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Network Security Technology Evolving Rapidly, Forrester Says

Review of 17 product categories shows next-generation firewalls on the rise, stand-alone NAC on the wane
The rapid change in attack vectors and the increased mobility of end users will soon force security professionals to reconsider their network security architectures and their choices of technology, according to a new report.

According to Forrester Research's newly published "TechRadar for Security and Risk Professionals: Zero Trust Network Threat Mitigation, Q2 2012," some major shifts in security threats and end user behavior are changing the way enterprises approach their network security strategies.

In the report, Forrester evaluates the current state of 17 existing network security technologies, including intrusion prevention systems (IPS), firewalls, and network access control (NAC) technology.

"During the past four years, the advent of next-generation firewall technologies has revolutionized network security," the report says. "The question for many organizations today is not should they replace their [intrusion detection systems] with IPS, but how quickly they can upgrade their gateways to be more proactive and provide more control of applications and users."

Next-generation firewalls (NGFW), which combine security technologies such as firewalls and IPS into a single appliance, will achieve significant success and move into its next phase within the next year, according to the report. "Forrester has been anticipating this merger of technologies and sees a bright future for NGFWs that will be the core of what Forrester calls the Zero Trust network architecture," it says.

On the flip side, Forrester says the market for stand-alone NAC technologies will dry up over the next five years. According to Forrester’s data, only 10 percent of security decision-makers plan to implement a NAC solution in the next year. "NAC vendors that offer standalone technologies are working to ensure those appliances are part of an extended solution that offers more than NAC," the research firm states.

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