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Top 5 Next-Generation NGFW Firewall Vendors 2020

Next-Gen Firewall vendors to consider this year

Next-Gen Firewall vendors every network professional should know

In 2019, organisations were challenged and surprised more than ever before by both known and unknown malicious threats and attacks. That’s why reducing vulnerabilities, improving network security and using automation to detect and mitigate threats are top priorities for cyber security in 2020. To ensure that your company does not make the headlines this year, make sure you know what to look for!

There are many types of malware that a Firewall can protect against these days, including: ransomware, viruses, worms, trojans, adware and more. Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) take it a step further, by offering the ability not only to identify but also to completely block malware before it enters your network. NGFWs can swiftly detect and combat attacks across the entire network. As cyber attacks continue to become more sophisticated, Next Generation Firewalls will continue to be an essential component of any organization’s security solution, whether you’re in the data center, network, or cloud.

Reviewing next-generation firewalls and their capabilities is one of those steps that needs to be taken to significantly improve an organisation’s security. As cyberattacks and advanced hacking methodologies these days not only drive enterprises to look for next-generation firewalls, but also drive next-generation firewall vendors to optimize and update their solutions. The global Next-Generation Firewall Market is expected to grow at USD ~$4.69 Billion by 2023, at ~11.4% of CAGR between 2018 and 2023. It's the largest market in IT security products and still growing around 8 percent a year.

Malicious emails, phishing schemes and other threats concealed in content can be hard to detect. Luckily, many Next Generation Firewalls vendors offer the threat prevention capabilities IT Security staff is looking for. The best firewalls include application awareness, centralized management features, Deep Packet Inspection and 100Gbps threat protection as well as hybrid cloud security for example, to help defend against the rise of malware, intrusion attempts bypassing perimeter protection and other advanced threats.

NGFW features to look for

Features offered by the best NGFW's include ID/IPS, support for single-enterprise firewalls as well as branch offices, web proxy and URL filtering, Web Application Firewalling and virtual versions that can be deployed within the cloud. Next-Generation Firewalls incorporate threat intelligence feeds, apply behavior analysis to spot malicious applications and some also include load balancing features.

For a NGFW comparison it is crucial to look for differences among Next Generation Firewalls in their performance, third party security product integration capabilities, ease of installation and use, effectiveness at blocking threats, additional features such as application visibility and cloud protection and of course: pricing. 

Our list with the NGFW vendors to consider for 2020 include the features mentioned above and shows vendors that differentiate themselves by innovating and who regularly add additional useful functionalities IT security specialists look for. 

Here is our pick of the top 5 vendors for NGFW in 2020.

Fortinet FortiGate

Having been recognized for the 10th time in the Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls, FortiGates are definitely NGFWs worth considering. By integrating security and SD-WAN functionality and by offering Unified Threat Management, Fortinet minimises firewall management complexity while helping to reduce costs. 

The FortiGate 60 series is one of the best selling next-generation firewalls on the market. The FortiGate firewalls are high-performing appliances for improved network security. Besides the prevention and detection capabilities for known and unknown threats using threat intelligence, FortiGates also provide Cloud Security features such as integrations for multi-cloud environments (supporting the top 7 Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers), WAN Edge capabilities for enterprise branches, and protection against malware, exploits and malicious websites in both encrypted and non-encrypted traffic. 

This year, Fortinet introduced the FortiGate 60F, a NGFW with SD-WAN. With this release, Fortinet provides a new generation of this product line that includes the addition of one of their most innovative features to date: a full-featured SD-WAN and NGFW solution, powered by the new SOC4 security processor.

Fortinet ensures continuous innovation, providing customers with access to cutting edge security tools they need to enable digital business success. The Fortinet next generation firewalls are high-performance appliances adding intrusion prevention, application control, and anti-malware to the traditional firewall-VPN combination. This NGFW vendor provides one platform for end-to-end security across your network.

Palo Alto Networks PA-Series

Palo Alto was recognized by Gartner for eight consecutive years as a Leader in its Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls, while also earning the highest Security Effectiveness score in the 2019 NSS Labs NGFW test. 

Palo Alto Networks' Next-Generation firewalls consist of physical appliances, virtualized firewalls and 5G-ready firewalls. They are all based on a consistent Single-Pass Architecture and inspect all traffic, including all applications, threats, and content, and tie that traffic to the user, regardless of location or device type. 

With its shared threat intelligence across the ecosystem, Palo Alto Networks keeps information up to date for the firewall. Palo Alto's PA-series' Next-Generation firewalls reduce response times with automated policy-based actions, and you can automate workflows via integration with administrative tools, such as ticketing services, or any system with a RESTful API. Key capabilities of Palo Alto Networks Firewalls are secure access for all users irrespective of location, secure encrypted traffic, detection and prevention of advanced threats, as well as WildFire, which detects unknown threats with data from a global community and automatically blocks them. The Palo Alto firewalls also offers features to identify users and to block access to known phishing sites via URL filtering and stopping users from submitting corporate credentials to unknown sites. After acquiring Aporeto, a microsegmentation company using machine identities to restrict network traffic, Palo Alto Networks is reorienting itself for the cloud era.

Juniper Networks SRX Firewall series

The Juniper Networks SRX Series NGFWs combine high-performance security with integrated services for application security, intrusion protection and advanced threat detection for organizations of all sizes. In addition to its SRX hardware, Juniper offers the vSRX virtual firewall and the cSRX for containerized environments.

Juniper Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP) finds and blocks both known and unknown cyberthreats on the network. It uses the Juniper security intelligence feed SecIntel, along with sandboxing and machine learning to identify day-one threats.

ATP can be deployed as a cloud service add-on to the SRX Series firewall or as an on-premises JATP Appliance that collects and processes security issues identified by the SRX Series. In both deployment types, you can set up policies on the SRX to block threats flagged as malicious.

The on-premises devices ingest and analyze data from any third-party firewall or security data source. This enables enterprises to respond to threats with one touch, detect malware and it also helps avoid vendor lock in. With Juniper's ATP platform as an open ecosystem, it works in conjunction with any firewall and SIEM. This makes it very compatible and it can be used right away in an environment. Detection and analysis as well as automation also enables the ability to do one-touch mitigation. A pretty unique way of approaching advanced malware.

Juniper Networks SRX next-generation firewalls use information from Juniper’s Sky Advanced Threat Protection cloud-based service and third-party GeoIP feeds to block malicious activities as they enter or traverse the network. It also provides application visibility and control, IPS and user-based application policies, plus unified threat management (UTM) to protect and control your business assets.

Check Point Advanced Threat Protection

In 2019 Check Point achieved the highest security effectiveness score in the 2019 NSS Labs Breach Prevention Systems group test. Check Point’s Next Generation Firewalls and Advanced Endpoint Security achieved a 100% block rate, and earned a “Recommended” rating. Check Point’s portfolio includes 23 Firewall models optimized for running all threat prevention technologies simultaneously, including full SSL traffic inspection.It supports Application Inspection and Control, as well as hybrid cloud support. Founded in 1993, Check Point pioneered Firewall technology and is considered an information security market leader.

Check Point is well known in the carrier space with over 2500 communication service provider (CSP) customers worldwide. The vendor also offers inspection on all LTE protocols, including GTP, SCTP and Diameter. This provides integrated security for LTE networks, protecting IP internet connectivity for devices with IPv4 and IPv6 addresses with the most scalable carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT) firewall.

Check Point’s enterprise firewall product line includes 17 appliances and two chassis for hardware blades, scaling up to 400 Gbps. It can also be delivered as a virtual appliance, deployed on VMware, Amazon Web Services (AWS), OpenStack and Microsoft Azure, or delivered as software.

Forcepoint NGFW

What sets Forcepoint apart from other NGFW vendors, besides being named a visionary in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls, is their focus on a behavioral analysis approach, which analyzes how people access and interact with critical data. 

Forcepoint NGFWs include centralized monitoring, management and reporting across diverse virtual, physical and Cloud environments, as well as third-party devices. They are ‘recommended’ in NSS Labs 2019 NGFW Group Test. Forcepoint serves optimized workflows streamlining daily administrative tasks and security management for high efficiency and low total cost of ownership (TCO). 

In addition, Forcepoint NGFW provides fast decryption of encrypted traffic, including HTTPS web connections, combined with granular privacy controls that keep your business and users safe in a rapidly changing world. It can even limit access from specific endpoint applications to lock down devices or prevent the use of vulnerable software.

9 January 2020

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