SASE Series #5 Next Generation Firewall as a Service

SASE Series #5 Next Generation Firewall as a Service

Definition of Next Generation Firewall as a Service

Next Generation Firewall as a Service (NGFW) allows or blocks traffic between networks. Unlike ordinary firewalls, Next Generation Firewall as a Service adds advanced capabilities such as application control, integrated intrusion prevention, and more advanced threat prevention capabilities such as sandboxing.

Definition of Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS)

Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) is a firewall hosted in the cloud by a third-party vendor. This service is also called a cloud firewall.

FWaaS is not a physical device nor is it hosted in the enterprise. FWaaS runs in the cloud and is accessed via the internet. So, in principle it is the same as other “as-a-Service” service categories such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Features of Next Generation Firewall as a Service

Next Generation Firewall as a Service has more advanced features than traditional or legacy network firewalls. Some of the features commonly found in NGFW are:

Deep packet inspection

Network firewalls inspect data in the four layers of TCP/IP communication – from highest to lowest – application, transport, IP/network, and hardware/data links. Whereas NGFWs can inspect traffic at high-level TCIP/IP communication layers, including the application layer.

Intrusion detection and intrusion prevention

NGFWs capable of examining traffic at the high-level TCIP/IP layer can prevent and detect cyberattacks. NGFWs can monitor potentially malicious activity based on certain behavioral signatures or anomalies, and then block suspicious traffic from the network. These capabilities are referred to as intrusion detection services and intrusion prevention services.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection

Denial of Service (DoS) is a malicious attempt to shut down a service by deliberately flooding it with unauthorized requests, making it unable to respond to legitimate requests from users. DdoS attacks use multiple computers to generate a flood of unauthorized requests. NGFWs are better able to detect and prevent DdoS attacks than traditional firewalls because they are stateful. This property allows the firewall to examine more characteristics of the connection request than the connection being made, which helps in detecting unauthorized requests, even when these requests are formed differently or come from different computers.

How Next Generation Firewall as a Service enforces Threat Prevention

NGFW’s threat prevention capabilities are a natural extension of NGFW’s Deep packet inspection capabilities. As traffic passes through the network firewall device, NGFW also inspects the traffic for known exploits of existing vulnerabilities. Files can be sent outside the device to be emulated in a virtual sandbox to detect malicious behavior.

Benefits of Next Generation Firewall as a Service

Enhanced protection against cyber threats

NGFWs can inspect and analyze traffic more comprehensively than traditional firewalls. This sophistication can help detect and prevent a greater variety of cyber attacks than traditional firewalls. For one, NGFWs can detect traffic that maliciously targets the network and prevent intrusions by quarantining or blocking traffic.

Simplifies network architecture

NGFW provides advanced threat protection as well as basic firewall capabilities. Combining the capabilities of multiple devices and appliances in a single platform helps reduce network infrastructure complexity.

With more and more employees working remotely, it is increasingly necessary to strengthen security as data can be accessed from anywhere with any device. NGFW is the best solution available for maintaining network security that can be placed between data accessors – in this case employees and people within the company – and the data source.