With today's constant evolution of cyber threats, there are compelling reasons for updating and strengthening your defenses.

The idea that the firewall is working "good enough" and the unwillingness to part with budget dollars to improve something that technically isn't "broken", but could use an improvement, is rampant and short sighted.

Firewalls create a hardened perimeter that blocks certain types of traffic from entering your network and accessing your resources. Unfortunately, today, many cyberattacks are launched at the application layer which fools older firewalls as they are unable to identify these attacks as malicious.

Updated firewalls have advanced functionality that can better protect your organization. Here's some of the areas that these next-gen firewalls have improved over time and why they offer you a stronger offense and defense.

Application Awareness
Next-gen firewalls are application-aware meaning that they will allow trusted and legitimate apps to travel on the network but will block others. The firewall can be set to block things like video-streaming which can create bandwidth bottlenecks as well as certain applications that are commonly used to download illegal and non-business-related content.

Automated Intervention
Upgrading your firewall can provide you with a way to proactively and more granularly scrutinize web traffic and block traffic based on predefined policies enabling your firewall to actively looks for patterns that might indicate malicious activity.

Web Usage Control
Older firewalls don't necessarily have the ability to categorize websites according to the type of content they provide. With a next-gen firewall you can limit and block certain types of content such as social media and shopping sites that can interfere with worker productivity as well as block the ability to visit sites that have no business value to your company, or worse, could be malicious or create legal issues for you, such as pornographic or gambling sites.

Malware Detection
Sometimes legitimate sites don't even realize they have been infected with malware. Newer firewalls are better able to detect malware as they monitor network traffic and once identified, can prevent suspicious content from being delivered to the user.

VPN Support
If we've learned anything these last few years, it is that we can work from anywhere, but this increases the need to "remote in" to the office and access network resources. The ability to have a Virtual Private Network or VPN provides you with a secure, private connection over public internet. This VPN protects the information that is being communicated between the remote user and the data center. Next gen firewalls do a better job of simplifying and securing this type of remote access to better protect your company.

Remember a security breach is much more expensive than the upfront investment you will make in improving your network and data security with a firewall that can meet the changing threat landscape head-on. If your company is still using a legacy firewall, you may not have adequate protection and there is no better time to consider making the change. Contact me to discuss your options.

With your cybersecurity in mind,
John Hassler, President
Tech 2020 Solutions