Buyer's Guide

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Network security basics: A Buyer's Guide

This Buyer's Guide examines network security basics, starting with four critical network security tools for any enterprise. It also discusses the major use cases and buying criteria and compares leading products.


For any enterprise, getting the network security basics right is critical, and next-generation threats require a next-generation approach. The challenge for network security architects today is to ensure network security tools work with each other rather than alongside each other, and not just at the network edge, but within the network itself.

Many network security systems are difficult to implement and require a trained staff to oversee updates and maintenance. The high overhead costs associated with this oversight means many network security tools are not implemented fully in the enterprise, leaving those organizations vulnerable to emerging threats and determined hackers.

Next-generation network security tools aim to correct this by providing overlapping protection to implement a defense-in-depth strategy. Firewalls, secure Web gateways, and intrusion prevention systems thwart attacks at the network's edge, while malware sandboxes provide strategic depth, and network access control tools protect the network from within.

1What is?-

The evolution of network security for the enterprise

Today's threats against data networks are more powerful than ever before. Next-generation security tools -- an essential element to network security basics -- provide defense-in-depth through tight integration and information sharing to better correlate potential threats.


How the basics of network security systems have evolved

Today's sophisticated network security technologies work together to provide a tighter net and block malicious behavior both within and at the edge of the network. Continue Reading

2Do I need?-

The business case for network security tools

Next-generation security tools can help prevent data breaches that put the enterprise at risk from both a regulatory and customer trust perspective. A robust network security posture can also lower overhead costs and allow businesses to expand into BYOD, cloud services, IoT and other undertakings.


Making a business case for purchasing a network security system

A unified network security platform can offer organizations significant savings by helping them to reduce outages and the number of security components being managed. Continue Reading

3How to buy-

Criteria to consider when buying network security products

Before making your purchasing decision, consider where your mission-critical data resides, how devices access your network, and how your network security tools will be deployed.


Criteria for vetting tools from network security vendors

Before purchasing a network security system, consider where your data is located, who has access, where security tools will be deployed and if they're part of a unified strategy. Continue Reading

4Which should I buy?-

Which network security products should I buy?

Network security basics call for a comprehensive examination of the wide range of network security products now available in the marketplace. But narrowing these down to the select few you will deploy in your network requires patience and a focused approach. Before you take the steps to buy, check out our comparison of the market's leading network security products.


Buying the right network security tool for your organization

The key to selecting the network security product that will work best for your organization is choosing tools that will work together as a unified security strategy. Continue Reading

5Top product overviews-

A glance at the top network security products

Take a look at our product overviews of the leading network security vendors. These overviews cover products from the four essential categories -- malware sandboxes, secure Web gateways, NGFWs and network access control -- discussed earlier in the guide.


Next-gen firewalls: Check Point NGFW product overview

The Check Point NGFW comes with firewall throughput of up to 70 Gbps and support for up to 3 million connections per second. It can be deployed in SMBs and large enterprises. Continue Reading


Cisco ASA firewall: Network security product overview

Cisco ASA firewall products are Cisco's offering in the growing NGFW market. With FirePower intrusion prevention, they support deployments in small, medium and large businesses. Continue Reading


Palo Alto firewall: Network security product overview

Equipped with mobile security and endpoint protection solutions, Palo Alto firewall products are suitable for a range of deployments, including large and small enterprises. Continue Reading


Bradford NAC: Network security product overview

Bradford Network Sentry products can be deployed as on-premises hardware appliances, virtual machines or cloud-based services, and they support connection of BYOD devices. Continue Reading


Cisco Identity Services Engine: Security product overview

The Cisco Identity Services Engine network access control system can be deployed as an appliance or virtual machine in a private cloud and offers compatibility for BYOD devices. Continue Reading


ForeScout NAC: Network security product overview

ForeScout NAC products can be deployed as hardware appliances or virtual machines. Designed for both small and large enterprises, they can support up to 10,000 end devices. Continue Reading


Blue Coat ProxySG: Secure Web gateway overview

With features like authentication and Web filtering, the Blue Coat ProxySG secure Web gateway can be deployed as a physical appliance, a virtual machine or a cloud-based service. Continue Reading


Websense Triton: Secure Web gateway overview

Available as an appliance, a VM and a cloud service, the Websense Triton Web gateway offers a number of features, including integration with other Websense security products. Continue Reading


Zscaler gateway product overview

Equipped with advanced security features such as cloud intelligence, botnet detection, sandboxing and more, the Zscaler Web gateway is deployed solely through the cloud. Continue Reading


FireEye AX series: Sandbox product overview

The FireEye AX series sandbox products are capable of up to 16,000 analyses per day, are available for multiple OSes and come with 24/7 support for mission-critical deployments. Continue Reading


Palo Alto WildFire: Malware sandbox product overview

Tightly integrated with existing Palo Alto next-generation firewalls, the Palo Alto WildFire cloud-based malware sandbox service supports both public and private cloud deployments. Continue Reading


Triton AP: Websense sandbox product overview

Websense sandbox products come as physical appliances, software virtual machines, and cloud services. They also integrate with Websense's Web gateways and email security tools. Continue Reading

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