5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid: Choosing an NGFW With a Steep Learning Curve and Minimal Support

Stephanie Johnson


Category: Firewall

This post is part of a blog series where we dive into the five critical mistakes to avoid when evaluating a next-generation firewall. Avoid these, and you’ll be well on your way to picking the right next-generation firewall.

How will you know if the NGFW you’re considering is the right one for your organization? The safest bet is to test it. But when evaluating and selecting a new NGFW, there are some common mistakes security professionals often make. One of these critical mistakes is highlighted in detail below, along with insight and recommendations to help you avoid the blunder.


Mistake #5: Choosing an NGFW With a Steep Learning Curve and Minimal Support

Some firewall vendors promise your networking and security teams will be able to “leverage the same skill set” if you switch to their firewall. Unfortunately, this is often not true, even when switching between products from the same vendor (e.g., from a stateful inspection firewall to a next-generation firewall). When it comes to networking and security, resources and expertise are often scarce. It’s counterproductive to choose a firewall vendor that employs completely different design frameworks and management user interfaces from one product generation to another. This only complicates deployment and introduces steep learning curves.

Avoid the compounding effects of maintaining multiple management interfaces during phased hardware refreshes. This way, if you choose to migrate to a single vendor, integration and management will be easy. If you choose not to, make sure the firewall vendor you choose offers a vast ecosystem of strategic technology partners that can offer expert help in terms of manpower and knowledge.

To avoid choosing an NGFW with a steep learning curve and minimal support, while also ensuring maximum performance, security and ROI, run a proof of concept (POC) in your organization. A POC allows you to accurately test next-generation firewalls, their affiliated services and subscriptions – either on their own or against one another – in your actual, operational IT environment, whether it is physical, virtual or a hybrid.

For more critical mistakes to avoid when evaluating a next-generation firewall, download the white paper: 5 Critical Mistakes When Evaluating a Next-Generation Firewall.

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