Best of enterprise firewalls 2013

Rachel Shuster

Gold: McAfee Firewall Enterprise, McAfee, Inc.

McAfee emerged victorious with the gold for its Firewall Enterprise product in 2013. The proxy-based Firewall Enterprise provides organizations with application visibility and offers policy-based controls. Its advanced firewall security capabilities include intrusion prevention, content/URL filtering and encrypted traffic inspection (SSH/SSL), among others. The technology is designed to defend organizations' most critical assets, according to McAfee, including customer, healthcare and financial data sources, Web and email servers, and data centers.

Readers gave Firewall Enterprise high marks for its ability to block intrusions, attacks and unauthorized network traffic; vendor service and support and its ease of installation, configuration and administration. They also noted its ability to identify applications regardless of protocol, encryption or port, as well as its integration with other network security products.

This product's firewall security is powered by McAfee Global Threat Intelligence, a cloud-based threat intelligence service built into McAfee security products that works in real time to protect customers from threats. Enterprise Firewall offers centralized management and support for McAfee's SIEM solutions, providing customizable views for firewalls across a global network.

Expert market reflection on category dynamics:

"The enterprise firewall market continues to be a core battleground in our fight against attackers on a global basis. The capabilities provided by the latest network firewalls continue to evolve bringing contextually aware intelligence-based security controls to the network layer while also improving the fight against today's advancing malware and attack techniques."

-- Lawrence A. Pingree, research director, technology and service providers, security technologies, Gartner

Silver winner:  Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways for the Data Center, Juniper Networks, Inc.

Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways for the Data Center won the silver this year, revealing high scores for its ability to identify applications regardless of port, protocol or encryption. Additionally, reader's noted the product for its logging, monitoring and reporting, as well as its ability to identify users via directory integration.

This Juniper product is based on the Dynamic Services Architecture of the Junos operating system and offers security, protection services and rich routing capabilities to organizations. Some notable features include interface flexibility, network segmentation that allows administrators to tailor policies and security to their needs and a routing engine that separates data and control planes.

Bronze winner:  Juniper Networks ISG Series Integrated Security Gateways,  Juniper Networks, Inc.

Juniper Networks also scores the bronze for its ISG Series Integrated Security Gateways. This product received high scores for its logging, monitoring and reporting, as well as its ability to identify apps regardless of encryption, protocol or port. Other notable mentions include the product's ability to integrate with other network security products and its ability to block intrusions, attacks and unauthorized traffic. One reader noted this is a "great product if planned correctly before implementation."

Beyond network security, Juniper Networks' ISG Series Integrated Security Gateways offers predictable performance, system and network resiliency, network segmentation, certifications and IPv6, according to the company. This product also offers an optional integrated IDP which defends against worms, malware and spyware, providing information on rogue servers and data that is unintentionally added to the network.

View the next item in this Essential Guide: Best of identity and access management 2013 or view the full guide: Security Readers' Choice Awards 2013

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