Distributed Firewalls: The #1 Key to a Secure Network

Distributed firewalls, a modern firewall technology, aim to safeguard contemporary data centers and cloud environments. They distinguish themselves from traditional firewalls through various characteristics, such as:

  • Location: This type of firewalls are deployed at the workload level, rather than at the network perimeter. This allows them to inspect and filter traffic at the source and destination, regardless of how the traffic is routed.
  • Scale: They are designed to scale horizontally, meaning that additional firewalls can be added to the network as needed. This makes them ideal for large, dynamic data centers and cloud environments.
  • Performance: They are typically very performant, as they are able to leverage the processing power of the underlying hypervisor or cloud platform.
Distributed Firewall

dynamic and scalable rule enforcement, which allows for more efficient management and adaptability in rapidly changing network environments. Additionally, distributed firewalls incorporate advanced threat intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect and mitigate emerging threats in real-time. They also offer enhanced visibility and control, providing administrators with granular insights into network traffic and the ability to enforce policies at a more granular level. Furthermore, distributed firewalls support seamless integration with cloud orchestration platforms, enabling automated and centralized security management across multi-cloud environments. Lastly, these firewalls provide high-performance and low-latency protection, ensuring that network traffic flows smoothly without compromising security.

Benefits of Distributed Firewalls

They offer a number of benefits over traditional firewalls, including:

  • Improved security: Can help to improve security by inspecting and filtering traffic at the workload level. This helps to prevent lateral movement of threats within the network.
  • Increased visibility: Provide visibility into traffic flows at the workload level. This information can be used to troubleshoot network problems and identify security threats.
  • Simplified management: Can be centrally managed, making it easier to manage security policies across large and complex networks.

Use Cases for Distributed Firewalls

Can be used in a variety of use cases, including:

  • Microsegmentation: Can be used to implement microsegmentation, which is a security technique that divides the network into small, isolated segments. This helps to contain threats and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the network.
  • Workload protection: Can be used to protect individual workloads, such as servers, virtual machines, and containers. This is especially important in cloud environments, where workloads are often shared and dynamic.
  • Data protection: Can be used to protect sensitive data, such as customer records and financial data. This can be done by restricting access to the data to authorized users and workloads.

Samples of Use Cases

Here are some specific examples of how distributed firewalls can be used in real-world environments:

  • A financial services company uses distributed firewalls to microsegment its network and protect its customer data. The company has divided its network into small, isolated segments based on the type of data that is stored in each segment. For example, there is a segment for customer data, a segment for employee data, and a segment for financial data. These devices are used to control traffic between the segments and to prevent unauthorized access to the data.
  • A cloud provider uses distributed firewalls to protect its customers’ workloads. The cloud provider has deployed distributed firewalls at the workload level, so that each customer’s workload is protected from the other customers’ workloads. This helps to prevent lateral movement of threats within the cloud environment.
  • An e-commerce company uses distributed firewalls to protect its website from denial-of-service attacks. The company has deployed distributed firewalls at the edge of its network to filter incoming traffic and block malicious traffic. This helps to protect the company’s website from being overloaded and unavailable to customers.

Here are some samples of distributed firewalls that can be used in infrastructure:

  • VMware NSX Distributed Firewall: VMware NSX Distributed Firewall (DFW) is a distributed firewall that is built into the VMware NSX platform. It provides firewall protection at the workload level, regardless of where the workload is running. NSX DFW can be used to implement microsegmentation, workload protection, and data protection.
  • Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall: Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a distributed firewall that can be deployed in a variety of environments, including data centers, cloud environments, and branch offices. Cisco Firepower NGFW provides firewall protection, intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS), and advanced malware protection.
  • Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall: Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a distributed firewall that provides firewall protection, IDS/IPS, and advanced malware protection. It can be deployed in a variety of environments, including data centers, cloud environments, and branch offices.
  • Fortinet FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall: Fortinet FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a distributed firewall that provides firewall protection, IDS/IPS, and advanced malware protection. It can be deployed in a variety of environments, including data centers, cloud environments, and branch offices.

These are just a few examples of this type of firewall that can be used in infrastructure. There are many others available, and the best choice for your organization will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

Additional Considerations

When choosing a distributed firewall, there are a few additional things to consider:

  • Scalability: Make sure that the distributed firewall you choose is scalable to meet the needs of your organization.
  • Performance: Choose a distributed firewall that can provide high performance without impacting the performance of your network.
  • Features: Consider the features that are important to you, such as microsegmentation support, workload protection, data protection, and IDS/IPS.
  • Management: Choose a solution or device that is easy to manage and configure.

Once you have considered these factors, you can start to evaluate different distributed firewalls to find the best one for your organization.

Conclusion

Distributed firewalls are a powerful new security technology that can be used to protect modern data centers and cloud environments. They offer a number of benefits over traditional firewalls, including improved security, increased visibility, and simplified management.

If you are looking for a way to improve the security of your network, distributed firewalls are a good option to consider.

Further Reading

NFTables, The Next Generation of Packet Classification Framework

Lockdown Mode in VMware vSphere, Not Easy to Decide!

Protect Virtual Machine: How to Stay Safe from Ransomware

How to change the listening port for Remote Desktop

Introducing VMware NSX – The Platform for Network Virtualization

External Links

What is a Distributed Firewall?

What Is a Distributed Firewall? | Fortinet

Davoud Teimouri

Professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021/2022/2023, vExpert NSX, vExpert PRO, vExpert Security, vExpert EUC, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

2 Responses

  1. 29/12/2023

    […] Distributed Firewalls: The #1 Key to a Secure Network […]

  2. 29/02/2024

    […] Distributed Firewalls: The #1 Key to a Secure Network […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *