What Is A Next Generation Firewall?


Are you tired of hearing about data breaches and cyber attacks that compromise your confidential information? As technology advances, so do the tactics hackers use to infiltrate systems. That’s where next-generation firewalls come in – the ultimate defence against modern-day threats. But what exactly is a next-generation firewall, and how does it differ from traditional firewalls? In this blog post, we’ll dive into cybersecurity and explore everything you need to know about next-generation firewalls. Get ready to upgrade your protection game!

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network security system that filters and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that offers additional features and functionality beyond traditional firewalls, such as deeper inspection of packets, application-level control, user identity management, and more.

Traditional firewalls are designed to protect against external threats but are sometimes effective against internal threats. NGFWs address this issue by providing visibility into all traffic passing through the firewall, regardless of whether it originates inside or outside the network. This allows administrators to see which applications are being used and identify any potential security risks.

NGAFWs also offer more granular control over traffic than traditional firewalls. For example, administrators can allow or block specific traffic based on the application or user identity. This helps to reduce the chances of data breaches and ensures that only authorized users have access to sensitive data.

What is a next-generation firewall?

A next-generation firewall is a type of firewall that provides advanced features and functionality beyond traditional firewalls. Next-generation firewalls are designed to protect against a wide range of threats, including sophisticated attacks that target specific vulnerabilities.

Next-generation firewalls typically include application-level filtering, intrusion prevention, and data leakage protection. Some next-generation firewalls offer advanced capabilities such as malware detection and analysis, web filtering, and content inspection.

How does a next-generation firewall work?

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a network security system that filters traffic to and from your network. It uses various techniques to control traffic, including application-level filtering, content inspection, and user identity management.

An NGFW can be used to protect your network from a variety of threats, including viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. It can also prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data.

The most important part of an NGFW is its ability to control traffic based on the applications being used. For example, you can allow all traffic to and from a web browser but block all traffic to and from a file-sharing program. This will enable you to control how much bandwidth each application can use and prevents malicious or unwanted applications from running on your network.

NGFFs are different from traditional firewalls in several ways: 

  •  They use application-aware filtering to control traffic rather than relying on port numbers or IP addresses. This makes them more effective at blocking unwanted traffic.
  •  They can inspect both inbound and outbound traffic for threats.
  •  They often include features such as intrusion prevention and web filtering.
  •  They can be managed centrally using a single console.

What are the different types of firewalls?

There are four main types of firewalls: network firewalls, host-based firewalls, application-based firewalls, and cloud-based firewalls.

Network firewalls are hardware or software appliances that control traffic based on predetermined security rules. Commonly used network firewalls include packet filters and stateful inspection.

Host-based firewalls are installed on individual servers and workstation computers to protect them from malicious traffic. Host-based firewalls typically offer more granular control over traffic than network firewalls since they can consider the specific software and services running on each host.

Application-based firewalls inspect traffic at the application layer of the OSI model to control which applications are allowed to communicate with each other. Application-based firewall rules can be more complex than other firewall types since they must consider the intricacies of different protocols and application behaviour.

Cloud-based firewalls are a newer type that uses a cloud-based platform to provide centralized management and visibility for distributed networks. Cloud-based firewalls often offer greater scalability and flexibility than traditional on-premises solutions.

The benefits of a next-generation firewall

A next-generation firewall is a powerful security tool that offers several benefits over traditional firewalls. The most significant benefit is the ability to block sophisticated cyber threats effectively. Next-generation firewalls are designed to inspect all traffic passing through the firewall and identify malicious or suspicious activity. This inspection is much more thorough than the simple packet filtering that traditional firewalls perform, and it allows the firewall to block even complex attacks.

Another significant benefit of next-generation firewalls is their flexibility. Traditional firewalls are often inflexible, making it difficult or impossible to change their configuration as needs evolve. Next-generation firewalls, on the other hand, offer a variety of features and options that can be easily customized to meet changing needs. This flexibility is essential in today’s dynamic business environment, where organizations must adapt quickly to new threats and opportunities.

Finally, next-generation firewalls typically include additional features that further improve security. For example, many next-generation firewalls include intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and application-level controls. These features add an extra layer of protection against sophisticated attacks and help ensure that only authorized applications can communicate through the firewall.

The features of a next-generation firewall

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a network security system that provides more comprehensive and granular control over network traffic than a traditional firewall. An NGFW typically combines a stateful inspection firewall with an intrusion prevention system (IPS) and other advanced features such as application-aware filtering, web filtering, and malware protection.

NGFPs are designed to protect against the latest security threats, including sophisticated attacks that traditional firewalls cannot effectively detect or block. By inspecting all traffic at the application level, an NGFW can identify and block malicious traffic before it can reach your network. In addition, NGFWs can provide visibility into all activity on your network, allowing you to identify and respond to any suspicious activity quickly.

The key features of an NGFW include the following:

  • Stateful inspection: This inspects each packet coming into or leaving your network to ensure it is part of a legitimate connection. Packets that do not belong to an established relationship are blocked.
  • Intrusion prevention: This uses a combination of signatures, heuristics, and anomaly detection to identify and block known and unknown attacks.
  • Application-aware filtering: This allows you to control what applications are allowed on your network and stop those that pose a risk.
  • Web filtering: This blocks access to dangerous or unwanted websites, including those that host malware or phishing scams.
  • Malware protection uses advanced techniques such as sandboxing and machine learning to detect and block malicious software.
  • Data loss prevention: This catches and blocks attempts to exfiltrate sensitive data from your network.
  • User identity-based policies: This allows you to set different security policies for users or groups of users based on their identity.

How to choose the proper next-generation firewall for your business?

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is a network security system designed to protect your network from the latest security threats. NGFWs are available in various shapes and sizes, so choosing the right one for your business is essential. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an NGFW:

  1. Determine your needs – what kinds of threats do you need to protect against? What type of traffic does your network typically see? Do you need features like intrusion detection/prevention or application control?
  2. Consider your budget – NGFWs can vary widely in price, so it’s essential to find one that fits your budget.
  3. Compare features – once you’ve determined what features you need, take the time to compare different NGFWs and find the one that offers the best protection for your business.
  4. Check reviews – before making a final decision, read online reviews of the different NGFWs you’re considering to get an idea of how others feel about them.
    • By following these tips, you can be sure to choose the right NGFW for your business needs.

Are there any drawbacks to using a next-generation firewall?

Yes, there are some drawbacks to using a next-generation firewall. One is that they can be more expensive than traditional firewalls. Another is that they can be more complex to set up and manage. Finally, some next-generation firewalls may only be compatible with some devices and networks.


In conclusion, a next-generation firewall is an essential tool for protecting your business network from ever-increasing cybercrime threats. It offers advanced protection against malware, ransomware, and other malicious attacks and granular control over user access and policy enforcement. By leveraging the latest security technologies and approaches, a next-generation firewall can help you stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and ensure your data remains safe.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.