When asked the type of firewall that survey respondents planned to purchase, responses weighed heavily toward application-aware or next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). Seventy-eight percent chose them, which shows businesses are seeking more network security capabilities than traditional firewalls provide. NGFWs advance the capabilities of traditional firewalls by offering quality of service functionality and features like intrusion prevention, Secure Sockets Layer and secure shell inspection, deep-packet inspection, reputation-based malware detection and application awareness, all of which are generally not found in traditional firewall products.
Customers need to ascertain which NGFW features their organizations require, as feature-rich NGFW products may be excessive and cause performance issues if all the features are turned on. As a trusted advisor, you can provide this guidance on which features your customer actually needs. Additionally, if in-house resources are insufficient for managing and maintaining NGFWs' complex rule sets, companies may choose to outsource these tasks, which presents an opportunity for IT companies offering firewall management.