Firewalls have been an important part of network security for years. Preventing intrusions and viral attacks by monitoring net activity has helped people for a long time. But over the years, attacks have grown more sophisticated. In response, so have firewalls. We now refer to them as “next-generation” firewalls (NGFWs).
The NGFW is a bit more complex in that it works via software or hardware. With this system, the firewall works to block intrusions occurring through ports, application programs, and protocols. Normally, a firewall will accomplish tasks like packet filtering or blocking dangerous HTMLs, but a next-generation version monitors traffic more closely. Many also offer virtual private network (VPN) services and possess more “awareness” when it comes to dangerous malware.
Essentially, the goal is to further add layers of in-depth security, preventing attacks or intrusions based on communication networks. The app security is also helpful, as program-based attacks have increased.
Of course, while these new additions to the firewall model are beneficial, it’s worth considering whether or not you need one. It should first be mentioned that, as powerful as NGFWs are, they are typically used by organizations and businesses. Individuals might not find them as helpful, especially when browser extensions, anti-virus software, and free firewalls like Windows Defender already exist.
Indeed, the first thing to note is that a next-generation firewall isn’t free. They’re typically a paid service or software. A business organization should then decide whether the investment costs are worth it. Doing so requires seeing how many intrusions or data breaches have occurred over time. If traditional security methods are working, then it’s unlikely a company needs a NGFW.
However, if network-based problems, issues with malware, or other intrusions seem to present a routine issue, it’s definitely worth considering a new gen version. Services also allow for more in-depth application control and allow users to see all related network activity. This total examination if in-and-outgoing packet data creates points to focus on, creating opportunities to examine security weaknesses and strengthen them.
Traffic control is another big part of a NGFW. Local network traffic can be monitored and identified user to user, allowing staff to see how much is used, when, and where it goes. This can lead to useful management options like controlling the allowed input/output traffic and what individuals can send or receive. That means a workforce will be limited to task related options only, while eliminating the dangerous possibility of incoming bad traffic.
Overall, while there are even more security options possible with a new gen firewall, they ultimately lead to better protection with smarter, in-depth monitoring. Organizations, businesses, or anyone reliant on managing networks that are at risk for intrusions should consider a next gen firewall, especially if current protection is inefficient. Doing so can save on downtime, avoid network failure, keep hardware/safe, while allowing for steady productivity. Security breaches are costly, so investing is always the better option.