Gaining Insight From Next-Generation Firewalls

You can better understand how people are using the network

Better visibility, smarter decisions

In the security technology market we’ve been impressed by the features and functions offered by next-generation firewall solutions, also called application control and application level security. But you should watch out that you don’t become so enchanted by new features that you lose sight of how this technology benefits your business.

Once you have a new tool like next-generation firewall, it’s tempting to immediately turn on all features and create new security and network rules. But this detracts from the true power of this technology—the real benefit it offers is increased visibility. And that lets you make educated decisions about your security and network policies.

You can better understand how people are using the network and base your decisions on information, rather than follow what everyone else is doing.

Don’t get distracted by generic industry standards and best practices guides that don’t take into account the unique needs and network usage trends of individual organizations. Instead of wasting time implementing policies and creating rules which may have little or no impact on the business or network performance, you can be more strategic about your decisions.

For example, it might be common practice to block Facebook applications like Mafia Wars or Farmville. We can all agree that these applications waste time and suck up bandwidth on a business network.

But before taking the time to create rules to block such applications, next-generation firewall features help you to determine if these types of applications are causing a problem in the first place. If the company doesn’t have a Mafia Wars problem, why create a solution? You have enough problems to solve without creating solutions to problems that do not exist.

To get the most benefit from any technology you need to understand how the network is used and what problems truly exist. You can simplify the security process when you have a solution that provides both increased visibility as well as the ability to act upon the information you gain.

Only by combining knowledge and technological capabilities will you harness the true power of next-generation firewall.