In order to make a smooth transition from traditional to next generation firewalls, enterprises must think differently about security goals associated with a firewall. This is especially true in terms of establishing application-aware controls over employees as they access the Internet, the Web and social networking sites. Gartner defines this new generation of fast, intelligent firewalls as application-aware, enabling enterprises to establish and enforce identity-based application usage policies for employees, says Computer World. NGFW also incorporate VPN capabilities, perform intrusion prevention sweeps of traffic, have the brains to use technologies such as reputation filtering, and integrate with Active Directory for identity and policy management.
“‘There is a chasm to cross,’ acknowledges Patrick Sweeney, vice president of product management at SonicWall. The old way of talking about traditional port-based firewalls, with system administrators discussing the ‘language of protocols,’ is inadequate. Companies need to adopt a more business-focused vocabulary, related to application use, that’s common to the CIO, CFO and CEO. ‘There has to be unification of the languages they speak,’ Sweeney says.”