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What is the Best Firewall Software for Enterprise Businesses?

A firewall is a security protocol that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic based on the monitoring policy. A firewall works similarly to a firewall of a building. As the firewall of a building blocks fire to spread all across the building, a firewall blocks the unusual and unwanted traffic to a private network.

For example, say you don't want to allow traffic from the IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx to your network. All you need is a firewall and set the policy in the firewall that traffic from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is unwanted. The firewall filters all IP addresses and when it detects traffic from xxx.xxx.xx.xx, it does not allow the traffic to enter your network.

You can set a firewall on your personal computer. This firewall only protects your computer from unwanted traffic. Generally, firewall software is frequently used to protect personal networks and PCs.

You can set a firewall to a private network, or virtual private network. In that case, the entire network is protected from unwanted and unusual traffic. Hardware Firewall is such as a router with a built-in firewall is used to establish network-level security. As well, the combination of a firewall software and firewall hardware is utilized to establish network-level security.

You can set a firewall to a cloud network. The firewall protects your cloud network from harmful, unwanted, and unusual traffic. In the case of cloud firewalls, firewalls are hosted in the cloud.

Firewall Software: Necessity for a business enterprise

Before I jump into the discussion of why a business enterprise requires firewall software, let us have a look at the following statistics.

  • According to the statistics of the US, 49% of companies experienced data breaches, at least once.
  • The average number of days required to contain a data breach is 80 days.
  • 71% of data breaches happen with financial motivation.
  • According to a statistic published in 2016, government, retail business sectors, and technology sectors are the main target of a data breach. 95% of recorded data breaches came from these sectors.
  • The average cost of a data breach is 5.01 million USD for large enterprises.

The above statistics show that every business enterprise remains at risk of a data breach through various malware attacks such as hacking, phishing, foam jacking, etc. And, the malware attackers basically utilize the weakness of cyber security protocol. If a business enterprise's personal network or personal computer remains open to all, the chance of being attacked becomes amplified. As a result, the business enterprise must compromise personal data to hackers or malware attackers.

For this reason, a business enterprise must use firewall software to block unusual traffic to the business's networks and devices. Using firewall software can protect unusual, suspicious, and unwanted traffic and thereby establish a strong security protocol. As a result, the business enterprise cannot only block unwanted traffic but also can analyze suspicious traffic to the network.

Here is a list of the best firewall software for enterprise businesses:

Best Firewall Software for Enterprise Businesses

Figure 1. Best Firewall Software for Enterprise Businesses

1. Zenarmorโ€‹

Zenarmor is a convenient and effective firewall that is basically made for protecting IT resources including applications. For this reason, it is frequently used in home and small business firms. Also, this enterprise firewall is used in large enterprises.

Features of Zenarmor listed below:

  • Zenarmor is very effective at blocking and controlling unauthorized applications and traffic. And the protection is compatible with any port number.
  • The application database is very rich as the database has more than 1000 applications.
  • The firewall is very effective for real-time network visualization. Also, it drills down to per connection detail.
  • Another notable feature of Zenarmor is user-based reporting. For instance, it can detect the unusual behavior of the user.
  • Zenarmor is equally compatible with cloud applications. As a result, a user can create granular access policies for various cloud services such as Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, etc.
  • The firewall does not take more than one minute to block a botnet.
  • It customizes blacklist and whitelists automatically.

Advantages of Zenarmor are outlined below:

  1. It is a next-generation firewall that is equally compatible to control applications and networks.

  2. It is highly effective to block certain applications.

  3. Its reporting process is very comprehensive.

  4. Installing Zenarmor is very simple.

How to use Zenarmor is summarized below:

Deploying Zenarmor into any network platform is very easy. Only, the user requires internet access. Therefore, Zenarmor could be used in large business enterprises, small businesses, and events at home. Zenarmor also offers a 7days free trial.

Unique characteristic: It is an open-source application. Zenarmor's lightweight and powerful, appliance-free technology enables enterprises to instantly create firewalls and quickly secure settings as small as home networks or as large as multi-cloud deployments.

2. FortiGate NGFWโ€‹

FortiGate Next-generation firewall could be used to manage home and business security (both large and small businesses).

Features of Fortigate NGFW is given below:

  • NGFW offers SSL inspection engine. The engine is very operative to detect malware that hides in encrypted traffic or SSL.
  • It provides a consolidated security protocol to block advanced threats. Also, the enterprise firewall is very efficient in terms of blocking a minor threat to network vulnerability.
  • It provides both wired and wireless network security.
  • It supports an enterprise with application control, intrusion prevention, sandboxing, an anti-malware approach, and web-filtering.
  • It is equally compatible with large enterprises, data centers, and remote locations.

The advantages of Fortigate NGFW is listed below:

  • FortiGate NGFW can be deployed within the internal network to increase threat visibility.
  • Deployment and management of NGFW are very simple; therefore, an enterprise requires less IT overhead to manage this firewall.

Disadvantages of Fortigate NGFW is listed below:

  • Price: The price of FortiGate NGFW ranges between $500 and $35000 (for 7060E-8).

How to use Fortigate NGFW is summarized below: Deployment of FortiGate NGFW is very simple. It requires the configuration of internal and WAN interfaces. After reviewing the configuration, the deployment process becomes complete.

The unique characteristic of Fortigate NGFW is: Quality of Service Functionality (QoS).

3. Zscaler Internet Accessโ€‹

The firewall is best for business that uses cloud networks and remote working.

Features of Zscaler Internet Access are as follows:

  • It secures cloud apps with integrated CASB.
  • It ensures compliance across SaaS and LaaS environments.
  • It protects data with full inline inspection, Index Document Matching, and machine learning.
  • Zscaler Internet Access ensures industry-level protection along with protecting all ports and protocols.
  • The firewall is a new generation firewall that can create a virtual air gap between users, the web, and SaaS.

Advantages of Zscaler Internet Access are listed below:

  • The most notable advantage of using this firewall is it established a unified view of the application, cloud path, and endpoint performance. That is why the ticket resolution process of the firewall is very speedy.
  • The firewall can detect and protect against stealthy threats which usually hide in encrypted web traffic.

Disadvantages of Zscaler Internet Access are listed below:

  • Linux integration in beta creates difficulties for Linux users.
  • The re-authentication process is lengthy.

Price of Zscaler Internet Access:

For 12 months the price is $6,000 and for 36 months $15,000. The number of users is 50.

How to use Zscaler Internet Access is summarized below:

Zscaler Internet Access is compatible with Hybrid workplaces that use cloud networks.

Unique characteristic of Zscaler Internet Access:

Advanced digital experience monitoring, Cloud-to-Cloud Log streaming for SIEMs.

4. Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtualโ€‹

The firewall is mostly used to secure a private network. That is why a large business enterprise can easily use Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual to protect the private network from any advanced malware attacks. Also, the firewall's protection system covers private networks and cloud environments simultaneously.

Features of Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual are as follows:

  • The security intelligence of Cisco is integrated with IP, URL, and DNS threat intelligence.
  • Centralized configuration, logging monitoring, and central reporting.
  • Integrated threat correlation with Cisco Secure Endpoint is available.
  • The firewall can support more than 400 applications.
  • It prioritizes threats with automated risk rankings.
  • It integrates a next-generation intrusion prevention system.
  • Cisco Firewall can proactively stop attacks.

Advantages of Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual are as follows:

  • Cisco firewall uses an advanced malware protection system.
  • Its content inspection efficiency is very high.

Disadvantages of Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual are as follows:

  • The graphical user interface is slow.
  • Cisco's Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) is quite slow.

Price of Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual ranges from $ 585 (for small businesses) to $139,995(for enterprises).

How to use Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual is summarized below:

Cisco could be used in the data center, branch offices, clouds, and everywhere simultaneously. The enterprise firewall of Cisco has both hardware and software. A simple configuration process can set up the enterprise firewall.

The unique characteristic of Cisco Next-Generation Firewall Virtual is the fully integrated firewall. It is best for malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

5. Forcepointโ€‹

Forcepoint firewall is used to establish security at home, in small businesses, and even in large businesses. The firewall is very convenient to manage the security of multiple locations and the cloud.

Features of Forcepoint are listed below:

  • It has a central console by which the user applies 360-degree visibility. As a result, users can quickly identify risks. As well, the industry-scale intrusion detection of this firewall can instantly mitigate the risks.
  • It has built-in Secure SD-WAN which offers an integrated control system with just one click.
  • Forcepoint firewall offers the user regular updates and upgrades based on users' schedules.
  • The most notable feature of the Forcepoint firewall is its remote deployment. Anyone can deploy, automate and orchestrate the firewall from any remote location.
  • The firewall is designed as software that allows the users to deploy the firewall on hardware and the cloud. Also, the open APIs of the firewall allow users to apply customized automation according to the user's specifications.
  • Forcepoint regularly inspects the product in light of industry-scale specifications.

The advantages of Forcepoint are as follows:

  • The process of deployment is very easy and convenient.
  • Using the firewall is very effective for an organization because of SMS. The SMS allows visibility of all firewalls from a single place.

The disadvantages of Forcepoint are as follows:

  • Poor reporting, particularly for specific data.
  • URL filtering database is not updated regularly.

Pricing of Forcepoint Firewall depends on the capacities and capabilities. To use at home or to manage a small business, this firewall costs $1000. On the other hand, it costs $40,000 for the high-end 6200 series which is used to manage a large business enterprise.

How to use Forcepoint Firewall is summarized below:

An easy configuration system is required to deploy the Firewall.

Unique characteristic: Industry-scale performance with an easy deployment process.

6. WatchGuardโ€‹

It secures the private network and therefore WatchGuard is efficient to use at the home, office, and large enterprise.

Features of WatchGuard are given below:

  • WatchGuard offers cloud sandboxing.
  • It is efficient at detecting ransomware, zero-day threats, and other advanced attacks.
  • WatchGuard has a DNS filter that blocks all kinds of malicious DNS requests.
  • WatchGuard uses ThreatSync to prevent machines from introducing new malware.
  • WatchGuard classifies current and future threats which, in turn, enables a strong security protocol to prevent malware.

Advantages of WatchGuard are given below:

  • WatchGuard is easy to use.
  • Proxy server, efficient reporting, and logging.
  • High-quality visualization tools.
  • Content-based inspection system.

Disadvantages of WatchGuard are listed below:

  • It needs to improve the device identification system.
  • It needs to develop a cloud management system as well as a central management system to manage multi-site.

The price of WatchGuard starts from $189.

How to use WatchGuard is summarized below: It is very simple to use. To use, the user needs to restart the system manager of the firewall and connect to the device.

The unique characteristic of WatchGuard is the Unified network and endpoint security.

7. Sophosโ€‹

Sophos firewall allows a business enterprise to extend the network anywhere. With TLS 1.3 Decryption, Deep Packet Filtering, and Application Acceleration; Sophos firewall offers you the most advanced experience of using a firewall.

Features of Sophos are as follows:

  • Deep packet inspection with TLS 1.3 inspection, Next-generation Intrusion Prevention (IPS) and proxy-based dual-engine AV scanning, Country Based blocking, etc.
  • Industry-leading performance in traffic encryption with the features of a powerful policy engine, full coverage of all ports and protocols, intelligence traffic selection, etc.
  • Dynamic sandboxing analysis and deep learning static file analysis.
  • Sophos supports all standardized VPN technologies such as IPSec and SSL VPN tunnels and Wizard-based orchestration. As well, Sophos uses its Red Site-to-Site tunnels.
  • It provides the scope of using a wireless controller that eases the remote working.
  • Sophos offers the most Advanced-grade technology for core networking. As a result, a business enterprise can easily handle NAT, routing, and bridging.
  • It also offers zone segmentation such as default zones for LAN, WAN, DMZ, Local, etc.

Advantages of Sophos are as follows:

  • Centralized management system, central cloud management, and group firewall management.
  • Continuous improvement of the product based on customer reviews.

Disadvantages of Sophos are as follows:

  • A few users complain about the missing root cause analysis at the end of care resolution.
  • Sometimes, VPN Failover groups can create issues such as reconnecting VPN.

The price of Sophos Firewall starts from $249/year. For a large enterprise, Sophos offers a high-end XG 750 that costs $60,000.

How to use Sophos Firewall is summarized below:

Sophos Firewall could be used in large business enterprises. Also, it is compatible with personal use. Sophos offers a free version for personal use. The enterprise firewall of Sophos comes with both hardware and software.

The unique characteristic of Sophos is that it uses a global network so that it can prevent users from accessing any phishing or suspicious sites.

How Much Does an Enterprise Firewall Cost?โ€‹

The cost of a firewall is determined by the size of the organization and the license fee. If a small business wants to use a firewall that has not more than 100 employees, the cost of the firewall would start from $700. Typically, the license fee for a firewall is two or three times the cost of a firewall. So, if the firewall costs $700, then the average license fee would be $1500 (considering the license for three years). It should be noted here that, if a small business wants to use a firewall, Zenarmor will be the best choice.

On the other hand, if a large business wants to use an enterprise firewall, the cost of setting up a firewall would climb up to $40,000. However, it is only the cost of the firewall. If an additional charge is added to the firewall cost, the setup cost would be two times the cost of the firewall.

Generally, a large enterprise has to spend additional costs in various sectors to set up a firewall. For instance, if an enterprise wants to set up an enterprise firewall such as Cisco or Palo Alto, it requires a large amount of ram, a high-speed processor, excellent NICs, a high-quality backplane for SCSI internals, etc. As well, the enterprise requires specialized personnel and network administrators. These additional costs, however, depend on the requirements of the enterprise firewall setup.

Why Enterprise Businesses Should Use A Firewall?โ€‹

Here are the reasons why an enterprise business must use a firewall.

  • Nowadays, the most prominent security threat to a business enterprise is a data breach. A business enterprise has confidential data that hackers hijack, steal, or block (to claim ransom). As a result, a business enterprise has to confront numerous disadvantages. For instance, if confidential data is stolen and then data is sold to a competitor of the business, the business loses its competitive advantage in the market. That is why protecting the enterprise's devices and networks from hackers and unauthorized external users is a must. A firewall, specifically, serves this purpose. It protects hackers, malware attacks, and other suspicious external users.
  • Another task that a firewall performs is blocking users' access to unauthorized websites. But why is it important to a business? Many suspicious websites are the sources of malware. If an employee of the business enterprise enters into such websites, the business enterprise might fall under a security threat. So, it's better to block accessibility. The firewall actually performs this better task. It analyzes advanced threats and blocks access to unauthorized suspicious threats.
  • Malicious codes, viruses, worms, other unwanted internet traffic increase vulnerability in the network. An enterprise firewall inspects the incoming and outgoing traffic to the network to identify unwanted traffic. Also, an enterprise firewall identifies intrusion attempts and other violations. As a result, the security of the business enterprise remains solid.
  • If all bandwidth is consumed by non-business contents, the amount of business-content-related traffic decreases. A firewall, therefore, limits and meters unwanted traffic, so that business content-related traffic increases. This feature is very important for a business enterprise that conducts business online.
  • Another reason why a business enterprise requires a firewall is VPN functionality. VPN functionality allows users from remote sites to access the business's internal resources. It is very helpful for a business enterprise, particularly if the business has enormous remote workers.

What is the Best Firewall for Medium Business?โ€‹

The number of employees of a medium-sized business usually ranges between 100-250. That is why it does not require a comprehensive security establishment. If you run a medium-size business, the following firewalls are best for you.

  1. Zenarmor: High threat protection and less complexity. The convenient and effective firewall is our first choice.
  2. WatchGuard Network Security: Quick Responsiveness, Easy deployment for all the users. It is the second option on our list.
  3. Sophos Firewall: Next-generation firewall protection. Equally efficient to protect devices, applications, private networks, and the cloud.
  4. SonicWall: Easy management. Upgraded GUI. Advanced content filtering.
  5. Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation firewall: Advanced traffic classification. Customized and comprehensive security policies.

What is the Best Firewall for Small Business?โ€‹

The number of employees of a small-sized business range from 10-to 100. Compared to an enterprise business, the setup of a small business is very small. That is why a firewall that is compatible for use at home is also compatible for protecting security for a small business. Following firewalls are, however, best for a small business.

  1. Zenarmor: Provides the best protection at a low price for small businesses.

  2. Cisco: Corporate network protection with hardware and device protection with software. Multiple checkpoints. Complete endpoint protection.

  3. Firewalla: Best for businesses that are run on a low budget. Content filtering. Basic Intrusion Prevention.

  4. SonicWall: Site-to-site VPN capabilities. Best for a business operating in multiple locations. VPN tunnels for file sharing.

  5. Palo Alto: Best for file sharing in the cloud. Site-to-Site VPN capabilities to protect the internal network.