Firewalls: The Network Gatekeeper

Cyber security is an ever evolving balance between providing feature rich services and preventing unauthorized access to private information.

Firewalls play an important role in all information security strategies, by defining network boundaries and controlling who can access which systems and for what purpose.

Modern firewall variants build on simple (layers 3-4) access policies by adding application intelligence and advanced content awareness (layers 5-7), allowing deeper traffic inspection for increased visibility, control and overall network security.

North South East West

The traditional role of Internet firewalls began when organizations with private networks wanted to make some of their systems accessible to the public.  To do this safely requires visibility and control over who can access which systems.

As we progress into the digital age, connectivity and access to information are ever-increasing, and the firewall’s function has evolved to meet new cyber security challenges.  The line between public and private systems has blurred, making it beneficial to have higher granularity of control over visibility and access control for networks both public and private, and emerging zones in between.

Modern firewall parlance uses compass directions to help describe and group broad types of network traffic.  “North-south traffic” refers to traditional public-Internet to private-systems traffic, while “east-west traffic”  generally means communications between internal private systems.

There are trade offs to gaining visibility and control into east-west network traffic while maintaining availability and performance of applications.  Traditional perimeter firewalls  introduce bottlenecks and latency, especially when used between high-throughput or real-time east-west applications, prompting development of new methodologies including firewall orchestration to meet new challenges.

 

Best Practice Design Using Proven Platforms

We build high performance firewall solutions using Palo Alto Networks and Cisco Systems technology platforms.

We also install, service and support firewalls from Checkpoint, pfSense/Netgate, Juniper Networks, Ubiquiti Networks, and various flavours of Linux open source security platforms.

Please contact us to discuss the cybersecurity requirements of your business.

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