Trent: Hi there and welcome back to TechScoop, this week I’m fortunate enough to be sitting down with Tom Hickmott, one of the solution architects here at Techware. We started last week talking about the mOdern Firewall and the reasons as to why that’s evolved from the traditional firewall and this week I just wanted to continue that chat a little bit more and get some more information on the modern firewall. Thanks for joining us Tom.
Tom: No problems Trent thanks for having me.
Trent: Tom, just in case the viewers out there didn’t catch last week can you give us a brief run-down of what the modern firewall is all about?
Tom: So the Modern Firewall has really come about because the way we work has changed and firewalls just aren’t able to keep up. Where we’re working out of the office more, our data is in the cloud and we’re just not able to secure our networks in the same way that we used to
Trent: So would you say that a traditional firewall is more about securing a premises?
Tom: The traditional firewall, yes so you’re securing your perimeter. You’re protecting the users and the applications inside of that but now that we’re getting data outside of that perimeter that’s where the real challenge comes in.
Trent: Now straight off the bat what do you think the four biggest advantages of the modern firewall are?
Tom: The first one being data security and there’s no boundaries anymore, users don’t have to be in the office, they don’t have to be in a satellite office, they don’t have to have VPN connections back in. There’s also the ability to control and manage traffic flow, so you can on a granular level see what your users are doing. You can control what they have access to. The last one is about scalability being able to scale your cloud up and down and scale your access up and down, according to your business needs.
Trent: So data security, seems pretty important when we’re talking about the modern firewall, can you just expand on that a little bit more?
Tom: So data security is really about controlling the end to end flow of your data. So if you’re on a work station and you’re accessing your file server. If you’re accessing your web applications then it’s making sure that from when the data leaves your workstation and arrives at your destination the traffic is secure and there’s a reduced risk of something intercepting that and potentially being susceptible to data breaches.
Trent: The next two that you mentioned were that there are no boundaries and the traffic flow going in and out.
Tom: In the modern workplace you’ve got users who work on the road in the traditional firewall scenario those users would connect back in to your head office or data center. They would traverse though your firewall infrastructure and get access to whatever resources they need. That is fairly restrictive and was often very onerous on IT departments and it’s also something that wasn’t scaled very well traditionally. The second part around the traffic flow refers to how you control what users can get access to. You might have five users who are working remotely but they might have different access to different applications. With the traditional firewall it’s fairly hard to secure that traffic flow and where they go, in the modern firewall scenario you can get very granular in what they can do, where they can access it from and what they can do with that data. It’s all about the control and also the reporting on what is happening.
Trent: The last one was about scalability that sounds like it’s going to be quite a breeze with the modern firewall.
Tom: In the traditional firewalls when you’re looking at getting your firewall and looking at implementing solutions you’ve got to know a lot of information. You’ve got to predict a lot of information you’ve got to look at what you’re going to be doing in three year’s time, you need to look at how much traffic you’re going to be generating. With the modern firewall because it’s a cloud hosted solution, you’re not planning three years in advance, you’re really planning for the now. So you scale the volume of users you have, you look at the traffic flow side of it. It doesn’t matter, because it’s a big cloud platform you’re looking at and it means that also if your business grows you don’t have to look at a reinvestment in infrastructure and at the same time if there’s contraction within your business. You also don’t need to look at “well now you’ve overspent” you can reduce your Op Expenditure and go through that process.
Trent: Fantastic, now so I’m just thinking about it and if I could sum it up the way that I would put it is that that the traditional firewall was about securing one location and the modern firewall is about protecting users wherever they are.
Tom: Yeah that’s right and that’s really the crux of it. The modern firewall is about protecting anybody from anywhere.
Trent: Hey I think we’re going to leave it there this week Tom, thanks for joining us it’s been very informative.