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5 Reasons to Upgrade to NGFW From Traditional Firewall

The Soup

Years ago, the only traffic on corporate networks were business applications, threats, or email. But technology has come a long way since then, and a multitude of applications like Skype, Dropbox, and Slack have flooded the business world.

Increased application use has been helpful, even essential, for maximizing employee productivity and improving business practices, but these applications can carry viruses, malware, and other threats with them.

Traditional firewalls are unable to see or control all of these applications, meaning increased vulnerability to threats. Thankfully, the next-generation firewall (NGFW) was born, filling a much-needed gap in modern security needs.  

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Why Upgrade to NGFW from Traditional Firewall Security?

NGFW works better and faster than traditional firewalls to control the traffic that is able to enter and exit a network. While traditional firewalls are behind the times, next-generation firewalls provide increased control, improved security, and other essential features.  

In this blog post, we'll cover five main ways NGFW is superior to traditional firewalls and why, if you haven't already, your business should upgrade to NGFW.  

1. Single Device Functionality

If your current security provider is adding new devices to your firewall, that's a red flag. It means unnecessary complexity and added cost for you. Plus, it increases the amount of oversight needed to keep your network secure while slowing down response time to threats.  

NGFW integrates enterprise firewall capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and stateful packet inspection into one device. Traditionally, these would have been done on separate devices, but this integration allows for improved performance and accessibility.

  • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): detects and prevents vulnerability exploits by examining traffic flows
  • Stateful packet inspection (SPI): monitors the state of active connections to determine which packets to allow through a firewall

OSI Model diagram with seven layers depicted

2. Better Security

Traditional firewalls block forbidden packets by protocol or port, while NGFW takes security even further by inspecting packets all the way down to the application layer. NGFW improves security in many ways, including:  

  • Protection across the entire attack continuum: a growing number of application attacks are taking place on layers 4-7 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) network stack, which next-generation firewalls are designed to help prevent.  
  • Multilayered protection: to get multilayered protection traditionally, businesses would have to buy many different solutions from different vendors. Having an integrated solution means less complexity and smooth functionality so threats can be better spotted and stopped.  
  • Advanced malware capabilities defend and safeguard against emerging and unknown threats
  • Faster response time from automated security
  • Limiting traffic to approved applications only, reducing risk

3. Simplified Management

NGFW reduces the number of manual tasks necessary with automated security features and integration, which also improves remediation speed. You can centrally manage security policies, service orchestration, monitoring, and reporting.  

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4. Improved Visibility and Control for Safe Application Enablement

Traditional firewalls have blind spots, but NGFW has superior visibility into all network traffic to detect and prioritize threats. With the multitude of applications out there today, NGFW's application-level control, which allows you to see and control what applications are being used on your network, is key for today's businesses.  

This means that rather than having a policy asking employees not to use Facebook, you could not only have the option to block it completely, but you could set a policy nuanced enough to allow employees onto the site while blocking parts of it like Facebook Messenger or Candy Crush.

NGFW's identity awareness integrates with application awareness to enable you to apply security policies more granularly using corporate directories. This means you can let your marketing team access social media sites while blocking employees that don't need it, or only allowing partial access.  

5. Lower Costs

Integration, security automation, and management simplification reduces complexity and the work necessary to respond to and remediate from security incidents. This means money saved for your business.  

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Implementing and Managing NGFW with LightBound

Upgrading your business security solution to next-generation firewall is a smart move in response to today's increasing security vulnerabilities. With the increased power, features, and functions that NGFW offers, it's not easy to implement, so it’s more important than ever to ensure a proper set-up and ongoing management.  

There are many NGFW services on the market, but look for a provider that's experienced and is there for you before, during, and after implementation. LightBound has the expertise necessary to implement and manage next-generation firewalls across your network, and we'll be there for you every step of the way. Contact LightBound today to get started, or learn more about our Choice Network.

 

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September 29, 2017 / by Dane Dittemore