As the world becomes more connected, the need for cybersecurity measures to protect individuals and organizations from cyber threats has never been more critical. With this need, the market for network security solutions, such as Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) and Web Security Apps, has grown exponentially.
However, one question that has puzzled many cybersecurity professionals is why NGFWs and web security apps talk so much about “application control” and “application visibility.” We must first understand the basics of NGFWs and web security apps to answer this question.
Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) are advanced firewalls that provide network security features beyond traditional firewalls. They offer deep packet inspection, intrusion prevention, and application awareness. NGFWs can identify applications by analyzing the traffic and content of packets passing through the firewall, allowing them to block unwanted applications or activities.
On the other hand, Web Security Apps protect web users and organizations from web-based attacks, such as malware, phishing, and web-based data leakage. They typically use a combination of signature-based and behavior-based detection methods to detect and block malicious activities.
Now, back to the original question: why do NGFWs and web security apps talk so much about “application control” and “application visibility?” The answer is that modern cyber attacks often use legitimate applications as part of their attack strategy. Cybercriminals may use applications such as browsers, email clients, or file transfer tools to infiltrate an organization’s network or exfiltrate sensitive data.
NGFWs and web security apps can detect and block suspicious activities associated with these legitimate applications by emphasizing application control and visibility. For example, an NGFW may detect and block a malware-infected file transfer tool used to exfiltrate sensitive data. A web security app may detect and block a phishing email using a legitimate email client to bypass traditional email security measures.
Moreover, application control and visibility can provide organizations with valuable insights into how their network is used. For example, they can see which applications are used the most, which users are using them, and what activities they are performing. This information can help organizations optimize their network performance and security and identify and address potential security risks.
In conclusion, the emphasis on application control and visibility in NGFWs and web security apps is a response to the evolving nature of cyber threats. By detecting and blocking suspicious activities associated with legitimate applications, these solutions can help protect organizations from cyber attacks. Additionally, application control and visibility can provide organizations with valuable insights into their network usage, enabling them to optimize their performance and security.