Enterprise Network Security – Should You Upgrade Your Firewall?

Date October 3, 2012 Author Comments 1 Comment

Is it time you updated your enterprise network security? I’m afraid to say that the answer is in many cases, a resounding yes. As you may have read in one of our previous blog posts, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is fast becoming an integral part of today’s enterprise IT infrastructure, an infrastructure that more than likely was not built to support such a large volume of files and devices.

In the past it’s fair to say that more traditional corporate network security was far simpler, dealing only with business specific applications and threats coming from a comparatively small number of devices. The productivity that undoubtedly accompanies the trend of allowing employees the freedom to use their own devices, and the money saved on hardware and additional services both come with a kicker – a host of viruses carried by employee applications, malware and other threats to the enterprise network are fast becoming a stepping stone for hackers attempting to get at your data.

Palo Alto PA-4000 rel=”author” href="https://plus.google.com/107585762256981126987"/about

The Palo Alto PA-4000 Next-Generation Firewall

Put bluntly, older security infrastructures are simply not sophisticated enough to deal with modern day threats, which have evolved significantly further than merely allowing the firewall to identify traffic as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

In current times, applications no longer behave and adhere to the simplistic rules that they must use certain ports and act in a standard way. They are now intelligent enough to adapt, allowing them to attempt circumvention of security systems.

So, it’s a given that better network security is a must if your enterprise wishes to embrace new technology whilst minimising the risks – risks that can be extremely high and extremely damaging.

The solution – Your enterprise network has a firewall in place… you’ll be fine, right? Think again – sure, there is security in place, but is it the right security to deal with a landscape of 21st century applications. Your older firewall is likely to be struggling to keep up with the flood of new applications entering your network and it is also likely that you have implemented a number of ‘add on’ features, such as IDS/IPS and web filtering, in an attempt to remedy this situation. This method can be costly, messy and above all, not fully effective as it won’t be seeing traffic at the application level.

Palo Alto Next Generation Firewalls offer a new way of identifying, classifying and tracking the applications and very importantly now, users traversing your enterprise network, according to a set of specific, predefined, parameters. Next Generation firewalls allow you to approach your network security at a granular level, meaning that specific users can be given more or less access according to their working needs.

With Palo Alto network security solutions in place, IT administrators are able to monitor and crucially now, block and mitigate against unwanted behaviour by user (using AD or captive portal), inspect encrypted traffic that can be used to hide malware or spirit confidential data out of the company as well as identifying any and all applications.

Through discarding archaic and primitive ‘blocking’ policies and replacing them with safe application enablement you can allow your network and your staff to evolve. Doing so will allow them to make use of web 2.0 applications, making their jobs easier and more efficient, at no extra risk to your enterprise network and all whilst retaining complete peace of mind.

If you would like to learn more about Palo Alto Firewalls and your enterprise network security, we are offering a unique opportunity to attend a complimentary hands-on workshop, where our experts can guide you through any questions or issues you may have – to find out more visit us here.

Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding your enterprise network security or any other business networking issues, please don’t hesitate to contact Ensign Communications.

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Author Gregg Meade

1 Comment

  • I started working in store security and am currently a
    security advisor for several high profile shopping chains.
    It is definitely fulfilling work and when you
    see the stats on earnings saved by means of efficient security, you realise the reason why they are able
    to pay you very well!

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