Next Generation Firewall 101

By David Hollingsworth, Managing Member at Avid Communications

A basic understanding of how malware attacks occur (e.g., Ransomware, spyware, Trojan horses, viruses) helps justify a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW).

Malware can get on your computer in a variety of ways, but the most common is through email. According to the Verizon 2017 Data Breach Report, 66% of malware was installed via email attachments. Once the malware has made its way to your computer in an attachment, the attack begins when someone clicks on a link or self executing file. Typically, the malware will connect to another computer outside your company. A secure connection is made back to your computer and the attack begins. Company and/or customer data can be stolen, software can be installed to lock your server(s) and a ransom demanded… lots of bad outcomes that can severely damage a business.

Traditional Firewalls Are Limited

Avid Communications: Internet ThreatsA traditional firewall won’t block your computer from connecting to another computer outside the company. Traditional firewalls are set up to allow connections that are initiated from a computer inside the firewall (e.g., browsing to Google.com).

A NGFW, unlike a traditional firewall, will look at where your computer wants to connect and determines if it’s a known threat site. If it’s a known threat, the connection is blocked, eliminating the threat entirely. Once the NGFW sees the computer try and connect to a known threat location, an alert is generated and IT personnel can scrub the computer to remove the Malware, or in advanced configurations, the NGFW can isolate the computer from the network and scrub the computer automatically.

This example is one of many ways a NGFW significantly enhances your company’s security posture. The speed, volume and sophistication of the threat landscape is growing and requires new strategies to protect you and your customers’ data.  NGFWs are a critical component to reducing threats to your company.

Avid’s NGFW currently checks roughly 85,000 IP addresses and domains. Updates occur every two hours to keep up with new threats as they emerge.

Avid Communications have been providing firewall services for over 13 years. We’ve built a robust security offering to help businesses of all sizes protect against the ever-changing threat landscape. We have a quick survey that will help you determine if you should look at a NGFW for your business.

Please give us a call or send us an email if you would like to learn more about NGFWs!

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