5 Top Firewall Providers for 2019

Rogue AI chatbots, IoT breaches, widespread fraud: many expert predictions for 2019 are downright dire. Selecting the right firewall provider can go a long way to protecting your enterprise’s reputation, data, and bottom line. Let’s take a look at five top firewall providers for 2019.

1. Fortinet

Maybe it’s the company’s independently certified and continuous threat intelligence updates. Perhaps its the ability to protect against malware attacks lurking in encrypted traffic. Whatever the reason, Fortinet remains a popular firewall solution. It stands alone atop Gartner’s list — by a wide margin, thanks to a stellar 4.5-star rating from users.

One reviewer, a network engineer, praised its ease of use and value. The IT pro writes: “Overall, we have been extremely satisfied ….” Another user, in the industrial automation space, highlights one feature in particular. “The dual-wan feature also gives you the ability to have load-balancing or failover for multiple WAN connections.”

A partnership with Symantec to integrate into the latter’s cloud-delivered network security service, Secure Web Gateways, will ensure continued utility and relevance for Fortinet throughout 2019.

2. Palo Alto Networks

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Another highly regarded firewall provider found a new dance partner of its own in late 2018. Palo Alto 

Networks announced its acquisition of RedLock, which leverages AI to connect seemingly disparate dots that provide a comprehensive picture of potential threats to an organization’s cloud environment. Already a Gartner superstar with a 4.5-star rating equal to Fortinet’s, adding this strength and capability to Palo Alto Networks’ offerings can only help.

A senior network engineer describes Palo Alto Networks’ firewall as consistently updated, stable, and robust, and a CIO credits it with making his team “much more productive and efficient.”

Palo Alto Networks features worth a look are the scanning engine it uses to prevent the transfer of unauthorized files and sensitive data, and its integration with enterprise directory services such as Active Directory, eDirectory, LDAP, and Citrix.

3. Cisco

One reviewer calls Cisco’s firewall solution “mature, solid, and easy to understand.” It’s great if you can find such characteristics in a person and even better if your firewall solution shares them. There’s a reason for Cisco’s “Customer Choice 2018” achievement from Gartner, after all. A network administrator using Cisco’s firewall claims it has “more functions than I can use” but is easy to maintain and manage.

In addition to manufacturing security solutions, Cisco has been making news lately. The good kind. “Three years ago, it was still like is Cisco serious or not?” one IT leader expressed. “Now you’ve got single sign-on Multi-Factor Authentication, Cloud Access Security Broker, all under Cisco Umbrella …. Those are all good moves. Even in the market, customer perception is tenfold better compared to three years ago.”

Considering Cisco? Then check out the automation capabilities of Cisco’s networking and security operations, as well as its next-generation IPS, advanced malware protection, and sandboxing features.  

4. Check Point

Keeping pace with the multi-star user ratings of more prominent players in the firewall space, Check Point receives high marks and high praise. “The feature set of Check Point’s next gen firewalls keeps expanding to include new ways to address security concerns,” one reviewer shares, noting their “very positive experience” with the solution. Another reviewer cuts straight to the point when he calls it “the best firewall in the market.”

Check Point touts the industry’s broadest application coverage: more than 8,000 applications and 260,000 social network widgets. This allows companies to administer rules to features that people use daily, such as instant messaging, social networking, video streaming, and games.

One of Check Point’s stated goals is “superior protection across the entire security gateway.” Capabilities such as that help it reach such goals. Its recent moves to bolster integration with the Amazon Web Services Security Hub will also help.

5. SonicWall

Though smaller in market size to other firewall providers on this list, SonicWall still lays claim to protecting more than 1 million networks worldwide. It’s earned that business, in part because of features that defend against zero-day vulnerabilities, prevent the unauthorized takeover of virtual systems, and stop unauthorized access to protected data assets.

And doing all of that doesn’t require a team of IT pros beyond the initial installation. One reviewer writes, “Setup has a lot of features, so I suggest you get some help with someone that is familiar with SonicWall.” Another calls it “an extremely easy to use firewall” and adds, “The settings are easy to configure even though initial setup may be challenging for your specific environment.”

One thing to consider if you’re looking at SonicWall: while it is making inroads to virtual environments, it seems to be doing so at a pace that sets it behind others in the field.  

Firewall Protections to See You Through 2019

If even a fraction of IT experts’ predictions for 2019 come to fruition, it is going to be a very challenging year. Protect yourself with a reliable firewall. It’s a field CTC Technologies knows well and one to which we pay close attention. Contact us today to learn more.