Firewall Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Cisco Cybersecurity Solutions (And If They’re Right For You)
A firewall is a vital cybersecurity solution that maintains the security of your network. It’s the first line of defense between your data and dangerous malware.
Do you know what type of firewall your business should have?
What Is A Firewall?
A firewall is the cornerstone of your organization’s cybersecurity defenses. Firewalls maintain the security of your network by blocking unauthorized users from gaining access to your data. Firewalls are deployed via hardware, software, or a combination of the two.
A firewall inspects and filters incoming and outgoing data in the following ways.
- With Packet Filtering that filters incoming and outgoing data and accepts or rejects it depending on your predefined rules.
- Via an Application Gateway that applies security to applications like Telnet (a software program that can access remote computers and terminals over the Internet, or a TCP/IP computer network) and File Transfer Protocol Servers.
- With Proxy Servers, which mask your true network address and capture every message that enters or leaves your network.
- Using Stateful Inspection or Dynamic Packet Filtering to compare a packet’s critical data parts. These are compared to a trusted information database to decide if the information is authorized.
Everything above is what you can expect from a consumer-grade firewall, more or less. But what about next-generation firewalls?
How To Find A Modern Firewall That Provides Robust Cybersecurity Capabilities
The most popular business-class firewalls in use today are next-generation firewalls. These are hardware or software solutions used to detect and block complicated attacks. They enforce strict security measures at the port, protocol, and application levels.
Next-generation firewalls perform a more in-depth inspection than standard firewalls — the right one will offer you the following four key technologies (ask the associated questions to make sure you’re getting the right firewall):
The fact is that today’s cybercriminals have a vast arsenal of weapons to choose from when they target an organization like yours. You need a firewall that offers a multi-layered defense to keep you secure:
- Integrated Threat Protection: This feature allows your firewall to identify bots, APTs, and other threats operating on your network, directly integrated into your network, rather than as a cloud subscription or on-premises appliance.
- Intrusion Prevention Systems: A next-gen IPS allows your firewall to detect hackers attempting to breach your network resources. Ideally, you have an IPS system with real-time contextual awareness and network mapping, and not a limited, signature-based option.
- Identify and Isolate Compromised Systems: In the event that you’re infected with, for example, ransomware, you need a firewall that can prevent data loss and the spread of infections to other systems on the network. This means being able to immediately identify not only the infected host but also the user and process in the event of an incident.
- Ongoing Analysis And Detection Capabilities: While many firewalls offer limited, point-in-time detection and analysis capabilities, you’re better off with a continuous approach, which can analyze threats both beyond the event horizon and retrospectively.
- Advanced Impact Assessment: Don’t settle for a “paint by numbers” system of impact assessment, which only measures against predetermined threat severity. You’ll be better protected by a firewall that correlates all intrusion events to an impact of the attack, telling the operator what needs immediate attention.
- Robust Tracking Of Behavioral Indicators of Compromise (IoCs): A next-gen firewall should consider file behavior as an indicator of its danger. Some, more limited solutions won’t offer this capability.
Next-Gen Firewall Feature Comparison
NEXT-GEN FIREWALL FEATURES
|CISCO||FORTINET||PALO ALTO NETWORKS||CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES|
|Continuous analysis and retrospective detection||✓||Limited||Limited||Limited|
|Network file trajectory||Continuous||X||X||X|
|Security automation and adaptive threat management||✓||Limited||Limited||Limited|
|Behavioral indicators of compromise (IoCs)||✓||Limited||Limited||Limited|
|User, network, and endpoint awareness||✓||Limited||Limited||Limited|
|Integrated advanced threat protection||✓||Limited||Limited||Limited|
Which Firewall Is Right For You?
The fact is that today’s cybercriminals have a vast arsenal of weapons to choose from when they target an organization like yours. You need a firewall that offers a multi-layered defense to keep you secure.
As you can see from the comparison above, Cisco’s next-gen firewalls have more features than the competition and offer a better user experience. Whereas other options may be limited, or require you to invest in add-on services and products, Cisco offers every protection you need with one solution.
Rea & Associates Will Manage Your Firewall For You
While you may understand that you need a next-generation firewall, now you have to go about getting one. It’s a lot of work to handle it on your own – but you don’t have to.
Instead, you can choose to work with a trusted, expert IT services company like Rea & Associates. We have experience working with firewalls, cybersecurity technology, and organizations like yours – we can help you make the right choice, and handle the set-up for you from beginning to end.
Getting the firewall you need can be done in three simple steps:
- Book a free cybersecurity consultation with our team at a time that works for you.
- Find out how Cisco’s firewalls can better secure your IT environment.
- Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re secure.