November 2012 Helps Secure Networks Helps Organizations Secure their Networks for Computer Security Day

Tips to simplify next-generation firewall installation and maintenance

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER  28, 2012 – In recognition of Computer Security Day on November 30, is offering tips for successfully installing and maintaining next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). These firewalls offer advanced protection with deep packet inspection (DPI) and built-in intrusion detection to better block attacks. According to research from information technology (IT) advisory firm Gartner, spending on the management of NGFWs is expected to grow to 35 percent of total firewall spending by 2016.

“Many organizations are now realizing that NGFWs provide numerous advantages when it comes to security,” said Justin Hadler, Director of Engineering at “While they are better, faster, and more intelligent than previous generations of firewalls, today’s applications can also be more challenging to manage and support if implemented incorrectly.”’s tips for installing and maintaining NGFWs include:

1.    Make a plan.

Installing a NGFW will require time and effort. Therefore, it is crucial to have a project plan and a legitimate time frame outlined for installation. Don’t expect to have the firewall up-and-running in a matter of hours if you want it installed correctly.

2.    Certify the NGFW.

Gartner defines a NGFW as including, at minimum, an integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS) with deep packet scanning, the ability to identify and control applications running over a network, and the ability to verify a user’s identity and enforce access policies accordingly. However, make sure the NGFW you choose also has traditional network protections, such as traditional packet filtering and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. Vendors that hastily build NGFWs without traditional and trusted foundations fall short on preventing attacks.

3.    Ensure correct size and fit.

The features of your new NGFW should fit your organization’s needs in order to maintain security and performance. Without enough services running, the firewall is vulnerable to outside threats, while too many can slow performance. Size is also critical, since a firewall that is too small will have trouble keeping up with network loads. Be sure to pinpoint the correct specifications for the NGFW prior to installation. If your solution isn’t scalable, it’s likely it won’t work well for your business.

4.    Rely on expertise.

A NGFW will ideally bring more security to an organization. However, firewalls that are installed or maintained incorrectly can be harmful rather than helpful. Work with a solutions expert who can determine how the firewall should work in your unique environment. Then assign qualified individuals to mediate and moderate the firewall on a daily basis to identify any threats or irregularities. These employees or outsourced workers should be trained to handle issues associated with NGFWs, like deep packet analysis and anti-malware.

5.    Establish firewall policies.

Determining what services and applications will be allowed through the firewall will help keep security at the forefront. Create a written policy that details the plan for the firewall as well as instructions for making changes to it in the future.

“As hackers’ attempts become more frequent and advanced, businesses will need to step up their network security systems,” Hadler added. “NGFWs can reduce risks from outside threats, provided that organizations install them properly and monitor the technology. Easy-to-follow tips can help simplify these processes and ensure data security is always at the forefront.”

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Founded in 2003, is a global leader in networking hardware, architectures, procurement, and support. Headquartered in Gloucestershire, England with operations across Europe and the U.S., the company provides a valued information technology (IT) partnership to organizations of all sizes.’s team of experienced and distinguished consultants partner with companies to identify, implement, and support advanced network infrastructures that align companies’ technological requirements with their business and economic goals. For more information on the company’s products, services, and solutions, visit