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Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) Providers: What To Look For

Discover how top Firewall as a Service providers offer comprehensive services to enhance network security and protect organizations from cyber threats.
June 28, 2023

Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) Providers: What To Look For

What is Firewall as a Service (FWaas)?

Firewall-as-a-Service, or FWaaS, is a cloud-based security solution that provides firewall functionality and network security to protect an organization’s network infrastructure.

FWaaS offers organizations a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective approach to network security by providing firewall functionality and additional security services through a cloud-based deployment model.

FWaaS is an integral component of the SASE framework and operates in conjunction with other services to provide comprehensive security and networking capabilities.

Firewall as a Service providers offer a range of services to enhance network security and protect organizations from cyber threats.

In this article, we review some of the top FWaaS service providers and how GTT’s FWaaS offering helps organizations expand their security capabilities in line with their evolving networks.

What Do Firewall-as-a-Service Providers Offer?

Firewall as a Service providers offer a range of services to enhance network security and protect organizations from cyber threats.

Here is what is typically featured by FWaaS providers:

  • Firewall configuration & deployment: FWaaS providers deploy comprehensive firewall protection, including edge security, application firewall protection and network firewalls. They configure the firewall infrastructure according to the specific needs of your organization.
  • Traffic monitoring: FWaaS providers use advanced technology to monitor network traffic passing through the FWaaS system or platform. This includes real-time inspection of network packets, session tracking, content filtering and analysis of application-level protocols.
  • Reporting and log management: FWaaS providers collect and store logs generated by the firewall system. The logs include information about network traffic, security events and policy violations. These are analyzed and presented in easy-to-understand report formats or dashboards.
  • Threat detection and protection: FWaaS providers employ intelligent threat detection, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), threat intelligence feeds, behavior analysis and anomaly detection techniques, proactively detecting and blocking malicious traffic.
  • Centralized management: Most advanced FWaaS systems include centralized management and policy control through a web-based interface. They provide a single- pane-of-glass view for rule management, policy enforcement and configuration changes across multiple firewall instances. This simplifies firewall administration and ensures consistent cybersecurity policies across the network.
  • Integrated SASE services: Some FWaaS providers offer integrated services as part of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) platform. SASE combines network security and wide-area networking (WAN) capabilities into a unified cloud-based service. These may include:
    • Firewall protection
    • VPN access
    • Secure web gateways (SWG)
    • Data loss prevention (DLP)
    • Cloud access security broker (CASB)
    • Secure DNS
    • Zero-trust network access (ZTNA)
    • Secure email gateways (SEG)

While these are the services most commonly offered by top FWaaS service providers, the specific service features often differ for different FWaaS providers.

It is best to assess your organization’s specific security requirements and match them to the bouquet of services offered by your preferred FWaaS vendor so that there is a tight alignment with your security objectives.

Talk to a GTT expert for an FWaaS consultation today.

Characteristics of a Quality FWaaS Provider

There are several key characteristics that differentiate an FWaaS provider from traditional on-premises firewall solutions.

Here are some important characteristics of Firewall as a Service providers:

  • Cloud-native architecture: FWaaS is a service-based approach with cloud firewall capabilities delivered by third-party service providers. FWaaS providers leverage cloud infrastructure to provide security, eliminating physical, on-premises firewall appliances. In contrast, traditional firewall service providers offer hardware or software-based solutions that require installation and maintenance within the organization’s network infrastructure.
  • Enhanced security: FWaaS providers offer advanced security features and capabilities beyond traditional firewall solutions. These may include intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), advanced threat intelligence, malware detection, secure web gateways and other security layers. FWaaS providers continuously update their security measures to counter emerging threats effectively.
  • Centralized management and monitoring: FWaaS providers typically provide a centralized management interface to configure, monitor and control firewall settings and security policies from a single dashboard.
    • Traditional on-premises firewall solutions often involve multiple endpoint security devices and disparate firewall appliances, making it difficult to achieve integrated and comprehensive security capabilities that can be centrally managed or viewed as a unified dashboard.
  • Ease of maintenance: FWaaS providers handle the maintenance and updates of the entire firewall infrastructure, applying security patches, installing updates and upgrading to the latest threat intelligence and protection services. Traditional firewall solutions require your IT team to manage maintenance, updates and patches.

By leveraging cloud infrastructure, FWaaS providers offer scalability and cost efficiency with a modern and cohesive approach to network security that differentiates them from traditional on-premises firewall solution providers.

Delivering FWaaS

The global firewall-as-a-service market grew from $2.32 billion in 2022 to $2.93 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.3%.

Let’s look at some of the top companies in the market and their Firewall as a Service offerings:

GTT

GTT FWaaS, delivered as part of a SASE framework, offers next-generation firewall (NGFW) capabilities as a cloud-based service.

  • GTT FWaaS deploys antivirus, anti-malware and cloud firewall capabilities from a single platform interface.
  • It combines managed firewall capabilities with security features such as web URL filtering, web content filtering, and intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS).
  • GTT’s FWaaS is an application-aware firewall that expands to Layer 7 (application layer) protection and strengthens the organization’s security posture at the application level.
  • It offers centralized management capabilities, integrating antivirus, anti-malware and firewall into a single-pane-of-glass view.
  • GTT FWaaS offers industry-leading firewall technology vendor options to ensure that you get the right solution for your needs.
  • It integrates with GTT Secure Connect, a SASE platform that combines cutting-edge SD-WAN technologies with cloud-based security.

Interested in learning more about GTT FWaaS? Talk to a GTT expert.

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks offers a Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) solution called Prisma Access.

  • Prisma Access incorporates NGFW capabilities, including stateful inspection, intrusion prevention system (IPS), application control, and user-based policies.
  • It integrates ZTNA capabilities, secure web gateway (SWG), and more, as part of an integrated SSE platform.
  • Prisma Access enables secure connectivity between multiple cloud environments, including major public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • The company also combines networking and security capabilities to provide a comprehensive Secure SD-WAN Edge (SSE) platform.

Fortinet

Fortinet offers FortiGate, a Cloud-Native Firewall (CNF) that delivers security at any scale for multi-cloud environments, such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

  • FortiGate integrates multiple security features into a single platform, including next-generation firewall (NGFW) capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), antivirus, web filtering, SSL inspection, and application control.
  • It enforces the ZTNA model with strict identity-based access controls, verifying user and device trustworthiness to ensure secure access to resources and applications.
  • Fortinet also offers FWaaS as part of a SASE platform called FortiSASE which offers a full set of networking and security capabilities, including SWG, ZTNA, CASB, and secure SD-WAN integration within one integrated UI.

Cisco

Cisco Umbrella combines multiple security capabilities in a single, cloud-native service.

  • Cisco integrates extensive threat intelligence capabilities into its FWaaS solution. It leverages global threat intelligence feeds, machine learning, and real-time threat detection to identify and block known and emerging threats.
  • Cisco’s FWaaS integrates with other cloud security services and solutions to provide a unified security management experience.
  • It enables centralized visibility, threat detection, and response across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
  • It combines next-generation firewall capabilities, zero trust principles, integrated cloud security, and centralized management to help organizations protect their cloud-based assets and secure access to cloud applications and resources.

Zscaler Internet Access

Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) is a cloud-based Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) provider that offers advanced security and access controls for organizations.

  • ZScaler’s FWaaS terminates malicious connections and prevents threats with unlimited inline traffic inspection and native TLS/SSL decryption.
  • It integrates security, routing, and performance optimization to provide secure access to applications and resources from any location.
  • ZIA implements Zero Trust principles to ensure secure access to applications and resources.
  • It offers a centralized management console that allows IT administrators to configure security policies, monitor network traffic, and generate comprehensive reports.

Receive the Highest-Quality FWaaS With GTT

GTT connects people across organizations, around the world, and to every application in the cloud.

We provide a comprehensive suite of cloud networking services and a complementary portfolio of managed services, including Firewall as a Service.

Our SASE framework, Secure Connect, helps your organization implement a unified security policy, aggregate all your traffic to the cloud, and enjoy complete visibility into your network.

Most importantly, as a Firewall as a Service provider, we deliver an outstanding service experience built on our core values of simplicity, speed, and agility.


Learn more about how GTT’s FWaaS can protect the future of your enterprise. Talk to a GTT expert today!

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