Patching vulnerabilities has become a demanding, time-consuming task due to the evolving threat landscape and the constant discovery of new security threats. This is where Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) comes into its own.
What is FWaaS?
Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) is a cloud-based security solution that provides firewall functionality as a service, eliminating the need for organisations to manage and maintain physical on-premise firewalls. With FWaaS, the firewall infrastructure is hosted and managed by a third-party service provider, like Securus, offering fast, scalable and flexible firewall protection.
Standard security features such as network security monitoring, packet filtering and data encryption are all supported. FWaaS also inspects data on the move to identify, alert and defend against malware, ransomware and other potential threats, in real time.
Why is FWaaS more prominent now?
The pandemic and a subsequent increase in remote working has brought new challenges to organisations, as they need to ensure that employees’ devices are protected from cyber threats at all times.
Gartner estimates that FWaaS will go from a $251 million industry to about $2.6 billion by 2025 – with 30% of new distributed branch office firewall deployments switching to FWaaS, up from less than 5% in 2020.
Procuring physical firewalls and other security devices should be considered a thing of the past. The cost alone of physical firewalls that often have short shelf-life can be an unnecessary drain to your IT spend; plus, the cost to keep these devices running with the latest updates distracts your IT team from other more pressing tasks.
FWaaS enables you to provide advanced security functionality to your entire network operations as a unified cloud infrastructure entity. It also allows you to take advantage of advances in software and cloud technologies as they emerge.
How is FWaaS deployed?
It’s considerably easier than deploying a substantial number of hardware appliances across numerous branch offices, and configuring multiple physical firewalls on a network. It does precisely the same things as an on-premise firewall, it just does them remotely, either from a physical point of presence in a data centre or in the cloud.
FWaaS inspects, identifies and addresses threats at multiple entry and exit points as traffic moves through your network. It becomes your network, using a combination of physical firewalls, virtual firewalls and endpoint security policies. Deep packet inspection (DPI) gains insight into traffic behaviour that may indicate malicious data.
It’s also worth noting that FWaaS is often either bundled with SD-WAN or simply used in conjunction with another SD-WAN offering. It becomes another connection to the SD-WAN and provides centrally managed firewall protection.
Why Your Business Needs FWaaS
1. Enhanced Scalability
FWaaS offers greatly improved scalability so when organisations experience higher demand, they can rely on their firewall provider to scale successfully and meet that demand. The scale of cloud-based firewall services enables them to easily absorb bursts of traffic generated by a single customer. You can also scale back to the previous configuration and usage if you find that your new solutions are no longer required.
With FWaaS, all your company’s sites, devices and users can be governed by a single (or multiple) application-aware security policy. The FWaaS platform gives your employees access to resources from their devices, making FWaaS a solution that fits everyone, no matter the size of your business.
2. Greater Flexibility
Appliance-based firewalls offer limited flexibility as upgrades and network restructuring requires changes to physical components. Once a FWaaS solution is in place, you can decide if, when and how to deploy the comprehensive security features. You can deploy protections based on the processes and assets you wish to protect. Furthermore, you can upgrade to a full SASE solution at any time.
3. Unified Security Policy Enforcement
It’s important to regularly monitor network traffic and identify potential security threats with advanced monitoring capabilities and access to real-time threat intelligence. Conducting thorough testing and validation of patches before deployment will mitigate potential compatibility or functionality issues that could impact system stability.
Security teams can define their security policies in one location, so you can depend on the FWaaS platform to enforce those policies across all locations, both on premises and in the cloud. Unified security combines multiple security initiatives to shield your organisation from a wide variety of threats. Automation and centralised management can help alleviate the burden on existing staff: FWaaS platforms can handle routine firewall configuration tasks, rule updates and monitoring, reducing the need for manual intervention from internal staff members.
4. Flexible, Rapid Deployment
FWaaS can be quickly deployed and scaled according to your needs. This means that even with a lack of internal resource, you can swiftly implement firewall protection across your network infrastructure or expand it as required, without extensive internal resource allocation.
5. Cost Savings
Maintaining firewall hardware rarely supports a company’s budget or operational workflow, which is why FWaaS is an attractive alternative. Your Operating Expense (OpEx) consumption model will be more flexible, so you can adjust it as your security requirements change.
By leveraging FWaaS, you can potentially reduce staffing costs by outsourcing firewall management; this is beneficial when facing staff shortages because it allows you to maintain a high level of security without investing in additional personnel.
The convenience of having an expert security service provider to handle firewall updates frees up valuable in-house resources, time and energy. Furthermore, with a provider protecting your network, you are more likely to receive cutting-edge, emerging technologies than if you were limited to in-house security staff.
Securus has a dedicated team of security experts who specialise in managing and maintaining firewalls. With our FWaaS solution, Securus maintains the hardware infrastructure that drives your network security, estate wide. Our service-based architecture gives your business the freedom to expand security on-demand without the burden of provisioning new hardware.
A security overlay that works hand-in-hand with FWaaS is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). SASE is a network architecture that merges security with Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) to create one cloud service. Securus can deliver FWaaS as part of SASE to allow your business to manage complete network security efficiently. You can set uniform policies immediately, spot irregularities almost instantly and make changes quickly.
The Securus FWaaS solution also includes intelligent machine-learning to identify zero-day threats by analysing data packet behaviour and flagging any unusual and potentially dangerous behaviour.
A FWaaS service can be jointly managed with Securus and the customer, enabling them to easily make any Moves, Adds and Changes when they want, leaving the more complex changes to Securus.
Whether you are deploying a new on-premises security suite or just a single tool, all you need to do is communicate your needs, and Securus will handle all the configuration details.
More and more organisations are decentralising their networks to accommodate an ever-growing mobile workforce, all of which are located at the edge of the network. And as edge computing grows, more IoT devices will be added to networks, making cloud security increasingly essential. So the benefits of moving data and applications to the edge and cloud have become as common as they are practical.
A global firewall service enables enterprises to embed multiple virtual security layers within their LAN/WAN/Cloud infrastructure and upgrade to a full-blown SASE solution when required.
From anti-malware, anti-phishing and 2FA, to SASE and cloud-based, air-gap immutable backup storage, Securus has a security solution to suit your requirements and budget.
If you would like to discuss your network security requirements in more detail with one of our cyber security professionals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 03451 283457.