The History of the Firewall

Firewall solutions continue to evolve to better protect organizations from cyberattacks and threats.

Articles published October 18, 2017 by Bob Bally

A firewall is the centerpiece of your organization’s security. Today, having a network that’s protected behind a firewall, as well as an elaborate network configuration, is a necessity. A strong firewall solution can be the difference between being hacked and being safe. 

Most organizations have a firewall, but not all of them are using it to its full potential. To maximize the strength and security of your network firewall, it first helps to know what a firewall is and what it is capable of doing.

A firewall is the foundation to protecting your network from unauthorized access. If you have an enterprise firewall, it can perform additional services like blocking dangerous or unproductive websites, displaying which websites your employees are visiting, showing bandwidth consumption, and providing other information that can impact productivity.

Over the years, firewalls have evolved as technology has advanced, becoming more complex and secure to accommodate for growing cyberthreats. Understanding where they started and where they are now can help you evaluate the proper firewall solution for your organization.

Three Generations of Firewall Protection

As firewalls have progressed, they’ve gotten more advanced in their functionality and security. According to Fortinet, the first generation of firewall was connection-oriented, designed to defend against unstructured and non-targeted attacks. The second generation of firewall was content-oriented, designed to defend against single-stage, targeted attacks. And the third generation of firewall is intent-oriented, designed to first determine the intent of an attack, and then leverage the appropriate countermeasures. As threats and cyberattacks continue to evolve, so too does each the intelligence and security offered by next-gen firewall solutions. 

Three generations of the Firewall infographic

Benefits of Firewall Security

As illustrated above, today’s firewalls can help prevent many different types of cyberattacks because of their enhanced intelligence.

Key features of next-gen firewall solutions include:

  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Anti-virus
  • Web site filtering
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Application control
  • Load Balancing

Today’s firewall solution offers features to keep your business protected in a customizable and scalable solution. Many organizations benefit from the option to protect different parts of their organization and network in different ways.

The Managed Firewall Solution

Some organizations may prefer to leverage a technical partner for firewall services, such as configuration, maintenance, and support. Managed firewall services allow your business to scale easily to accommodate business growth or increased bandwidth consumption needs. A managed services plan provides all-inclusive service for a fixed, monthly fee.

Managed services, such as a managed firewall, are growing in popularity. In fact, Grand View Research found that between 2019 and 2025, the managed service industry is expected to grow 11 percent, indicating that, among other managed IT services, managed firewalls will continue to be a quality option for organizations of all sizes. 

Keep your organization protected against cyberattacks. Implement a firewall solution to be a major part of your defense.  

Is your organization getting the maximum benefit out of its firewall?

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About The Author

Bob Bally

Bob has been providing technology solutions to Clients for 18 years.  With a focus on forward-thinking, Bob plans long term solutions for Clients with scalability as a priority.  As a former Operations Officer, Bob understands the need for reliable outsourcing solutions. Clients th ... read more

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