5 Best Firewalls for Businesses in 2023

staff enabling firewall

In an era where cybersecurity threats pose a great risk, firewalls are pivotal for the network security infrastructure of your organization. Whether it is a multinational corporation or a small local enterprise, the best firewall for businesses is not just a mere add-on but an essential component that ensures the safety of crucial data from potential cyber threats.

With over half of today’s cyberattacks being aimed at small businesses, which typically have less sophisticated network security, it has never been more vital to employ robust firewalls. Every organization dealing with large quantities of data or users online should invest in an effective firewall system. It is the shield that safeguards end users, customers, and data from all external threats, enabling businesses to operate confidently in this digital era.

Continue reading to discover 5 of the best firewalls available today, ranked based on their performance, capacity, security, and various other factors pertinent to businesses of all sizes.

Table of Contents

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network security device that supervises and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic according to an organization’s pre-set security policies.

In essence, a firewall serves as a barrier between a private internal network and the public Internet, allowing non-threatening traffic in while keeping dangerous traffic out.

A firewall is an indispensable part of any cybersecurity strategy, alleviating the burdensome task of host-level protections from the users and entrusting them to this crucial network security device.

Why do you need firewalls?

Incorporating the best firewalls into your business networking environment presents numerous perks. Particularly, Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) excel in blocking malware and application-layer attacks. By acting on previously set policies, firewalls protect your network from invasive or suspicious activities, such as malware. They quickly assess and react to such threats, enhancing the safety of your network. Therefore, integrating a firewall into your security infrastructure can establish your network with specific policies to permit or block incoming and outgoing traffic.

5 Best firewalls for enterprises & small businesses


1. Sophos Firewall

Sophos, a global leader in cybersecurity, offers an exceptional firewall solution known as the Sophos Firewall. Recognized as the top firewall solution by G2 users and identified as a Customers’ Choice for Network Firewalls 2023 by Gartner Peer Insights, the Sophos Firewall efficiently secures your network and offers a robust cybersecurity solution through its array of advanced features. All of which makes it one of the best firewalls for businesses.


Key features and benefits

  • Xstream protection: Sophos Firewall’s Xstream architecture defends your network from the latest threats while simultaneously accelerating critical SaaS, SD-WAN, and cloud application traffic.
  • TLS 1.3 decryption: Sophos Firewall intelligently inspects and decrypts TLS traffic, providing enhanced security and visibility into encrypted communications.
  • Deep packet inspection: High-performance deep packet inspection aids in preventing ransomware and breaches. This feature is augmented with next-gen IPS, web protection, app control, deep learning capabilities, and sandboxing, which are powered by SophosLabs Intelix.
  • Application acceleration: Sophos Firewall accelerates trusted applications, including VoIP, video, SaaS, SD-WAN, and cloud traffic, thereby optimizing network performance.
  • Xstream SD-WAN: Sophos Firewall includes advanced SD-WAN capabilities for improved network performance, flexibility, and resilience.
  • Central cloud management: Sophos Central, a cloud-based platform, simplifies the management of all Sophos products and services, allowing you to deploy new firewall devices remotely and monitor your network performance over time.
  • Integration: Sophos Firewall integrates tightly with other Sophos products, enabling multi-layered threat detection and response and providing impressive visibility, protection, and response benefits.

Sophos Firewall is advantageous for both SMEs and large enterprises because it adapts to your network and is versatile, offering a comprehensive suite of features and options that fit different environments. Also, it provides enterprise-grade protection, performance, visibility, and SD-WAN features, which are critical for today’s diverse, distributed, and encrypted networks. Moreover, it addresses the unique needs of remote workers, public cloud infrastructures, small offices, retail and branch offices, and educational institutions.


2. Sangfor Firewall

Sangfor is a reputable company in the field of IT solutions. Its Next Generation Firewall (NGAF) stands as a formidable player in the realm of cybersecurity, providing robust network and web application security for businesses of all sizes. The advanced technological capabilities and pioneering features make it one of the best firewalls, specifically tailored for both SMEs and large businesses.


Key features and benefits

  • The world’s 1st AI-enabled NGFW: intelligently detects and eliminates over 99% of external threats at the network perimeter.
  • The world’s 1st NGFW integrated with Web Application Firewall (WAF): provides network and web application security in one appliance. The in-built WAF, equipped with the ground-breaking WISE Engine, uses semantic analysis and machine learning to stop both known and unknown web attacks.
  • The world’s 1st NGFW with built-in SOC Lite: helps security teams rapidly determine the security status of threats and respond. This is a particularly beneficial feature for SMEs, as it simplifies security operations and response, giving administrators a clear, intuitive overview of current threat levels.
  • Security integration: the world’s 1st NGFW that truly integrates with endpoint and network security solutions to create a holistic security system.

Sangfor NGAF’s robust perimeter security, integrating an AI-powered malware detection engine and real-time threat intelligence platform, ensures that it blocks over 99% of threats at the perimeter. Its utility in ransomware protection and web application security, as well as secured SD-WAN and WFX scenarios, makes it a versatile solution that can cater to a variety of enterprise security needs.


3. Ruijie Firewall

Ruijie‘s Next-Generation Z Series Firewall, RG-WALL 1600-Z3200-S, presents a comprehensive security solution optimized for a variety of sectors, including hotels, enterprises, schools, factories, and hospitals. Its dynamic features and scalable performance position it as a versatile asset for both SMEs and large enterprises.

The firewall is built with an emphasis on user-friendly operation and security optimization. It supports different deployment scenarios like routing, transparent, and off-path modes. The RG-WALL 1600-Z3200-S offers innovative features such as port scan and traffic learning for intelligent policy recommendation and simple deployment. It allows automatic identification of a service system’s IP address and port number and automatic detection of the service access relationship on the live network. This way, you can generate access control policies with one click and complete firewall onboarding without professional knowledge.

Key features and benefits

One of its standout features is the ability to simulate policies in a protected space without affecting live services. This enables administrators to verify policies’ effectiveness before applying them to the live network. The firewall also provides continuous policy optimization, offering solutions for conflicting, redundant, and expired policy optimizations. It also supports policy lifecycle management.

The RG-WALL 1600-Z3200-S is equipped with several security functions like intrusion detection and prevention, DDoS and ARP attack defense, and virus protection templates. Moreover, it also integrates threat intelligence to stay ahead of emerging cybersecurity risks. Additionally, the firewall’s diagnostic center supports automated analysis of network faults and provides a one-stop troubleshooting wizard to help operational and maintenance personnel quickly locate and resolve faults.


4. Palo Alto Firewall

Palo Alto’s Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) are designed with advanced machine learning (ML) capabilities and deep learning to counter even the most elusive threats, making them the best firewalls for businesses, whether SMEs or conglomerates.

Palo Alto’s firewalls are industry-leading, earning the “best-in-class” label 11 times consecutively. Their firewalls are integrated with inline deep learning, which allows for an analytical approach similar to human cognition, surpassing the structured data analysis of traditional machine learning. This innovative feature aids in halting unknown zero-day attacks, providing a robust, preemptive defense mechanism which goes beyond signature-based detection.

Key features and benefits

The introduction of zero-delay signatures means that every internet-connected NGFW in a network is updated within seconds after an analysis. This rapid response ensures that any threat detected is promptly handled, minimizing potential damage. Additionally, these firewalls also provide ML-powered visibility across IoT and other connected devices. This means you can quickly and accurately profile any IoT device and monitor its usage, ensuring no device goes unmanaged.

In addition to being the best firewalls for businesses, Palo Alto’s firewalls also maximize security while minimizing downtime. By utilizing AIOps, you can improve your security posture without increasing staff or purchasing new equipment. This solution helps prevent costly outages by predicting firewall health, making it the best firewall for small businesses looking to optimize their security investments.

Palo Alto’s award-winning security changes the game by making network security proactive and intelligent. The ML-powered NGFW enables businesses to stay ahead of potential threats rather than just reacting to them. The unified network security architecture ensures that your entire business, regardless of size or complexity, is protected.


5. FortiGate Firewall

FortiGate‘s Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is renowned for its unified management system, providing unmatched convergence and scalability that can fit into any location such as remote offices, branches, campuses, data centers, and the cloud. It has been constructed upon the concept of hybrid mesh firewalls using FortiManager for seamless management and consistent security across intricate hybrid environments. Operating under the powerful FortiOS operating system, FortiGate provides profound visibility and security across a range of form factors, making it a strong contender for the best firewall for businesses.

Key features and benefits

One of the key features that makes FortiGate stand out as the best firewall is its AI/ML Security and Enterprise Networking Convergence. FortiGate NGFWs deliver top-tier threat protection and decryption at scale thanks to a custom ASIC architecture. They also offer Secure Networking that features integrated SD-WAN, switching, wireless, and 5G techologies. This convergence of security and networking point solutions into a single, user-friendly, centralized management console powered by FortiOS makes IT management straightforward.

FortiGate prides itself as the most deployed network firewall globally, offering peerless AI-powered security performance and threat intelligence, along with comprehensive visibility and security-networking convergence. It operates under a single operating system that ensures unified networking and security across all form factors and edges. With patented ASIC architecture, FortiGate enhances performance, delivers better ROI, and reduces power consumption. Its FortiGuard global threat intelligence provides automated protection against both known and unknown threats, thus emerging as a strong contender for the best firewall for small businesses as well.


Final thoughts

The importance of investing in the best firewalls cannot be understated. As digital threats continue to evolve, a reliable and robust firewall will be the first line of defense against potential cyberattacks. The mentioned firewalls provide an excellent starting point for any business seeking to enhance its network security. After all, the best firewall solutions are those that meet the unique needs of your business and ensure the security of your data and operations.

Get in touch with our experienced professionals today to learn more about our firewall products and cybersecurity solutions.

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