GigaOm Radar for Next-Generation Firewallsv1.0

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take
  7. About Paul Stringfellow

1. Summary

Firewalls have been an essential part of network security for decades, sitting at the perimeter of an organization’s network and using stateful filters to decide which connections to allow in and out of the network. Today’s organizations have evolved significantly, however. Workforces are more disparate, needing the flexibility to work from any location and to do so using a wide range of devices. IT infrastructure has also changed and is no longer confined to an organization’s data center. Instead, it is likely to be in multiple locations, which may belong to the organization, be co-located with a partner, or exist in the public cloud. This new infrastructure means that an organization’s security perimeter is more difficult to define. And, of course, this comes at a time when security threats have never been more significant and complex.

All of this means that modern organizations must dramatically rethink their perimeter security approach or they’ll face a significantly increased risk of a cybersecurity incident.

Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) can serve as an essential bulwark against this increased risk. These firewalls, while still providing all of the base functionality of a traditional firewall, have evolved to meet the demands of the modern environment.

NGFWs are part of broad vendor security ecosystems and are tightly integrated with threat intelligence solutions, ensuring that the information they use to assess threats is more accurate and effective. NGFWs also come with central management interfaces that allow organizations to control large and complex infrastructures, deliver organization-wide policies, and automate mitigation tasks across the entire estate through a single console.

Vendors recognize the diverse nature of organizations’ infrastructure and offer equally diverse installation options, including physical, virtual, and cloud appliances as well as firewall as a service (FWaaS). To help organizations move traffic securely through geographically dispersed and complex infrastructure, NGFW vendors are supporting secure access service edge (SASE) and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). Additionally, vendors offer broad ranges of solutions to meet the needs of all sizes of businesses, from small ones to the largest and most complex enterprises.

The need to modernize perimeter security is pressing, as organizations must ensure that they can handle the complex cybersecurity threats they will almost certainly encounter. There are a number of factors organizations must consider to effectively evaluate potential solutions:

  • Performance requirements
  • Installation flexibility
  • Management and operations
  • Threat detection requirements
  • Scope of coverage

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key NGFW vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating NGFW Solutions,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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