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Why are firewalls essential to your organisation?

How many of you know every application and operating system that’s on your network right now?

You’re not sure? Well, you’re’ not alone… most people have no idea. However, you must be able to see what’s on It in order to protect it and that’s how firewalls can help.

“A firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Firewalls have been a first line of defence in network security for over 25 years. They establish a barrier between secured and controlled internal networks that can be trusted and untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet. “Cisco

A firewall can be hardware, software, or both, that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.

A management Console can be used to gain visibility of all applications and operating systems present on the network, including mobile devices and servers. This also allows you vision of the users of the traffic and identify users generating events. It gives insight into application usage and bandwidth usage of those applications. In addition, other information can be about file types transmission of files and malware, geolocation information and URL visibility.

You can see that firewalls allow a great level of visibility, but it’s what they can do with that information that really helps. The information can then be used to automate functionality and process, by prioritising events and automating policy. By setting a custom policy that’s focused towards the event and the applications identified on the network. Some rules set to generate events, some to drop traffic and some are disabled. It allows you to change your policy as the network changes. So, by using the data gathered to automate process and point out important events, firewalls can save you time, save you money and improve security.

There are many different firewalls which all help to improve security, from earlier firewall devices, like proxy firewalls which serve as gateways from one network to another for a specific application and provide additional functionality such as content caching and security by preventing direct connections from outside the network.  To Next-generation Firewalls (NGFW) which most companies are deploying to block modern threats such as advanced malware and application-layer attacks.

 According to Gartner, Inc.’s definition, a next-generation firewall must include:

·         Standard firewall capabilities like stateful inspection

·         Integrated intrusion prevention

·         Application awareness and control to see and block risky apps

·         Upgrade paths to include future information feeds

·         Techniques to address evolving security threats

 

While these capabilities are increasingly becoming the standard for most companies, NGFWs can do more. Threat-Focused NGFW include all the capabilities of a traditional NGFW and provide advanced threat detection and remediation. With a threat-focused NGFW you can:

·         Know which assets are most at risk with complete context  awareness

·         Quickly react to attacks with intelligent security automation that sets policies and hardens your defences dynamically

·         Better detect evasive or suspicious activity with network and endpoint event correlation

·         Greatly decrease the time from detection to clean-up with retrospective security that continuously monitors for suspicious activity and behaviour even after initial inspection

·         Ease administration and reduce complexity with unified policies that protect across the entire attack continuum.

At Pinacl we can install and deploy Cisco’s Next-generation Firewalls, Cisco are moving away from the traditional layer3 firewalls and moving to a full layer 7 security solution. Our professional services team are Cisco Network Associate Security certified, and have recently attended the Cisco Threat Control Solutions Course which has enabled them to get to grips with the latest technologies Cisco provide. And in turn will assist them to design and deploy the latest Cisco security solutions.

Every solution Pinacl deploys has security at the heart of the design. We use Next Generation firewalling, user authentication, end-point control, traffic separation and advanced reporting to ensure that every point of the network, whether wired or wireless, is included in the overall security policies of the business. In addition, that it also conforms to relevant industry security practices and guidance such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Public Services Network (PSN)

As a Managed Service provider, holding an ISO 27001 certification, responsible for the delivery of services to some of the most security focused organisations in the UK, Pinacl understand how to apply security. We ensure Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of services. We practise what we preach.

If you would like to find out more about our Next Generation firewalling, contact us here.


 

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