It looks like now that Remote Working will be here for quite some time to come.  Because of this, IT Security teams are still scrambling to come up with ways in which to shore up their lines of defenses, especially when it comes to protecting the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) datasets of both employees and customers.

In this regard, the Firewall has always been a trusted tool to use.  But given just how much network bandwidth is being consumed these days, even this is starting to show its cracks to larger degrees.  Thus, people are now turning their attention to what is known as the Next Generation Firewall.

The Next Generation Firewall

Many Cybersecurity professionals agree that the age of the traditional firewall could be seeing its last days in just a matter of a rather short time period. Because of this, other solutions are currently being examined, especially that of the Next Generation firewall.  Here some of the key advantages that it brings to the table:

  1. It achieves full network traffic visibility:

As mentioned earlier, with the co-mingling of both the home network and the business firewall, it has become much more difficult for the network administrator to actually pinpoint and diagnose any network glitches, bottlenecks, or hiccups.  But with the Next Gen firewall, this should not be an issue.  The primary reason for this is that it inspects each and every data packet that is being transmitted, whether they are at the various Internet Gateways, in the external or internal environments, or even on a Cloud based platform such as that of Azure or  AWS.

  1. Threat vectors are stopped immediately:

By making use of advanced techniques like those of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Next Gen Firewall can stop just about any kind of Cyberattack from happening before it becomes a true menace.  For example, this includes previously known and newer threat vectors, as well as those types of highly specialized Malware that can evade detection by antispyware and antimalware software packages that have been deployed at the endpoints.  For those remote workers that are using their mobile devices to conduct their daily job functions, all network traffic is very carefully scrutinized by an automated threat detection agent.

  1. Access to SaaS based applications is tightly controlled:

For those businesses that have deployed their entire IT infrastructure to the Cloud, the remote employees will be primarily accessing applications that are SaaS based.  The Next Gen Firewall carefully monitors all access activity that is taking place, so that no rogue applications can be deployed which could potentially cause further damage.

  1. The Zero Trust Framework is automatically implemented:

With the traditional firewall, there is a certain level of trust with remote employees that is maintained.  This is dependent of course on job titles/functions, as well as the rights and permissions that have been granted to every individual.  But the Next Gen Firewall has no level of trust like this, in that it requires all of the remote employees to go through the same layers of authentication, if not more.

  1. It creates secure access points to external third parties:

It could be the case that a business has implemented the use of a firewall structure, but their outside suppliers or other third parties that they have outsourced certain business functions have not.  Of course, this a grave security vulnerability, as it leaves the network lines of communications open to the entire public Internet.  The Next Gen Firewall does away with this weakness altogether, by implementing the use of a clientless SSL protocol in which all connections are made invisible to the external environment through a sophisticated Web based client.

Conclusions

The following table summarizes the benefits of the Next Generation Firewall over the traditional Firewall:

Sources