Next-Generation Firewalls

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What Does Next-Generation Firewalls Mean?

Next-generation firewalls are a class of firewall that are implemented in either software or hardware and are capable of detecting and blocking complicated attacks by enforcing security measures at the protocol, port and application level.


The difference between a standard firewall and next-generation firewalls is that the latter performs a more in-depth inspection and in smarter ways. Next-generation firewalls also provide additional features like active directory integration support, SSH and SSL inspection, and malware filtering based on reputation.

Techopedia Explains Next-Generation Firewalls

The common functionalities present in traditional firewalls such as state inspection, virtual private network and packet filtering are also present in next-generation firewalls. Next-generation firewalls are more capable of detecting application-specific attacks than standard firewalls and thus can prevent more malicious intrusions. They do a full-packet inspection by checking the signatures and payload of packets for any anomalies or malware.

Next-generation firewalls also have more application awareness and deploy various techniques for identifying different applications, including Web-based ones. They store the details of approved applications and examine the data packets for any issues. They also keep a baseline for deviations from normal application behaviors, which can help system administrators.

Next-generation firewalls are expected to provide the following:

  • All traditional firewall capabilities
  • Identification of undesired encrypted applications with the help of SSL decryption
  • Granular control and application awareness
  • Continuous service with respect to in-line bump in the wire configuration
  • Integrated prevention techniques against network intrusions
  • Capability of using intelligence in improving blocking decisions
  • An integrated, signature-based intrusion prevention engine

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.