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Does Your Next Gen Firewall Make You Feel Safe? It's Time to Think Again.

In last week's blog we covered some alarming stastics on the rise in cyber crimes and the advantages hybrid firewalls offer over traditional firewalls to defend against these threats. If you want to get caught up, you can read last weeks blog here.

One key statistic we will repeat to start off this week's blog is that Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) says there was a 13% rise in ransomware attacks year-over-year from 2021. This rise is a greater increase than the previous five years combined.

If you have Next Gen Firewalls (NGFW) in your network stack, you may feel well protected but the reality is NGFW are quickly being supplanted by hybrid firewalls as the go to choice for security minded orgrinizations. Here are some of the weaknesses of NGFW addressed By hybrid firewalls:

  1. Limited Context Awareness: NGFWs may have limitations in understanding the broader context of network traffic, such as user identities, device types, and the specific context in which applications are used. Hybrid firewalls often enhance context awareness by incorporating user-based policies and other contextual factors into security decision-making.

  2. Scalability Challenges: As network traffic grows, NGFWs may face scalability challenges. Hybrid firewalls are often designed with scalability in mind, allowing for more efficient handling of increasing network demands.

  3. Complex Policy Management: Managing policies in NGFWs, especially in complex network environments, can become challenging. Hybrid firewalls may offer centralized management interfaces and more streamlined policy configuration to simplify the management of security policies.

  4. Integration with Cloud Services: NGFWs might not seamlessly integrate with cloud services, leading to challenges in extending security policies consistently across on-premises and cloud environments. Hybrid firewalls are designed to address this gap by providing better integration with both on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure.

  5. Effective Handling of Advanced Threats: NGFWs may face difficulties in effectively handling advanced threats, including zero-day attacks and sophisticated malware. Hybrid firewalls often incorporate additional advanced threat protection mechanisms, such as threat intelligence feeds and behavior-based analysis, to enhance their ability to detect and mitigate emerging threats.

  6. Rapidly Evolving Threat Landscape: The threat landscape is constantly evolving, and NGFWs may struggle to keep up with the latest threats without real-time threat intelligence integration. Hybrid firewalls often leverage threat intelligence feeds to stay updated on emerging security threats.

  7. Application Visibility and Control: While NGFWs typically offer application awareness, the level of granularity in application visibility and control may vary. Hybrid firewalls often enhance these capabilities, providing more granular control over specific applications and protocols.

  8. User Authentication Challenges: NGFWs may not always have robust mechanisms for user authentication, which can be important for enforcing user-specific security policies. Hybrid firewalls often include user-based policies, tying network access controls to specific user identities.

  9. Complexity in Secure Remote Access: NGFWs may face challenges in securely enabling remote access, especially in the context of VPNs. Hybrid firewalls often include advanced VPN capabilities and are designed to better accommodate secure remote access requirements.

  10. Inability to Adapt Quickly: NGFWs might face challenges in quickly adapting to new and emerging threats. Hybrid firewalls may offer more adaptive and flexible security mechanisms to address rapidly evolving cybersecurity challenges.

While hybrid firewalls offer several advantages, the choice of a security solution depends on the specific needs and requirements of the organization. It's important to carefully assess the network architecture, potential threats, and desired security features before selecting a firewall solution. Need help understanding your current exposure to bad actors and creating a plan to ensure your network is secure? Contact us here and we can help!


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