You’ve probably come to this page because you’re seeking to buy an next gen firewall for your company and are doing some research on them. Great! You’ve arrived at the proper location.
What exactly is a corporate firewall?
Let’s take a step back and define a firewall before discussing business firewalls. The internet and a private computer network are separated by a firewall, a network security mechanism. Based on set rules or policies, firewalls monitor and filter both incoming and outgoing network traffic. A firewall’s primary function is to allow trustworthy data while preventing harmful data from entering or exiting the network.
Therefore, enterprise firewalls are firewalls created to safeguard the computer networks of organisations like businesses and governmental agencies. Corporate firewalls are constructed to higher specifications and have more sophisticated security features than consumer firewalls since enterprise networks are more complicated and involve a greater number of devices.
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Do SMEs require a corporate firewall?
Small and mid-sized businesses frequently believe they don’t require very complex network security. This is owing to the idea that given their lesser profile, less valuable data, and constrained financial resources, they are unlikely candidates for cyberattack. But nothing could be further from the truth than that. SMEs are desirable targets for cyberattackers for a number of reasons.
Cyberattacks Against SMEs That Are Specific
Organizational size isn’t necessarily the most accurate indicator of worth and significance, according to data breaches. In fact, some SMEs have the precise kind of information that attackers are seeking. Startup IT companies, for instance, could be in possession of intellectual property that big businesses and governments want. Patient health records, a valuable sort of data that may be sold for a profit or used in fraud, are kept in private medical offices.
Attack by ransomware: A research states that 82% of the firms hit by ransomware in 2021 have fewer than 1,000 employees. In a world where big businesses can afford to hire the greatest security experts and technology, it becomes more and more difficult and expensive for attackers to breach these well-equipped targets. Ransomware gangs also take cost-effectiveness into account, and SMEs provide them a far better “cost-to-profit ratio.”
Cyberattacks of the sort known as “supply chain attacks” occur when an attacker gains access to the target network through a smaller third party. Attackers can quickly break into the target network by taking advantage of the “weak link.” SME partners or customers with access to their network may be utilised as a pivot point for a supply chain assault. This might lead to lost business as a consequence of ruined trust or possibly legal action as a result of carelessness.
SMEs Are Exposed to Untargeted Cyber Threats
SMEs are not exempt from security dangers even if they are not specifically targeted by cyberattackers. The truth is that dangers may be found anywhere on the Internet, and unprotected SMEs are particularly vulnerable to them. Here are a few online hazards that SMEs may encounter.
Computer Worms: A computer worm is a sort of virus that automatically spreads across networks of computers without the involvement of a person. Since they encrypt files on an infected system and demand a ransom in exchange for a decryption key, cryptoworms are a particularly deadly sort of worm. In 2017, the WannaCry cryptoworm infected over 200,000 Windows PCs across 150 countries by taking advantage of a Windows Server Message Block (SMB) vulnerability.
Drive-By Download: A drive-by download is when malware is downloaded unintentionally into a computer or mobile device. Simply visiting a website that has been hijacked by an attacker or clicking on one of its malicious links or pop-up ads might result in a drive-by download. In April 2022, it was discovered that Parrot TDS had infected more than 16,500 reliable websites by spreading malware through the use of bogus Google Chrome update pages.
Enterprises should protect themselves from any potential assaults of this nature. The installation of a strong enterprise firewall can do this. Therefore, how could SMEs pick their optimal business firewall?
A Buyer’s Guide for Enterprise Firewalls for SMEs
1. Capabilities for security
The degree of protection is the first factor to take into account when selecting a corporate firewall. Regardless of the size of the business, SMEs should not think about using classic or legacy firewalls, including packet-inspection firewalls. These antiquated firewalls can only counter known, straightforward attacks. Providing the firewall’s signature database has been timely updated, that is. Additionally, 80–90% of current online traffic is encrypted. There are no traffic decryption techniques in legacy firewalls to find the malicious code cloaked in encrypted communication. Simply put, the sophisticated and rapidly developing cyber threats of today cannot be handled by conventional firewalls. Although vintage firewalls are less expensive than more modern firewalls, a security event can swiftly wipe out the savings from doing so.
2. Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)
SMEs ought to be considering to invest in a next-generation firewall for reliable firewall protection (NGFW). Next-generation firewalls stand out for their improved security features. For instance, NGFWs frequently combine many security features into a single system, including antivirus, intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS), data loss prevention (DLP), application management, and more. However, not all NGFWs have the same security features, so potential customers should pick a firewall that meets their unique requirements. Additionally, the added security features of NGFWs result in some performance reduction. It is crucial to assess the performance difference between using and not using specific features. Read on for more information about firewall sizing.
Next-generation firewalls provide comprehensive packet inspection and traffic decryption capabilities for threat detection (DPI). NGFWs may examine data packets in-depth and find malicious code that has been concealed. To identify the most recent dangers brought by the internet, some next-generation firewalls also incorporate real-time threat intelligence. The ability to identify malware varies among NGFWs, though. Inquiries concerning the malware detection engine that drives threat detection should be made by potential customers. Even when confronted with unidentified threats, malware detection engines driven by artificial intelligence (AI) achieve improved detection rates. A web application firewall may even be included into some NGFWs (WAF). Web application and service (WAF) firewalls are specialised firewalls created to defend against web-based threats. Without the need to create a security stack of several devices, a fully equipped NGFW offers SMEs all-around security protection. This contributes to cost savings and reduced operational complexity, both of which are crucial for SMEs with limited financial and human resource resources.
Characteristics Of Next-Generation Firewalls
Different suppliers provide different functionalities as part of their NGFW systems. You should search for the following qualities in an NGFW:
Threat prevention at the network edge
uses sandboxing, URL filtering, and behaviour analysis to identify and deal with threats including malware, ransomware, and SQL injection. This prevents assaults from entering the network.
IP address and geographic coordinates are correlated to limit access depending on location or to route traffic to particular servers.
Internet gateway or reverse proxy
offers a proxy that closes connections, even HTTPS sessions that are encrypted, and after examining material, sends it to a web server.
IDS/IPSs (intrusion detection and prevention systems)
based on recognised signatures or general attack forms to thwart known attacks, detects and stops system intrusions.