Top 10 Next-Generation Firewall Best Practices to Strengthen Your Organization’s Security



Understanding Zero Trust Security in 4 Steps

Traditional security protocols, though effective in the past, now require significant adaptation to address new online security threats. The modern business model, marked by a surge in remote operations and cloud-based systems, presents a unique opportunity for businesses to design a technology ecosystem that embraces a comprehensive approach to account for modern cybersecurity needs. Zero Trust Security is such a solution whereby it emphasizes rigorous validation of identity and access.

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Enhancing Cyber Resilience with Incident Response Planning and Execution

Security incidents are a commonplace reality for organizations worldwide. While robust cybersecurity measures are essential, they alone cannot guarantee immunity from threats. The real strength lies in an organization’s cyber resilience—the capability and capacity to anticipate, endure, and bounce back from security breaches. At the heart of this resilience is a well-structured incident response plan, bringing together business objectives, human expertise, and technological prowess.

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How a Cyber Risk Assessment Reduces Business Risk

Protecting your business from online threats is more than just a technical challenge; it’s a fundamental aspect of responsible business management. One of the most effective tools at your disposal to understand where you’re protected and where you’re vulnerable is a cyber risk assessment. This process offers a structured way to identify weak points in your online defences, recognize what the potential fallout from a cyberattack could be on your organization, and what you can do to fortify entry into your network.

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The best way to avoid a cyber security threat is to make sure you have the right security in the first place. This means knowing that threats are constantly evolving, so your organization’s security should also be capable of evolving. A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is not just a tool to do this, but a strategic asset to fortify your IT infrastructure. When executed well, an NGFW can be the difference between a restless sleep or a deep, restful sleep for you and your team. Below are the top 10 next-generation firewall best practices to enhance your organization’s security. 

1. Comprehensive Threat Protection

To ensure robust protection against ever-changing cyber threats, your NGFW should encompass comprehensive threat protection. This includes intrusion prevention systems (IPS), antivirus, anti-spam, and web filtering. Consider deploying a unified threat management (UTM) solution that synergizes these features for a cohesive and coordinated defence.

2. Regular Updates and Patch Management

In the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity, staying abreast of the latest threat intelligence is vital. Ensure your NGFW is consistently updated and patched to counter the newest vulnerabilities and security risks.

3. Granular Application Control

Balancing security and productivity is a nuanced task. Implement application controls that allow you to craft customized policies based on factors such as user role, device type, location, and time of day. This granular control enables you to strike the right balance for your organization.

4. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

Simplifying the management of user permissions through role-based access control (RBAC) minimizes the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information and applications. Assign access rights based on roles within the organization, reflecting our commitment to a secure, controlled environment.

5. Network Segmentation

Strategic network segmentation can thwart unauthorized access to critical business assets, contain the spread of malware, and mitigate the impact of a security breach. Design your network with security zones that isolate critical resources, and leverage your NGFW to enforce rigorous security policies between them.

6. Traffic Inspection and Analysis

Efficient threat detection and mitigation require your NGFW to inspect both inbound and outbound network traffic. This inspection identifies malicious activities such as data exfiltration and command and control (C&C) communications, and enforces data loss prevention (DLP) policies.

7. Centralized Management and Monitoring

A centralized management console streamlines the administration of your NGFW and offers a holistic view of your organization’s security posture. Utilize monitoring and reporting tools to gain insights into network activity and security events, enabling swift detection and response to potential threats.

8. High Availability and Scalability

As your organization evolves, so do your security needs. Choose a scalable NGFW solution that can be effortlessly upgraded to accommodate growth. Ensure high availability to minimize potential downtime and maintain a secure environment during hardware failures or maintenance. Note that this requires an understanding of your company’s larger business growth goals, allowing you to align your IT security strategy with your business strategy for greater congruence.

9. Regular Security Assessments

Regular security assessments are vital in evaluating your organization’s security readiness. By pinpointing potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities, you can make informed decisions to proactively fortify and optimize your security infrastructure.

10. IT Security Training and Awareness

Investing in regular IT security training empowers your employees with the latest threats and best practices knowledge. When your people are informed on key cybersecurity aspects they will serve as your best and most  robust defence against cyberattacks and data breaches.

Implementing these next-generation firewall best practices significantly strengthens your organization’s overall security. With a comprehensive approach to network security, your organization can successfully defend against evolving cyber threats. At ADVANTUS360, we are dedicated to providing tailored IT security solutions that resonate with your unique needs. To explore how we can assist you in safeguarding your virtual presence and enhancing your cybersecurity defenses, contact us today.