What Is SonicOS 7.0
SonicOS 7.0 is the latest and greatest version of SonicWall’s firewall operating system. Debuting in August 2020, 7.0 runs the show for TZ, NSa, and NSsp physical firewalls, plus NSv virtual firewalls. Its release coincided with the additions of the TZ570 and TZ670 to SonicWall’s firewall lineup. And SonicOS 7.0 is ready to handle the boundless cybersecurity challenges of today and tomorrow.
The operating system is chock full of new features to extend networking beyond the perimeter for remote work and branch offices. That means greater visibility, control, and ease of management for all your needs. In honor of its version number, let’s walk through 7.0 reasons why this new OS enhances your network security setup.
1. All New User Experience
One of the most noticeable differences between SonicOS 7.0 and its predecessors stares you right in the face. It features a built from the ground up user interface and experience. And that all new build was designed with user-friendliness in mind. That means a new, improved single-pane-of-glass view of your network, so you won’t need a seven & seven after you dive in. Instead, you get a highly intuitive interface that won’t take days of training to learn. Combine that with intuitive device dashboards and redesigned topologies, and being on top of your network is easier than ever. Plus, enjoy zero-touch deployment with the SonicExpress App and auto-provision VPN, so you won’t need to travel to each site to get your new devices setup.
2. Simplified Management
This goes hand in hand with the user experience of SonicOS 7.0. What it means is, creating firewall policies and managing them won’t give you headaches. How you may ask? The new OS features rule visualization with insight into the type of traffic the rule is for, what it does, and what traffic it affects. On top of that, you can inline edit rules. In the past, adding, removing or changing rules could lead to misconfigurations, potentially exposing your network to attack. But new features like visibility in custom rules and hit counts, shadow rule detection, and rule optimization help you all but eliminate them.
3. Stop More Encrypted Threats
You’ve likely heard that encrypted threats have become more and more of a problem lately. What are they? Put simply, they are malware & other threats that hide themselves in encrypted traffic, camouflaging them from many security solutions. And they’re not going anywhere. SonicWall’s Mid-Year Update to its 2020 Cyber Threat Report says there have been 1.7 million of those documented so far this year.
SonicOS 7.0 arms you to stop them. The advanced protection you get features TLS (Transport Layer Security) 1.3 decryption – which spots those camo’d threats & blocks them from stopping you. The best part? This inspection doesn’t sacrifice your network’s performance, often a tradeoff with added layers of security. The advanced protection is on top of the already robust TLS/SSL decryption and inspection – as well as deep packet inspection of SSH – SonicWall already offers with its firewalls.
4. Clear and Present Visibility
The latest SonicWall operating system also features the latest – and most comprehensive – view into your network. We mentioned those device dashboards and redesigned topologies earlier. To dive deeper, it means a detailed view of your firewall and the endpoints behind it. That includes including dashboards that detail the traffic passing through your firewalls, who’s responsible for it, and any threats that traffic contains. The latest SonicOS Notification Center shows you actionable alerts to help you take immediate action on any firewall-related events. On top of that, a new Capture Threat Assessment Report offers executive-level, summarized insights into traffic, risky applications, and a variety of malware & other threats. With more business leaders focusing on cybersecurity than ever before, a simple, high-level snapshot of your network is vital.
5. Integrations Made Easy
Your network may not stick to one brand – or type of – solution, but you want them all to work together. SonicOS 7.0 makes that easy, with new Rest APIs (or application programming interfaces for the uninitiated). These Rest APIs in essence allow your SonicWall solutions to talk to other software. The others in this case include hybrid policy orchestrators and lots of acronyms:
- SIEM (security information & event management)
- RMM (remote monitoring & management)
- NAC (network access control)
- SOAR (security orchestration, automation, & response)
- And more!
6. Remote Work Ready
In this time of the widespread workforce, ensuring secure, reliable, & fast remote access is a must. SonicOS 7.0 helps you step up to that challenge with optimization for high-speed VPN (virtual private networking). High-performance IPSec VPN allows the firewall to act as a VPN concentrator for thousands of other sites, from branch offices to home offices. And for an even simpler remote access option, clientless SSL VPN technology or easily manageable IPSec VPN clients give your teleworkers secure access to files, email, intranet sites, & any network apps they need. On top of that, route-based VPN allows you to seamlessly reroute VPN traffic between endpoints through alternate routes to ensure continuous uptime in case of a tunnel failure.
7. The Company It Keeps
Aesop once said “A man is known by the company he keeps.” To judge SonicOS 7.0 by that measure, it keeps pretty good company. As mentioned earlier, SonicOS 7.0 runs the new TZ570 and TZ670 firewalls. What’s so special about them? They’re the first desktop devices to offer multi-gigabit malware and ransomware protection, with the TZ570 boasting 5GbE, and the TZ670 10GbE interfaces for added high-speed connectivity. In addition, SonicOS 7.0 plays nice with Network Security Manager (NSM) 2.0. NSM 2.0 is a multi-tenant firewall manager that brings admin functions together in one place. Where do you go to get started? As we always say, it starts with the firewall…