Firewall technology has been securing company networks and applications for decades now. However, since cyber threats and malicious activities are evolving, upgrading your NFGW products and security policies is crucial. But the real challenge kicks in when you have to shortlist the best NGFW vendors for advancing your network and endpoint security capabilities. An exhaustive quantitative analysis of the NGFW industry shows that only a handful of brands are leading this market with their unique offerings, which have already been listed above. Therefore, the major players in this regard have to be Palo Alto, Juniper, FortiGate, Cisco and Checkpoint.
Every enterprise conducts their businesses online now. No wonder there is a continual threat and security risk, for which every company is looking for the best NGFW product to guard and protect their sensitive data and information.
But how do you shortlist the right one? To start with your selection, first list down the essential features of the NGFW firewall that can help you tighten your security layers. Having said that, let's explore the top 6 products already listed above and check their characteristics in detail to select the right one for your business:
Palo Alto PA-5200
The Palo Alto Networks® PA-5200 Series is known for its high performance and versatility. As a result, it is one of the most popular NGFW choices for data centers. These are ideal for internet gateway deployments. The entire series comprises PA-5260, PA-5220, PA-5250 and PA-5280 firewalls.
One of the primary reasons for being a market leader is that Palo Alto offers excellent flexibility in terms of performance and stability while offering every feature required to meet the client's deployment requirements. No wonder all the models in this series provide high-end security features that can protect your enterprise through advanced visibility and control of users, content and apps.
Some of the highlights of the PA-5200 Series are:
- Palo Alto incorporates ML within the firewall core to offer inline signatureless attack prevention for any such file-based attacks and stops the never-before-seen phishing attempts
- Utilizes behavioral analysis for IoT device detections and for making policy recommendations
- Cloud-delivered as well as natively integrated service on the NGFW
- ML-powered NGFW offers automated policy recommendations for reducing human errors and saving company resources
- Complete Layer 7 inspection available for identification and categorization of all applications on all ports and at any time
- Amplify security investments to prevent any business disruption with AIOPs
- Centralized management and visibility through Panorama™ network security management, available within one unified user interface
- Single-pass architecture available for delivering multiple functions like networking, signature matching, policy lookup, perform networking and more for threat detection and scanning traffic
Some other features include advanced threat prevention, WildFire® malware prevention, enterprise DLP, DNS security, advanced URL filtering, SaaS security, IoT security, etc. It enables SD-WAN functionality, delivering exceptional end-user experience and minimizes jitter, latency and packet loss.
Palo Alto PA-400
PA-400 Series seems extremely popular among sectors involving banks, hospitals, retailers, etc. The Palo Alto PA-400 series is available in four models, namely, PA-440, PA-450, PA-460 and PA-410. These are some of the best offerings by the brand, with hassle-free deployment and low total cost of ownership (TCO).
It can be accommodated within limited spaces and remote places as they are compact. Also, these are available with a zero-trust network security feature, allowing organizations and employees to operate these systems practically from anywhere.
Some of the highlights of the PA-400 Firewall Series are:
- Offering the world's first ML-Powered NGFW
- Palo Alto is the ten-times leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Network Firewalls
- It is the leader in the Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Firewalls, Q3 2020
- It can block 100% of evasions and provides security in a desktop form factor
- Performs seamlessly with the raw TCP/UDP traffic and offers complete visibility into encrypted traffic, delivering high performance
- It helps enterprises to merge their security requirements within a single firewall platform at any location and reduce compatibility issues caused by disparate security tools
- Ideal for threat prevention, IoT security, wildfire malware prevention, DNS security, advanced URL filtering, etc.
- Simplifies deployment with optional Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP)
- Availability of specific features for mitigating failures in case of remote working users
- The fan-less cooling design is ideal for making the NGFW quiet and resilient, lowers the requirement of frequent servicing
- Dual power supplies in these models help with the power outage and prevent failures
The updated PAN-OS version is available with credential phishing prevention, policy optimizer, etc., to help classify threats and traffic without affecting monitoring. Therefore, these NGFW products are an excellent selection for assisting organizations in creating robust security policies and reducing incident response times while improving the overall security posture. Apart from this, the PA-400 series is also known for its competitive prices in the market.
The brand came up with the latest and slimmest NGFW appliance to meet the requirements of the enterprise market. It is none other than the FortiGate-100F, which is available within the mid-range but makes no compromises with the features and functionalities. It is known for putting some of the best brands in competition, like the ones mentioned above.
As per the brand, it is ten times faster than other products in the VPN throughput category, which happens to be another key reason for this NGFW to stand out in the market. In addition, SD-WAN, or software-defined wide area network, is another reason that it is built to handle all the required networking duties while keeping the lock-down security in check.
Along with this, the FortiGate 100F Series NGFW utilizes machine learning and AI-powered security to deliver threat protection and deeper visibility within the network to check users, apps and devices and identify their potential to become threats. Due to such capabilities, this NGFW tool can expand into an integrated security fabric platform to deliver secure networking advanced edge protection.
Some of the highlights of the FortiGate-100 F are:
- Security-driven networking FortiOS offer converged networking and security
- Universal ZTNA is available to control, facilitate and verify user access to apps to reduce lateral threats by providing access to only the validated users
- Consolidated AI-ML-powered FortiGuard services offer excellent enterprise security
- SSL inspection and ultra-fast threat protection available to enhance overall performance
- It is the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Network Firewalls and WAN Edge Infrastructure
- State-of-the-Art Fortinet’s patented / SPU / vSPU processors offer unparalleled performances
- Ultra-scalable, low latency, VXLAN segmentation connects physical and virtual domains with the Layer 4 firewall rules
The FG 100F is an ideal option for mid-sized enterprises comprising 150 users. With the availability of Fortinet Security Fabric, one can deploy and run the NGFW with minimal time and money investment. Dynamic segmentation can adapt to any network topology and deliver end-to-end security across multi-cloud environments. It also prevents lateral movement across networks with coordinated and advanced protection from FortiGuard Security Services.
Check Point 6000 Series
Check Point 6000 Series is known for offering a unified management platform for translating threat intelligence data acquired from hundreds of millions of sensors globally into proactive security protections across its network infrastructure. It can protect mid-scale enterprises with 5000 employees and offer a scalable option to expand security layers quickly against GenV cyberattacks in case of business expansion.
The Quantum Security Gateway™ 6000 series offers excellent security as the advanced threat prevention, SandBlast, still continues to be one of the best in preventing the 5th generation of cyberattacks with much more than 60 incredible security services. In addition, it advances the anti-ransomware along with the CPU level emulation capabilities, which helps enhance the prevention, performance and protection against zero-day exploits.
Some of the highlights of the Check Point 6000 Series are:
- Uncompromising security as it delivers the highest-caliber threat prevention with the award-winning SandBlast Network Zero Day protection
- Offer comprehensive protection along with data center-grade hardware, which maximizes the performance and uptime
- Largest offering of security services, including cloud, mobile, network and endpoints
- Claim to mitigate cyberattacks in real-time, reduces risk and solve security gaps while maximizing the total cost of ownership
- Can reduce operation management time by 80%
- Top-tier security management attributes help in increasing operational efficiency and lower challenges with managing network security
- Highly scalable and meet all specific security needs for businesses with easy-to-manage configurations
Unified threat management offers highly flexible options through SmartCloud or on-premise SmartConsole security cloud services. The Quantum 6000 family is actively offering 7.6 Gbps threat prevention along with cloud-level resilience and hyperscale expansion up to 380 Gbps. The series also provides 2 x 40 GbE connectivity for rapidly expanding networks.
Juniper continues to strive in the market as one of the best NGFW brands even in 2022, demonstrating an excellent ability to detect cyber threats in real-time. In addition, it reliably protects your applications, users and devices delivered in the cloud as a service or on-premises.
The famous Juniper SRX-1500 is the SD-WAN-enabled firewall that protects enterprise campuses with 2000 users and is the ideal option to be employed within small and medium-sized data centers.
It offers next-generation firewall capabilities like application visibility and control, prevention and content security features including anti-spam, antivirus, web filtering and more. In addition, the presence of advanced threat prevention offers comprehensive threat defense along with SecIntel threat feeds, Juniper Adaptive Threat Profiling, dynamic malware detection, Juniper Encrypted Traffic Insights, etc.
Some of the highlights of the Juniper SRX-1500 are:
- Presence of Encrypted Traffic Insights for detecting malware that is hidden within the SSL-encrypted traffic
- Reduces processing times for latency-sensitive environments like the ones of financial networks, making it easier to audit both devices and the network for regulatory compliances
- Advanced Threat Prevention helps in protecting the network from potential threats with Juniper’s rich suite of security capabilities, adjusting dynamically to network security requirements and offering threat intelligence feeds and malware sandboxing
- Availability of advanced NGFW features like application security (AppSecure), intrusion prevention system (IPS), content security, user ID and role-based access controls, etc.
- Easy-to-use GUI including Network Address Translation (NAT), firewall policy management, auto-provisioning and IPsec VPN deployments
- Provide adaptive, secure and dynamic SSL VPN access to cloud and corporate resources for the remote users
- Fully automated SD-WAN available for service providers as well as enterprises
- The Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) capability simplifies overall branch network connectivity for ongoing management as well as the initial deployment
- Due to its high performance, this product act as the VPN hub and terminates any VPN/secure overlay connections within the various SD-WAN topologies
- The SRX1500 offers agile SecOps through automation capabilities supporting Python scripts for orchestration, event scripting for operational management, Zero Touch Deployment and more
The product runs Juniper Networks Junos® OS, which has already proven to be a carrier-hardened network operating system that can power the top 100 service providers across the globe. Juniper SRX-1500 also provides high onboard port densities along with the flexibility of multiple Ethernet interface speeds. In addition, with the on/off-box capabilities, this product enables remote and automatic network configuration along with the security policies and settings on the SRX devices.
Cisco 9300 Series
The Cisco 9300 Series focuses heavily on threat defense capabilities while monitoring granular application control and security strategy against potential threats posed by evasive malware attacks. It offers the industry’s first fully integrated, unified threat management solution, which delivers comprehensive policy management functionalities along with threat prevention, application control and advanced malware protection from your enterprise network to the endpoint.
Also, these can be easily deployed hassle-free on Cisco Firepower 2100 Series 9300, and 4100 series for providing density-optimized NGFW security solutions for enhancing performance and fulfilling security requirements as per your business.
The Cisco Firepower NGFW offers granular control and is the most widely deployed stateful firewall that covers more than 4,000 commercial applications. The product is available with a single management interface, which offers unified visibility and comprehensive policy management to stop attacks, control access and tighten defensive strategies against malware attacks. It also provides integrated tools to contain, track and recover from any hidden attacks.
Some of the highlights of the Cisco 9300 Series are:
- Offers next-generation intrusion prevention system or NGIPS and delivers industry-leading threat protection
- Easy ways to track and contain the malware infections
- Presence of fully integrated AMP or advanced malware protection which can address both unknown and known threats with the availability of integrated sandbox
- Can automatically correlate threat events with the enterprise network’s vulnerabilities to focus on using correct resources for reducing the attacks
- Analyzes potential network weaknesses only to recommend appropriate security policies and strategies
- Provide more robust security by offering seamless integration with the Cisco network security products for previous investments
- Availability of capabilities to gain more data insights about the control over apps and devices to detect potential hidden vulnerabilities within the network
- Early detection and quick response by shrinking malware time from months to hours and devising quicker remediations
Apart from these characteristics, this product enables businesses to optimize their current security policies by eliminating security gaps and automating threat correlation across tightly integrated security functions like NGIPS, application firewalling and AMP. Per the Cisco Annual Security Report, it can do a thorough check and diminish the 100-day median time interval from infection to detection to less than a day. With the availability of NEBS-compliant configurations, it gets easier to elevate the network performance. It offers scalable functionalities for high-performance computing centers, high-frequency trading environments, service providers, large data centers, etc.
How to Select the Best NGFW for Businesses in 2023?
The above section highlights the top 6 NGFW products for 2023. However, to shortlist the right brand and product for your enterprise, you need to consider the exact configuration along with your requirements. Knowing firewalls' top features will help you narrow your selection range without compromising your needs.
If you want to find the relevant brand to meet your network security requirements, get in touch with DC Gears. At DC Gears, we bring you the top brands offering cybersecurity and network security solutions at the best prices worldwide. We are available in more than 40 countries and provide you with the finest on-site assistance, 24*7. To learn more about DC Gears, check out our website