The IT threat landscape is constantly changing. The internet has become a necessity to conduct business, but it’s also a dangerous place where malware lurks around every corner. And hackers have become experts in the craft of hiding said malware within packets and applications. 

Stateful inspection firewalls still in use don’t have the intelligence to distinguish between different kinds of web traffic – and are essentially obsolete. But malware protection, intrusion prevention, web filtering and application control features – not found in traditional firewalls – are effective mitigation technologies against advanced modern day threats.

Unfortunately, many small businesses are still running these older stateful packet inspection firewalls. Some fail to realize that they are ineffective to protect against today’s threats, which is largely due to small IT staffs that wear many hats in addition to managing network security. They simply don’t have the time to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. It’s important to be on the cutting edge of emerging technologies and learn how resources can help secure their organizations – and a next generation firewalls (NGFW) are a great place to start.

For small businesses, the cost to implement and manage these technologies may seem exorbitant, but NGFWs combine application awareness and deep packet inspection to give organizations more control over applications while also detecting and blocking malicious threats. In addition, NGFWs provide typical functions of traditional firewalls such as stateful inspection, network address translation (NAT), as well as VPN support. Not to mention, a single management interface makes management headaches a thing of the past.

NGFWs provide a cost effective, “all-in-one” tool that offer granular policies and effective control over traditional stateful inspection firewalls. In my book, next-gen firewalls are at the top of the list for small businesses to focus on as part of a defense strategy.

Curious to learn more about NGFWs and how they fit into your small business IT plan? Check out our white paper, “Next-Generation Firewalls: The New Norm in Defense,” for more detailed information, as well as best practices for selecting one.