theDocumentId => 1325228 5 Features to Look For In A Next-Generation Firewall

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4/22/2016
09:30 AM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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5 Features to Look For In A Next-Generation Firewall

When it comes to NGFWs, it's the integration that counts.
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Image Credit: http://blog.shi.com/

Image Credit: http://blog.shi.com/

Sure, the term next-generation firewall (NGFW) has been around since 2007 and the vendors have been hyping these products for a close to a decade.

So what’s new this year?

Adam Hils, research director, network security, at Gartner, says what’s different about today’s NGFWs is the integration of features such as an IPS or URL filtering within the firewall itself.

“Many SMBs go with UTMs and they have all the features companies need, but there’s really not much integration,” he says. “For the enterprise, companies should think about a next-generation firewall and evaluate how well they integrate multiple features right within the firewall.”

Gartner estimates that the global firewall market will grow from $8.3 billion in 2015 to $9.7 billion in 2017. Hils says these products need to support complex environments, including branch offices, demilitarized zones and virtual environments within the data center. Many of these products also offer centralized management and reporting consoles and claim to do analytics, but companies should look for integration with products like Splunk if they are really serious about doing analytics.

Vendors Gartner gives high marks to include Check Point Software Technologies and Palo Alto Networks, which are assigned leader status, as well as Cisco Systems and Fortinet. Other more niche players include Juniper Networks, Dell SonicWall, Intel Security, Huawei, WatchGuard and Barracuda Networks.

While there are many vendors to choose from, the following slideshow outlines the five main features IT that security managers should consider before selecting a product.

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience and has covered networking, security, and IT as a writer and editor since 1992. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio
 

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2016 | 10:53:25 AM
Performance, et al.
In terms of performance, I think it's also important to look at how NGFWs perform in "regular" tests and how they perform in real-world or simulated real-world environments for the purposes for which they'll be used.  Testing by companies such as NSS Labs has shown substantial differences here.

And, of course, don't forget total cost of ownership!  ;)
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