FireMon has published its 2016 State of the Firewall Report. It found that the firewall remains at the centre of today’s security infrastructure, but will need to evolve as next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) become the norm, and as emerging infrastructure paradigms such as SDN, cloud and micro-segmentation take hold.
The second annual report is based on a November 2015 survey completed by approximately 600 IT security practitioners from a range of professional roles, organisation sizes and industry verticals.
FireMon uncovered three major trends from the survey responses:
Firewalls remain an extremely valuable part of the network security infrastructure, even in the face of new technology paradigms such as the cloud.
- 91 percent of respondents stated that firewalls are as critical as ever or more critical than ever to their security architecture. The same percentage believes that this will continue to be the case within the next five years.
- Two-thirds of respondents stated that firewalls are somewhat or highly valuable to the cloud services they manage. This represents a 10 percent increase over 2015.
NGFWs continue to see broad adoption, adding complexity to security management.
- NGFWs represent at least 50 percent of current firewall infrastructure in nearly half of the organisations surveyed compared to 34 percent in 2015. Only 6.7 percent of organisations have no NGFWs.
Awareness around SDN and its impact on network security has increased.
- 90 percent of respondents recognise that SDN has impacted or will impact networking to a certain degree.
“We’re seeing small shifts in IT professionals’ perceptions of the firewall as new technologies enter the market,” said Jody Brazil, co-founder and Chief Product Strategy Officer at FireMon. “Adoption of SDN and network virtualisation in general won’t decrease the need for firewalls, but it may open the door to advancements or a new category of network protection. It will be more of a continuous evolution rather than a complete upheaval as so many are quick to claim.”