7 Key Points to Consider When Purchasing a New Firewall

By Jordan Abraham

You're either secure or you're not, there is no middle ground when it comes to having proper network security.

This is why when it comes to mobility and wireless, security needs to be at the foundation of your wireless platform.

One of the most critical pieces of your security infrastructure is deploying the right firewall.

We've come along way since the days of traditional port-based firewall systems, and there a lot of solutions to choose from. To help you find the right firewall, here are seven key points to consider before you buy.

Visibility & Control Of Your Applications

Traditional port-based firewalls only provide you with limited control and visibility of the applications and end-users accessing your network.

Obviously, you don’t want everyone accessing applications like YouTube or Facebook, however, what about your marketing team, or teachers that are streaming a video for a specific lesson?

With the right firewall in place, you can apply policies to certain end-users, allowing access to those with jobs pertinent to the applications being used.

What about end-users like guests or if your company is a hospital, what about your patients?

Suggested Reading: What are the 4 Most Important WLAN Design Factors Impacting Your Hospital's Wi-Fi Performance?

Different end-users can have different polices applied that prohibit them from accessing certain applications.

Furthermore, next-gen firewalls can limit access to certain parts of applications. For instance a user might be able to use Facebook calling and messaging but not be able to post to their timeline or on a friends “wall.”

Protection and Prevention From Threats

Did you know your port-based firewall can’t “see” any of the applications or users gaining access to your network? This is a big issue today with data breaches, if the firewall can’t see the devices or applications being used- how will it protect your network and your end-users?

A next-gen firewall can see and control all of the applications and sensitive information on your wireless network. They can limit traffic and risks to your network by only allowing approved applications to be used.

Suggested Reading: How to Prioritize My Mission-Critical Applications? A Quick Guide to Improve Wi-Fi Performance

You can even scan these approved applications to ensure there are no potential threats. As an added bonus, because applications have to be approved by the firewall, it can also reduce bandwidth consumption helping to improve your overall wifi performance.

Legitimate 1 Gigabit Throughput

Port-based firewalls often claim with each port you get 1 gigabit, however once all of the services are turned on like malware, you can cut that throughput by a third.

With next- generation firewalls 1 gigabit is as claimed, you get 1 gigabit of throughput with ALL of the services turned on.

It's About Your Devices Not IP Addresses

Think of modern firewalls like telephone books. Instead of searching to find a user using an IP address, your next-gen firewall is capable of finding a device by user name.

This way you know exactly how many devices each of your employees are using to access the network, and if they cause a breach you can find the device and wipe it clean.

Remote Users

With the influx in employers allowing remote workers in every industry, employees need to be able to access your internal network and applications from any location.

Whether it’s from home, the library, a coworking space or even a Starbucks, they should be able to connect and complete their work.

The same rules and policies should be enforced by the firewall outside of the hospital, school grounds, warehouse, or university. This keeps traffic coming in and out of your internal server safe and threat free.

Streamlined Security Infrastructure

Buying more security components (appliances) hoping they fix your security needs isn’t always the answer, and often times ends up being costly and ineffective.

Adding more and more components means there's more to manage and update, which can decrease your efficiency by creating a unnecessarily more complex system.

Suggested Reading: Why My Network Needs Wi-Fi Management: The Importance of Real-Time Visibility and Usage Analytics

Next-gen firewalls already have the necessary security infrastructure components built-in, including:

  • Anti-virus protection
  • Spam filtering
  • Deep packet inspection
  • Application filtering

It's a comprehensive security component that enables you to not have to worry about what other pieces you’ll need to add in order to make your network more secure.

Cost

Last but not least, cost is always a factor when it comes to choosing the right firewall. It's important that you think about not only how much something costs but how it will fit into your budget.

Often times we fail to see the harm in not purchasing something, and waiting until something goes wrong. Well if something goes wrong, and data is leaked, it can end up costing you a lot more than just money.

Modern firewalls are more affordable than you might think, especially when compared to the cost of a major network security breach, or the decreased efficiency you'll experience from having poor wifi performance due to an old or insufficient firewall.

We've found that with the correct firewall in place, they pay for themselves almost instantly.

At SecurEdge, we deliver affordable, robust, and secure wireless platforms – it’s all we do. If you have any questions about choosing the right firewall or would like to discuss an upcoming project, please contact us here.

Palo Alto Networks; Next Generation Firewall, enterprise wireless security, wifi service providers,
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