Top 6 NGFW Vendors to Choose in 2023

Next-generation firewalls are the ones that help companies to protect their sensitive data and information by monitoring the incoming network traffic. Traditional firewalls are responsible for offering stateful inspections of the outgoing and incoming traffic.

But NGFW offers you an advanced layer of protection with the availability of features like cloud-delivered threat intelligence, integrated intrusion prevention, application awareness and control, etc. These are often cloud-based and highly adaptive, which makes it easier for companies to withstand evolving threats.

So, these NGFWs are software or hardware-based network security devices which can identify and block unauthorized attacks beyond the traditional firewall technologies. Let's find out the top next-gen firewalls to choose from in 2023:

1. Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks is often termed the global cybersecurity leader. Palo Alto is the brainchild of Nir Zuk, who is an exceptional network security expert. Palo Alto Networks was the first company to release an NGFW in 2007.

One of the reasons why Palo Alto has been one of the most trusted firewall brands is its varied features, including threat intelligence technologies, traffic identification, and malware prevention. It doesn’t rely on the port protocols or procedures for securing the network traffic from potential threats. Instead, it offers a range of tools like:

So, these NGFWs are software or hardware-based network security devices which can identify and block unauthorized attacks beyond the traditional firewall technologies. Let's find out the top next-gen firewalls to choose from in 2023:

  • User ID for monitoring the user activities along with enablement policies
  • Content ID for blocking the vulnerability attacks while securely allowing the app access
  • App-ID for continually monitoring the network traffic as per the security policies to selectively allow the authorized incoming traffic and block the unauthorized
  • WildFire is a cloud-based malware security facility that incorporates machine learning to identify advanced vulnerabilities by using sharing data from different intelligence communities and thereby blocking the ones that the network has never encountered before

Content ID is also known for additional data filtering, which enables organizations to tighten their security layers of intrusion detection while advancing the prevention capabilities for keeping critical assets secure.

polo alto networks firewall

Why Palo Alto Networks?

The unique capabilities of Palo Alto Networks define why this brand has managed to dominate the network security market. As per the company’s claim, some of its incredible features are:

  • It is the only firewall that can classify traffic based on the application’s accurate identification and not just the protocol data
  • 85 of Fortune 100 companies rely on Palo Alto Networks. Source: QFY. Fiscal year ends July; Gartner
  • It is capable enough to deliver a logical parameter for the mobile users
  • Palo Alto is the only firewall to offer graphical visualization of apps on the network along with detailed network, user, and group data, which are cataloged by sessions, threats, ports, bytes, and time
  • It is one of the only companies that offers 5G Ready Firewalls
  • It can control, detect, and inspect your applications and SSL-encrypted traffic
  • Palo Alto Networks can detect the malicious files which are used in targeted attacks by directly executing them within the virtual cloud-based environment
  • It also offers low latency and real-time content scanning to elevate security against data leakage, viruses, application vulnerabilities, spyware, etc.
  • It offers protection for Kubernetes along with exfiltration prevention
  • Availability of DevOps-friendly configuration
  • Administrators can get a single point to manage the next-gen firewalls due to the central management (Panorama)
  • Incorporate existing user repositories for controlling application access along with the user-based policies

Given these benefits, no wonder that Palo Alto Networks is considered to be one of the best firewall solutions across the global platform. Their ML-powered NGFWs are known for protecting the entire organization, from startups to the largest data centers and cloud workloads. As a result, the PA-Series has garnered the vendor Leader designation from Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls and has achieved the Leader status in the Forrester Wave in 2020.

Pros Cons
Better security outcomes Slightly Expensive
DoS protection with brute force prevention Certain features might require expert setup and managenent
Automate incident responses & quick invenstigations
World-class threat intelligence
Cloud delivered security

2. Fortinet

Fortinet is the forerunner in delivering robust firewall technology while combining IPS, SSL inspection, and web filtering to strengthen the client company's security capabilities. In addition, the brand is known for enabling administrators with proper visibility across network segments.

Fortinet is also known for delivering flawless convergence, which can be customized per client requirements. Be it cloud or remote offices, get the services irrespective of the setup or location. So what distinguishes Fortinet from the other top NGFW brands available in the market?

  • AI-powered security, which enables you to protect campus, branch, data centers, and even the cloud with advanced security features, ready to be scaled up to any environment
  • Deep visibility enables the companies to view the apps, devices, and users even when these are encrypted, thereby helping in the early detection of hidden threats and potential vulnerabilities within the systems
  • Machine learning to build operational efficiencies while supporting the overburdened IT teams
  • Forticare, a unique feature, helps the companies to get access to around 1400 professionals while ensuring exceptional operations and maintenance of their capabilities
fortinet ngfw firewall

Fortinet is the Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for WAN Edge Infrastructure. So, the brand is known for delivering exceptional enterprise security to any edge business at any scale. Also, it helps reduce your overall expenses by eliminating the point products while protecting hyperscale to meet business growth requirements. And with that, you get a seamless user experience along with operational efficiency with automated, coordinated, and consistent security at any specific location.

Pros Cons
Ideal for MSPs and enterprises Ideal for large setups
Easy to configure and install
AI and Machine learning can instantly detect threats and lower occurrences
SSL inspection can detect threadts even when embedded in encrypted traffic

3. Cisco

Cisco firewall security goes with the slogan “Frustrate attackers, not users,” highlighting the fact that the brand is keen on embedding zero trust across the clients’ multi-environment IT.

Known for securing access at the speed of your business, the Cisco firewall has managed to offer incredible malware detection and IPS capabilities. It can identify potential vulnerabilities along with the indicators of compromise within the company’s network. Furthermore, with the availability of regular signature updates, it gets easier for IPS to detect emerging online threats.

Some of the significant highlights of the Cisco firewall are:

  • It helps in prioritizing, planning, and identifying the close gaps while recovering from any disaster pretty strongly
  • Unifies the policies across one’s IT infrastructure while creating more resilience towards security for lowering the potential attacks by cyber threats
  • Automated processes help in saving essential company resources
  • Leverage billions of signals across the IT environment while regaining visibility and complete control of the encrypted traffic
  • High availability, multi-node clustering, and advanced threat protection are some of the major USPs of this brand
  • It has made the entire zero-trust posture attainable while implementing micro-segmentation, along with app security integrations
cisco firewall security
Pros Cons
Premium protections from threats through IPS, CSC, etc. Sysadmins need proper Cisco experience to manage it
Better pricing
Easy app deployment over secured layers
Content and URL filtering are available

4. Juniper

Juniper is one of the most searched names on the digital platform when it comes to shortlisting the best NGFW for businesses. This is because Juniper Networks brings you a wide range of firewalls along with SD-WAN solutions designed for hybrid, private and public cloud environments.

The brand is known for combining the ability and behavior to identify threats in real time while reliably protecting your apps, users, and devices from malware, viruses and other malicious attacks. It does so by addressing the online threats with deep packet inspection and incoming scanning traffic to advance the app's visibility and control beyond limits.

The key features of Juniper NGFW are:

  • Protects applications, users, and company devices without compromising the performance or reliability
  • Juniper's NGFWs are known for delivering excellent threat-aware network posture, which isn’t restricted to perimeter-only protection
  • Automated risk reduction, which eliminates surface attacks via pervasive visibility while intelligence provides instant reactions
  • SSL inspection enables companies to detect threats that remain embedded in SSL-encrypted traffic
  • Juniper’s OS is known for its optimization services on the SRX devices
Pros Cons
In-build UTM, centralized security management with advanced malware analysis It can be an expensive investment for mid-range companies
Protects data center, network edge, and cloud apps with Juniper's next-generation virtual, physical and containerized firewalls
AI and machine learning for threat detection & prevention
Content and URL filtering are available

5. Sophos

Sophos, a UK-based cybersecurity brand, was the Niche Player in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls in 2018. The brand is known for offering a stack of NGFW solutions under the famous Sophos Firewall Xstream architecture. They also provide modern data protection for SD-WAN, Saas and cloud traffic. Sophos uses the global threat data while automating response and detecting malicious activities, isolating the suspicious behavior to block lateral movement.

Sophos has impressed industry analysts for multiple reasons. Its latest SD-WAN capabilities enhance network performance, resiliency and flexibility. The full mesh SD-WAN is easy to set up with just a few clicks. With deep packet inspection and application acceleration, Sophos is able to reduce the latest ransomware and data breaches while automatically updating security policies to optimize performance.

Let’s have a quick look at the highlights of Sophos firewall offerings:

  • Intelligent TLS inspection enables enterprises to inspect and decrypt traffic swiftly while supporting the latest standards with point-and-click policy tools and extensive exceptions making the overall job easy for the companies
  • Machine learning models to identify unidentified threats along with constant monitoring offering advanced visibility into web, content, and app traffic data
  • DPI stops ransomware and data breaches, including proxy-based scanning and intrusion prevention
  • Dynamic sandboxing, along with the deep learning static file analysis capabilities
  • Superior visibility to expose the hidden risks, along with advanced threat preventive measures to help enterprises regain complete control of the networks
  • Automatic threat responses isolate the compromised systems and use next-gen protection technologies to stop potential cyber threats from entering the network
Pros Cons
Use machine learning to stop zero-days and early threat detection Users need an enhanced dashboard with more adjustable and flexible options
Email filtering features enable low phishing and spam attempts
Reat-time performance-based WANlink monitoring
Flexible VPN client mobile VPN supporting IPsec and SSL
Cloud sandbox,web protections, synchronized security, advanced threat protection, user identity, app and web control, content control etc.
Enterprise-grade encryption, split tunnel options, wireless options etc.

6. Barracuda

The last one on this list of top NGFW tools is none other than Barracuda. Barracuda CloudGen Firewall is available for distributed enterprises as well as SMBs. It is the NGFW available with SD-WAN and traffic management features. So, these NGFWs can protect digital assets against DoS attacks, intrusions, malware and advanced persistent threats. It can also enforce network access controls while regulating web traffic and integrating application awareness.

The NGFW series has an advanced threat protection feature that enables enterprises to identify malicious activity while using the updated cryptographic hash database. If the system can detect any such action, it immediately responds with an automatic quarantine to control the issue.

The top key features of Barracuda NGFW are:

  • Advanced Intrusion Detection and Prevention System offers security against any cyber threats. It can detect the network threats like access control attempts, SQL injections, DoS/DDoS attacks, cross-site scripting, spyware, and more to block the most advanced attacks.
  • Early detection of data breaches with leverage analytics
  • Real-time monitoring is available with customizable reporting to ensure regulatory compliance along with data security to maximize network performance
  • Barracuda Firewall Insights automates the information retrieval tasks while offering advanced security analytics to aggregate, ingest and analyze data automatically from any CloudGen Firewall, even including the public-cloud deployments
  • Enable the enterprises to respond quickly and more accurately to the changing conditions, thereby reducing the expenses
  • Customizable dashboards are available to track critical metrics like bandwidth and latency
Pros Cons
Traffic management, advanced threat protection and intrusion detection Ideal for enterprise networks
Offer automated threat responses to lower the malware attacks Can advance their support languages to meet user requirements in non-english speaking areas
Domain fraud protection, spam, malware attack prevention and web security
Zero Trust Access is available for Microsoft 365
IDS/IPS settings stop probing and DoS attacks

What Are The Top Features Of NGFW?

If you are keen on finding the best NGFW brand for securing your company’s network, refer to the features of NGFW first, which are:

  • Cyber Threat Intelligence
  • User and Application Control
  • Virtualization Of Firewalls
  • Breach Prevention
  • Quick Detection Time
  • Centralized Management & Administration
  • Deep Packet Inspection
  • Integrated IPS
  • Adaptable Deployment Options
  • Availability & Scalable Performance

Also Read:Top 10 Features Of NGFW Firewall

To find more information about these top brands and their network security products, you can contact DC Gears, a reputed name in the market for bringing the best cybersecurity brands globally. The platform helps companies to find the best brands for security purposes while offering 24*7 on-site services worldwide. So get in touch with DC Gears to know more!