The term “next-generation firewall” (NGFW) was first coined by Gartner Research, and it refers to the third generation of network firewall technology. These firewalls build on the previous generation of firewalls—which were limited to port/protocol inspection and blocking—by tightly integrating additional capabilities, such as in-line deep packet inspection (DPI), intrusion prevention (IPS), and application-level traffic inspection. Some NGFWs also enable TLS/SSL encrypted traffic inspection, website filtering, QoS/bandwidth management, antivirus inspection, and integration with third-party identity management systems such as LDAP, RADIUS, and Active Directory.
As increasing numbers of organizations began using (and depending on) online applications and SaaS services, it became clear that simply inspecting ports and protocols was insufficient to provide effective network security. The most significant innovation at the time was the ability to provide Layer 7 application profiling and IPS, enabling highly granular policy enforcement based on specific applications.
NGFWs are by now a mature solution category. However, the ongoing mass migration of IT workloads to public-cloud IaaS platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform—and the resulting increase in the complexity of hybrid network architectures—is driving a push to expand the capabilities of advanced network firewalls yet again. In this case, to provide advanced traffic management, WAN optimization, quality-of-service, and transparent cloud-platform integration.
Barracuda NextGen Firewall is a family of hardware, virtual, and cloud-based appliances that protect and enhance your dispersed network infrastructure. They deliver advanced security by tightly integrating a comprehensive set of next-generation firewall technologies, including Layer 7 application profiling, intrusion prevention, web filtering, malware and advanced threat protection, antispam protection, and network access control. In addition, Barracuda NextGen Firewall combines highly resilient VPN technology with intelligent traffic management and WAN optimization capabilities. This lets you reduce line costs, increase overall network availability, improve site-to-site connectivity, and ensure uninterrupted access to applications hosted in the cloud. Scalable centralized management helps you reduce administrative overhead while defining and enforcing granular policies across your entire dispersed network.