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From Brick to Brilliance: It’s Time for the Next Generation Firewall

In our modern, consumer-driven world, it’s extremely rare to come across someone without a mobile phone. What started as a luxury item that enabled phone calls from outside the home has become mandatory for not only voice, but other daily functions and operations like calendars, reminders, music, pictures, apps and more.

In our modern, consumer-driven world, it’s extremely rare to come across someone without a mobile phone. What started as a luxury item that enabled phone calls from outside the home has become mandatory for not only voice, but other daily functions and operations like calendars, reminders, music, pictures, apps and more.

The smartphone continues to add new features while maintaining its trusted and reliable performance, customized options and attractive visual features, but most importantly it has stayed committed to its primary purpose – communication. The ability to incorporate improved features while continuing to deliver a quality product can be challenging. So, if we were to extend the analogy into enterprise security, what would be the smartphone of today and why should companies consider adopting it?

Next Generation FirewallA strong argument can be made for the next generation firewall (NGFW), which is poised to deliver powerful new capabilities and further revolutionize protection for the enterprise edge with added security, control, efficiency, deployment and management. According to Gartner, less than 20 percent of enterprise Internet connections today are secured using NGFWs, and by year-end 2014, this will rise to 35 percent of the installed base, with 70 percent of new enterprise edge purchases being NGFWs.

As enterprises continue to require larger, faster and more nimble networks, many have often faced making trade-offs; either sacrifice performance in order to add more layers of security beyond the traditional stateful firewall or don’t implement the new protections necessary to protect against many of the latest threats.

However, this no longer has to be the case.

Just as the manufacturers of the earliest smartphones realized, to disturb a static industry, innovative products, advanced capabilities and options are key to revolutionize the market.

Feature Richness

For smartphones, it was taking the brick-sized cellular telephone that only provided incoming and outgoing calls and evolving it into a personalized smartphone that empowers people to operate remotely from anywhere in the world without compromising accessibility.

Just as each consumer is unique and wants their smartphone to have specific features, each enterprise network is different and deserves a “custom fit” firewall to maximize protection. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and enterprises don’t have to start over to implement a modern firewall. NGFWs offer added layers of security including intrusion prevention systems (IPS), application visibility and control, and per-user firewall (via Active Directory integration) without the complexity. They offer protection against threats, control over what’s going on inside the network and the best part, they can work in consort with traditional firewall technology that enterprises have been using for years.

Security threats today continue to become more advanced and targeted. A “custom fit” firewall will maximize enterprise network protection and specifically play into its strengths and protect its vulnerabilities. Think of it as a consumer wanting to mix and match the features on their smartphone to meet their individual needs. One person wants a variety of music playlists, a personalized picture collage across their home screen and both work and personal email accounts; while someone else wants access to all of their social media accounts and regular updates on their favorite sports teams. Consumers can pick and choose any features they want on their smartphone which makes it effective for them, but the overall intent is convenient connectivity and communication. 

Easier Orchestration and Performance

In addition to offering a mix and match of features, these solutions can deliver seamless and cohesive orchestration. NGFWs offer high-performance protection and controls that are integrated through a central management system.

Until now, enterprises have been forced to settle for a brick cellular telephone that only allowed incoming and outgoing calls. With the next generation firewall solution, enterprises are recognizing they don’t have to settle for legacy systems; rather they can have a smartphone with the option to mix and match features based on their specific security and performance needs. From added security, increased performance, solid efficacy and ongoing intelligence that will grow with the landscape of the network, enterprises are realizing that their unique network deserves a “custom fit” firewall. 

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