The firewall or firewalls are one of the key elements to ensure security, especially for companies seeking to protect their continuity against unauthorized access.
This element serves to filter the incoming and outgoing connections of a network. This makes it possible to prevent cyberattacks from the Internet against company devices and, at the same time, only supports the connections allowed within the company, thus also protecting attacks from within the intranet.
However, today there are different varieties of firewalls, each with different characteristics, so it is not always easy to choose the best option for each organization, from SMEs to large companies.
Firewalls can be a piece of software, as is the case with the firewall that most operating systems incorporate, such as Windows 10, but they can also be a specific hardware device.
As the National Security Institute (Incibe) explains in a statement, the main problem with traditional firewalls , which filter network traffic through rules, is that threats have evolved and using this model exclusively may not be enough in many occasions.
For this reason, cybersecurity solutions manufacturers have developed two new types of tools with more functionalities: UTM (Unified Threat Management) or unified threat management, and NGFW (Next Generation Firewalls) or new generation firewalls.
UTM or NGFW
Currently, both tools are similar in terms of the functionalities they present. These include IPS, VPN, event logging, monitoring, traffic filtering, application control, email security, DLP (Data Leak Prevention), or antivirus.
However, the two types of tools also have differences in terms of protection capabilities and the devices they can cover.
In the case of UTM, this system concentrates all the security functionalities in a single device. The economic cost of a UTM is lower than that of a NGFW, although its processing capacity may be lower. UTMs can also be spread across multiple devices, thus improving their processing power.
For its part, NGFW-type firewalls are made up of different elements, which allows better processing capacity. In addition, when one of the services falls, the rest can continue to function normally. On the contrary, the acquisition of these devices and their licenses entails a higher cost than a UTM.
Time to choose
Thus, UTMs are intended for companies that have the capacity to invest in specific security elements, as they offer more functionalities than traditional firewalls. They are the solutions that companies that offer security services use for SMEs and medium-sized organizations.
NGFWs are solutions for organizations with a large volume of connections, such as data centers or companies that provide cloud-based solutions. This type of firewall is capable of detecting and preventing attacks using security policies at the application level (level 7 of the OSI model).
On the other hand, for freelancers, micro-companies or SMEs whose economic capital is minimal, the traditional firewall that is integrated into the operating systems of the devices may be the solution that best suits their needs, since routers also usually offer configurations of customizable security, as recommended by Incibe.