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Next Generation Firewalls from Sophos and navitend

Next Generation Firewalls from Sophos and navitend

Cyberattacks can spell disaster for small businesses. According to a 2019 CNBC article, forty-three percent of all cyberattacks are aimed at smaller companies. 

Sadly, only a minority of small businesses have the defenses they need to protect themselves against attacks. Further, on average, cyber attacks can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and a majority of these businesses are forced to close their doors forever within six months.

The best practice in defending against these kinds of attacks requires employing a "defense in depth" strategy which involves "layers" of security. In addition to tactics such as end-user training, end-point protection, vulnerability management, the Next Generation Firewall has become a mainstay in progressive network security architectures.

While the "firewall" has been a mainstay in the security world since the 1980's, traditional firewalls often fall far short of identifying and preventing serious network threats. The gaps in the traditional firewall have led to the industry demand for more functionality in a single device -- meet the Next Generation Firewall (NGFW).

As outlined in this Network Computing article, Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) offer many advantages including features such as: intrusion protection systems (IPSs) and integrated intrusion detection systems (IDSs). These functionalities help protect users by detecting cyberattacks based on “behavioral analysis, threat signatures, or anomalous activity” within a network's traffic flow. 

A major benefit of next-gen firewalls is that they deliver comprehensive network protection in a single convenient package. Traditionally, assembling the capabilities offered by a NGFW would require a stack of special-purpose appliances for each type of threat. Today, it is not uncommon for a NGFW to provide spam filtering, antivirus protection, deep packet inspection, and application controls in a single device. This not only saves you money, but more importantly, it gives you much-needed peace of mind. On a practical note, installing a single device in your networking rack or closet is much easier than a stack of devices, each with their own power supply. In fact, many years ago Cisco devices required service contracts due to the propensity of their power supplies to fail. Many a late night was spent replacing expensive Cisco equipment!

Another benefit of Next Generation Firewalls is that they give you access to cloud management services, so you can easily manage multiple firewalls simultaneously. Consider the Sophos XGS line of firewalls. Sophos XGS users can utilize the capable Sophos Central management platform, which helps network engineers keep track of every firewall they have under management. 

The cloud-based Sophos Central maintains log data from each NGFW while also providing flexible, easy-to-use reporting tools that engineers analyze and visualize their network over various time-frames. Analyzing traffic from a single day up to several months enables useful insights to network traffic flow. 

Sophos XGS firewalls are equipped with application control and Quality of Service (QoS) features, giving engineers enhanced visibility and control over thousands of applications, based on key factors such as risk and application category. Sophos also gives XGS users access to Synchronized Application Control, which “automatically identifies all the unknown, evasive, and custom applications” on their networks. XGS firewalls use built-in deep learning technologies and advanced intrusion prevention to protect the network.

A common strategy of attackers is to gain access to a single node and then move "laterally" to other nodes on the network. The XGS’s automatic threat response technology can detect compromised systems and move to isolate the node from the network, thereby protecting the rest of the network. This dynamic and proactive functionality helps prevent data breaches and impedes the lateral flow of malicious information.

We could talk all day about the benefits of the Sophos XGS NGFW, particularly when deployed in conjunction with XDR endpoint protection. We have the solutions to help keep your business secure.

Contact us at 973.448.0070


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