What is a Firewall?
Before answering about Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW), lets discuss what is a Firewall??
A firewall is a security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. It is designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be hardware devices, software programs, or a combination of both.
Firewalls are used to protect networks from external threats, such as malware, hackers, and cyber attacks. They work by examining each incoming and outgoing network packet and deciding whether to allow it through or block it based on a set of rules. These rules can be based on a variety of factors, such as the source and destination of the packet, the type of packet, and the protocol being used.
There are several types of firewalls, including network firewalls, host-based firewalls, and application-level firewalls. Network firewalls are placed at the boundary of a network and protect the entire network from external threats. Host-based firewalls are installed on individual devices and protect those specific devices from threats. Application-level firewalls are designed to protect specific applications or services, rather than the entire network or device.
Overall, firewalls are an important part of any organization’s security strategy, as they provide a first line of defense against external threats.
Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW)
Next generation firewalls (NGFWs) are a type of network security system that combines the traditional firewall with additional features such as deep packet inspection, application control, and intrusion prevention. These advanced capabilities allow NGFWs to provide a higher level of protection for organizations’ networks, devices, and data.
One of the main benefits of NGFWs is their ability to inspect and control network traffic at the application level. Traditional firewalls only operate at the network layer, meaning they can only block or allow traffic based on predetermined rules. NGFWs, on the other hand, are able to inspect the contents of each packet and make more informed decisions about whether or not to allow it through. This allows NGFWs to block malicious traffic that might slip past a traditional firewall, such as malware or phishing attacks.
Another important feature of NGFWs is their ability to provide real-time visibility and control over the applications and protocols running on a network. This can help organizations to enforce security policies, monitor for unusual activity, and identify potential threats. For example, an NGFW can be configured to block certain types of applications or protocols, or to alert administrators when certain activities occur.
NGFWs also often include intrusion prevention capabilities, which can detect and prevent attacks as they happen. This can be especially useful in cases where an organization is under attack, as it can help to mitigate the damage and prevent the attackers from gaining a foothold.
Top 5 Next Generation Firewalls
There are many next generation firewalls (NGFWs) on the market, and the best one for a particular organization will depend on its specific needs and budget. Here are five NGFWs that are often highly rated by industry experts:
- Fortinet FortiGate: This NGFW is known for its strong security features, including advanced threat protection, application control, and network visibility. It also has a user-friendly interface and a wide range of deployment options.
- Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall: This NGFW is known for its ability to provide comprehensive security across multiple clouds and on-premises environments. It also has strong advanced threat protection capabilities and is easy to manage.
- Check Point Next Generation Firewall: This NGFW is known for its advanced security features, including sandboxing, threat extraction, and threat emulation. It also has a user-friendly interface and is easy to deploy and manage.
- SonicWall Next-Generation Firewall: This NGFW is known for its strong security features, including advanced threat protection, application control, and network visibility. It also has a user-friendly interface and is easy to deploy and manage.
- Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall: This NGFW is known for its strong security features, including advanced threat protection, application control, and network visibility. It also has a user-friendly interface and is easy to deploy and manage.
It’s important to note that this is just a small selection of the many NGFWs available, and there are many other excellent options to consider as well. Organizations should carefully evaluate their specific security needs and budget when choosing an NGFW.
In summary, next generation firewalls offer a higher level of protection than traditional firewalls by providing deeper inspection, application control, and intrusion prevention capabilities. They can help organizations to secure their networks, devices, and data against a wide range of threats, including malware, phishing attacks, and other types of cyber attacks.