5 Firewall Features you Must-Have
Top Firewall Features
Traditional firewalls were designed to protect traditional networks against traditional cyber threats. As organizations’ networks and the cyber threat landscape grow and evolve, network firewalls require additional functionality and features to ensure the security of the company’s network and the sensitive data that it contains.
Below, we list the top 5 features:
#1. Unified Security Management
Organizations must cope with rapidly increasing network security complexity. Most companies’ networks are growing larger and more complex as mobile devices, cloud deployments, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices join traditional user workstations and on-premises servers on the corporate network. At the same time, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and numerous. As a result, companies must deploy, monitor, and maintain a growing array of security solutions to manage their cyber risk.
An organization’s next-generation firewall should help to alleviate security complexity, not contribute to it. A firewall with integrated Unified Security Management (USM) functionality enables an organization’s security team to easily and efficiently manage and enforce security policies across their entire network environment. This allows the security team to keep up with the company’s expanding digital attack surface and minimize the organization’s cyber risk.
#2. Threat Prevention
The longer that a cyber threat has access to an organization’s network, the more expensive it will be to remediate it. Cyberattacks can cause damage and additional expense in a number of different ways. Exfiltration of sensitive data can result in legal and regulatory penalties, ransomware can decrease productivity and cause a loss of profits, and even simple malware often has persistence mechanisms designed to make it difficult and time-consuming to remove from a system.
Minimizing the damage that a cyberattack can cause to a network requires threat prevention. By identifying and blocking an attack before it crosses the network boundary, an organization nullifies the threat it poses to the network. This is why a network firewall with integrated threat prevention functionality – including anti-phishing, anti-malware, anti-bot, and integration with high-quality threat intelligence feeds – is an essential component of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy.
#3. Application and Identity-Based Inspection
Digital transformation efforts mean that an organization’s network landscape is constantly evolving. New applications are deployed on the corporate network to accomplish certain goals, and others are phased out when they become obsolete. Different applications require different policies. Some applications may be high-priority traffic, while others should be blocked, throttled, or otherwise managed on the network. An organization’s next-generation firewall should be capable of identifying the application that generates a particular stream of traffic and applying application-specific policies to that traffic.
Organizations are also composed of a number of individuals with different job roles and responsibilities. An organization’s security policies should also be configurable based upon the identity of the user. Employees within an organization should have access to different systems and be able to use varying sets of applications. A firewall should support policy creation and enforcement based upon user identity.
#4. Hybrid Cloud Support
Almost all organizations are using cloud computing, and the vast majority are using a hybrid cloud deployment. Private and public cloud deployments have different security requirements, and it is necessary for an organization to be able to enforce consistent security policies across cloud-based environments hosted by multiple vendors.
For this reason, an organization’s next-generation firewall should incorporate hybrid cloud support. The firewall should be easily deployable and scalable in any major cloud environment and enable an organization’s security team to manage all of their security settings from a single console. According to Gartner, 99% of cloud security failures through 2025 will be the customer’s fault, a problem that the company’s firewall should help the organization to avoid.
#5. Scalable Performance
Many organizations have transitioned to cloud-based infrastructure due to its increased scalability and flexibility. Ultimately, we want the benefits of the cloud, in the cloud and on-premises. In the cloud this simply means choosing a NGFW template. In regards to on-premises, this means looking beyond legacy HA clustering solutions.
Hyperscale is the ability of an architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system. This involves the ability to seamlessly provision and add more resources to the system that make up a larger distributed computing environment. Hyperscale is necessary to build a robust and scalable distributed system. In other words, it is the tight integration of storage, compute, and virtualization layers of an infrastructure into a single solution architecture.
Selecting the Right Next-Generation Firewall
Choosing the right firewall for your organization can be challenging since a number of different options exist and not all of them are created equal. Firewall solutions run the gamut from small gateways to hyperscale solutions.
The first step in choosing a next-generation firewall that is capable of ensuring your organization’s network security both now and in the future is understanding the vital features that a next-generation firewall should provide. For more information on what to look for in a firewall, check out this guide. Once you know what you’re looking for, contact us or request a demo to learn which Check Point firewall solution is the perfect fit for your organization.
Since consumers and businesses first started connecting their computers to the internet decades ago, antivirus software has been one of the most important segments of the tech industry. It’s become so ubiquitous in fact, that many people assume all antivirus software offers a similar level of protection and features, and they don’t actually pay much attention to the product they’re using.
The type of antivirus software you choose can have significant effects on your ability to successfully stave off malware and protect yourself from threats. There are several crucial features that you should look for in any antivirus solution before implementing it across your system.
While all antivirus software is specifically designed to detect the presence of malware, not all of them detect in the same way. Ineffective products force you to run a manual scan to determine if any systems have been affected, while the best forms of software have dynamic scanning features that are repeatedly checking your computer for the presence of malicious entities. Without this feature, it’s much easier for something to infiltrate your computer and begin causing damage before you even realize it.
Updates are vital for all forms of software, but this is especially true when it comes to antivirus. Because new types of malware are constantly being developed, antivirus software needs frequent updates in order to track and contain new threats that didn’t even exist when it was first installed. If you have to install updates manually, you might miss important new protections and expose your system to infection, so always make sure your antivirus software is capable of installing updates automatically and frequently.
Protection for Multiple Apps
Threats exist across the entire spectrum of apps and services that you rely on for your everyday tasks. From email clients to instant messenger platforms and certainly internet browsers, harmful software can sneak into your system from a variety of different sources. Antivirus programs need to protect multiple vulnerable apps from potential dangers, otherwise you’re leaving your hardware dangerously exposed.
If the antivirus software immediately detects malicious software, why wouldn’t it delete the code on the spot? Unfortunately, some solutions simply place the malware in a quarantine zone upon detection, waiting for the user to log on and manually delete it. Since there’s no reason to leave potentially harmful software on your system, you should choose a program that utilizes an auto-clean feature to rid itself of viruses.
Fights Against All Types of Malware
Between trojans, bots, spyware, viruses, etc., there are many different types of malware that can harm your computer, and antivirus programs are sometimes designed only to target a specific type of software. It’s better to go with a program that can comprehensively detect all or almost all of the various forms that malware takes.
At Great Lakes Computer, we highly recommend Kaseya Antivirus Software. Kaseya includes these features and more, and it will help ensure that your hardware and network run clean for years to come.