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.
What are the benefits of a Hardware Application Firewall Solution?
- Increase network visibility and better manage internal and external traffic
- Safely deploy business critical applications; email, VoIP, Video streaming and other web 2.0 apps
- Identify and manage potential threats from users, applications and content
- Integrate firewall solutions with VPN systems for secure remote data transfer
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.
Cisco ASA-X Firewalls
Combing market-leading firewall, VPN, IPS and content security services, the Cisco ASA family of network firewalls provide businesses and organisations with all-encompassing network access control, threat protection and traffic unification.
As threats to corporate and private networks become increasingly sophisticated, Cisco ASA firewalls provide a comprehensive security solution.
Feature-packed and simple-to-manage, Cisco Meraki cloud-based network security offers an alternative approach to traditional network firewalling. Ranging from small office hardware to larger enterprise security solutions, the Cisco Meraki portfolio is compelling.
Manageable from a single pane of glass, Cisco Meraki's famous dashboard allows IT admin a comprehensive view of their patch and security status.
Next Generation Firewall Solutions
Traditionally configured ‘stateful’ firewalls control any web traffic attempting to gain access to enterprise networks by monitoring ports and enforcing various predetermined protocols; usually based upon the IP address of the user. However, as malicious web traffic and ‘cyber-attacks’ become increasingly sophisticated, traditional firewall protection has become far less effective.
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 even the content.
Gartner Definition of Next-Generation Firewalls
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 you are 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.
Dealing with Content Delivered Threats
Reliance on the Internet and an expanding library of applications - particularly e-mail, which is widely employed by hackers to perform spam and phishing techniques - have elevated content-based network threats to a high priority for both large and smaller businesses. Modern hardware firewalls feature advanced content filtering capabilities, identifying and blocking potentially harmful content.
Cloud Managed Enterprise Firewalls
Offering a comparable alternative to other firewall solutions on the market, cloud managed firewalls allow entire networks (switches, routers, access points, etc) to be managed from one device, regardless of location. Pulling settings direct from the cloud, setting up new site-to-site VPN connections is fast and hassle-free. This innovative cloud-based approach to network security reduces the requirement for dedicated on-site resources and expensive man-hours, whilst enabling total visibility.
Customer Testimonial | Network Firewall Installation
“Since the installation of our Palo Alto firewall it has not only simplified but significantly improved our network security. We have a large number of student and staff personal devices which consist of Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry, controlling what our students and staff can access is pivotal for both network performance and their on-going protection.
"We have been amazed at the level of visibility the Palo Alto allows; we can now take a granular look into how exactly our network is being used and by who, ensuring that threats are dealt with promptly and efficiently.”
Wayne Burgess, Systems and Network Administrator @ the Central School of Speech and Drama
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.
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.
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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