Network Security Alert: Are you in control of your network?

The following article was submitted by Western NRG, Inc.  This firm is a customer of First Direct Corp.  Their specialty is network security, an area that is near & dear to many of our customers. 

Network Security Alert: Are you in control of your network?

Today, your network is dealing with mobile devices, social networking traffic and highly sophisticated threats. The reality is that first-generation firewall design didn’t anticipate these societal and technological changes.

All this change has, unfortunately, enabled new and very sophisticated threats. We also want to ensure you know that only Next-Generation Firewalls can lock down your network and give you control over all the data and applications running across it.

I Have a Firewall So I’m Protected…Right?

Not Exactly.   You’re not in control of your network and you’re not protected if your current firewall…

  • Is more than three years old
  • Relies on stateful packet inspection technology
  • Doesn’t give you control over the applications running on your network
  • Can’t monitor network traffic and provide a visual, real-time analysis

The Solution: Next-Generation Firewall.  Gartner coined the term “Next-Generation Firewall.”  By Gartner’s definition, a NGFW includes the following:

  • Full Stateful Packet Inspection (i.e., must have traditional firewall capabilities)
  • Intrusion Prevention
  • Fast, enterprise-quality Deep Packet Inspection and prevention for intrusions
  •  Application Control –  Ability to block/allow applications by identifying the specific applications, not relying on port or protocol

Here are things to look for when considering a Next-Generation Firewall:

  1. Does the firewall scan ANY size file across all protocols:  Fortinet, Cisco, Juniper and WatchGuard firewalls have file size limitations
  2. Does the firewall integrate deep packet inspection (DPI)? Cisco and Check Point firewalls both require additional modules or blades for DPI
  3. Does the firewall’s performance degrade when security services are turned on?
  4. Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Cisco, Juniper, Check Point and WatchGuard firewalls ALL experience moderate to severe performance degradation when security services are enabled
  5.  Does the firewall enable application throttling, analysis and visualization? – None of these vendors provides real-time application throttling AND visualization
  6. TCO – Is it low?  Not if the vendor can’t manage everything through a single GUI



Nothing is more important to your business than protecting your network.  In the course of business at First Direct Corp., the topic of data security, and integrity, often comes up in conversations with customers and prospects.  No matter how secure your GoldMine is, if your network is hacked or violated, your risk of losing much more than your GoldMine database!

Contact First Direct if you wish to discuss your GoldMine database security, integrity, or other factors which effect the performance of the underlying MS SQL database that stores your GoldMine data.


Information on author:

Established in 1989, Western NRG, Inc. Provides:

  •  Network Security
  •  Secure Remote Access
  •  Web and Email Security
  •  Continuous Data Protection
  •  Wide Area Network – Secure VPN Solutions
  •  Urgent Care Support Services
  •  Internet Security As a Service
  •  ISP Services from TW Telecom

You are welcome to contact either First Direct or Western NRG if this interests you and you wish to explore your firewall needs.

Western NRG, Inc.

Related webinars on this topic by Western NRG.