Palo Alto Networks Firewall in Malaysia – When ‘Safe’ is not Enough

Palo Alto Networks Firewall in Malaysia – When ‘Safe’ is not Enough

Firewalls are a standard security tool for the majority of companies, but in today’s changing threat landscape, next generation firewalls are the only firewalls that can provide proper protection.

As technology continues with its rapid pace of evolution, the challenge to maintain the integrity of network security remains a concern for most organisations.

Over the years, networks have become more vulnerable because of fundamental shifts in the application landscape, user behavior, cybersecurity dynamics, and infrastructure.

Legacy firewalls and UTMs are incapable of enabling the next generation of users, applications and infrastructures. That’s because they classify traffic only based on ports and protocols.

For such reasons, Legacy firewalls and UTMs cannot safely enable these applications. At most, they can attempt to prevent the application from entering the network, which stifles your business and restricts you from progressing forward.

A shift in approach to network security: How Palo Alto Networks Firewall Works?

The Next Generation Firewall from Palo Alto Networks has many advanced features that can help to solve many of the Bring Your Own Device challenges. 

The BYOD movement has really been moving for a long time, it’s only recently that security measures have increased to the point where both users and administrators can sleep easy at night.

Here are 3 keys reasons to consider an advanced Next Generation Firewall solution, like the one manufactured by Palo Alto Networks . 

1. Quantity or Quality of Applications

With the increased speed comes increased danger of attack to a wireless network, followed by the internal network.

Faster speeds from the core to the edge mean that applications will also increase in speed and functionality. This is what makes Palo Alto Networks Firewall solutions so valuable. 

Palo Alto Networks Firewall has the ability to monitor and control the applications that are allowed to function on a wireless network.

Certainly, using a personal data plan and NOT connecting to the available wireless network is a function that has yet to be reeled in, for obvious reasons.  

Controlling access to applications that expose the network to danger or unwarranted strain from data usage is key as are the users on the network and the content being exchanged.

2. Threat Management

Seems pretty simple, but this is particularly important for administrators of large wireless networks.

The updates the administrators make to their own personal and professional wireless devices are less likely to be made by the daily user.

When Android sends out a new patch, it’s easy for those in the IT profession to make that upgrade. 

Traffic from your mobile device users must be brought onto the network safely and that’s where the always-on VPN connection complements Palo Alto’s firewall protection.

The always-on VPN connection to the network at corporate headquarters can verify that all users have the exact same network enforcement policy that they would have physically at the building.

3. Device Management

Careful here. We are constantly asked about Mobile Device Management. That could mean several different things.

With Palo Alto Networks, device management means the establishment of the fundamental profiles that govern settings on devices and the state of the device.

It provides the means to ensure that each device is clear of malware or other risks and ensures the device is appropriate for use, according to corporate policy.

Some features can set minimum standards for passcode requirements, remote wiping and device wiping after a number of failed unlock attempts. A “jailbroken” device would not be allowed on a network, based on the fact that its code signing requirements have been removed.

That feature allows an organization to check and see if devices are congruent with the characteristics of a jailbroken device, whether it is in a state which will not allow for network connectivity.

Most Important Step: Start with the Infrastructure

Consumers have multiple devices running multiple operating systems that have multiple functions.

The only commonality for all of them is the wireless network that they are accessing. With the ability to now actually visualize what is happening on their network, administrators can enforce policies for users and devices, no matter the operating system.

Before implementing an advanced security solution like Palo Alto Networks Firewall, the capacity of the wired infrastructure, switches and even access points on the edge may need to be upgraded to current industry standards which allow for faster data transfer on the network.

What is Next Generation Firewall?

A next generation firewall (NGFW) is, as Gartner defines it, a “deep-packet inspection firewall that moves beyond port/protocol inspection and blocking to add application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and bringing intelligence from outside the firewall.”

Traditional vs Next Generation Firewalls

As their name suggests, next generation firewalls are a more advanced version of the traditional firewall, and they offer the same benefits. Like regular firewalls, NGFW use both static and dynamic packet filtering and VPN support to ensure that all connections between the network, internet, and firewall are valid and secure. Both firewall types should also be able to translate network and port addresses in order to map IPs.

There are also fundamental differences between the traditional firewall and next generation firewalls. The most obvious difference between the two is an NGFW’s ability to filter packets based on applications. These firewalls have extensive control and visibility of applications that it is able to identify using analysis and signature matching. They can use whitelists or a signature-based IPS to distinguish between safe applications and unwanted ones, which are then identified using SSL decryption. Unlike most traditional firewalls, NGFWs also include a path through which future updates will be received.

Benefits Of Using Next Generation Firewalls

The differentiating features of next generation firewalls create unique benefits for the companies using them. NGFWs are able to block malware from entering a network, something that traditional firewalls would never be able to achieve. They are better equipped to address Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). NGFWs can be a low-cost option for companies looking to improve their basic security because they can incorporate the work of antiviruses, firewalls, and other security applications into one solution. The features of this include application awareness, inspection services, as well as a protection system and awareness tool that benefit the offering at all odds.

The Importance Of Next Generation Firewalls

Installing a firewall is a requirement for any business. In today’s environment, having a next generation firewall is almost as important. Threats to personal devices and larger networks are changing every day. With the flexibility of a NGFW, it protects devices and companies from a much broader spectrum of intrusions. Although these firewalls are not the right solution for every business, security professionals should carefully consider the benefits that NGFWs can provide, as it has a very large upside.

If you have any questions about implementing the right network security solution or would like a demo of a Next-Gen firewall from Palo Alto Networks, please contact us here.