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Forrester Report Touts Next Generation Firewalls, Greater Network Visibility

05/17/2012 -Increasingly popular next generation firewalls can be highly effective at thwarting network attacks and may eventually become more popular than standalone firewall devices, according to a new Forrester report.

The report, TechRadar for Security & Risk Professionals: Zero Trust Network Threat Mitigation, Q2 2012, also stresses the benefits of using tools to help boost network visibility. It also suggests that some organizations could gain cost and other benefits from using outside, or managed security services.

“During the past four years, the advent of next generation firewall technologies has revolutionized network security,” according to the report. Many such firewalls can be described as traditional firewalls combined with intrusion prevention systems (IPS), according to Forrester. IPS solutions can monitor networks and systems for malicious activity; they can also block certain activity and generate alerts.

The report also emphasizes the benefits of network analysis and visibility (NAV) tools. When preventative controls fail, organizations can rely on NAV solutions, which can include security information and event management tools, to quickly identify and respond to security incidents, according to the report. “Many companies are blind to their overall security posture in anything close to a real-time basis. …NAV tools will help the entire network function like a fighter pilot on alert, constantly scanning the network for malicious activity, behaviors, and attacks to provide situational awareness.”

The report also investigates and describes 16 other threat mitigation technologies ranging from encryption to wireless IPS solutions to Web application firewalls. It also notes that some organizations could gain the benefits of certain solutions by employing managed security services. In addition to possible cost savings, such services can sometimes provide a faster deployment and more experience and expertise.