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Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) & Traditional Firewall

A firewall is generally the first thing that springs to mind when people think of defences against incoming threats from the internet and hackers lurking in dark corners.

Firewalls are security devices that sit between your system and the outside world. It is intercepting incoming and outgoing packets and denying or allowing them based on predetermined cybersecurity criteria.

Firewalls, like many other things, are not all created equal in terms of capabilities and may vary greatly in terms of complexity and the steps they can take to keep your organisation secure.

Traditional and next-generation firewalls are the two main types of firewalls available to enterprises (NGFW).

That’s all well and good, but what are the differences between conventional and Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs), and which one is ideal for your company and why? With the advent of cybercrime, it’s more crucial than ever to make the correct security choices for your company.

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

What is the difference between stateless and stateful inspection?

Encapsulation is use to transport data. Before being deliver via networks and systems packet by packet, data is dividing into bits called packets, which are coating with all the required information, including the IP address and how the data will be route.

In keeping with our theme of splitting things down into twos, firewalls may conduct stateless or stateful inspection on packets, depending on their capabilities and complexity.

The firewall performs stateless inspection when each packet is filtered independently of all others and no session database is kept. It was implying that the firewall is unable to understand the larger context of groups of packets travelling in and out of the network and system between two users.

Stateless inspection

When it comes to packets, stateless inspection simply means:

  • Examines the source IP to check whether it is permitted in our network and if it has access to the destination IP.
  • Checks to verify whether it matches the filter’s requirements, such as policy.
  • The target port or service is checked to verify whether it is authorise in the network.
  • Depending on the findings, the firewall refuses or admits packets.

One of the most important points to remember is that a stateless inspection has no notion which packets belong to which session. It has no idea of a session and simply considers individual packets as they travel to and from their destinations one by one.

A stateful inspection, on the other hand, is when the firewall is state-aware, allowing it to scan packets entering and exiting the network while keeping a database of all packets that have come before it. It is completely aware of user sessions and assigns IDs to them.

In a nutshell, it’s conscious of the situation.

Inspections that are legally binding allow for the following:

  • Seeing information about sessions, such as the session ID, policy name, and the number of bytes consumed in a session.
  • Identifying the entering interface, source and destination IP addresses, the VLAN or interface from which the packet originated, and the total number of packets
  • Setting a timeout value to ensure that the session does not stay open indefinitely.
  • Information about Network Address Translation (NAT) and the outbound interface.

The bulk of conventional firewalls operate in a stateless mode, while next-generation firewalls function in a stateful mode. Although some classical firewalls can do stateful inspections, they are the exception rather than the rule.

Firewalls of the past

Traditional firewalls are monitoring traffic entering your network based on data from ports, protocols, and rules, as well as the source and destination IP addresses.

Traditional firewalls may perform the following tasks:

  • Inspection without regard for the law. Traditional firewalls, for the most part, only do stateless inspection and are oblivious of sessions.
  • Packet filtering ensures that all incoming and outgoing packets are examining before being allow to pass. Rather of being send, packets that do not fit the filter’s requirements are discarded.
  • VPN support is available to help keep private networks safe while users access public networks such as the internet.

Although they are confining to evaluating the network and transport layers of a packet in order to make choices, they are not considered the most sophisticated kind of protective firewalls available, as their name implies.

This leads us to next-generation firewalls, which provide the most comprehensive firewall protection currently accessible.

Firewalls of the future (NGFWs)

Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) often have not just standard firewall operations, but also a variety of extra features and complexity to defend networks and systems from attacks, providing you with a more layered protection.

As previously stated, they come preinstall with a variety of application-level restrictions that go beyond the static inspection that conventional firewalls are frequently confined to.

NGFW has the following:

  • Inspection of Deep Packets (DPI), Unlike traditional packet filtering, which just scans the header of a packet, DPI guarantees that the packet’s contents, including its source, are thoroughly inspecting, allowing the NGFW to view the whole context of each packet.
  • Because they can investigate the application layer, application awareness allows organisations to detect non-business apps and apply application-specific policies by prohibiting them.
  • An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), which enables the NGFW to actively identify and stop intrusions.
  • Simplified architecture and a single console. It was allowing for quick access and easing the process of administering and upgrading security protocols.

Next-generation firewalls offer a number of advantages, including the capacity to maintain network speed and availability despite the complexity of their responsibilities and settings, which is not the case with classic firewalls.

The following are some of the most popular NGFW brands:

  • Meraki.
  • Sonic Barrier.
  • Fortigates.
  • Take a look at Check Point.
  • WatchGuards.

Configuring pfSense or utilising ClearOS are two more Open-Source Next-Generation Firewall choices.

Evolve Now.

You must adapt in tandem with the ever-changing cyber threat scenario. First generation firewalls are highly suggest above old firewalls, due to their capabilities for shielding enterprises from current attacks.

In order to infect your system with harmful code and software, threat actors seek defects and vulnerabilities in your infrastructure.

Of fact, there is no one answer for achieving the level of security required in today’s world of networks. To cope with cyber risks, your company will need to adopt cybersecurity best practises.

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