When it comes to security, protection and performance matter

Cybercrime is big business these days. All types of data are being traded, whether it medical information, credit card information or the secret designs of your new product, app, or service.

Malware is becoming more sophisticated and today it’s commonly hidden inside a larger file, or encrypted so a firewall device can’t decrypt it. Meanwhile, the price of cyber-hacking tools is going down, so denial of service attacks, eavesdropping software, and Wi-Fi interception devices are less expensive and more readily available.

Given the maturity and sophistication of malware, businesses of every size and industry are at risk. At the same time, firewalls are becoming more mature and sophisticated, and are better integrated into the network, going beyond security to help improve network efficiency. A high-performing firewall can protect against advanced attacks, as well as control traffic on your network. However, the firewall you had last year probably isn’t going to guard you from this year’s threats. 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 applications

Five things your next-generation firewall must do;

1. Protect assets and people

Firewalls were originally designed only to secure assets, but modern threats are so much more sophisticated that your firewall must now extend to protecting both assets and people. By functioning as a management hub for people and applications, next generation firewalls (NGFW’s) now allow you to get the type of network performance employees need, so you can get the level of security the business requires. A smoothly running network is one that has blocked spam, which can consume network resources, and restricts non-productive bandwidth-consuming activities such as video downloads.

2. Protect networks

It’s easy to have a false sense of security once you install a firewall or cyber-protection program, but too many businesses have learned the hard way that just owning software  isn’t enough. Effective network security requires you to enable all program functions, including antivirus detection, intrusion prevention, and content filtering. Firewalls must be able to analyze entire files, including encrypted files and large file sizes. Finally, after the firewall is installed, it’s critical that you test it regularly.

3. Protect productivity

NGFW’s feature aggressive countermeasures and high-speed performance. This reduces risks, management, complexity, and costs, through automated, dynamic security measures that are optimised to protect network performance.

4. Provide granular controls

Firewall control must also be granular enough to manage application functions without disrupting productivity. Firewall zones should also allow you to isolate groups to minimize data leaks or breaches.

5. Provide scalability and performance

Traditional firewalls often lack the scalability and power to deliver comprehensive protection or the granular control required to keep your organisation safe in today’s complex, and potentially hostile, IT environment.  Regardless of the size of your business or type of industry, don’t let an outdated firewall put your entire business at risk.

Find out more about Leaf’s Security as a Service offering