Firewalls are commonly used to defend against cyber attacks. Consisting of either a hardware device or software, they monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Firewalls essentially compare traffic packets against a set of security rules. Using these rules, they can determine whether the traffic should be allowed or rejected. There are different types of firewalls, however, one of which is a next-generation firewall. What is a next-generation firewall exactly?

Overview of Next-Generation Firewalls

A next-generation firewall is a newer and more advanced type of firewall. They perform many of the same processes as traditional firewalls but with a few added features. In addition to scanning traffic, next-generation firewalls can filter traffic based on applications and protect against unauthorized intrusions with integrated intrusion prevention.

Like all firewalls, next-generation firewalls are used to defend against cyber attacks. Cyber attacks generally involve a hacker breaching a network and accessing sensitive data. Whether traditional or next generation, a firewall can lower the risk of cyber attacks. It will check the traffic coming into and going out of the network for signs of an attack. If a particular traffic pocket is deemed malicious or suspicious, the firewall will block it.

How Next-Generation Firewalls Work

Next-generation firewalls work in a similar way as traditional firewalls. When deployed, a next-generation firewall will monitor the traffic coming into and going out of your network. Instead of relying entirely on basic security rules, though, a next-generation firewall will use advanced filtration methods.

The main benefit of using a next-generation firewall is protection from malware. Traditional firewalls often fail to detect malware. They can filter traffic using basic security rules, but they can’t look at the data contained within traffic. If a traffic packet contains malware, it may go unnoticed by a traditional firewall. Fortunately, it won’t go unnoticed by a next-generation firewall.

Next-generation firewalls are capable of filtering traffic based on applications. While monitoring traffic, they can look at the data contained within traffic packets to determine whether it’s malicious. If a traffic packet contains malware — or if it otherwise looks suspicious, next-generation firewalls can block it.

You can still use other cybersecurity solutions to defend against cyber attacks. Along with a next-generation firewall, you should consider using antivirus software. Antivirus software and a next-generation firewall will work synergistically together to create a superior level of protection for your network.