Security breaches are up 67% over the last 5 years, according to Accenture. The rise in breaches indicates a growing gap between cyberattacks and the enterprise’s ability to defend against them.
The key first step in protecting your enterprise is deploying a firewall that can filter huge amounts of traffic without sacrificing network performance and speed. According to reviewers on TrustRadius, the best firewalls for enterprise are Cisco ASA, Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation – PA Series, Cisco Meraki MX, and Zscaler Internet Access.
5 Top Firewalls for Enterprises
This list is curated from the Enterprise TrustMap of the firewall software category on TrustRadius. The Enterprise Firewall TrustMap is generated based on the intersection of buyer interest, trScore, and the percentage of products’ ratings and reviews that are from enterprise users. They are listed below according to the volume of enterprise-level ratings and reviews each product has earned.
#1 Cisco ASA
Best for Cisco users who prioritize low maintenance
You’d be hard-pressed to discuss the firewall market without featuring Cisco. In the case of enterprise users, the ASA line stands out for its edge protection capabilities and low barrier of entry, particularly if your enterprise already lives in a Cisco ecosystem.
Integrated IPS, VPN and unified communications capabilities make this an impressive, threat management solution. As a firewall solution, this offers some scalability with its incredible integration with other Cisco services. With that said, this is poorly suited to small businesses, even though it is lower maintenance than other security services of this scale.
Reviewers frequently point to how the ASA line is easily set up and automatically configured to make deployment as painless as possible. Regarding the feature set, the firewall’s VPN capabilities are also easy to set up and manage. This differentiates the ASA line from other products that have less user-friendly VPN services.
While ASA excels as a traditional network firewall, its “next-generation” features are lacking. For instance, some users point to technical limitations in Cisco’s application firewall capabilities. These features are crucial if your enterprise deploys any web applications, like websites or browser-based portals to your servers.
“[Cisco ASA provides] ease of deployment for almost all scenarios, a rich feature set, excellent product and technical support with tons of config examples, and integration with Cisco Umbrella.”George V. | Director, Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) Platform, Global Engineering | Speedcast | 1001-5000 employees
#2 Fortinet FortiGate
Best bang for your buck
Fortinet’s FortiGate firewall has gained prominence among enterprises and midsize businesses as a Next-Generation Firewall, with added features like intrusion prevention and web filtering in addition to the core network firewall.
This is software that offers protection from malware, ransomware, and so much more through SSL inspection and automated threat protection services. The intrusion detection serves are well suited to data center operations and cloud-based architecture.
Fortinet appeals to a wider variety of companies, including smaller-scale enterprises, because it is less expensive compared to close competitors. In particular, Fortinet and Palo Alto are frequently compared, and Fortinet commonly wins on price point. Regarding the product itself, users note that FortiGate’s graphical user interface (GUI) is particularly user-friendly, lowering the technical barrier to entry for users.
According to enterprise users, the most frequent issue with FortiGate is the command-line interface (CLI), which is far less user-friendly than expected when compared to the firewall’s GUI. Some users have also had issues with the updating/upgrading process, and even recommend delaying updates by a cycle or two to make sure all the bugs and kinks are worked out before upgrading.
“The price savings for such a high quality product made [Fortinet Fortigate] an easy choice. It’s great that it also has built in features such as VPN, web filtering and access point controller.”Verified User | Engineer in Information Technology | Education Management Company | 1001-5000 employees
#3 Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation PA Series
Best for enterprises who spare no expense
Palo Alto Networks’s Next-Generation PA Series firewalls specialize in multilayer firewall protection. While on the pricier end, this product line offers a wide range of additional features that justify the cost for enterprises who need the extra capabilities.
The added features that Palo Alto offers are a common selling point for enterprise users. In particular, the appliance’s ability to filter, log, and gain visibility into network traffic help it stand out from its competitors.
Palo Alto’s added sophistication also brings added complexity. Users report this complexity is especially problematic in areas like VPN creation and management. The additional cost that comes with more robust multilayer security can also be a deterrent for organizations that lack a sufficient budget for network security.
“Palo Alto is well suited when you need to provide multiple layers of visibility and security between areas. The tools available in the Palo Alto allow to you quickly see which traffic is being allowed, denied, and why. This helps greatly improve mean time to resolution when there are issues.”Adam M. | Director of IT Engineering | Pearl River Resort | 1001-5000 employees
#4 Cisco Meraki MX
Best for remote connectivity and management
In addition to the core firewall offering, Cisco’s Meraki line of firewalls specializes in serving remote locations and offices. With this group in mind, it highlights capabilities like VPN connectivity, remote management, and SD-WAN capabilities.
The Meraki line is praised by users for being very easy to configure on the front end, which is particularly important if you have to configure your network and firewall across multiple locations. Meraki also delivers well on its target remote audience, with users frequently highlighting how easy remote administration is on the platform.
Cisco’s Meraki struggles to handle certain use cases and environments. For instance, users have identified difficulties when the firewall has to handle complex application issues and vulnerabilities. If your network is centralized to a single primary location instead of remote locations, Meraki may not be as optimized as other products on this list.
“We find Cisco Meraki MX Firewalls best at smaller remote sites where the requirements are relatively primary remote offices, retail locations, ETC. It can be managed remotely as long as there’s Internet connectivity, and the VPN configuration back to the central office is excellent.”Curt S. | Network & Telecoms Administrator | Southco, Inc. | 1001-5000 employees
#5 Zscaler Internet Access
Another Strong Choice for Remote Teams
This tool is intended to offer next-gen cybersecurity in a cloud-native firewall alternative for remote and distributed teams. Zscaler intends to offer high-performance security solutions no matter connection location, and offer specialization other providers do not.
Network security monitoring and DNS protection are routinely raised by its users. They find bandwith and content control to be intuative, with real-time optimization keeping speeds high.
Some users found the installation to be less intuitive than other tools. Automation of authentication was also poorly adapted for Linux and MacOS users.
Zscaler Internet Access is a great solution to add more layers of security to browsing, mitigating access to malicious sites or sites that contain fraudulent content. In addition to bringing more visibility over applications that IT does not have vision (shadow IT). ZIA is a solution that adds value to the business, its infrastructure is fast and for the end-user allocated to the endpoint, the experience is very pleasant and transparent.Verified User | Analyst in Information Technology | Financial Services Company, 10,001+ employees
NGFW Buying Criteria for Enterprises
As the firewall market approaches feature parity, less quantifiable characteristics like customer support, implementation assistance, and ease of management will become stronger differentiators, even for enterprise-level IT teams.
One factor that can help you differentiate between products is the mode of deployment. Firewalls can be implemented on physical appliances (usually at the router), on virtual machines, or in the cloud. The first two options will likely be preferable if your network is primarily single-location, while the cloud poses some benefits to multi-location management.
The level of continued support you expect to receive from the vendor will also be a differentiating factor. Investigate the frequency of security updates and bug fixes for the products you’re considering. will indicate how much support you can expect from the vendor to keep your firewall policies and network up-to-date and secure.
For better insights into the qualitative aspects of firewall software, check out reviews from other enterprise users. Filtering by enterprise reviewers will help you determine how effectively a vendor or product can support your scale of operation and network. Check out our enterprise-specific firewall reviews to see this feature in action. The insights you gain can help guarantee that your new firewall software is ready to provide the security and efficiency that your enterprise needs to succeed.
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