As your business grows and expands, your security and network requirements might also change. Although you might not be able to foresee what kind of changes your business will undergo and the corresponding configuration to take up, it is still possible to invest in the right firewall ahead of time.
The ideal firewall should ease the burden of managing many products, save expenses and cycle times, and improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of managing your network infrastructure, helping your company be ready for expansion. However, with so many options available in the market, how do you choose the right one? Read on to discover some critical considerations.
1. Matching the throughput with your business needs
Throughput demands are constantly shifting. Today’s minimum need is yesterday’s ultraperformance. Bandwidth demands inevitably grow as user numbers, devices, and application sophistication rise. Your firewall must swiftly recognise apps, expand to handle growing network traffic needs, and protect them – especially now that, according to Google’s most recent Transparency report, 95% of all traffic is encrypted. The secret to finding malicious actors hidden in those encrypted channels is to decrypt SSL, including the most recent TLS1.3.
2. Type of inspection you need
Modern firewalls need to conduct specialised inspection, analysis, correlation, and response duties; these jobs include performing a deep examination of encrypted traffic, which may easily overload generic CPUs. Generic CPUs were never designed to do these things. Similar to how specialised GPUs are needed to generate rich video streams for enhanced graphics, more processing power is required to support the complex tools and techniques utilised by today’s hackers. Most firewalls cannot provide the specialised and demanding procedure to analyse streaming traffic in real-time.
The second problem is longevity. A firewall should be chosen as a long-term investment. However, even though most organisations anticipate their technology to last two to four years, data shows that over half purchase extra tools and workarounds every one to two years to either address holes in their current solution or make up for nagging performance concerns. The best rule of thumb is to estimate your bandwidth needs for the next three years, double that figure by two, and then choose a firewall that can easily secure that amount of traffic.
3. Speed and effectiveness in analysing threats
The crucial point of inspection for all network traffic is your firewall. Performance is also vital in the application-centric corporate world of today. Unfortunately, not many firewalls were created to fulfil the demands of modern small enterprises for digital performance. Almost always, the expense of getting one quickly is exorbitant.
The device’s central processing unit (CPU) and how well it works with its underlying operating system determine performance. Its CPU’s ability to support the specialised duties of high-performance security inspection, or if it was constructed around generic processors being expected to perform tasks for which they were not intended, is a crucial factor.
Non-negotiables for your firewall
While most firewalls come with nice-to-have features that providers advertise to set their product apart, you should pay attention to the essentials. None of them is worth your time or money if they don’t satisfy your needs. Your firewall must at the very least provide:
- Content Filtering
- Advanced Threat Protection
- Endpoint Integration
- IoT Visibility & Control
- Secure SD-WAN
- Remote Access
Choosing the proper firewall ensures that your security is effective now and will safeguard and support your company’s operations in the future – even as technology and business strategies evolve. Furthermore, partnering with a provider who comprehends your requirements in both the short and long term promotes longevity, reduces needless workarounds, and prevents future debates about rip and replace that can cause a firm to fail.
If you have a passion for firewall policies and configurations or are thinking of upskilling or reskilling, you may consider enrolling in our NSE 4: FortiGate Security or NSE 4: FortiGate Infrastructure course, which will provide a solid foundation for basic network security. At BridgingMinds, we offer a wide array of courses ranging from PMP training to cybersecurity. We also provide funded CISSP training and ITIL 4 Foundation in Singapore. Contact us today to get started!