Cloud firewalls serve to protect users from advanced cyber threats by using advanced technologies like machine learning, behavior analysis, and sandboxing while not requiring specialized hardware or infrastructure to operate.
A Cloud Firewall is a firewall that operates at the application layer of the OSI model, which means it works on Layer 7 (Transport) and higher. It also provides security features such as intrusion prevention and blocking virtual private networks (VPN). Also known as Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW).
Types Of Cloud Firewalls
There are two types of cloud firewalls available: external vs. internal.
External Cloud Firewall
An external cloud firewall protects servers in a data center, while an external cloud firewall protects end-user devices.
Internal Cloud Firewall
Internal cloud firewalls reside in multiple areas inside an organization’s system, such as on a local area network (LAN), an application delivery controller (ADC), or inside the cloud.
Benefits Of Cloud Firewalls
The following are the benefits of a cloud-based firewall,
Low Startup Costs
The benefits of a cloud-based firewall are that they have lower startup costs and can be implemented within minutes. With cloud firewalls, companies’ data isn’t stored on physical hardware in the data center, which cuts down on cost while increasing security by allowing for faster recovery from threats without restoring significant amounts of data from backups.
They can work in conjunction with physical devices if necessary, but ideally. Still, ideally, these cloud appliances provide companies with enough resources at their disposal that organizations won’t need additional hardware specifically dedicated for security purposes.
They also offer scalability, increased security, non-intrusive deployment, reduced bandwidth usage, and a high level of integration with a company’s existing technology infrastructure.
Also, cloud firewalls operate in the cloud. So if one device becomes compromised or infected with malware, other devices won’t be affected since they are not linked together, which helps maintain security across an entire infrastructure.
Minimal Human Interaction
These devices also require minimal human interaction to manage the system, which means companies don’t need to hire staff dedicated to watching over it or maintaining it.
Perform More Advanced Tasks
Cloud firewalls can perform more advanced tasks thanks to their ability to perform data analysis and machine learning much faster than traditional appliances. Cloud firewalls can also be deployed to an organization’s applications within minutes, further mitigating the risk of a cyber attack.
This technology can also detect and block emerging cyber threats such as ransomware before reaching an organization’s servers. It operates on the application layer instead of just at the network level, as typical firewalls do.
Since cloud firewall providers will have their built-in intelligence system watching over users’ infrastructures, these companies will be aware of potential threats before organizations are even aware themselves. This allows them to take preemptive steps like blocking malicious IP addresses and domains before attacks can happen, further minimizing the risk of a cyber attack.
Reduces Bandwidth Consumption
Cloud firewalls reduce an organization’s bandwidth consumption because they only allow approved traffic from users to pass through. They can also integrate with other security systems such as email filtering, next-generation antivirus protection, and sandboxing technology. If a threat is detected, it can be stopped immediately before it becomes more severe or reaches the network.
Cloud firewalls offer a high level of integration with existing technologies. They are provided as a service meaning they can be easily scaled to meet traffic demand and deployed on any type of system/device a customer wants, including cloud servers, bare-metal hardware, private clouds, and virtual machines.
Drawbacks Of Cloud Firewalls
Not Enough Bandwidth
The main drawback to using a cloud firewall is that there may not always be enough bandwidth for companies to run it effectively if their business model requires high amounts of data transfer. Since the main objective of these appliances is to analyze, inspect and stop threats from getting through if there isn’t enough bandwidth available, these devices won’t work as efficiently or fail altogether.
Cannot Capture Much Information
In addition, cloud firewalls have lower limits on the amount of information they can capture, store and analyze than physical appliances. This means these devices may not be able to detect certain types of cyber threats such as application-layer attacks or zero-day malware (malware that is brand new and has never been seen before) because the cloud firewall’s tracking system only goes back 13 months instead of for an entire organization’s lifetime like physical appliances do.
Hard To Deploy
Lastly, I suppose a company isn’t already using some type of data analysis technology. In that case, it may be challenging to scale and deploy this technology effectively without turning to a third-party vendor who could cost more money in the long run.
Cloud firewalls have quickly become one of cybersecurity’s most valuable tools because they offer companies valuable insight into potential threats. Using a cloud firewall allows organizations to conveniently and rapidly secure all of their applications by creating a complete application awareness to ensure security measures are in place across an entire network.
This technology also offers third-party vendors the ability to provide additional services such as sandboxing, email filtering, next-generation antivirus protection, and more which will help organizations prevent data loss from cyber attacks instead of dealing with the aftermath. In turn, this ultimately reduces an organization’s operating costs and helps keep them out of harm’s way when it comes to keeping important company information safe from cybercriminals.