A firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) is a critical cloud-based part of a cybersecurity strategy for a company that wants to outsource the hosting and maintenance of their firewall or next-generation firewall (NGFW) solutions.
See below to learn all about the benefits of using FWaaS solutions and why they’re important:
FWaaS security can be instantaneously scaled up and down depending on the number of edge devices, users, and applications currently inside your network. This ensures that no device gets left unmonitored or unsecured, enabling you to resume operations with added network devices and users with no setbacks.
Wide-scale policy enforcement
The centralized architecture of FWaaS solutions enables you to enforce security and privacy policies on a wider scale all from a single policy-management center. The effects of policy changes are near instantaneous and don’t leave any part of your network without the policy update for long.
This capability is especially beneficial for companies with physically separate locations where individual firewalls may be required. A single FWaaS can be used to uniformly enforce all security policies regardless of physical separation.
Minimize maintenance requirements
Implementing advanced firewall and NGFW solutions isn’t a one-time task to tick off a checklist. They require constant maintenance, tuning, and reconfiguration to keep operating properly and protecting your network from cyberthreats.
This demands the constant attention of a skilled security team with up-to-date training on the latest firewall tools.
FWaaS offerings, on the other hand, include all the hardware and software maintenance needed to run the firewall solution. Further, the FWaaS vendor has a security team that’s highly knowledgeable in the servicing of their own product.
See more: 5 Top Firewall Trends
Reduce security and IT costs
FWaaS solutions can be cost-effective compared to the alternative with the same security capabilities. You can save on the regular expenses required for training your IT staff to handle the specific type of firewall software you have implemented on your network.
Additionally, the cost of managing the hardware needed to host and run the firewall software can be high, considering you’re installing it on a smaller scale, unlike the FWaaS provider. Further, many FWaaS providers offer a pay-as-you-go model where you only pay for the time, tools, and the number of devices in use.
Inclusion of remote devices and users
The average percentage of remote and hybrid workers is on the rise, which can require the implementation of specialized firewall solutions on each remote employee’s hardware and communications accounts.
FWaaS solutions cover the security needs of remote devices with little work needed on your end. All network traffic gets routed through the firewall provider’s servers, including remote workers when they’re added to the list of protected devices.
Improve quality and trust
There are numerous security and privacy certificates that companies can apply for to gain the trust of their customers and the confidence of partners. However, those can be challenging to obtain and maintain for the security team in the long run.
You can aim for the same trust and confidence by subscribing to a FWaaS solution by a vendor that has gained the desired security and quality qualifications you’re looking to offer your customers.
What cyberthreats does FWaaS defend against?
FWaaS solutions offer a layer of network and endpoint protection tools. By being on the outermost parameter of your network with the ability to monitor and access incoming and outgoing traffic along with user activity, a FWaaS is capable of protecting your network, devices, users, and applications from a various cyberthreats:
Malware and viruses
Malware and viruses are one of the largest cyberthreats in terms of sheer numbers. They’re present in a large amount of content and web pages online, and it can be hard to avoid them entirely. And even relatively harmless ones can cause system lags and take up valuable storage resources.
However, malware and viruses in all their types can be caught by a properly-configured FWaaS solution, as long as it’s extended to cover all of your network’s access points. Not only can an FWaaS scan incoming traffic for known malware, but they’re also capable of using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect zero-day attacks.
Trojan horses tend to be harder to detect for traditional firewalls and antivirus software. As they’re disguised as non-malicious traffic, they can run deep into your network before they start causing damage or even be detected by outdated security tools.
FWaaS solutions ensure that all user devices and accounts, including both remote and on-premises, are well-secured with exactly the same security policies and standards. Trojan horses can be prevented from entering your network altogether.
If a Trojan horse manages to bypass the first line of defense, features like sandboxing and application behavioral analysis enable the FWaaS to double-check its decisions to block them before they cause harm.
Data breaches and leaks
FWaaS are responsible for monitoring and scanning the traffic flowing around, leaving, and entering your network, ensuring it’s all up to standard and doesn’t rouse suspicion.
Malicious application code
On top of monitoring the activity of network traffic and the access permissions of user devices and accounts, a FWaaS is also capable of monitoring the behavior and resource access privileges of native applications.
As some attacks could be executed through the injection of malicious code into an otherwise harmless application, a FWaaS can be used to detect and block any application activity or behavior that attempts to access unauthorized network resources or to communicate with non-whitelisted websites and external servers, thus preventing data leaks.
See more: What is Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS)?