Last Updated on January 26, 2023 by Faiza Murtaza
Firewalls are a primary component of computer and network firewall security. We all want our data to be protected and secure when connecting to unknown networks with our computers or mobile devices. We’ve always used traditional firewalls because of their protection based on ports and protocols, source, and destination IP address. Plus, they are generally easier to operate, inexpensive, and have been the standard for more than two decades.
But with the increasing threat and complexity of cyberattacks targeting firewall-friendly applications and their vulnerabilities, traditional firewalls cannot keep up. They are ill-equipped to handle these new threats that are usually web-based since traditional firewalls aren’t smart enough to analyze network-packet data.
This means that protection based on ports, protocols, and IP addresses is not adequate anymore. These new dangers require a more robust form of security that traditional firewalls can’t do. That’s where new generation firewalls come in.
Because of the advanced features of NGFW that are a significant step up from traditional firewalls, they are more equipped to handle internet-based attacks. It has application awareness capabilities, SSL and SSH decryption, and encryption have a deeper and more thorough packet inspection ability. Its integrated intrusion protection system can effectively block cyberattacks.
Advantages of Next Generation Firewall
This robust network firewall security system then has multiple advantages over a simple and traditional firewall and other types of hardware firewall. Let’s go over each one in detail.
An NGFW can identify IP addresses and link them to specific user identities. This enables visibility and allows control of network activity on a per-user basis. By identifying the user and linking an IP address to it, one can see who is responsible for all application, content, and threat traffic on the network. When it detects malicious traffic, it can log the IP address of the source and even blacklist future traffic from that network.
Aside from identifying users, NGFW can also scan the content of network packets. Traditionally, standard firewalls can only check the header of the packets. But an NGFW can examine the header and the footer, source, and destination of the network packet, thanks to its Deep Packet Inspection feature.
Furthermore, it can also examine the content itself and compare it to a set of criteria to detect malware and other kinds of malicious traffic. Thus, adding a layer of protection for your network to avoid further web-based attacks.
Advanced policy control
Traditional firewalls are simple to operate and are based on a deny/allow model. Meaning, everyone in the network can access an application if it is deemed safe by the firewall and if not, access is completely blocked for everyone. Unfortunately, this simple model is not feasible anymore. The reality is, an application that might be bad for one organization might be good for another.
That’s why NGFW offers advanced policy control to allow specific levels of control and customization. This way, the right users can access the good aspects of an application while blocking all the harmful elements from being accessed by anyone.
In addition to the basic functionalities that a traditional firewall provides, NGFW also has advanced features integrated into it. An intrusion protection system can detect and block cyber-attacks based on traffic behavioral analysis, threat signatures, and abnormal activities. This helps in improving packet-content filtering as well as in performing a deeper inspection. Additionally, an NGFW isn’t limited to just layers 2 to 4. It can inspect the traffic flow from layer 2 up to layer 7 and at the same time understand the exact context of the data transfer for a more secure data stream.
Threat Protection and Mitigation
And because of its multi-functionality, an NGFW has robust threat protection and mitigation system. Unlike traditional firewalls, NGFW comes with comprehensive antivirus, malware, and spam protection built into the system. These are also regularly upgraded whenever new threats are discovered. It also minimizes possible paths of attack by limiting the applications running on it.
The NGFW can scan applications for hidden weaknesses or data leaks and alleviate risks from unknown applications. Doing this also helps reduce the bandwidth usage from useless traffic and optimize network speed.
Get Optimal Network Firewall Security with Sangfor NGAF
Clearly, the NGFW is superior to a traditional firewall because of the level of security and protection it provides for organizations. It is designed to be an excellent defense even against future threats because of its multi-layered protection.
Many cybersecurity companies have developed next generation firewalls. Still, amongst them, Sangfor stands out because of Next Generation Application Firewall (NGAF), the world’s first smart security system powered by artificial intelligence. This NGFW has integrated Endpoint Secure, which has more advanced malware protection against all malicious files and is powered by Engine Zero, developed by Sangfor for more powerful malware detection.
Additionally, Sangfor NGAF is a simplified and intuitive security system thanks to it being AI-enabled. Thus, making it reliable and easy to understand even by small and medium-sized organizations with no dedicated IT security team.
So if you’re looking for a powerful next generation firewall that provides maximum security for your peace of mind and your organization’s safety, let Sangfor NGAF will take care of you.
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