3 Critical Firewall Attributes for Today’s Network

Today’s network is nothing like it was 10 years ago, which is putting significant pressure on traditional firewalls.

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Corporate networks have become increasingly complex with the adoption of public and private clouds, as well as edge deployments. This complexity has been intensified now that employees are working both onsite and remotely; network teams must pay greater attention to securing data and application traffic while also ensuring a consistent user experience.

In addition to complex IT environments and hybrid workforces, many organizations are dealing with a heightened cybersecurity threat landscape that requires constant vigilance, as well as management to keep up with evolving security-related regulations. In response to massive global attacks, businesses have rightly ramped up security protections such as using greater encryption controls — which can inadvertently slow network traffic.

Your network team is also likely adapting to:

  • Agile development environments, in which developers are rapidly creating and modernizing applications that then require network security updates

  • Multiple data and system silos that slow down gaining visibility into potential issues and vulnerabilities

  • A global supply-chain crisis that has caused organizations to use alternate providers — and potentially introduce new business risks to the network

These factors have put pressure on network teams and on the firewall, a mainstay and integral aspect of IT security, to protect network endpoints, servers, and workstations that interface with the Internet. All these demands can stretch the firewall’s monitoring and inspection capacity — and cause network traffic to slow.

3 critical firewall attributes for today’s network

This new reality requires that firewalls provide greater resiliency and robust security. To that end, there are several capabilities organizations should seek to not only help protect today’s enterprise network, but also provide agility for business growth.

Resiliency. There is near zero tolerance for network downtime or latency. Users want a consistent experience no matter where they’re located or how they access data and apps. Firewalls should be purpose-built to provide high availability, performance, and speed for hybrid workforces. For example, the Cisco cloud-delivered Firewall Management Center enables customers to easily manage firewalls no matter where they’re located for greater and faster resiliency.

Visibility. It’s time consuming and challenging to stitch together firewall status and security posture in a distributed IT infrastructure. Network teams need firewalls that natively integrate into their security stack to gain unified visibility across the data center, clouds, branch offices, and distributed workforces.

Efficiency. Network teams have enough to handle amid the complexity of IT environments and IT security. The right firewall can alleviate extra work with automated policy controls and threat intelligence for reliable network security. Cisco, for example, keeps its firewall software up to date to ensure uptime and lower operational costs, which increases IT team efficiencies.

Enterprises can achieve all three capabilities with the Secure Firewall Series from Cisco. The 3100 Series provides consistent, high-performance security with end-to-end protection. Also, the Firewall Management Center unifies policy management in bare-metal servers, virtual machines, and containers in on-premises and cloud environments.

Given today’s hybrid and remote workforces, the 3100 Series helps users whether they’re working from home, the airport, or a local coffee shop. These firewalls provide high throughput and quality of service for strong user experiences.

In addition, Cisco Secure Firewall has built-in Talos threat intelligence that’s automatically updated every hour with the latest vulnerability and detection research.

Forrester recently conducted a Total Economic Impact™ study of the Cisco Secure Firewall and found that it offers:

  • Resiliency: 83% faster incident response and up to 80% reduction in data breach risk
  • Visibility: 49% time savings in threat detection
  • Efficiency: 95% reduction in routine firewall task time and 55 labor hours saved for policy deployment and updates

The corporate network must be ready for any security-related issue that comes up. The right firewall helps your teams not only anticipate problems, but also rapidly respond for ongoing resiliency.

Click here to get a free trial of the Secure Firewall from Cisco.


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