Can network security devices replace firewalls?

Are there any network security devices or applications replacing firewalls today? Is there any reason not to use a firewall to protect your corporate network?

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There really isn't any excuse not to use a firewall.

I'd personally say it is imperative to protect your corporate network with a Firewall appliance placed in a strategic position within the network, and also to use additional software or hardware to help provide end-to-end protection for your workstations, servers and other sensitive devices.

While there are many new network security devices on the market today, such as intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems, these complement firewall appliances but shouldn't replace them. Antivirus products such as GFI's VIPRE Antivirus, Symantec's Endpoint Protection and others now provide built-in firewall features. And if anything else, firewall appliances usually support much-needed features such as VPN remote access to ensure secure access to your corporate network resources from anywhere in the world.

Looking at the market trends and the ever-increasing amount of network security threats, there really isn't any excuse not to use a firewall to protect your corporate network. 

This was first published in April 2013

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