Why your three-year-old firewall is giving you a false sense of security

SecurityFlawCyberattacks are increasing every year, in both volume and variety. Whether the malicious goal is money, espionage or disruption, you can protect your business network by introducing the right security technology.

“Given the maturity and sophistication of today’s threats, businesses of every size and industry are at risk”

A high-performing firewall can protect against advanced attacks, as well as control traffic on your network. However, the firewall you implemented 3+ years ago probably isn’t going to offer your business the protection it needs against today’s threats.

Why you need to take action

Why are so many attacks successful, given that just about every business is behind a firewall today? Put simply, Hackers have been innovating at a ferocious pace, and the firewalls that we implemented three or four years ago simply were not designed to handle the threats that are distributed today.

One of the common pitfalls seen with older appliances is that they cannot inspect encypted SSL or HTTPS traffic. With encrypted traffic expected to account for over 50% of the world’s internet usage by the end of 2016, there is a very real risk associated with running inadequate security appliances which malware creators are keen to exploit.

Older firewalls also can’t help you manage your network. Many of them were created in the days before the big move to the cloud, so they know what goes through port 80, but they can’t distinguish between Candy Crush Saga and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

“A firewall has to protect more than assets — it also has to protect people, networks and productivity, and it has to give you granular controls into complex business applications”

With the average connection speed increasing at a rate of 27% year on year, older firewalls simply can’t handle the bandwidth demand, which results in either bottlenecks that cause slow access to cloud data and applications or reduced protection.

Understanding the capabilities of next-generation firewalls

If your firewall is more than three years old, you’d be wise to consider replacing it to get the protection your company needs.

Next-generation firewalls are designed to consolidate the functions of a number of previously separate security appliances such as intrusion prevention, gateway anti-malware and content filtering.

Moreover, next-gen firewalls are able to scan inside the contents of packets as they enter your network. They also watch traffic as it moves around inside your network. That helps prevent common problems that arise when BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) users plug their gadgets into your network, thereby bypassing the firewall.

Next-generation firewalls are much more aware of the content of the traffic they manage. They can control what sites are accessed by what groups of users, and at what time of day. They can block or allow traffic based on geographic region. They can prevent malicious downloads and help hold the line on denial-of-service attacks.

If you would like to learn more about how your business can benefit from a NGFW please feel free to contact our friendly team on 0333 3209 900 or solutions@zenzero.co.uk