4 Reasons to Upgrade to a Next-Generation Firewall

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If your organisation works on this principle when it comes to its network security, you’re putting yourself in grave danger. Today, cyberattacks cost businesses of all sizes $200k on average, putting many smaller companies out of business completely. Part of the reason behind this is that small businesses typically spend less than $500 per year on cybersecurity, although 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses.

While your company may have a traditional firewall installed on all your computers, it may not give you the level of security you require to protect yourself against highly sophisticated cybercriminals. A next-generation firewall is the only answer, and here’s why:

Additional Security

While traditional firewalls allow you to inspect the traffic going in and out of your network, next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) also block advanced malware, inspect network-packet data, and are capable of limiting applications that run on it and scanning approved applications and websites for vulnerabilities or malware.

NGFWs provide all the basic security of traditional firewalls, with the added incentive of integrated intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion protection systems (IPS), antivirus software, ransomware, spam protection and endpoint security.

Application Awareness

Traditional firewalls often block all common application ports or services on a network as a way to control access and monitor threats. But in today’s workplace, network connectivity is becoming more and more complex, and many legitimate applications may use multiple ports. A traditional firewall would block the application from using the ports completely, making it impossible to use.

An NGFW, on the other hand, allows business owners more control over network usage through applications. For example, a business may allow its employees to browse social media during work hours, but block video players on the app. NGFW use intelligence to determine what should be blocked and what shouldn’t.

VPN Support

The average workplace has become very mobile today, with employees working remotely, from home and from handheld devices on their way to work. This can make office devices susceptible to phishing attacks, hacking attempts, and increases avenues of attacks through unsecured internet points. A NGFW allows you to create VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) that are secure, monitored and well-protected by your firewall. This allows your employees more mobility, and may even improve employee satisfaction.

Automated Intervention

In case a threat is detected on a work-approved application, the NGFW will immediately block it. But more than just passively analysing network traffic for threats, it also actively searches for and detects patterns that indicate malicious activity and hacking attempts. Most NGFWs are highly intelligent and learn from newer, more sophisticated attacks to offer better protection without causing service interruptions or requiring manual updates.

While traditional firewalls may provide basic security to your network systems, they don’t offer the same level of sophistication and advanced protection as next-generation firewalls. As security threats become more and more dangerous with new advancements, it is imperative to have leading-edge firewalls in place to counter them.

To learn more about the kind of next-generation firewall that will best suit your organisation and a customised demonstration, get in touch with us at Intellect IT. We have expertise spanning decades and have seen the rise of the traditional firewall and every successor since!

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