One factor to take into account is that there are both software and hardware firewalls which are not technically the same. A software firewall resides on a computer or server and protects individual machines from harmful traffic. This leads to a more difficult and less reliable solution when multiple computers or a netwrok need to be protected. Hardware firewalls are different solution and are used when a network or multiple computers need to be protected. The firewall is connected to the network and all traffic is routed through it to allow or disallow it based on rules created by the user. This however leads to the next problem which is misconfigurations of the rules. Some buisnesses make the mistake of leaving the settings for the firewall set to default which criminals know how to circumvent and exploit. one last issue is finding the right firewall, which can be increasingly difficult because of the varying features and many different models
One of the first things you can do to find a good firewall provider for you business is to look at the Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management (UTM), which is created yearly by analytical agency known as Gartner. UTM is a converged platform of point security products that usually come with three main features.
These 3 features are best suited for small and midsize businesses (SMBs),which can consist of 100 to 1000 people.You should also look for solutions that you can be satisfied with tradeoffs in terms of performance,network security and functionality. You sould also make sure that the the solution can be easily mananged, and that it contains embedded means of at least basic reporting, for some consumers, and localized software and documentation to help train solution administrators faster.
According to the Gartner reports the top 3 firewalls for SMBs are as followed
Fortinet is a representative of the leaders of the UTM market, and has a strong position in terns of functionality, price, and performance. It is the the goto firewall for normal SMBs and distributed networks of stand-alone offices. It comes with solutions for network security and endpoint security for both SMBs and Enterprise firewalls.
Check Point Software Technologies is a vender focused on network security and another leader of the UTM market. The SMB solutions are represented by an enterprise-class firewall, which is easy to manage and comes with a intuitive graphical interface (GUI).
Sophos is the 3rd leader of the UTM and has been increasing its market share, due to a combination of its ease of use, good funcionality of the security componts, and its successful intergration with its own solution to protect the end nodes. A goto firewall for SMBs and stand-alone offices.
Garnter believes that SMBs and Enterprise firewalls are very different from the enterprises point of view. Enterprises have a need for implementing more complex management policies and enhanced capabilities in implementing network security. this is becasue Enterprises tent to have branch structures where often the branches can be the same size of one whole SMB.
Because of this Gartner intoduced a new definition in the Enterprise Firewall. Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs),which are used by Enterprises, are deep-packet inspection firewalls that move beyond port/protocol inspection and blocking to add applications-level inspection,intrusion prevention, and bringing information from outside the firewall. Gartner predicts that market for these types of firewalls has acquired a long time functionality (lasting until ~2020) and that products now differentiate themselves from other venders in terms of functionality.
The top 3 firewalls for Enterpises are as followed.
Palo Alto Networks is a pure security vender in the Enterprise firewall market. With revenues exceeding $1.4 billion, it has been producing firewalls since 2007. It has solutions for Enterprise firewalls in physical and virtualized versions, endpoint protection, and security solutions.they are aactively working to integrate soluions into a single platform for network security.
Check Point Software Technologies once again shows up as not only a top 3 in SMBs but Enterprise firewalls as well. They have solutions for NGFW firewalls, endpoint security, cloud and mobile network.
Fortinet is a recent newcomer to the Enterprise class firewalls. Its main product Fortigate accounts for 75% of the companies revenue however. Fortinet has solutions for wireless networks, web-applications, and network security.