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7 Security Capabilities of a Next Gen Firewall

With the constant hype around the cyberthreat landscape it’s understandable why people sometimes get overwhelmed deciding where to even begin in the attempt to improve their cybersecurity posture. We recommend starting with security efforts that will be the most impactful, and your firewall happens to be one of them. In fact, one of the top cybersecurity best practices is to ensure your firewall has Next Generation features. Next Generation Firewalls provide comprehensive threat protection and with features like an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), web content filtering and anti-virus, their intelligence goes well beyond that of a standard firewall. We’ll explore Next Gen features and capabilities to give you a better understanding of what to look for in a Next Gen Firewall.

1.  Web Content Filtering

This feature works as a first line of defense against web-based attacks, which have been on the rise recently. Web content filtering prevents access to malicious websites and flags any risky content to defend against malware downloads. Policies are set within the Next Gen Firewall to control this access with site blocking and filtering. For an advanced implementation of web content filtering, look for a provider who offers the option to customize this feature so that the filters can be fine-tuned to best protect your business to your industry or compliance needs.

2.  Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

IPS enables Next Gen Firewalls to protect against the latest threats by detecting and blocking them before they can reach your network device. The feature works by actively analyzing the traffic flows that enter the network, then takes automated action to send an alert, drop malicious packets or block traffic from a bad source. The system is updated in real-time to keep threat intelligence current with even the most advanced cyber threats. This proactive prevention of network intrusions greatly improves your security posture. Like web content filtering, some Next Gen Firewalls allow for custom configuration of this feature to meet your business’s set protocols.

3.  Network-based Anti-virus

This feature is one that really differentiates the Next Gen protection capabilities from that of a traditional firewall. Next Gen Firewalls have built-in network anti-virus to help protect against the latest viruses, spyware and threats – something traditional firewalls do not offer, making them much less effective. During the initial implementation of your Next Gen Firewall, the anti-virus is configured and set to be delivered through multiple control points. The virus definitions are then updated hourly so that this protection feature is always up-to-date, enabling its proactive technology to block against both known and previously unknown threat variants.

4.  Network Visibility

Not only do Next Gen Firewalls provide advanced protection, they can also offer unparalleled visibility into your network. In your Next Gen Firewall solution, look for single-pane-of-glass management, advanced visualization components and rich reporting to keep you informed and help you make strategic security decisions. With these features, you can analyze things like network traffic, user productivity and threat exposure, giving you the ability to pinpoint where immediate response is required.

5.  Application Control

Some Next Gen Firewalls can identify and control thousands of different applications. An application-aware policy is set within the firewall so that it can inspect any SSL encrypted traffic or evasive traffic. The feature works along with the Next Gen Firewall’s other securities to catch attacks that hide within applications or encrypted sessions.

6.  Data Leak Prevention

Data leak prevention helps to prevent sensitive information, like credit card numbers or social security numbers, from leaving your network.  After your Next Gen Firewall’s settings are configured, this type of data is identified and flagged as potentially sensitive before it can reach the internet. This advanced feature then monitors activities and events surround the sensitive data and provides reporting on those events.

7.  Performance

Of course, all basic and advanced Next Gen Firewall features are only useful if your platform can deliver reliable performance. You should ensure that your Next Gen Firewall platform can perform at the speed necessary to support your business continuity and bandwidth requirements.

Ready to Take the First Step?

Making the first move toward improving your security posture can be daunting, but Immedion is here to help. Our full suite of Managed Security Services not only includes Next Gen Firewall, but also Anti-virus and Patch Management, Security Monitoring and IT Support to cover each element of a complete security strategy. Take the first step today by requesting a security consultation with our experts. They can work with you to show you exactly how these security services can help your company.

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