Best firewalls 2017: Nine best firewalls for business: Which firewall is suitable for your business?
There are countless options to choose from when considering firewall protection. Should you invest in an external firewall, stick with a virtual firewall or take the plunge with both?
The firewalls listed here cater to most sizes of organisation, from small businesses that only require virtual firewalls to larger enterprises that should house external firewall hardware.
With recent data breaches highlighting the importance of securing your network, ComputerworldUK investigates the best firewalls on the market for every business' first line of defence.
Read next: 10 best business antivirus 2017.
1. Best firewalls for business 2017: Kaspersky Internet Security
Able to secure both local and broader networks, Kaspersky Internet Security can block ads, third-party cookies and malicious content while also providing an impressive two-way Windows firewall.
The firewall monitors each connection made over the network and it will flag and challenge any connection it deems as untrustworthy. This is ideal if you're using a public Wi-Fi network or an office one with controls over certain files and documentation. And if you're looking for a cluster of internet safety tools, this suite is a solid choice.
2. Best firewalls for business 2017: FortiGate
Originating from Fortinet's security platform, FortiGate provides a one-stop-shop approach to network protection that includes a firewall, Virtual Private Network (VPN), application control, anti-malware, IPS, antispam, web filtering, and wireless control.
It offers two different types of firewall, the enterprise firewall and the next generation firewall, so depending on what you're looking for FortiGate can tailor to you. Both provide high-performance firewalls particularly suited to larger businesses.
3. Best firewalls for business 2017: pfSense
pfSense is a free open source firewall that provides powerful security but doesn't stray from its firewall function, unlike others.
With flexible and customisable features, this stand-alone firewall is excellent at what it does, but if you're wanting additional non-firewall features like Cisco ASA then you'll need to outsource them.
4. Best firewalls for business 2017: Comodo Internet Security Pro
Comodo offers an excellent firewall able to efficiently filter ICMP, outbound TCP and UDP traffic and monitor all connections made within your network, detecting ones that are not safe.
Sadly, Comodo does pester users with pop-up notifications, so those wanting a silent firewall working behind the scenes might want to go elsewhere. Although this can be forgiven due to Comodo's impressive response to outside attempts to methodically uncover user data from techniques such as keyloggers, which Comodo can detect and stop before the data is stolen.
5. Best firewalls for business 2017: Zone Alarm Pro
Zone Alarm Pro is packed with useful features including online back-up, anti-phishing and a strong two-way firewall that can monitor the current and incoming traffic to your network while looking out for suspicious behaviour.
Zone Alarm also offers 'stealth mode', a feature that will hide any ports or network openings to limit the unauthorised people gaining access to your network, ideal for those with sensitive business files.
6. Best firewalls for business 2017: McAfee
Best suited for small businesses, this McAfee firewall provides excellent protection against intrusions, attacks and problem network traffic. What's great about this firewall is that threats are logged, monitored and reported on so keeping track of attacks and potential weaknesses in your network is easy.
McAfee doesn’t require any scheduled downtime for software upgrades, hosts a centralised management of up to 2,000 firewalls and boasts multi-logins and role-based access control.
7. Best firewalls for business 2017: Palo Alto
Palo Alto boasts an excellent performance with intrusion and attack blocking capabilities and tracking, logging and reporting, highlighting a superb all-round firewall. And with a built-in sandbox function, Palo Alto can run and test suspicious content.
Palo Alto offers an enterprise-grade firewall that can automate security procedures, and encrypt all traffic coming in and out of the network, as well as a virtualised firewall that can support cloud environments based on environments from VMware, AWS, Microsoft, Citrix and KVM.
8. Best firewalls for business 2017: Cisco ASA 5505
Cisco offers a range of worthy external firewalls that can also provide integrated antivirus, anti-intrusion and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities while housing both physical and virtual devices. This integrated approach means that this firewall boasts Cisco's cloud security.
While definitely aimed at larger businesses, Cisco does offer the ASA 5500-X which they say is made for small businesses. Either way, for organisations already running a Cisco-shop it could be a no-brainer when choosing a firewall.
9. Best firewalls for business 2017: WatchGuard XTM
This fast and reliable external firewall provides real-time visibility tools that allow its users to isolate and treat any threat. WatchGuard XTM can link social networks with an Active Directory that means users can decide who has can login, edit, transfer files, chat and access webmail.
Ideal for medium-sized businesses, WatchGuard XTM's next-generation firewalls provide excellent centralised management for security protocol.
ComputerworldUK spoke to network and security manager, Kashif Iqbal, about the game developer's network security strategy