04 Apr Best firewall: Get to know the essential features
The term firewall has become popular over the years as a basic and necessary security solution for businesses. Moreover, from that, a number of developments have emerged, both commercially and economically.
Briefly, a firewallis essentially a software and/or device, with a set of features that can provide more security for businesses. This means that the solution is able to act in the control and prevention of threats, allowing the use of internet in a more appropriate way, respecting security guidelines of organizations and creating visibility on the use of the internet.
Defining the best firewallis something rather particular, which must take into account the most latent pains of the business, associated with security, availability and productivity, as well as company’s current investment capacity and structure, and other business features that may be influenced by the application of a firewall solution. Therefore, choosing the best firewallinvolves evaluating a representative set of factors so that the project achieves objectives under technical, financial and business perspectives.
Let us explore with this post some reflections that are fundamental to be carried out to get closer to the concept of better firewall, taking into account company size, product characteristics, and solution delivery, among others.
There are products for all sizes and market segment. This is a basic rule often overlooked: not necessarily the most expensive will be the best option for your company, just as the cheaper does not mean it will not work.
Many manufacturers act in different layers of market, and this movement is perceptible, because some of them can be avoided because there is no market fit with their need. Others, however, have a portfolio that caters for various sizes, and therefore must remain in sight.
Therefore, the first barrier, before any product characteristic, is to understand that there are solutions with different features and qualities, that serve different scenarios and structures, and there is room for everyone.
Also regarding the pricing of security solutions, be aware of items that can substantially alter a product proposal, such as:
Marketing platform:Security vendors diversify marketing platforms to meet the needs of several types of customers. In the case of a firewall, you have the option of purchasing product on the appliance platforms, virtual applianceor software. Remember that products sold in the software platform, conventionally, are more accessible, being an alternative for companies with less investment capacity.
Security bundles:When listing a security solution, be aware including the modules contracted in the format of subscription, such as app filter, content filter, IDS/IPS, among others. The inclusion of these features usually brings substantial change in the final price of the solution, so be aware of these items.
Type of support: Typically, companies that use security products choose to hire specialist support services from the supplier. This service ensures adequate response time to incidents and product reconfiguration needs. It is worth mentioning that there are several types of services, contemplating specific needs of the most varied types of business. The type of contracted service also generates variation in the investment made in the security solution, so be aware of this item.
Contracting method:Another item that can change the investment in the security solution is the hiring modality of the service. The vast majority of security providers allow the customer to contract the service in the form of rent, which reflects in the dilution of the investment during the term of the contract. Rent modality also avoids initial investment in the licensing of the product, making the process of contracting the service more accessible.
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In the face of increased complexity of threats and technology environments, it is important that the firewall solution has threat prevention and control features. This means, among other things, having integrated antivirus or third party compatibility, intrusion detection and prevention system, automatic threat update, and the like.
Keep in mind that this is a recommendation is not necessarily a better firewalldefinition. This is because, depending on the maturity of the company, these features can offer a very high security step. In some cases, starting with the basics brings excellent results to the company.
If your business already has previous experiences with firewall solutions and has an incidence of internal security issues such as attacks, data evasion and others, advanced threat management features is an extremely important step to take.
This is because the sensitivity of the security of the environment will be better adjusted, and certain analyzes and features that do not exist in conventional solutions, such as behavior analysis and packet data area signing, will be considered and will increase the security of the company.
Managing the use of the Internet is a need evidenced in many businesses; it is common that the misuse of the internet, by either distraction or even access to inappropriate content, can harm the organization causing damage often irreparable for companies.
In this sense, an important feature of a firewall is that it can granularly manage access to the Internet, based on users, groups, timetables, websites and other tools that allow the creation of a policy of proper use of business guidelines.
In this way, users can access only what is pre-established. This protects them from clicking malicious content in the wrong way, as well as the company itself from the possible problems generated by this type of action. The social network previously allowed may now have flexible schedules for use, and other flexibilities that can (and should) be combined and agreed upon with managers.
The number of websites and content on the Internet, on the other hand, makes management somewhat complex. That is why there are millions of websites, and categorizing that content or creating manual lists, is an unnecessary complexity. Therefore, make sure that an intended solution works with website categorization, this will greatly facilitate the application of access controls.
The control based on categories can be complementary to specific rules, but the great objective is that certain sectors have access to contents linked to their work activity. For example, it does not make much sense for an audit or controlling industry to have access to online gaming, entertainment, religion, and other content.
Although site management offers a more controllable and secure environment, there are other applications accessed by users that do not follow the HTTP protocol format, and therefore are not recognized by many proxy applications.
Therefore, if you have problems controlling simplified applications such as Skype, Torrent, WhatsApp and many others, it is recommended that your firewall recognize such applications so that you can create policies based on them.
This strategy of having several formats and control capabilities is a basic and very important premise of an in-depth safety concept, which defines that an element will never be able to guarantee the safety of the whole environment.
As important as having control capabilities of what can be accessed on the internet, is having visibility of what is actually used, and what is the level of internal and external threats. This allows you to manage the access policy according to the environment.
Access to operational reports and graphs is critical for updating the policy over time, as well as being a great indicator that makes it possible to assess whether things are actually running well or not. Therefore, a very important feature to consider when purchasing a firewall is the level of detailed operation offered, it makes all the difference for you to know and make better decisions regarding the use of the internet and security in the company.
As the internet is a limited resource, where businesses have great dependence, another key feature nowadays is that the solution turns it easy to manage multiple internet links. This will allow greater availability of Internet use, and a more rational use, being able to prioritize what is in fact important for the organization.
Although not a feature but a very important point in day-to-day use of any product, it is the background behind the company in terms of technical support. If the company does not have a suitable team, the chances of failure are very large, and are not necessarily related to the solution.
Because of this, reputation in the marketplace is paramount. Before purchasing a solution, however attractive the features may be and meet your need, check if the company behind the sale is qualified, if it has cases in the market, loyal customers and knowledgeable professionals.
Based on these reflections you will have opportunity to define the best firewallfor your need and reality. Moreover, if you have questions about the subject, we have highly specialized teams in environmental analysis, which allow you to design the best technological solution to add value to your business. Consult one of our experts and have a free diagnosis.