As with any security solution, there are a lot of options when it comes to firewalls. What are the pros and cons of each, and which should you choose?

So often these days when you talk about security with someone — a coworker, another member of your industry, a security vendor at a tradeshow — you hear the same things over and over.

“WannaCry was the biggest security event the world has seen yet – and your business may be next!”

“Without our 20-point security defense strategy, you won’t stand a chance against hackers! You need antivirus, antispam, antimalware, etc., etc.”

“Let me tell it to you straight – you will get hit by hackers sometime soon, possibly even as we speak. What you do to defend yourself doesn’t matter – what you need is cyber-liability insurance…”

The fact is that the modern discourse is way too oversaturated with “doom and gloom” talk about how cybersecurity.

It’s important to recognize that, at this point, we all know how big a threat cybercrime is. We also all know how vital cybersecurity.

Let’s not dwell in the negatives. The simple truth is that cybersecurity comes down to making sure you have all your bases covered.

That includes your firewall.

Why Is A Firewall So Important?

Put simply, the firewall is the first line of defense in your cybersecurity. This layer of security prevents unauthorized access to your network, systems, and data while ensuring that any outgoing activity makes it through uninterrupted.

It’s basic, but in cybersecurity, that’s half the battle. You could invest in top of the line antivirus, antispam, and antimalware software, in addition to a host of other cybersecurity gadgets – without a firewall, you’d still be a sitting duck.

Unfortunately, while it may be evident as to why you need a firewall, what isn’t so clear is which you should choose.

Which Firewall Is The Right Choice For You?

There are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes to firewalls. How can you know which is the best choice for you?

  • Fortinet FortiGate
    An industry leader for a reason, Fortinet Firewalls offer high-performance security at a reasonable price point. In NSS Lab testing, Fortinet solutions scored well regarding performance, effectivity, and value.As for specs, Fortinet operates on a proprietary license and operates on their own proprietary “FortiOS” system.
  • SonicWall
    Where Fortinet is often the first choice for larger businesses and full-scale enterprises, SonicWall has something for everyone. Offering scaled firewall solutions for everyone from single consumers to large companies, SonicWall also scores well regarding performance, ease of management, and cost.The company offers its SuperMassive line for the most extensive networks; NSA for midrange companies; and TZ series firewalls for small companies.

SonicWall security software comes included on Dell devices, and operates on proprietary licenses and OS.

  • Cisco Firepower NGFW
    While Cisco is generally a little more expensive than the competition, as far as some are concerned, it’s for a good reason. Cisco firewalls are as effective as the others in its class, but the real headline is in how Cisco seamlessly integrates some security features with all of its firewall software:

    • Intrusion prevention
    • Advanced malware protection
    • Cloud-based sandboxing
    • URL filtering
    • Endpoint protection
    • Web gateway
    • Email security
    • Network traffic analysis
    • Network access control
    • CASB

As with the others, all of Cisco’s products are on a proprietary license and operating system.

  • Sophos XG Firewall
    At a comparable price and performance capability to the others in this list, Sophos shines the brightest when it comes to ease of use, and a few other notable features. Namely, the capability to use dedicated remote branch devices, which makes them an excellent option for mid-sized businesses and distributed enterprises. Not to mention a state of the art XG platform with Synchronized Security.While Sophos also uses a proprietary license, it differs from the others in this list in that it is Linux-based, and does not have a proprietary operating system.

Expert Recommendation: Which Firewall Should Your Company Choose?

Now that you have all that information at hand, you’ve probably made your choice.

No? We figured – after all, even when you can compare the options available to you, that doesn’t mean it’s still an easy choice. You still have to consider how each option’s features meet the needs of your business, as well as figure out how to install and deploy the firewall once you’ve made your decision. However, we’ve got an insider’s perspective, so here’s our recommendation.

The team at Alliance Technology Partners strongly prefers Sophos firewalls for our managed clients. Sophos has long been part of our Armada solution and we recommend it to every business professional we work with. We stand behind Sophos so strongly because of their unique and strategic approach to network protection.

Sophos operates on a Synchronized Security in their XG platform. It is facilitated by an active connection with all of the network endpoints. This connection operates like a heartbeat, notifying the firewall instinctively when an endpoint has been infected or compromised. The firewall then quarantines the problem area and provides detailed information on how the endpoint was compromised. This kind of strategic technology makes it much easier to remove malware and address vulnerabilities quickly, which is why Alliance stands behind Sophos for our clients.

However, chances are, even if after this detailed rundown and our recommendations, you may still have some firewall questions in mind. We get it. It’s a lot of work to handle it on your own – but you don’t have to.

Instead, you can choose to work with a trusted, expert IT services company like Alliance Technology Partners. We have experience working with firewalls, cyber security technology, and businesses like yours – we can help you make the right choice, and handle the set-up for you from beginning to end.

Like this article? Check out How To Ensure A Secure Home Network, Implementing Data Security For Your Small Business, or Google Shutting Down Google+ to learn more.