What are the Next Generation Firewalls?
We've all heard about firewalls, whether in our home computers with does terrible balloons which tells us that our computer is at risk or in the company where we work and have blocked access to internet when trying to get into our social networks to see the photos of our friend that just went on a trip last weekend or watch a match of the European Cup, but the question is how do they know I'm navigating into these websites? Are they spying on me? Why my friend who works at another company has access to this websites?
The answer is very simple, for years the firewall technology has existed to manage and to block some specific communication ports, this technology evolved to UTM (Unified Threat Management) firewalls for its acronym in English, with this development we were able not only to blocked by port/protocol, but it had an integration to detect web pages by URL, perform inspection packages and even analyze whether there was any kind of threat in that connection. This in turn was a paradise for the engineers in charge of computer security companies, but had not the counterpart, hackers, programmers of evasive applications, SSL communications and especially the Web 2.0 created by ourselves, the users.
In the evolution of Internet a security breach was created and that was when the new generation of firewalls appeared, which is designed to fight every day with these security breaches, this solution allows us to filter web pages, ports/protocols, but with the advantage of including in their roles application detection (regardless if it is evasive, uses encrypted connections, uses different communication ports than the standard ones, is a web application or if it is installed on the end user's computer), this interaction with connections enables next-generation firewalls have the ability to identify user traffic generated and discern whether it should be blocked or allowed.
This technology in some cases has the ability of detecting malware, spywares, virus and even Zero-day threats, today this is a common activity of companies migrating from UTM technology to Next Generation Firewalls.
The usual question is: What do companies gain with allowing or blocking internet browsing? The answer quit simple, today billions are spent on unnecessary band width usage, the productivity of companies has been undermined by the large number of users who waste time watching or creating content on social networks during working hours, also we need to mention the great problem that involves that the users are not careful and go to unknown sites which may have malicious content (malware and spyware). It is for this reason that it has become imperative for companies to classify traffic and block unwanted or risky usage. That’s why the next generation firewalls came into the security game since a few years ago.