Best Firewall Solutions for Business Networks: The 2021 Market Overview

computer-security-technology
[Approx. 5 minutes reading time]

Cybersecurity is one of those things that have become increasingly important over recent years, but still feels a bit too technical for most business owners to get their head around. 

You know that you should be protecting your company and its data from malicious actors, but maybe you don’t know where to start[1].

In which case, a firewall is a great first step

Firewalls are network security tools that monitor all incoming and outgoing network traffic according to a specific set of rules so that you can establish a separation between your internal systems and the data coming in from the outside[2]

Essentially, it acts as the first line of defense, and if it’s set up well – it can do a lot of the screening that needs to be done when it comes to network protection.

There are a number of great firewall vendors out there for a business firewall, so we thought we’d break down the best enterprise firewall products in 2021 so that you can get it in place as soon as possible.

  1. Cisco ASA
  2. Firewalla
  3. Sonic Wall
  4. Palo Alto Networks
  5. Fortinet Fortigate

Cisco ASA

Cisco is a giant in the networking space and so it makes a lot of sense that they’d have a great firewall product. 

Cisco ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance) is a sophisticated and comprehensive firewall solution that can protect your entire network on a macro scale as well as narrow software to protect each individual device in your office. 

This ensures that there is no weak link in the chain and you’re covering all your bases.

What makes this tool powerful is that it also bundles together some other great features like VPN routers[3] and more – to make it a great all-round option. 

It can be quite expensive and might seem unnecessary complex for very small businesses, but if you have some scale this is a great option to grow with you. 

It’s robust and perfectly suited for companies that are quickly growing and want to manage the exponential increase in risk as you expand your network reach.

Firewalla

Firewalla offers a hardware-only firewall[4] that you connect to your router and your internet port. 

Then the device will begin to filter traffic accordingly, complementing any existing security software you might already have. 

It’s the perfect budget option if you don’t have a lot of money to spend because it’s a once-off cost as opposed to a monthly subscription plan.

Some companies also like the fact that it can block things like social media and other distractions so that their employees stay productive while at work. 

It also comes in some funky colors that certainly sets it apart from most devices in the space.

Sonic Wall

Sonic Wall has definitely got the best name and it sets itself apart because of its abilities to deal with multiple locations. 

On top of the very functional firewall, it packages in strong VPN capabilities that can enable all your remote workers to share files and use the internal network safely, without creating vulnerabilities.

You can customize the firewall preferences for each computer application, giving you lots of flexibility and control over how you manage your network traffic. 

It also has good load balancing so that you can manage traffic to your website in all conditions – so if that’s important to you, this is a great option.

Palo Alto Networks

Most traditional firewalls aren’t specifically designed for the modern cloud-based businesses that we’re seeing today, but Palo Alto Networks have created one that is. 

This tool uses site-to-site VPN tunnels to create a virtual network that includes apps like Google Drive, DropBox, iCloud, and the like. 

This means that you can rest assured that any sensitive data stored on the cloud is protected from various types of suspicious traffic.

There are limitations here though because your network is in the cloud – so it can’t analyze the actual data transmitted to your device, rather it just looks at some of the basic information.

But, with its intuitive interface and strong troubleshooting capabilities, you’ll be in a good position to handle cybersecurity concerns of all types.

Fortinet Fortigate

Fortigate actually refers to a family of different firewall solutions, each with their own form factors to suit different types of business needs. 

But regardless of which one you go for, they all have powerful functionality and performance helping you across internal segments, data centers, and cloud environments alike. 

It’s been built with the intention of being ready to go right out the box, and you can rest assured that it gives you very intelligent and robust defense against threats to your network.

When you combine its suitability for remote work and its lower price point, this becomes a great option for companies who want to balance security and budget for their distributed organization. 

You can’t go wrong with anything in the Fortinet stable.

Conclusion

Those are the best network firewall tools available in 2021 and you wouldn’t go wrong with any of them. 

They each have their own pros and cons and will be suitable for different types of businesses depending on your network requirements and data sensitivity.

If you’d like some assistance with setting up the best enterprise firewall for your needs, we’re here to help!  

At Continuous Networks we work with a range of different clients to help them set up basic and advanced cybersecurity for their organizations so that they are protected from malicious actors and other cybersecurity threats to your business.

You can get a good sense of who we are and what we’re about by checking out some of these short videos that we’ve created to illustrate some key concepts. 

If you’d like to look into a managed cybersecurity solution, get in touch today and let’s see how we can best serve your business.

References

[1] ’10 Basic and Easy Cybersecurity Steps’ by Michelle Drolet.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/02/18/10-basic-and-easy-cybersecurity-steps/?sh=7b0af4317213

[2] ‘What Is a Firewall’ from Forcepoint.  https://www.forcepoint.com/cyber-edu/firewall

[3] ‘What Is VPN Router and Why Do You Need It?’ by Irving.  https://community.fs.com/blog/what-is-vpn-router-why-you-need-it.html

[4] ‘Hardware Firewalls v Software Firewalls’ from Fortinet.  https://www.fortinet.com/resources/cyberglossary/hardware-firewalls-better-than-software

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