Choosing the Right Firewall Licenses for Your Network

What are firewall licenses?

Firewalls have advanced substantially over the last decade. Beyond their simple gatekeeper role, modern next generation firewalls also act as a “unified threat protection” platforms that bring together multiple services and technologies to stop elusive threats. That means your device is capable of advanced security features like anti-spam, intrusion prevention, sandboxing, and DNS security alongside basic packet-scanning functions.

Additionally, firewalls are a key piece of the wider system that integrates network management, wireless networking, endpoint protection, and reporting. Your firewall talks to your access points, your email security services, your network switch, and more to provide holistic security monitoring from end to end.

What firewall services do I need?

A basic rule of thumb in cybersecurity is that more is more! Implementing advanced security services adds layers of protection over your network, providing plenty of “fallback” measures if an attack bypasses traditional security measures.

Of course, no one wants to overpay to employee overkill measures that your network doesn’t need. To balance this equation between security, performance, and price, manufacturer vendors often bundle together sets of services that work particularly well together to provide holistic security. Most common “essentials only” bundle include services such as:

  • Gateway anti-virus
  • Content filtering
  • Anti-spam
  • Basic DNS security
  • Application visibility & control services

Past the basic bundles, most vendors will offer a few levels of more advanced service bundles that can include services better suited to certain use cases or industries. For example, the Fortinet ASE 360 bundle includes all of the services outlined above, with the addition of:

  • Security rating services
  • IoT detection
  • Industrial services
  • SD-WAN orchestration
  • Cloud management & reporting

Don’t choke out Internet speeds!

Your Internet service provider is on the hook for delivering a certain expected upload and download speed for your network based on your monthly payment. However, firewalls and other network security services can impact how much of that Internet speed is useable.

Advanced security services eat up resources on your network because it takes time to scan inbound and outbound traffic, make a security determination, and either allow or block access to the millions and millions of individual data packets traversing your network every day.

However, this does not mean that you should skip out on advanced services just to save a few Mbps! Instead, be aware of how these powerful security strategies can impact your network’s performance and total cost of ownership. Finding the right fit firewall and firewall licensing for your exact needs should be a carefully considered balance.

Peace of Mind Network Security

Still have questions about your firewall? Our team can help! The Security Operations Center, located in our hometown of Indianapolis, is stocked to the brim with manufacturer-certified security experts who can resolve any firewall issue you may be facing! Offering custom configurations, premium support, and subscription-based Managed Security Services, our engineers take both the guesswork and legwork out of securing your network. Just let our team tap in, harden your defenses, and then we'll keep you up to date with event reporting, change documentation, incident response, and more.

Just give us a call at 317-225-4117 to learn how Managed Security Services can make security, compliance, and network performance an absolute breeze!

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