Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)

What is Firewall as a Service (FWaas)?

Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) is a new and revolutionary way of delivering firewall and other network security capabilities as a cloud service. Enterprises have always deployed next generation firewalls as appliances. While form factor varies between physical and virtual appliances, deployed on-premises or in the cloud, customers need to support the full appliance life cycle. Distributed locations need dedicated appliances that have to be sized and upgraded to accommodate business growth. Appliance software has to be patched and upgraded, and policy management must be done on an appliance basis.

FWaaS is a new type of a next-generation firewall. It doesn’t merely hide physical firewall appliances behind a “cloud duct tape”, but truly eliminates the appliance form factor, making network security (URL Filtering, IPS, Malware preventions, Analytics) available everywhere. In essence, the entire organization is connected to a single, logical global firewall with a unified application-aware security policy. Gartner has highlighted FWaaS as an emerging infrastructure protection technology with a high impact benefit rating.

Why Do Companies Need FWaaS?

FWaaS allows enterprises to partially or fully migrate network security to the cloud. With cloud-based firewall security, a third-party provider manages the solution. The provider maintains hardware infrastructure that supports the solution. The customer organization agrees to a service contract which outlines what features it can access depending on its subscription level.

In a local setup, the organization must procure an NGFW appliance, which incurs significant upfront costs. Because there is a need to keep up with new attacks and technological developments, there is a continuous need to upgrade and extend the NGFW. Each new purchase or upgrade requires staff to be trained in the new capabilities.

FWaaS is a cloud-based service that does not require an upfront investment and is continuously updated with the latest threat intelligence and security capabilities. Providers invest in advanced technologies and methods to improve network security, taking responsibility for keeping devices up to date.

Why Do Companies Need FWaaS

What is Driving Adoption of FWaaS?

Scaling on demand

Enables scaling up FWaaS in response to business growth, without needing to upgrade or purchase and configure additional appliances.

Reducing cost

Lets organizations leverage cutting edge firewall technology at lower cost. Purchasing and maintaining an appliance doesn’t fit the budget and operational workflows of many companies.

Improving deployment in remote sites

Allows organizations to easily deploy FWaaS to distributed sites and users, extending security by connecting them to a single logical firewall with a unified, application-aware security policy.

Device support

Enables protection of a variety of devices to support all employees of any size organization, including organizations with bring your own device (BYOD) policies.

Supports adoption of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

FWaaS is a basic component of a SASE architecture. SASE provides managed networking with NGFW and additional security capabilities, without the high capital investment of local wide area network (WAN) infrastructure.

The Cato Solution:
Firewall as a Service Built into a SASE Platform

Cato Cloud, the world’s first SASE platform, built on a global private cloud of 50+ PoPs, aggregates all enterprise traffic from data centers, branches, mobile users, and cloud infrastructure. It then enforces a comprehensive security policies and threat prevention on both WAN and Internet-bound traffic, across all users and applications.

Cato’s FWaaS represents the next evolution in firewall technology that leverages advances in software and cloud technologies, to deliver a wide range of network security capabilities, on-demand, wherever businesses need it.

Challenge

Securing the Network in an Ever-Changing Business Environment

As enterprises expand their networks to include new resources, such as cloud infrastructure and mobile users, IT must extend security accordingly. However, relying on traditional appliance-based firewalls is no longer a viable solution. Firewall appliances don’t have a line of sight into these resources, forcing enterprises to backhaul mobile traffic through datacenter firewalls, adding latency due to the trombone effect. Alternatively, allowing direct access to the cloud leaves mobile users dependent on the unpredictable Internet performance. In addition, direct cloud access bypasses datacenter firewalls, requiring additional cloud security products to ensure enterprise-wide security.

As enterprises expand their networks to include new resources, such as cloud infrastructure and mobile users, IT must extend security accordingly. However, relying on traditional appliance-based firewalls is no longer a viable solution. Firewall appliances don’t have a line of sight into these resources, forcing enterprises to backhaul mobile traffic through datacenter firewalls, adding latency due to the trombone effect. Alternatively, allowing direct access to the cloud leaves mobile users dependent on the unpredictable Internet performance. In addition, direct cloud access bypasses datacenter firewalls, requiring additional cloud security products to ensure enterprise-wide security.

Cato Solution

Cloud-Native Security Delivered as a Service

FWaaS, delivered as an integral part of a full SASE platform, addresses the shortcomings of appliance-based firewalls. By leveraging the benefits of a cloud infrastructure, FWaaS provides the necessary scalability and elasticity to support today’s evolving business. In addition, it extends a full network security stack wherever needed, globally, and down to a single user. This eliminates the need to deploy additional point products, drastically reducing the cost and complexity of integrating, securing and managing remote locations, cloud applications and mobile users.

FWaaS, delivered as an integral part of a full SASE platform, addresses the shortcomings of appliance-based firewalls. By leveraging the benefits of a cloud infrastructure, FWaaS provides the necessary scalability and elasticity to support today’s evolving business. In addition, it extends a full network security stack wherever needed, globally, and down to a single user. This eliminates the need to deploy additional point products, drastically reducing the cost and complexity of integrating, securing and managing remote locations, cloud applications and mobile users.

Traditional Firewalls vs. Cato FWaaS

Legacy

Legacy

Cato

Cato

Capacity

Legacy

Constrained

The level of protection a firewall appliance provides is limited to its physical capacity. Protecting increased traffic loads, for instance, entails additional processing and requires spending time and resources on forced upgrades. This capacity limitation often forces IT to choose cost efficiency over security, resulting in a low security posture.

Cato

Elastic

Delivered as a cloud service, FWaaS removes all appliance capacity concerns, and eliminates the hassle associated with upgrading multiple firewalls. With Cato’s scalable and elastic cloud infrastructure, IT can protect all resources without legacy firewall capacity limitations and maintain an optimal security posture.

Management

Legacy

Complicated and Time-Consuming

Appliance-based security inherently entails distributed deployments and disparate security policies. As a result, IT is forced to allocate valuable time and effort to manage the network life cycle; including manually sizing, deploying, configuring, patching and upgrading firewall appliances across multiple sites.

Cato

Streamlined and Simplified

Cato connects the entire organization to a single, logical global FWaaS with a unified application-aware security policy. Maintenance of the service is done by Cato, so IT can manage the business-specific security policy, without wasting time on manually handling multiple firewall appliances, their software, and their configuration.

Security Posture

Legacy

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Managing optimal security posture is a big challenge. For example, appliance-based IPS requires heavy involvement from IT. As an IPS vendor distributes new signatures, IT must assess their relevance and impact on performance, then test them on live traffic for false positives and end user disruption, and finally, deploy them in full production mode. This resource impact causes many IT teams to essentially ignore IPS updates, weakening their network security posture.

Cato

Delivered as a Service

Cato uniquely delivers Firewall and IPS as a managed solution, freeing IT from the burden of security posture maintenance. Cato evaluates emerging threats and develops the rules to stop them. Cato then tests these rules in simulation mode on live traffic, ensuring enterprises aren’t impacted and eliminating false positives before rolling them out. As a result, threats are prevented and stopped without overloading IT.

Legacy

Cato

Capacity

Constrained

The level of protection a firewall appliance provides is limited to its physical capacity. Protecting increased traffic loads, for instance, entails additional processing and requires spending time and resources on forced upgrades. This capacity limitation often forces IT to choose cost efficiency over security, resulting in a low security posture.

Elastic

Delivered as a cloud service, FWaaS removes all appliance capacity concerns, and eliminates the hassle associated with upgrading multiple firewalls. With Cato’s scalable and elastic cloud infrastructure, IT can protect all resources without legacy firewall capacity limitations and maintain an optimal security posture.

Management

Complicated and Time-Consuming

Appliance-based security inherently entails distributed deployments and disparate security policies. As a result, IT is forced to allocate valuable time and effort to manage the network life cycle; including manually sizing, deploying, configuring, patching and upgrading firewall appliances across multiple sites.

Streamlined and Simplified

Cato connects the entire organization to a single, logical global FWaaS with a unified application-aware security policy. Maintenance of the service is done by Cato, so IT can manage the business-specific security policy, without wasting time on manually handling multiple firewall appliances, their software, and their configuration.

Security Posture

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Managing optimal security posture is a big challenge. For example, appliance-based IPS requires heavy involvement from IT. As an IPS vendor distributes new signatures, IT must assess their relevance and impact on performance, then test them on live traffic for false positives and end user disruption, and finally, deploy them in full production mode. This resource impact causes many IT teams to essentially ignore IPS updates, weakening their network security posture.

Delivered as a Service

Cato uniquely delivers Firewall and IPS as a managed solution, freeing IT from the burden of security posture maintenance. Cato evaluates emerging threats and develops the rules to stop them. Cato then tests these rules in simulation mode on live traffic, ensuring enterprises aren’t impacted and eliminating false positives before rolling them out. As a result, threats are prevented and stopped without overloading IT.

Cato Networks
recognized 12x
by Gartner

Gartner Market Guide for Managed SD-WAN Services

Gartner Hype Cycle for Midsize Enterprises

Gartner Market Guide for Virtual Private Networks

Gartner Hype Cycle for Threat-Facing Technologies

Gartner Market Guide for Zero Trust Network Access

Gartner Hype Cycle for Edge Computing

Hype Cycle for Business Continuity Management and IT Resilience

Gartner Hype Cycle for Network Security

Gartner Hype Cycle for Enterprise Networking

Gartner Hype Cycle for Workplace Infrastructure and Operations

Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Security

Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose