Cyber crime is on the rise. According to Cybersecurity Ventures the global annual cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $8 trillion USD in 2023 and grow to an alarming $10.5 trillion by 2025. In particular, ransomware attacks are on the rise. 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.
We believe that these trends will only be accelerated by the emergence of ransomware as a service where developers sell or lease their ransomware variants on a subscription basis. This means people with limited technical knowledge can carry out increasingly complex attacks. Additionally, bad actors are leveraging variants of LLM that have removed protections and are specifically designed to carry out cyberattacks.
If you want to learn more about how ChatGPT and other AI tools are powering a whole new wave of cyber attacks, read our previous blog on the topic “Are You Prepared for DarkGPT? Why Now Is the Most Important Time to Evaluate Your Security Practices” for a deeper dive.
As with any new threat companies must be nimble and respond with new techniques to out flank bad actors. In 2023, we expect hybrid firewalls will become an increasingly necessary part of companies security architecture if they want to avoid becoming the latest statistic.
Hybrid firewalls combine features of both traditional firewalls and routers to provide a more comprehensive and flexible security solution. Even newer technologies like Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) are quickly falling behind when it comes to the latest security technologies and best practices. Check back with us for Part 2 of this blog where we discuss some of the weaknesses of NGFWs and how those weaknesses are being addressed by hybrid firewalls.
Advantages of Hybrid Firewalls Over Routers and Traditional Firewalls
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): Hybrid firewalls typically include deep packet inspection capabilities, allowing them to analyze the contents of network packets at a more granular level. This enables better detection and blocking of malicious content, as opposed to traditional firewalls that may only inspect packet headers.
Application Layer Filtering: Hybrid firewalls can inspect and control traffic at the application layer, providing more effective filtering and control of specific applications and protocols. This is especially useful for controlling access to web applications and enforcing policies based on application usage.
Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): Hybrid firewalls often include intrusion prevention features that can actively identify and block potential threats and attacks. Traditional firewalls may lack these advanced intrusion prevention capabilities.
Advanced Threat Protection: Hybrid firewalls are designed to offer protection against advanced threats, including zero-day attacks and sophisticated malware. They may incorporate threat intelligence feeds, behavioral analysis, and other advanced techniques to identify and mitigate evolving security threats.
VPN Capabilities: Hybrid firewalls commonly include Virtual Private Network (VPN) functionalities, allowing for secure remote access and communication. While routers can also support VPNs, hybrid firewalls often offer more advanced VPN features and better integration with security policies.
User and Identity-Based Policies: Hybrid firewalls can enforce security policies based on user identities, enabling more granular control over access privileges. This is particularly important in environments where user authentication plays a crucial role in determining network access.
Centralized Management: Hybrid firewalls often provide centralized management interfaces that allow administrators to configure and monitor security policies from a single console. This can simplify the management of complex security configurations compared to traditional firewalls and routers.
Integration with Cloud Services: As organizations increasingly adopt cloud services, hybrid firewalls are designed to integrate seamlessly with cloud environments. This ensures consistent security policies across on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure.
Scalability: Hybrid firewalls are often more scalable than traditional firewalls, allowing organizations to easily expand their security infrastructure to accommodate growing network demands.
Flexibility and Customization: Hybrid firewalls offer greater flexibility in terms of customization and policy enforcement. Administrators can define and tailor security policies based on specific organizational requirements, providing a more adaptable security solution.
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!