Why Firewall-as-a-Service Makes Sense for Your Growing, Distributed Network

It’s true that cloud adoption won’t eliminate all your IT infrastructure equipment at every office. But this doesn’t mean you have to stock up on big-ticket items such as servers, single-purpose routers, switches, security appliances, datacenter square footage, power and cooling, plus manpower, at every new site your organization operates.

Enterprises have traditionally established IT infrastructure within each branch office for the purpose of connecting remote workers with the headquarters, branch offices, and the Internet. This approach typically requires the procurement of an assortment of network, server and security equipment, which is expensive to acquire, manage, maintain and store.

Your branch offices don’t have to be so equipment-intensive and space-eating anymore. Cloud infrastructure is a viable way to grow and secure your network rapidly and efficiently, without having to build out and maintain the infrastructure yourself. You see, cloud infrastructure can flex to the needs of organizations large and small, thanks to a dozen or more years of investment, innovation and proven value. The cloud has led to shared efficiencies, where even the smallest of businesses can tap into and harness the pre-built infrastructure for networking, software, web presence, billing, and more, via providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Shopify, and countless others.

Similarly, security services can be hosted in the cloud, where smart traffic orchestration and advanced protection capabilities can be deployed instantly across your distributed network, without complex and costly onsite maintenance.

Firewall in the Cloud: Why Firewall-as-a-Service?

Bolting security into your existing network infrastructure can be a massive, complex and costly task that never ends, including for organizations already doing business in the cloud or those grappling with multicloud environments where the juxtaposing concepts of a tight perimeter and accessibility can foil one another. A firewall can solve some of these tradeoffs through packet filtering, TCP/IP monitoring, and advanced traffic inspection, but the traditional equipment-centric approach hinders the ability and agility of companies to keep ahead of fast-evolving security threats that can cross Internet gateways and gain access to the private network.

Firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) is a digitally transformative alternative that dispenses the need for physical firewalls at every remote site and enables an organization or managed service provider to simplify security operations in the cloud, where cost and efficiency advantages such as shared economy of scale (multitenancy) and rapid service delivery reside.

Additional advantages of FWaaS include centralized control, easy and consistent distribution of the latest generation of security capabilities, scalability beyond on-site hardware limits, and more-predictable cost and budgeting.

Reduction of security hardware management and maintenance – By supporting multiple branch offices and remote workers through a flexible cloud-based firewall approach, IT management teams are likely to see hardware acquisition and recurring maintenance costs go down. OPAQ Firewall-as-a-Service empowers organizations to reduce the amount of network edge devices they procure, support and replace, and instead realize a predictable security investment that is right-sized for them. OPAQ clients have reduced costs by as much as 40%, and are better able to leverage their limited security personnel for essential security priorities.

Central management and consistency – Through a single cloud console, FWaaS offers consistent security policy management across multiple offices/locations and remote users. Network and IT security managers can route traffic through policy enforcement checkpoints in the cloud to ensure protection and performance of communications and attachments between your offices, ISPs, the public Internet and more.

Faster deployment and ongoing updates of advanced security – OPAQ Firewall-as-a-Service is next-generation protection powered by Palo Alto Networks, a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Firewalls for seven consecutive years. The OPAQ Firewall-as-a-Service model enables organizations and managed service providers to deploy advanced security capabilities across the network without the need for time-consuming onsite device reconfiguration. Initial deployment, timely security updates and customized subscriptions become less time-consuming and less costly. Once deployed, the addition of new features — such as moving from antivirus inspection to file sandboxing or decrypting SSL —no longer relies on the size and capacity of the firewall appliance at a specific site.

Firewall-as-a-service represents a smart, fast and efficient way to fluidly administer the latest, most comprehensive protection across your network and vulnerable points of ingress and egress.

To find out more, read the Firewall-as-a-Service solution brief in our resources section.