Next-Gen Firewalls: What To Expect
by Gary Audin
Posted 10/2004; Published 06/2004




Firewalls provide that warm secure feeling. But are they satisfying all your security requirements? Are they a commodity yet? NO. There are differences in today’s products. There is still a future of changes, enhancements and new roles for these boxes.


No universal agreement has emerged for the predictions that vendors articulate about the next generation of firewalls. Some vendors point to a new architecture concept, others say the next generation is here, while some look ahead to firewalls targeted at specific applications, like voice over IP (VOIP - see “The Border Patrol: Firewalls For VOIP, ” in BCR, October 2003). Who is right?


For this article, seven vendors were asked to discuss the future of firewalls: Avaya, Checkpoint, Cisco, Ingate, NetScreen (now a part of Juniper), Nortel and SecureLogix. These are not the only sources of firewall technology but, based on their markets and involvement with voice over IP (VOIP), they represent a variety of viewpoints.


Each of the vendors received a list of questions before the interviews began. Telephone interviews were then conducted, with limited discussion of present products; the future was the subject. Each vendor was interviewed for 60 to 90 minutes. The remainder of this article focuses on the responses to the questions that generated the most interest.


About the author:

Gary Audin is president of Delphi, Inc., an independent consulting and training firm. He has extensive experience in the planning, design, implementation and operation of all kinds of networks.



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