Next Gen firewall- overpromised and under delivered

The NGFW (Next Generation Firewall) was supposed to be a one stop shop solution for all your threat prevention needs. Little did everyone know that this technology hasn’t quite crossed the beneficially boundaries for most companies in the technology world. In order for a NGFW to work properly it needs to be an integrated part of your network security.

The overhead cost to make this happen often exceeds what most companies are willing to fork out for something that doesn’t even make a profit. Instead, companies want to just use bits and pieces of NGFW to add on to controls like active directory, data lost preventions application controls and mobile device security. This strategy really kills the whole point behind a Next generation firewall, which is to eliminate the need for all these different tools and process in place to monitor your infrastructure.

Going forward, there are ways to utilize a NGFW system in your company. For example, if you are in the retail business or any company that has chain stores. Applying a next generation firewall solution to the headquarters or main office will ensure that your data is covered completely. For all the chain locations in this company, they can use point product solutions to save on overhead costs. For enterprise level companies without chain locations and are heavily regulated by specific industry standards like PCI, HIPPA and FISMA addressing things like remote access controls, two factor authentication and Active Directory integration will be a necessary move to make.

Next generation firewalls have their advantages in a technical way. NGFW use a stream capture technology instead of the traditional single packet capture approach. By capturing and analyzing the entire protocol stream, you can see things like CPU multi-threading, direct memory mapping and hardware based mapping along with SSL encryption levels. By using the current single capture approach you are spend a lot of your time trying to paint the bigger picture and not actually analyzing the information that is being sent. One down fall of the next generation firewall is in order to capture an entire stream of protocol data, you need to have a machine powerful enough to support this process. This is where the expense comes into play for a lot of smaller less developed companies. Trying to build these new protocol rules with the current engines just won’t suffice, there is not enough power to pull in the entire stream.

Overall, next generation firewalls are the future of intrusion detection and prevention, with currently not enough use cases for the general population to buy into yet. As the technology Industry continues to grow and expand, the next generation firewalls will slowly gain traction amongst the masses. Being able to monitoring all type of traffic at once is something operational security analyst pray for. Keep your eyes peeled in the near future for the next generation firewalls to expand into the commercial business industry.


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