Many years ago, I predicted the death of the firewall. Many people were surprised at this statement. Firewalls were seen as an essential line of defence. But it was clear, even then, that simple forms of protocol filter were no match for emerging security risks. Was I right? Yes and no. Firewalls are still with us but they have morphed into ‘next generation’ firewalls, with richer filtering capabilities, based on real time threat intelligence. This technology is beyond our original concept of a firewall.
The basis of this revolution is the incorporation of IPS into firewalls, a transformation pioneered by firewall vendors acquiring IPS technology. Now Sourcefire, a leading IPS vendor, has launched a next generation firewall. Sourcefire claim it is superior because of their richer experience of IPS technology. They also have a capability to import data from QualysGuard, a leading vulnerability management technology.
Integrated security products are the ideal way forward, as long they employ best-of-breed technologies. It’s welcome, therefore, to see leading product vendors integrating and extending the capability of their products.