ngfw

What is next generation firewall?

Firewalls are an important security tool, but in today’s changing threat landscape only next generation firewalls can provide proper protection.

NGFW Definition

NGFW stands for next generation firewall. Gartner when defining the next generation firewall (NGFW) said it is an inspection system that goes beyond protocol and port blocking. It includes application-level inspections with intrusion prevention capabilities.


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Key difference between standard and next generation firewalls

NGFW’s are a more advanced version of regular firewalls. Like their predecessors, NGFW’s use both static and dynamic packet filtering to secure connections between the network, internet, and firewall.

NGFW’s are different from traditional ones. A key difference between standard and next generation firewalls, for example, is that they can filter packets based on the applications that have been identified by analysis and signature matching.

NGFW’s have many benefits to companies that use them. They can block malware from entering a network, something traditional firewalls would never be able to do. NGFW’s are better equipped for Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). Companies with next generation firewall solutions may also notice the low cost because they don’t need as much security software and features like antivirus protection.

While both NGFW and traditional firewalls aim to protect an organization’s network and data assets, they also have several differences.

The main similarities include static packet filtering to block packets at the point of interface to network traffic. They also both have the capability to provide stateful packet inspection, network, and port address translations, and both can set up VPN connections.

One of the most important differences between traditional and next-generation firewalls is that NGFW’s offer deep-packet inspection that goes beyond simple port and protocol inspection by inspecting the data carried in network packets. Other key differences are that NGFW’s add application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and the ability to act on data provided by threat intelligence services.

NGFW’s extend the traditional firewall functionality of NAT, PAT, and VPN support to operate both in routed mode — in which the firewall behaves as a router — and in transparent mode — in which the firewall behaves like a bump in the wire when it scans packets — while also integrating new threat management technologies.

Next-generation firewall features

NGFW’s combine the capabilities of traditional firewalls–including packet filtering, network address translation (NAT) and port address translation (PAT), URL blocking, and virtual private networks. These include intrusion prevention, SSL inspection or SSH inspection as well as deep-packet inspection. It has a reputation-based malware detection feature that is not found in traditional firewalls.

NGFW’s typically feature advanced functions including:

  • Application awareness;
  • Integrated intrusion prevention systems;
  • Identity awareness — user and group control;
  • Bridged and routed modes; and
  • The ability to use external intelligence sources.

Of these offerings, most next Generation Firewalls integrate at least three basic security features: enterprise firewall capabilities, an IPS and application control.

Stateful inspection is a new concept for traditional scanning. Firewalls, NGFWs bring additional context to the firewall’s decision-making process. They provide it with the ability to understand the details of web application traffic passing through it and to take action to block traffic that might find ways to take advantage of people’s weaknesses.

Benefits of next-generation firewalls

The different features of next-generation firewalls combine to create unique benefits for users. NGFW’s are often able to block malware before it enters a network, something that was not possible previously.

NGFW’s are also better equipped to address advanced persistent threats (APTs) because they can be used to fight cyber terrorism. NGFWs also can offer a low-cost option for companies trying to improve basic device security through the use of application awareness, inspection services, protection systems, and awareness tools.

Next gen firewall protection 

With the rise of personal devices and larger networks, an NGFW is almost as important. Threats to these devices are changing every day so having a flexible NGFW can protect from intrusions that wouldn’t have been stopped by an older style of the firewall. 


Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Threats

SecurityStudio help information security leaders at organizations ensure they’re protected against cybersecurity threats, stay insurable, and legally defensible with our risk assessment and risk management software. Schedule a demo to learn how we can help.