What features to consider in Network Firewalls in 2023?

Network Firewalls

Network Firewalls

Firewalls protect a company’s network from cyber threats by inspecting traffic that passes through it. They determine what data belongs and does not belong there.

Firewalls can be deployed as hardware appliances that plug into a company’s network or in software or virtual environments. The latest firewalls also offer various additional features to increase security efficacy and flexibility.

Real-Time Monitoring

Monitoring data in real-time is a critical feature in network firewall security. With your own personal firewall, it’s essential to be able to keep an eye on everything going on so you can take necessary actions when needed.

Real-time monitoring can be an invaluable asset in a variety of applications. Call center managers, for instance, can use it to detect unusual customer behaviors and address them before they escalate out of control. This helps them catch issues early so that they can be addressed before becoming larger issues.

In addition to alerting on abnormal behavior, a reliable real-time monitoring product can offer an overview of the network at any given moment. This provides network managers with insight into what’s occurring and how it could potentially impact productivity.

IT managers can use this data to identify areas that are performing well and those that need further monitoring. This allows them to prioritize alerts and trigger events for improved infrastructure management.

Real-Time Monitoring offers another advantage by enabling you to compare new data with historical traffic patterns. This can be invaluable in detecting long-term issues that might have gone undetected without the firewall’s presence.

Maintaining an up-to-date firewall rule set can have a dramatic impact on the performance of your network. To keep it optimal, be sure to regularly check for changes.

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) is a type of firewall that scans data packets for potential threats and security breaches. Companies and Internet service providers utilize DPI to prevent viruses, malware, spam, and other malicious content from invading their networks.

One of the most widely-used Network Firewall features is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). This form of packet filtering enables the firewall to examine each packet it blocks or drops in real time.

With this technology, the firewall can detect hidden viruses and malicious activity. It also has the capacity to determine which rules are being triggered most frequently.

DPI (Digital Policy Indexing) can also be employed to manage network traffic by assigning different priorities to messages and peer-to-peer downloads, blocking illegal usage of company applications, and controlling user behavior. DPI adds value to a company’s network by enabling administrators to better detect and address various threats.

DPI stands in contrast to conventional packet filtering in that it allows data inspection without significantly slowing down network performance. Unfortunately, setting up this solution can be complex and requires regular updates and revisions for optimal effectiveness.

DPI analysis can be a resource-intensive task that may overtax hardware-based security devices, so many organizations opt to offload DPI processing onto cloud-based secure web gateways. Doing so allows them to expand their DPI analysis without placing undue strain on existing perimeter firewalls.

Although DPI can help organizations block malware, it also creates new vulnerabilities. Furthermore, these flaws could be exploited to enable other types of attacks such as buffer overflows and denial-of-service attacks.

Despite these drawbacks, DPI is widely used by businesses and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to protect their networks from security threats. It also plays a crucial role in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions; using DPI combined with DLP helps organizations better safeguard sensitive information while cutting costs and improving efficiency. DPI can be installed on dedicated hardware or software; however, it’s best to consult an expert before installing it for your business.

Automatic Updates

Firewalls are a key part of your network security setup, so it’s essential that they remain up to date. Outdated firewall software leaves you vulnerable to hackers who could exploit its flaws to intrude on your data.

One of the most essential tasks for any network administrator is to keep devices such as switches, routers, and firewalls up-to-date with security patches. While this can be a time-consuming process, it’s essential for maintaining reliability and security in your network infrastructure. The next generation firewall NGFW usually have the feature of automatic update synchronously. So you do not have to wait until the update is installed and configured.

In order to guarantee your software remains up-to-date, configure automatic updates in your firewall. This feature allows the firewall to automatically download and install patches as soon as they become necessary.

An intrusion prevention system should be regularly updated to detect and block known threats. Security patches are essential for keeping your network secure against cyber criminals who are constantly seeking new ways to break into systems and networks.

Automating firewall updates is an efficient way to reduce the workload for security personnel and ensure your firewalls stay up-to-date with the latest patches. However, it’s essential that you select a reliable automation solution that can keep your business protected and secure – especially if you operate in a dynamic environment with shifting network requirements.

Web Filtering

Web filtering is an integral component of Network Firewall that helps safeguard both the Internet and your company. It blocks users from visiting malicious websites and keeps them away from harmful content such as phishing sites, exploit kits, malware, and more.

Additionally, it can shield your employees from the distractions of social media and other online tools, which can stifle productivity. Furthermore, it complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires businesses to keep minors’ Internet activities under strict control.

Content filtering is a hardware or software-based technique for blocking certain types of web content. This is often employed to prevent minors from viewing objectionable or distracting material such as pornographic, violent, and obscene materials.

Filtering can be done based on categories – such as sports, gambling, or pornographic – or the quality of the content. For instance, an organization may decide that its high school students should not have access to 18-rated movies and games.

However, even the most stringent filtering cannot guarantee the complete exclusion of content. As such, it is important to research different web filtering solutions in order to select one that best meets your organization’s requirements.

Browser-based filtering is a convenient and affordable way to block URLs on devices, typically provided as browser extensions or add-ons. Although these filters are easy to use, they tend not to last long due to the need for frequent updates.

Another type of web filtering is DNS-based filtering, which blocks specific sites based on preidentified IP addresses. This approach is especially effective at eliminating productivity drains such as social media and gambling sites, in addition to adult content.