Palo Alto Networks Next-Gen Firewall vs Sophos Firewall: Which One Should You Choose?

Cybersecurity threats are becoming so sophisticated nowadays that choosing network security services for your organisation is even more challenging.

What is Palo Alto Networks? 

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity firm headquartered in California. One of its products is the Next-Gen Firewall, a direct competitor of Sophos Firewall. However, the company has other proprietary offerings such as its Cloud Firewall, PAN-OS, Panorama, CN-Series and VM Series. The company has won the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader ten times.

What is Sophos?

Sophos is a British cybersecurity company based in England. However, it also has Brisbane, North Sydney, and Melbourne headquarters. The software and hardware solutions aim to address issues in network security services, website and mobile security, unified threat management, and communication endpoint. Sophos has been adjudged the leader for the Gartner Magic Quadrant an impressive twelve times.

As you can see, both solutions are renowned leaders in the cybersecurity industry after being recognised by their peers.

What Do You Need in a Firewall?

  • Scalable — Scalability is a crucial qualification for a cost-effective firewall. The solution should address your needs as your business and demands grow. This way, you do not have to switch brands when your requirements outgrow your software or hardware firewalls.
  • Unified Threat Management — As the name suggests, you need a single solution (typically housed in a lone appliance) that acts as your antivirus, antispam, threat detection and prevention, content and web filtering, and network security services, and data breach prevention. In most cases, the UTM also includes VPN support, network address translation, or NAT.
  • Sandboxing — Through sandboxing, you can inspect data packets safely because you can isolate them first to detect any threat. Data deemed safe will also go through the firewall before entering your systems.
  • Threat Scanning and Prevention — The part of the network security services aimed at scanning or detecting threats before they manage to infiltrate your IT infrastructure. Failing to protect yourself can backfire not only in actual income loss but also on your reputation. If word gets out that you do not protect the confidential information of your website visitors, you will be treated as a pariah in the industry. Also, search engines and regulatory bodies will impose sanctions on your company for the data breach.
  • Customisable Bundles — Of course, the most effective firewall is useless if the cost is prohibitive, especially for small businesses. Free trials and product demos should help you decide when the firewall integrates with your native infrastructure.

Nevertheless, Intellect IT can guarantee that the firewalls from both companies tick all boxes when it comes to your unique requirements.

Palo Alto Networks Next-Gen Firewall Features

  • Its unified threat management (UTM) means you do not have to go through different systems to address all network security requirements. It also means you avoid purchasing new hardware or routers since the firewall does the job sufficiently.
  • Application visibility enables you to scan the IP addresses and port numbers, users, data patterns, DNS queries, URLs, and content. 
  • Palo Alto’s Next-Gen Firewall easily integrates into your native infrastructure, making the interface intuitive.
  • Its proprietary Wildfire program can detect any malware in minutes.
  • Sandbox feature will analyse data packets in an isolated environment before running these packets through the firewall.
  • The next-gen firewall utilises machine learning and artificial intelligence to keep pace with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

Sophos Next-Gen Firewall Features

  • Like Palo Alto, Sophos also features a UTM to simplify your security needs.
  • Proactive protection vs all perceived and hidden threats, thereby discarding about 90% of spam before the scanning procedure starts.  
  • The firewall is easy to deploy and integrate into your native systems; its interface is relatively straightforward.
  • The automatic response will immediately isolate the threat to avoid causing further damage to your network.
  • Its deep-learning neural network will help anticipate problems. It provides unrivalled security because it can rapidly keep pace with sophisticated threats.

For the most part, Palto Alto and Sophos offer similar network security services. One drawback of Palo Alto Networks is that it’s more expensive compared to the other firewalls on the market. However, the expense is relative, especially considering the level of security you get.

On the other hand, Sophos has been plagued with technical support problems, although a support IT team like Intellect will adequately cover the gaps. 

You can never go wrong regardless of which solution you choose. The network security services of Palo Alto Networks and Sophos are sufficient to provide you with enough protection to insulate yourself from external and internal vulnerabilities. In fact, both options are not mutually exclusive. Even if you already have the Palo Alto next-gen firewall, it should not dissuade you from also installing the Sophos Firewall. While some functions overlap, there are some gaps in Palo Alto that Sophos may close up.

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