The Internet of Things connects everything from pacemakers to ceiling fans. While the IoT—and other trends like BYOD — offers new, exciting opportunities for businesses and consumers, it also opens up new portals for cyber attacks.
It goes without saying then, that this new generation of threats can’t be countered with last generation security technology. Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) have emerged in response.
Network Security Environments Have Evolved
Once upon a time, companies owned and authorized all devices connected to their networks. But with the advent of BYOD, employees began connecting their personal devices to company networks. Without IT oversight, managing the security implications became challenging — especially when devices are ‘jailbroken’ to upload unauthorized apps or otherwise compromised. Many companies still struggle with safe, effective BYOD implementations.
Now that IoT devices are everywhere, there’s virtually no limit to the number of devices connecting to each other and business networks. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 25 billion connected “things” will be used worldwide — more than three times the people on Earth.
New IoT Challenges Demand New Security Solutions
The business potential of IoT is huge. But with so many new entry points for networks, a security platform that provides full visibility, rock solid data and network protection; plus, unfettered performance to the professionals and consumers that rely on these devices to do their jobs — even protect property and human safety — is critical.
Last-generation firewalls aren’t up to the job for several reasons, most notably:
They’re not designed to protect against content and connection-based threats.
They put a drag on network performance, because they weren’t designed for heavy, IoT-generated traffic demands.
They lack the comprehensive, unified security required to monitor, share and respond to fast-changing threat intelligence in real time — increasing the chance that suspicious behaviors and potential threats will fall under the radar screen as IT struggles to piece together information from separate security applications.
Next Generation Firewalls Are The Answer
A fully integrated solution, a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) doesn’t have these limitations. Instead, it delivers all the security capabilities necessary to address modern threats in one powerful, centrally managed solution. This includes application inspection and control, website filtering, DPI (deep packet inspection) firewalls and intrusion prevention, to name a few.
The biggest advantage to all of this is 360-degree visibility of network traffic — which makes it easier to identify small threats before they snowball and flag unusual behaviors — both critical to improving data and network security along with incident response.
Not All NGFWs Are Created Equal
It’s important to keep in mind; however; that NGFWs vary from vendor to vendor in performance and security effectiveness. At neteffect technologies, we recommend going with an NGFW that’s been independently endorsed — such as the one offered by our partner, Fortinet.
Fortinet’s NGFW has been validated for performance and security effectiveness by NSS Labs, Virus Bulletin and AV Comparatives. A managed IT services provider in the Charlotte metropolitan area, we can offer you the benefits of Fortinet’s best-in-class NGFW to address this-generation threats. Contact us to learn more.