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Infographic: A Brief Overview of Next Gen Firewalls

Posted In Infographics - By Techtiplib on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 With No Comments »

Firewalls provide an essential Internet security function by monitoring and controlling the incoming and outgoing network traffic as per pre-determined security specifications. In effect, it acts as a gatekeeper that decides whether to grant or reject access for web traffic to trusted, secure networks.

As with anything technological, firewalls are continually advancing and we have now entered the era of next gen firewalls, or NGFWs for short. These go beyond the traditional port/protocol inspection to deliver a level of protection that is far beyond the capabilities of less modern firewalls.

Functions such as network address translation, SSL decryption, stateful protocol inspection, virtual private networking and full stack visibility are considered standard for NGFWs. They keep a watchful eye over layers 2 to 7, whereas traditional firewalls stopped at layer 4. They boast a greater awareness of which applications are running on which port, as well as the identities of local traffic devices and users through existing authentication systems. Intrusion protection is fully integrated within NGFWs, having been deployed separately from traditional firewalls, and NGFWs can be transitioned into fully replacing older firewalls through conversion for the usage of bridged/routed modes.

What do these changes mean in terms of the capabilities of NGFWs? They support stronger user authentication, ensure stricter enforcement of network security policies and offer greater protection for all hosts on a private network. However, they cannot protect against hosts on a private network operating without an NGFW, nor do they protect fully against unknown attacks or threats. While they evidently may not be perfect, on the whole they are sure to provide a far more comforting level of protection than traditional firewalls, and in an age where malicious Internet activity is more abundant and advanced than ever before, we cannot afford to adopt a half-hearted approach to online security.

This infographic by Exigent Networks ( provides a simplified overview of the main functions and benefits of NGFWs, explaining their workings in a user-friendly fashion that is easy to digest for those with gaps in their technical knowledge.

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