Security Minute: Looking Ahead: 4th Generation Of The Firewall Market

A firewall evolution is underway.

The market has seen huge changes over the past decade. Now, it's time for the next chapter.

"People are doing very targeted attacks. They're leveraging a lot of social engineering," says John Gapinski, founder and president of Secured Retail Networks. "It becomes very important to have a comprehensive solution that addresses remote and corporate locations, threat vectors such as email, web driveby and things like that on the end point, at the firewall, all these different locations." He also says it's important to note that customers' needs are moving beyond the firewall to securing the entire infrastructure.

John Maddison, SVP of products and solutions at Fortinet, says the security vendor has a solution, "Providing a broad coverage of the attack surface from the network to the endpoint to the cloud." As customers' needs evolve, solution providers should be moving beyond just looking inside network connections and point solutions to a fully integrated platform, with peer-to-peer mesh communication, that is managed on a single console. Fortinet has called this the third generation of network security.

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"We're not saying point solutions will go away completely. There will still be a need for certain point solutions," says Maddison. "But, we're also saying that some point solutions will actually integrate into the fabric through our fabric alliance partnership."

Mark Miller, southern region vice president of Kudelski Security says, "I think the fabric is just the next step in Fortinet's ability to make things easier for customers. The management capabilities of this system are something they've been really screaming for, and now they finally have it."

So, what's next? Let's call it the "fourth generation of network security," where Fortinet says there will be an evolution in five key areas -- detection, prevention, integration, performance and lower cost.