The world is getting digitized at a very brisk pace and more and more businesses are migrating into digital form to store all their information on globally interconnected platforms. This has enabled the businesses to access the information wherever and whenever they want. However, this has also increased the risks of cyber-attacks on the platforms.
Cybercriminals attack the platforms to pursue financial gain through identity theft and fraud. They are even sometimes hired by competitors to steal a business’s sensitive information or create a disruption in the business to grab an advantage. The cyber-attacks can be carried out through various methods, like phishing, brute force, malware, spyware, ransomware, DDoS, and many others.
The recent Wannacryransomware attack is a good example of how vulnerable the networks are to cyber-attacks. The ransomware affected more than 75000 systems of more than 74 countries and people affected by it were asked to pay a certain amount to the attacker to get their data back.Wannacry didn’t only affect the personal computers, but it also affected hospital networks, police networks, enterprise networks, and much more.
This is why it’s recommended by the cyber security experts to deploy a powerful firewall for enterprise network platforms. The firewall in simple terms is a barrier that prevents unauthorized access or malicious content to get into a system or a network. There are many Firewall Services that people and enterprises use to keep their systems and network safe from the possible threat of cyber-attacks.
However, with the rapid growth of technology, the cyber-attackers are also finding new ways to penetrate the traditional firewall. There have been many instances of systems and networks being hacked even when they have a firewall installed in them. This has led the Firewall Services providers to create a new generation of firewall services which is known as next generation firewall or NGFW.
NGFW is used to describe the devices that go beyond the traditional firewall by adding more security capabilities, like application firewall using DPI and intrusion prevention. This is more secure than the traditional firewall as it addresses the issues where the traditional fails. This is why enterprises are looking to use these NGFW in their systems and networks.
If you want to have an NGFW that ensures optimum security, business resiliency, scalability, flexibility, and good value for money, here are some criteria that the NGFW should have for you to consider getting it for your enterprise:
Identification and controlling applications on any port
The rise of mobile devices in theworkplace and the multitude of operating systems have led the application development to become much easier than earlier. This means that the applications no longer follow the old standard of port, protocol, or application mapping. More and more applications nowadays have the capability to operate on non-standard ports or even they can jump ports.
This attributes of the latest applications can be leveraged by the hackers and cyber criminals to get into a network by forcing some applications to run on the non-standard ports. This is why it’s recommended that you choose an NGFW that identifies and controls the applications running on any port to ensure better security of the system or network.
Powerful central management
Using multiple firewalls to protect your network or systems and making changes or viewing activity of all those firewalls can burden your resources. This is why you should always look for a centralized management system that speeds up the ability of your security team to respond quickly. A centralized management system will enable you to view, deploy, and control all the firewall activity through a single window.
You can also design the central management to automate various tasks and drills so that you get maximum efficiency with minimum efforts. This is why you should choose an NGFW which has a good central management system.
Plug and play deployment
If your business or enterprise is spread across various locations then you need to install an NGFW that has plug and play features. This would enable you to install the NGFW from the cloud at remote locations by just plugging in power and physical network connectivity. All other things can be handled remotely from any of your office locations.
This saves a lot of time and cost that would have been lost when you physically install the firewall at every office location manually. The updates and upgrades in the NGFW can also be done remotely through a central management system if you choose a plug and play firewall.
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
This is one of the most important things that an NGFW should contain. DPI ensures that all the data packets received by the network are thoroughly examined so that no packet with malicious programs or attack programs passes through to the network. DPI can efficiently identify and then block viruses, Trojans, spams, intrusion attempts and other violations that could make a network vulnerable to attacks.
DPI analysis is generally done through various diverse methods, like finding vulnerability signatures, data stream inspection, policy configurations, data normalization, protocol identification, and clear text HTTP and HTTPS connections. An NGFW with DPI capabilities will also provide you with dynamic updates that can be automated regularly.
AET or advanced evasion techniques are attacks on a network that can change dynamically during an attack and can use different protocol layers to deliver malicious content in a network. These attacks are very difficult to detect for the traditional firewall, which is why you should look for an NGFW that has AET protection capabilities.
VPN or Virtual Private Network needs to be an essential part of the NGFW for the flexible and resilient site to site connectivity. It’s recommended that you look for an NGFW that features IPsec VPN, because the IPsec VPN comes with various security advantages, like handling security arrangements without you needing to implement it on each system.