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Firewall Buyers Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Firewalls

Tired of researching firewalls? Worried you’ll choose the wrong one, waste money in the process, and still be at risk of a data breach?

Use this comprehensive guide to see how the industry’s main players measure up against one another.

What Is A Firewall?

A firewall is the cornerstone of your organization’s cybersecurity defenses. Firewalls maintain the security of your network by blocking unauthorized users from gaining access to your data. Firewalls are deployed via hardware, software, or a combination of the two.

A firewall inspects and filters incoming and outgoing data in the following ways.

  • With Packet Filtering that filters incoming and outgoing data and accepts or rejects it depending on your predefined rules.
  • Via an Application Gateway that applies security to applications like Telnet (a software program that can access remote computers and terminals over the Internet, or a TCP/IP computer network) and File Transfer Protocol Servers.
  • With Proxy Servers, which mask your true network address and capture every message that enters or leaves your network.
  • Using Stateful Inspection or Dynamic Packet Filtering to compare a packet’s critical data parts. These are compared to a trusted information database to decide if the information is authorized.

Why Is A Firewall So Important?

The firewall is the first line of defense in your cybersecurity. This layer of security prevents unauthorized access to your network, systems, and data, while ensuring that any outgoing activity makes it through uninterrupted.

It’s basic, but in cybersecurity, that’s half the battle. You could invest in top-of-the-line independent antivirus, antispam, and antimalware software, in addition to a host of other cybersecurity gadgets — without a firewall, you’d still be a sitting duck.

Unfortunately, while it may be obvious as to why you need a firewall, what isn’t so clear is which you should choose — let’s look at how they stack up against one another.

Next-Gen Firewall Comparison

General Capabilities

CISCO MERAKI WATCHGUARD FORTINET SONICWALL
Platform SaaS SaaS SaaS SaaS
Business Hours Support
24/7 Live Support X
Online Support

Firewall Features

CISCO MERAKI WATCHGUARD FORTINET SONICWALL
Alerts / Notifications
Application Visibility / Control
Automated Testing
Intrusion Prevention
LDAP Integration
Physical / Virtual Environment
Sandbox / Threat Simulation
Threat Identification

Mobile Device Management Features

CISCO MERAKI WATCHGUARD FORTINET SONICWALL
Automatic Device Recognition X X X
Data Management X X X
Deployment Management X X X
Inventory Management X X X

Why Is Cisco Meraki The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cisco Meraki’s next-gen firewall solutions are industry leaders thanks to their modern range of features and unparalleled integration capabilities. They offer a range of mobile device management options that are not matched by the other options available to you.

Cisco Meraki devices also outpace the competition in integration capabilities, offering seamless integration with 46 different software options (Liongard, Axonius, OpenDNS, and more), compared to the next leading option (Fortinet’s 14 integrations).

Cisco Meraki firewalls are as effective as the others in its class, but the real headline is in how Cisco seamlessly integrates a number of security features with all of its firewall software:

  • Intrusion prevention
  • Advanced malware protection
  • Cloud-based sandboxing
  • URL filtering
  • Endpoint protection
  • Web gateway
  • Email security
  • Network traffic analysis
  • Network access control
  • CASB

Palindrome Consulting Will Help You Select And Maintain The Right Firewall

Even with all of that info provided above, you may not be entirely sure that Cisco Meraki is right for your business. No two businesses are exactly alike; your needs may differ greatly from another business in the same industry.

That’s why you need to carefully select the firewall you’ll trust to keep your business secure — and Palindrome Consulting can help. Get in touch with our team to get started.

Schedule your No-Obligation IT Assessment with Palindrome Consulting

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