Story image

The surprising secrets of firewalls - can yours do these tricks?

06 Nov 17

Firewalls are now so engrained in security architectures that they are sometimes taken for granted as the latest security trends take the spotlight. But the truth is that the newer firewalls can do some cool things you may not be aware of.

Those traditional packet inspection firewalls block network layer threats by looking at the ports and protocols used by network layer traffic.

The good news is that they evolved to become something much better. Next-generation firewalls are able to use deep packet inspection that can scan an entire packet payload and include anti-malware, content filtering and anti-spam.

Beyond blocking network threats, firewalls can do some cool things. They can identify and control all applications in use on a network, for one. Those applications all have ‘DNA’, rather than just standard attributes such as source port or protocol type.

Here are two cool things your firewall should do:

  • Control the applications allowed on the network – if you wish to make sure staff are using the latest version of Google Chrome, you could create a policy to direct those using older browser versions to a download page for the latest one
     
  • Manage bandwidth for a group of users – if your CEO complains that the business news videos are choppy, it could be that you have a bandwidth-management policy for all streaming video. You could create a policy to exclude the executive team from bandwidth management, which means your CEO can watch those videos without interruption.

Next-generation firewalls have more tricks up their sleeves.

What MSPs can learn from Datto’s Channel Ransomware Report
While there have been less high profile attacks making the headlines, the frequency of attacks is, in fact, increasing.
Cisco expands security capabilities of SD­-WAN portfolio
Until now, SD-­WAN solutions have forced IT to choose between application experience or security.
AlgoSec delivers native security management for Azure Firewall
AlgoSec’s new solution will allow a central management capability for Azure Firewall, Microsoft's new cloud-native firewall-as-a-service.
Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
How to configure your firewall for maximum effectiveness
ManageEngine offers some firewall best practices that can help security admins handle the conundrum of speed vs security.
Exclusive: Why Australian enterprises are prime targets for malware attacks
"Only 14% of Australian organisations are continuously training employees to spot cyber attacks."
Exclusive: Why botnets will swarm IoT devices
“What if these nodes were able to make autonomous decisions with minimal supervision, use their collective intelligence to solve problems?”
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.