The Differences Between a Traditional Stateful and Next Generation Firewall

The Differences Between a Traditional Stateful and Next Generation Firewall

There are many differences between a traditional stateful firewall and a next generation firewall. The most notable difference is that while both provide protection against malicious traffic, the next generation firewalls offer greater performance and more flexibility in how they can be configured. This article will discuss some of these benefits including: better throughput, improved scalability, simplified management, higher security levels, and reduced latency.

The Differences Between a Traditional Stateful and Next Generation Firewall

A traditional stateful firewall is one that scans the network packets based on their connection states. The next generation of firewalls do a deep packet inspection to analyze all of the information in each individual packet and run it through a multitude of detection engines, which can be customized with plugins or API’s for third party integration. These features allow the next gen firewalls to recognize whether an application is being used benignly or if there are malicious intentions behind its use. In addition, they have predictive machine learning algorithms that help them identify suspicious activity before any damage can occur. This allows security teams to more accurately detect advanced cyber threats across endpoints , networks, and cloud applications.

Another  difference between a stateful and next generation firewall is in how they process traffic. The traditional type uses flow tables, which are rules that describe the allowable paths for different types of packets to pass through, while an NG Firewall processes packets using machine learning algorithms . This allows it to have more efficient networking capabilities than traditional firewalls can offer.

Next Generation firewalls also include behavioral analysis features such as anti-malware protection , exploit prevention technologies like sand boxing or network segmentation , and security awareness training modules for user behavior modification

Pros and cons of both types of firewalls 

Traditional Stateful Firewalls

  • Pros: They provide better visibility into the network than perimeter firewalls do.  This is especially helpful in large organizations that have multiple business units or departments with different operating requirements. This enables IT teams to set custom policies for each team while still maintaining an overarching security posture across all of them.  It also allows analysts to see exactly what kind of traffic is traversing their networks, which makes it easier to detect threats and respond quickly when necessary.  Another benefit is that traditional stateful firewalls are more secure against evasion attacks since they monitor both ends of a connection; typically only one end (e.g., initiator) must be authenticated on next gen firewalls.   Since next gen firewalls monitor traffic on a packet-by-packet basis, they are more likely to miss something that an
  • Cons:  Although they provide better visibility into the network, traditional stateful firewalls are not very effective when it comes to enforcing security policies across all types of traffic. This is because most organizations prioritize some business units or departments over others since different teams have different needs and requirements that must be met in order for them to continue doing their jobs effectively. For example, finance departments might need an additional level of firewall protection due to data sensitivity so IT teams may choose a more stringent set of rules on their next gen firewalls which would disrupt productivity if applied across other areas. Traditional stateful firewalls also lack advanced threat detection capabilities without having third party plugins installed (which sometimes conflicts with internal operations), do not support open APIs which limits their integration with other systems, and are unable to dynamically prioritize applications or users without the addition of a device in front of them.

Next Generation Firewalls

  • Pros:  A key advantage is that next gen firewalls are able to detect attacks in real time. This allows security teams to see exactly what activities attackers are engaging in on their networks so they can take action faster and prioritize the most critical assets first without having to wait for a device or appliance update. Another benefit of these devices is that they have built-in anti-DDoS protection which means organizations will not be taken offline if an attack occurs; this provides business continuity during DDoS events since network traffic continues to flow through them even when under siege by hackers (unlike traditional stateful firewalls). Next generation firewalls also integrate with other technologies like SIEMs, cloud access security brokers, and identity management systems which allows organizations to aggregate security logs from multiple devices in one location.
  • Cons:  Although next gen firewalls are able to detect threats in real time, this comes at a cost. Since these devices have the ability to inspect every byte of information that passes through them, they require more processing power compared to traditional stateful firewalls which contain less functionality and do not monitor everything on the network. This means it’s important for organizations choosing one of these solutions to make sure their hardware is up-to-date so their device will be able process data quickly enough while still maintaining an average latency below 50 milliseconds (the current industry benchmark). Another drawback is that most next gen firewall appliances offer limited support for VPNs since many IT teams rely on IPsec or SSLVPN connections with end users; however, this isn’t always the case since some devices do support SSLVPN on specific platforms.

What Factors to Consider When Deciding on the Right Firewall for Your Organization’s Needs.

  • Next Gen Firewalls have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional stateful firewalls but they offer advanced threat detection capabilities which is critical when it comes to protecting against modern security threats.
  • Next gen firewalls support open APIs and integrations with other technologies so organizations can consolidate all their logs from different devices in one location. Organizations that want the most secure network possible should consider these solutions since there are no additional add-ons needed for them to be effective (unlike traditional stateful firewalls).
  • Next Gen firewalls are ideal for organizations that require an extra level of security due to the data sensitivity on their networks.
  • Traditional stateful firewalls do not have as high of a performance impact so organizations should consider them if they don’t feel like upgrading all or most of their devices since next gen firewalls can be pricey and will also increase latency.
  • Next gen firewalls are ideal for organizations that have a large amount of data flowing through their networks since these devices can inspect every byte.
  • Traffic tends to flow through next gen firewalls faster compared to traditional stateful firewalls, however the performance impact of these devices are dependent on how many rules they have.
  • Traditional stateful firewalls should be considered if organizations only want the basic security functions offered by these solutions or intend on manually adding rules through their web-based management interface(s).
  • Traditional stateful firewalls are ideal for organizations that have limited budgets since these solutions do not need advanced hardware.
  • Next Gen Firewall appliances offer more flexibility when it comes down to choosing hardware that is able to keep up with their processing demands so organizations don’t need to upgrade as often compared to using traditional hardware solutions.
  • Organizations should consider whether their existing hardware can support next gen firewall appliances before purchasing one of these solutions since they will need to be up-to date with the latest processing power in order to function properly.

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