Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) provide greater network traffic visibility to detect and prevent advanced cyber attacks. Unlike traditional firewalls that operate at the TCP and IP levels, NGFWs can inspect Layer 7 HTTP and application traffic.
NGFWs also have application awareness features that allow administrators to control what applications users can access from within the company’s network. This helps mitigate bandwidth consumption and avoids employee productivity issues that may occur when non-business applications are allowed to run on network devices.
Table of Contents
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a tool that helps network administrators prevent malware from infiltrating their systems. It helps them spot specific kinds of attacks that regular firewalls may not be able to detect, like worms or spyware.
When paired with threat detection algorithms, DPI can help protect your business from ransomware, viruses, and other types of malicious software. It also provides visibility across your network that can be used to identify abnormal traffic patterns, which security teams can then analyze.
DPI can also be used to block websites and applications that are deemed threatening by network admins. These can include file-sharing sites, gambling and productivity-lowering apps and games.
NGFW application control is often equipped with DPI, which can identify suspicious or unauthorized applications using analysis and signature comparison. This can stop hackers from using steganography tools to hide malicious code within seemingly harmless files.
For instance, if your company has to Bring Your Device (BYOD) employees, DPI can help you keep malware from infiltrating your network. This prevents worms, viruses, and spyware from spreading throughout your organization’s network, allowing you to protect your sensitive data and endpoints.
With DPI, you can categorize your traffic based on various parameters, such as the origin server IP address, destination IP address, the port used, traffic type, relative or actual payload, and protocol. This enables you to identify violations of your policies and filter rules, spam, viruses, and malware.
A Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) protects your network by preventing unauthorized access to the internet and controlling internal traffic. NGFWs also use threat detection technologies to detect malicious activity.
NGFWs offer a wide range of features and controls that can be configured to meet specific security needs. These include application control and identity awareness.
Application control enables you to create rules that allow employees or guests to use appropriate applications for their roles. This can help prevent unauthorized users from gobbling up bandwidth and leaking company data.
This feature works by analyzing the header information of each application and then inspecting its payload against pre-defined signatures. It can block or redirect malicious applications that do not match these signatures.
Advanced malware attacks are increasingly prevalent in today’s digital world. They use social engineering and exploit bugs in commonly used software to wreak havoc on your business and steal data.
These types of threats can be challenging to detect. Fortunately, new tools that rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning can identify them before they cause damage or disrupt your business operations.
Gen V security combines next-generation firewalls, sandbox, bot protection and endpoint security into a unified security system that uniformly prevents attacks across your entire IT infrastructure. It shares real-time threat information throughout the system, enabling you to respond rapidly to attacks and prevent the first occurrence of new cyberattacks on your business.
A next-generation firewall (NGFW) with application control and identity awareness allows you to enforce granular, zero-trust policies. These can include identifying, allowing, blocking or limiting the usage of thousands of applications based on user’s needs and the characteristics of each.
This is a critical feature for protecting your business from advanced cyber attacks that use application vulnerabilities to gain entry. Over 80% of malware and intrusion attempts exploit these weaknesses, which are not addressed by traditional firewalls.
An NGFW with application control analyzes and filters traffic at the application layer using an allow list or signature-based internet protocols to identify safe applications from malicious ones. It can also decrypt SSL-encrypted traffic and provide a path for future application updates.
NGFWs with identity awareness monitor and restrict network access by users or devices, a key feature for protecting against bandwidth hogs. This includes controlling traffic through existing authentication systems like Active Directory and LDAP.
Many NGFWs also incorporate an integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS) that can detect and block attacks on the network. These capabilities are a natural extension of the deep packet inspection that an NGFW performs.
NGFWs can also be configured with sandboxing security, emulating suspicious files in an environment isolated from the rest of the network to test them. This allows an NGFW to quickly identify suspicious files before entering the network.
Integrated Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
Integrated intrusion prevention systems (IPS) protect your business from advanced cyber attacks. These tools are typically hosted just after your primary firewall, and they can inspect packet headers and data as they move between your network’s point of origin and destination.
They also can block malicious packets from slipping past the firewall’s controls. These solutions are incredibly effective at preventing exploits that can cause severe damage to your business’s data and applications.
An IPS can identify threats using several techniques, including signature-based monitoring and anomaly detection. It also can enforce policies, which means it can take action on malicious activity that violates your security policies.
Another essential feature to look for in an IPS solution is logging capability. It must be able to handle your logs and send them to centralized logging servers. This is essential for identifying suspicious traffic, managing incidents, and comparing records between different sources.
An IPS should also be able to identify hosts and operating systems on your network and applications used within your company. This information can help it monitor and identify potential threats, improve threat detection, and reduce false positives. Additionally, your IPS should be able to collect logs from all sources on your network and make them accessible through one console. This can reduce administrative overhead and save time.