The firewall, the staid and ubiquitous separator between networks of differing trust, is much maligned, even called useless, although not by anyone responsible for enterprise security, given their 100% ‘in use’ rating. No, useless is too strong – no one’s turned off their firewall yet, even if there is an understanding that it’s a baseline tool in a security portfolio.
Despite its staid reputation, there has been some evolutionary shake-up in the firewall space, and measuring spending intentions is still a good barometer of general network refresh rates. This year about 36% of respondents in the Wave 16 Information Security Study reported spending more on their firewall implementations, down from 39% in 2013. Cisco still takes the lead, with 57% of those implementations, followed by Check Point with 36%. Juniper has rebounded slightly from previous years at 15%, and Palo Alto Networks continues a steady growth pattern, rising to 13% of enterprises reporting Palo Alto’s next-generation firewall as their organization’s primary firewall. Nine percent (9%) of respondents report having plans under way for integration of an application-aware or next-generation firewall in the early part of this year.
Respondents had the following to say about their firewall implementations:
- “We keep a very tight watch on the firewalls.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering
- “The products that are like Palo Alto, around that type firewall. Large datacenter redundancy. We’re building a new datacenter.” – LE, Education
- “Most intrigued by application firewalls – this will be space where potential for most protection exists.” – LE, Services: Business/Accounting/Engineering
- “Check Point is the best firewall around. They have innovated better than anyone else. They know this, and that is why they are so expensive. I think that vendors like Palo Alto are nipping at their heels. However, if you are looking for a solution that does not require a Ph.D. to use it, Check Point is the answer! Downside – the pricing is an issue. Some players undercut Check Point in price, but it is not the same. Check Point needs to really educate their customers in this area.” – LE, Financial Services