Firewalls have been a business battlefield for many years. Every organization needed them, so it was only natural that vendors would compete for market dominance in the large category.
That has led to constant changes and innovations on the firewall front and a healthy dose of hype. After the firewall market became saturated, vendors introduced next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and other terms. In essence, these are firewalls in addition to various other functions.
Here are five of the top trends in the firewall market:
1. Hardware firewalls decrease
The demand for software as a service (SaaS) and virtual-based network security is anticipated to account for 51% of the total revenue of the $33 billion network security market in 2026, according to the “Network Security Forecast Report”. 5-year network” recently published. ” for Dell’Oro Group.
Firewalls represent a large portion of this market. Revenue from physical firewall appliances, which accounted for more than 75% of total hardware-based network security revenue in 2020, is expected to grow 7% per year between 2021 and 2026, being outpaced by web application firewalls (WAF) based on SaaS and virtual. .
“Since the arrival of the first network security appliances in the 1980s, the network security market has been dominated by a variety of purpose-built boxes, but we see a seismic shift taking place,” said Mauricio Sánchez, Network Security Research Director, Dell’Oro Group.
“Among companies embracing cloud applications and hybrid working as the new normal, we see that they prefer virtual and SaaS-based network security solutions that best serve these use cases. This is not to say that we will see hardware security appliances disappear, but they no longer represent the cutting edge of network security that they once were.”
2. Web Application Firewalls
SaaS-based and virtual web application firewalls (WAFs) are projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% between 2021 and 2026, according to Sanchez of Dell’Oro Group.
The growth rate is three times the growth rate of physical firewall appliances during the same period.
Driving the strong growth is the increased number of business applications becoming accessible on the Internet to friends (or employees, customers, and partners) as well as enemies or hackers.
3. Firewall as a service
Everything else is now a service: backup as a service, network as a service, compute as a service; So why not a firewall as a service (FWaaS)?
Vendors now offer the full capabilities of firewall tools and packages as a service. This saves IT from having to deploy, maintain, monitor, and manage their own firewalls.
“Workloads, applications, services and storage continue to shift to the cloud, making it more difficult for IT organizations to protect and control information, increasing the risk of security threats,” said Michael Wood, CMO, Versa Networks.
“One solution to mitigate security exposures in this multi-cloud environment is to move ingress protection to firewall-as-a-service and combine this with services like SWG, CASB, ZTNA and SD-WAN.
“IT will implement SASE more widely as it enables this converged model, while providing better security policy management, end-user protection, and cloud application security.”
4. Lack of talent
The lack of IT talent is another factor moving the firewall market toward the as-a-service model.
After all, installing and configuring a firewall can be complex depending on the environment, customer requirements, and the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.
It is vital that the firewall is configured correctly not only to protect an organization’s network, but also to avoid disrupting business activities by accidentally blocking traffic that should be allowed.
“Training technicians in all the nuances of firewall operations can be time consuming and costly, especially where technical staff turnover occurs every few months,” said Christopher Crellin, senior director of product management, Barracuda MSP.
Additionally, having someone monitor your firewalls 24/7 is essential for cybersecurity, as hackers are all over the world and can strike at any time. Having this ongoing monitoring enables the organization to detect and respond to threats before they can cause significant damage.
Ultimately, having a managed firewall service ensures that firewalls are properly configured and monitored, so the business doesn’t have to worry as much about in-depth training.
As such, the basic minimum features that organizations should look for in a managed firewall service are alignment with best practices for installation and configuration, 24/7 monitoring, and detailed reporting that allows the business to have good visibility into its environment. .
5. Firewalls are no longer enough
A good firewall, well managed by IT experts, was considered the cornerstone of any enterprise security posture. Not anymore.
These days firewalls or FWaaS are still necessary. But they need strong support from many other security elements.
“Every day, hackers, industrial espionage and numerous types of malware are looking for new methods to infiltrate your systems and processes,” said Tommy Smith, vice president of marketing for Avertium.
“Antivirus software and firewalls are no longer enough. You need a managed security service provider (MSSP) that specializes in sophisticated solutions such as SIEM, preventive security features, and early detection systems.”