✈️Next-Gen Firewalls: The Boeing 737 Max of Cybersecurity?πŸ”

✈️Next-Gen Firewalls: The Boeing 737 Max of Cybersecurity?πŸ”

Are next-gen firewalls really the best defense for your IT security?

Β·

3 min read

In the magic realm of cybersecurity, next-gen firewalls have been hailed as the ultimate defense against evolving threats. However, a closer look reveals a startling reality – these firewalls, often lauded for their sophistication, may have more in common with the infamous Boeing 737 Max than meets the eye.

Flawed Foundation

Much like the Boeing 737 Max's faulty MCAS system, next-gen firewalls are built on a foundation that's far from flawless. Despite their "next-gen" moniker, these firewalls often lack exclusive functionality or a secret "magic sauce." Instead, they rely on obscure vendor threat intelligence feeds and basic configuration settings that are not always optimized for individual network environments.

Legacy Roots

Surprisingly, many next-gen firewalls trace their lineage back to decades-old forks of Linux. While vendors may tout proprietary enhancements and obfuscate flaws, the underlying technology remains vulnerable to exploitation. This raises questions about the perception that commercial code is inherently superior to open-source solutions – a myth that can lead to overestimating the capabilities of these firewalls. Just as with Boeing, the quality delivery in Silicon Valley is based not on technical concerns but commercial ones, which as we know leads to a poor delivery of robust Information Security.

Install and Forget Mentality

One of the most concerning trends in cybersecurity is the "install and forget" mentality surrounding next-gen firewalls. Companies often deploy these devices without ongoing administrative oversight or daily checklists for rule updates and threat monitoring. This lack of proactive management leaves networks vulnerable to emerging threats.

Its a common theme as companies are often caught unaware by a breach as they perceive their expensive security investment is keeping them safe. To rub salt into the wound, the exact same resources and vendors who installed an inferior firewall solution step in to resolve the situation, and then charge more for it.

Blame Game

Just as Boeing wrongly blamed pilots for the 737 Max crashes, the cybersecurity industry often shifts blame to companies and individuals for firewall-related breaches. However, the reality is that vendors have not always been transparent about the limitations or flaws of their products. This creates a false sense of security that can lead to devastating cyberattacks.

The Missing Silver Bullet

Next-gen firewalls are not the silver bullet for cybersecurity. While they play a crucial role in network defense, they must be complemented by a comprehensive security strategy. This includes DNS filtering, IP blocking, traffic visibility, canaries, logging, and basic firewall rules. Without these supplementary layers, companies are left exposed to vulnerabilities and attacks.

Rethinking Cybersecurity

It's time to rethink our approach to cybersecurity and move away from the reliance on next-gen firewalls as a standalone solution. Instead, organizations should adopt a multi-layered security strategy that incorporates diverse tools and techniques. This may include utilizing nftables firewall technology, implementing robust endpoint protection, and fostering a culture of proactive threat detection and response. Simple things as daily checklists and weaning yourself off using google's 8.8.8.8 as an upstream resolver will immediately make a difference.

Magic Quagmire

The thinking of companies is heavy influenced by marketing and embedded bias created by such industry analysts such as Garter. The Magic Quadrant is a Quagmire. An evaluation system which has its evaluation based on commercial inputs and not technical ones.

Wrap

Next-gen firewalls may have their place in the cybersecurity landscape, but they are not infallible. By acknowledging their limitations and bolstering defenses with complementary security measures, companies can navigate the complex cybersecurity ecosystem more effectively and mitigate the risks associated with flawed technologies.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized SD-WAN provider in South Africa. πŸ‘‰ Contact Fusion

Β