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Next-Generation Firewall Reduces Vulnerabilities, Sets Stage for Innovation

WWT labs and experts help an organization quickly evaluate, implement and operate business-critical security protection.

Your business is a technology business.

Is your firewall platform providing the protection you need? With so many solutions on the market, it can be daunting for organizations to know which solution will fit into their environment and meet their security requirements.

These days every business is a technology business with data to protect. That means making changes or upgrades to your firewall environment is a serious undertaking. The longer you delay plugging known security gaps while next-gen fixes are readily available, the more vulnerable you become. On the other hand, recklessly implementing the wrong security tools can jeopardize both customer and business data, leading to a swift loss in consumer confidence if a breach occurs.

Next-generation firewall (NGFW)

While it may be easy to tell when firewall technology has become outdated simply by keeping up with industry trends, determining which NGFW platform to adopt can be challenging. Today’s products offer a wide array of security features, functionality and vendor interoperability, and new options seem to appear on the market daily.

A technology buyer must carefully compare NGFW platforms, balancing the need for maximum protection for business and customer data with the appropriate advanced feature sets for the company’s unique use cases and environment.

Accelerate security decisions

After identifying security gaps in its firewall platform, a large organization engaged WWT to host a proof of concept (POC) to compare alternative NGFW solutions.

The customer’s timeline to identify the right platform was aggressive as it had already begun phasing out licenses for its existing firewall vendor. Moreover, several parallel customer projects would rely on successful implementation of the NGFW platform, further influencing the timeline.

During the preliminary stages of the POC, which took place over four days, WWT engineers worked closely with the customer’s engineers to develop an extensive list of use cases (~200) and corresponding solution requirements. Based on these findings, WWT helped the customer down select to two primary OEMs whose next-gen firewall products best fit its needs.

Proof of concept

To further accelerate its NGFW decision, the customer opted for a “paper POC” from WWT over a more traditional POC. For the paper POC, WWT facilitated primary use case demonstrations by the down selected OEMs and provided vendor neutral advice regarding the best solution.

Experts from WWT’s security practice recommended carrier-grade chassis firewalls from Palo Alto Networks, which were optimal for the customer’s geographically separated core data centers.

Implementation services

As part of our comprehensive solution, WWT placed a professional services expert (experienced in the selected NGFW solution) with the customer to perform on-premises installation, migration and integration services.

Upgrading to this NGFW platform allowed the customer to quickly reduce vulnerabilities and gaps through a more robust suite of next-gen security features that included complete network protection functionality with network-based antivirus, web content filtering, firewall, site-to-site VPN, remote access VPN, network-based threat detection and prevention and traffic shaping.

Successful installation of the NGFW platform has also put the customer in a good position to innovate down the road. For example, the customer is currently exploring how software-defined networking through Cisco ACI might accelerate its network operations in the future.

Lab as a Service and consulting services

After seeing how WWT could accelerate its decision making in a limited POC, the customer has decided to take full advantage of the ATC’s capabilities on a continuing basis through a Lab as a Service (LaaS) engagement with WWT.

LaaS provides dedicated lab resources within the ATC built to suit customer performance, security, access and testing requirements. It enables new levels of innovation by giving customers the ability to perform programmatic testing while leveraging our extensive array of cutting-edge OEM technology. This LaaS engagement will help the customer reduce testing times for its many other technology initiatives.

Moreover, the customer also decided to engage WWT at a strategic level through an ongoing consulting engagement. Through this advisory service offering, a highly knowledgeable team of WWT engineers work alongside customer leadership to drive digital transformation initiatives and shape evolving business goals — from idea to outcome.

For more information

To learn more about next-generation firewalls, sign up for WWT’s NGFW Workshop.