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Next Generation Firewalls

Next Generation Firewalls

Our increasing reliance on Internet usage and web-based applications to remain productive at work has opened the floodgates to a host of malicious web and content-based malware. Neglecting to take these threats seriously can result in costly and potentially catastrophic outcomes for businesses operating highly competitive market-places. Modern-day network enterprise network security can often be a confusing and complex task for many businesses, however selecting the correct firewall solution can be the best way to protect your network, users and sensitive data.

Palo Alto Firewalls

Providing businesses and organisations with granular network access control, Palo Alto next-generation firewalls simplify network security management. Using application and user/group-based access policies, instead of traditional port-based methodologies, Palo Alto firewalls allow network administrators to spend less time on policy enforcement and more time on what is important.

Firewall solution benefits

  • Increase network visibility and management of traffic
  • Safely deploy business critical applications;
    - email, VoIP, Video streaming and other web 2.0 apps
  • Identify and manage potential user, application and content threats
  • Integrate firewall and VPN solutions for secure remote data transfer

Next-Generation Firewall Technology

In terms of technological advancements, Next-Generation network security provides enterprises with a number of key features that enable a level of granularity and visibility that has previously not been achievable.

Boasting ‘application awareness’, Next-Generation firewall models are able to identify and filter web-traffic based on the application, as well as the user. This function allows organisations to grant access to web-applications, such as Facebook, but to apply controls and restrictions at the ‘application-level’- such as denying the use of the social networks’ instant messaging functionality. Essentially this empowers enterprises to determine exactly how applications are used in a way that is harmonious with their existing network protocols, whilst eradicating the need to block potentially troublesome applications all-together.

Traffic Segmentation

An important security consideration for the modern enterprise is the requirement to segment their networks, thus separating precious business data from that of employees and guest users. 
By segmenting the network in this way, not only can organisations safeguard their own valuable corporate data, whilst also securing that of their guests from cyber-intruders, but simultaneously allow varying levels of network access to visitors, employees and administrators with great simplicity. This kind of segmentation can easily be managed via Next-Generation Firewall platforms such as Palo Alto Networks PA Series.

Network Inspection

Next-Generation firewalls have been developed to go way beyond merely inspecting traffic based upon IP address, enabling enterprises to dig deeper into the identity of each user, the application and content. Gartner describes Next-Generation firewalls as being characterised by the incorporation of full-stack inspection to support intrusion prevention, application-level inspection and granular policy control.

Retaining the core security features of standard firewalls that everyone is used to, along with the advanced full stack packet filtering and user granularity Next-Generation firewalls can also provide Network Address Translation (NAT), Advanced VPN functions, Quality of Service (QoS), Policy Based Routing, SSL Decryption and Malware detection.

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