Firewalls are an integral part of any organization as they help protect your data, content, and IT systems in general. Even if your business isn’t classified as high-risk and is rather small, there is still a realistic chance of you falling victim to cyberattacks.
Next Generation firewall (NGFW) are improved versions of the standard firewall offer additional features like in-line deep packet inspection, intrusion detection, website filtering, and more.
In this article we will list and compare top 10 NGFW vendors of 2021
Choosing the right NGFW vendor
The next-generation firewall market is expected to reach USD 4002.6 million by 2025, from USD 3148.3 million in 2021. There are a lot of different providers to choose from and the decision-making process on who to choose could easily turn into a nightmare if you’re entering this space unprepared. Investing in an advanced NGFW is a pricey endeavour and it’s only natural that you want to make the right decision the first time.
In this article, we’ll help you become familiar with the top NGFW vendors in 2021. This is a great starting place for your research and will help you quickly identify a suitable partner to work with.
Before we dive into more detail, let’s see the list of best NGFW vendors:
- Juniper Networks
- Palo Alto Networks
- Check Point
- Barracuda Networks
But what makes these providers so popular and reliable?
The best next-generation firewall vendors in more detail
Let’s get into the details and uncover what each vendor has to offer.
Cisco is a well-known brand in the space of cloud and security solutions. In fact, Cisco is an American networking giant that has been around since 1984. They have an active presence in the NGFW space and offer the Cisco Firepower firewall solutions. They come in different forms and are able to scale from the branch site to a carrier-grade data center. Cisco offers a multi-layered next-generation firewall system with outstanding features. Some of the most sought after ones include:
- Intrusion prevention
- Advanced malware detection
- Cloud-based sandboxing
- URL filtering
- Endpoint protection
- Web gateway protection
- Email security
- Network traffic analysis
- Network access control
It’s easy to implement and manage, the support is great, and there’s also cloud and virtual NGFW support for AWS, Azure, Google cloud platform, private clouds, and additional platforms.
Juniper Networks is another experienced company that has been on the market for network technology since 1996. Their NGFW solutions are classified by most as “niche”. The SRX Series next-generation offers the perfect balance between outstanding security and integrated services for application security, intrusion detection and sophisticated threat detection for both small and large organizations. The cSRX can be used for containerized environments while the vSRX offers a virtual firewall.
All types of cyber threats will be detected and blocked, including the known and unknown ones. Some of the advantages offered by the vendor include:
- Application visibility & control
- User-based application policies
- Unified threat management
Forecepoint has received the label “Visionary” by Gartner. It’s one of the more affordable NGFW solutions but there are no compromises with the quality and the features provided. By using this solution, businesses can use, monitor, and update a range of different firewalls and VPNs instantly and with no stress. The solution offers support for high-availability clustering and SD-WAN networking. You can benefit from behavioural analytics, SASE, cloud support, excellent management opportunities, and FWaaS.
There have been upgrades made and the company has included support for private and public cloud as AWS and Azure, which is a dramatic improvement.
Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto is a leader for several consecutive years according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls and was also among the top choices in Forrester Wave. The company’s firewalls include physical appliances, virtualized solutions, and 5G-ready firewalls. All their firewall solutions offer a full inspection of all traffic and have a Single-Pass Architecture. It doesn’t matter what device type is used or where it is used from, the NGFW will thoroughly inspect all applications, threats, and content to match traffic to a user.
There is a significant time reduction made available thanks to automated policy-based actions. Some of the things to look for in their firewall solutions are:
- Secure access for all users regardless of location
- Secure encrypted traffic
- Detection and prevention of advanced threats
- WildFire – malware detection
- Prevention of corporate credentials shared by users to unknown sites
Learn more about our Palo Alto Networks consultancy and professional services.
Sophos is described as one of the best NGFW solutions for small businesses. The company provides perfect prevention and detects hidden risks. It can successfully isolate an infected system and the product delivers detailed traffic insights, system status reports, and makes active firewall rules easily accessible. There are a few disadvantages, however.
For example, there are poor integration options with external tools like endpoint protection platforms. On the other hand, its implementation, management, support, and cloud functionalities are highly rated, making it a preferred option for a lot of companies.. There is support available for AWS and Azure.
Fortinet is a renowned leader in the NGFW space thanks to its affordable solutions that offer exceptional quality. Fortinet has been rated the top third company in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for enterprise network firewalls. If you’re looking for a truly scalable solution, the FortiGate 60 series is a perfect choice. It’s easy to configure and integrate with other solutions and products on the FortiOS operating system. People who use the solution are supremely satisfied with the ease of installation and usability.
The company provides Unified Threat Management and integrates security and SD-WAN functionality. This helps the product stay affordable and simple for users. Some outstanding features provided by the brand include:
- Cloud Security
- Integrations for multi-cloud environments
- WAN Edge capabilities for enterprises
- Malware protection in encrypted & unencrypted traffic
Interested in working with an NGFW vendor who uses the world’s biggest application library and has access to more than 6,500 Web 2.0 applications? Well, Check Point is your partner. The company does a brilliant job in truly preventing and blocking threats and attacks and their portfolio features 23 firewall models that are created with the ability to run all threat prevention technologies at the same time, SSL traffic inspection included. With nearly 20 years of experience on the market, Check Point offers:
- Inspection on all LTE protocols like GTP, SCTP & Diameter
- Application control
- Advanced URL filtering
- Email security
- Policy Management
- Integration with clouds like VMware, Cisco ACI, KVM, OpenStack, Google Cloud, Azure, and more
Tests reveal that the NGFW successfully blocked 99.2% of attacks.
Barracuda is a top choice if you’re looking for a company whose priority is security cloud-based environments. Some of the popular ones that they support include AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, and VMware. Users can also enjoy benefits as a result of their partnerships with IBM and Trend Micro.
One of the most recommended solutions provided by the company is the Firewall F-series that is particularly created for the protection of legacy hardware and virtual, hybrid, and cloud-based environments. Some advantageous features include:
- Zero-day attacks
- Layer 7 application control
- Intrusion prevention
- Web filtering
- Malware & advanced threat detection
- Network access control
- SD-WAN capabilities
SonicWall’s NGFW products are suitable for organizations of all sizes, including SMBs and large corporations. They’re actively used across 150 countries, with more than half a million clients. It’s one of the more affordable solutions and the products enjoy high ratings. One of the most frequently seen comments users leave is that there’s a perfect match between price and quality.
Some of the core features include:
- Application intelligence & control
- Real-time visualization
- WLAN management
The SonicWall NSa 2650 shows outstanding capabilities and is 98.8% effective in obstructing threats. Users love the value provided by the company, its implementation and management functions, as well as the available support. However, it’s one of the vendors with low cloud features.
WatchGuard is a security company that offers next-generation firewalls for businesses of any size. Their clients are both small and medium-sized enterprises but they are also partners with large corporations and well-established companies. In terms of effectiveness, the WatchGuard M670 enjoys a 97.2% success rate and is considered a stable and reliable option. Some of the protections that the solution offers include integrated firewall, AV, IPS, UTM, and VPN in rackmount and desktop versions.
These are just 10 of the top NGFW vendors popular in 2021. There are many more names that it’s worth becoming familiar with if you’re on the lookout for a suitable partner that can help protect your business against malicious threats and cyberattacks. We hope that the list we’ve provided along with the brief introduction as to what each vendor can provide will come in handy and will help you get an idea of some of the things that you should look for in your next-generation firewall provider.