What Is a Next-Generation Firewall?

Updated on Oct 21, 2021 by

According to a survey on market research future, the global NGFW market is expected to grow to $4.69 Billion by 2023. That is because the complexity of cyberattacks and hacking methods are driving more enterprises to choose next-generation firewalls compared with traditional firewalls with basic functions. Next-Generation firewalls with proper protection will provide better security for users.

What Is a Next-Generation Firewall?

Firewalls have developed from early packet filtering firewalls to subsequent state detection firewalls, UTM devices in 2004, and Next-Generation Firewall up to now. Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a real-time protection device between networks with different trust levels, capable of detecting deep traffic and blocking attacks. NGFW can provide users with effective application-layer integrated security protection, and help users conduct business safely.

How does NGFW function in a Network?

The Next-Generation Firewall is connected to the switch through patch cables and the optic modules on one side and connected to Internet on the other side to inspect data transported among them. When inspecting, Next-Generation Firewall, with application awareness, adopts deep packet inspection to detect the second to seventh floors and check the load of the message and then uses Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to monitor malicious activity in the network. At last, employing external threat intelligence helps to block malicious behavior and implements control.

What Are Next-Generation Firewall Features?

Next-Generation Firewall not only includes all the features of traditional firewalls(packet filtering, state detection, NAT, VPN, etc) but also provides additional advanced features such as application awareness, deep-packet inspection, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), and external threat intelligence.

  • Application awareness: the ability to check information about connected applications for better control.

  • Deep-packet inspection: an updated technology over the traditional firewall. Inspect the data in details contained in packets and take actions to ensure that data is in the correct format.

  • Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): monitor malicious activity in the network and blocks it where it occurs.

  • External threat intelligence: detect and block malicious behavior.

In addition to these advanced features, next-generation firewalls may include additional features such as antivirus/anti-malware protection. Besides, sandbox integration imitates an entire computer system to monitor the behavior of programs and understand their intended purpose. And Web proxy and URL checking are used to provide detection.

Next-Generation Firewall Features

Next Generation Firewall vs Traditional Firewall, Who Wins?

A traditional firewall is a device that controls the flow of traffic entering or exiting points inside the network. While NGFW can do far more than a traditional firewall of port or protocol inspection and provides application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and intelligence from outside the firewall.

Next Generation Firewall vs Traditional Firewall, selecting NGFW is a more popular choice in most cases, see how next-generation firewalls surpass traditional firewalls in the following aspects:

Traditional Firewall Next Generation Firewall
System Old firewall security system Advanced firewall security system
Transport layers Layer 2 to Layer 4 Layer 2 to Layer 7
Functionality Supports Network Address Translation(NAT), Port Address Translation (PAT) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) Extends functionality of NAT, PAT and VPN; Integrates with new threat management technology
Security technologies Incomplete package of security technologies Complete package of security technologies
Application level awareness Support Nonsupport
Price Sepately managing security tools is expensive Integrated security tools are cheaper

Benefits of Using a Next Generation Firewall

Firstly, next-generation firewalls provide better and stronger security than traditional firewalls. With application awareness and control, next-generation firewalls can detect the traffic at layers 2-7 and determine whether the transmitted traffic is malicious, and track the identity of the end-user to protect against changeable advanced threats.

In addition, Deep Packet Inspection checks the data in the packet, compares it with the established criteria, and reassembles the packet data to achieve a higher degree of inspection.

Finally, the next-generation firewall is an integrated solution that makes the security infrastructure, maintenance, update, and control simpler, easier, and more efficient, thus reducing the burden on IT staff.

Why Do I Need a Next-Generation Firewall?

As network security protection becomes more and more complex and the security situation gradually deteriorates, traditional firewalls can no longer deal with new network threats. The birth of next-generation firewalls allows external network threats to be visualized, which can fully meet users' needs for network defense and management. The firewall will also become a fighter to ensure the network environment. Next-Generation Firewall is a must for business in today's network environment.

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