days. It will also allow you to prioritize alerts so that you know which ones are big problems that need to be handled immediately and which threats are minimal.
Automation and Product Integrations
Furthermore, your next-generation firewall should also seamlessly integrate with tools from the same vendor and share information regarding threats between tools. It should also automate important security tasks like impact assessment and user identification.
Should You Hire an Outside IT Firm to Help with NGFWs?
In most cases, it is a good idea to hire an outside IT firm to help implement a next-generation firewall. The time and knowledge it takes to set one up are a bit more advanced than most in-house IT personnel can handle—especially since it is a fairly new concept.
William Ives Consulting is proud to be one of the top IT firms in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Please contact us today to learn more about our full line of IT services and support.