Firewall solutions have diversified a lot in recent years, but the original concept has remained: the analysis and control of data and application traffic. Today, firewalls can mainly target data networks (Next Generation Firewall), web applications (Web Application Firewall), they can be physical or virtual, installed locally or in the cloud.

The objective of a firewall remains the same, to prevent unauthorized access and malicious users to the company’s network, applications and cloud computing services. It’s an effective way to filter unwanted traffic, but it’s not infallible.

The firewall is similar to customs control, checking traffic at the border, requesting documents and visually inspecting passengers and vehicles, probably being effective 99.99% of the time. For the remaining 0.01% of criminals who manage to overcome customs control, there are other institutions capable of detecting and neutralizing them. The approach is similar in cyber security. To be effectively protected, a company requires several firewall solutions.

Is firewall an outdated technology?

Firewalls, in their classic form, have been criticized for not being effective enough against sophisticated attacks and modern threats. However, modern firewalls, especially next-generation (NGFW) firewalls, integrate advanced technologies such as behavioral detection, real-time traffic analysis, and incident response automation. Moreover, many firewall solutions are starting to integrate features based on Artificial Intelligence and virtual assistants. This allows them to provide much more robust protection and remain relevant in the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

What is a firewall and what does it do?

The firewall works at the network and data transport level. This means that the firewall analyzes and controls data traffic based on information related to IP addresses, ports and protocols used. In addition, it may apply security rules and policies to allow or block communications based on this information.

Thus, the firewall can monitor and manage network connections to protect the infrastructure against cyber threats. In addition to basic functionality such as packet filtering and NAT (Network Address Translation), modern firewalls can perform other advanced operations such as:

  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI): Deep analysis of the content of data packets to identify and block threats.
  • Proxying: The firewall can act as an intermediary between the user and online resources, allowing more precise traffic control and monitoring.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) Support: Integration with VPNs to ensure secure connections between different networks.

Types of firewalls

Firewalls can be classified based on their architecture, their method of filtering traffic, or their location on the network. In addition to the previously mentioned types, there are other important categories such as:

Application-based firewalls: These inspect traffic at the application level to identify and block application-specific threats.

Cloud-based firewalls: Cloud-managed firewall solutions that can provide uniform protection for distributed networks or mobile users.

Content-based firewalls: Focus on analyzing and filtering transmitted content, identifying and blocking potential threats embedded in it.

Next Generation Firewall, Web Application Firewall or Cloud WAF

There is some confusion surrounding some acronyms associated with firewall solutions: NGFW, WAF and Cloud WAF. Since they are generically called firewalls, many users consider them similar. However, while all of these technologies serve to inspect and stop malicious traffic, each provides a different layer of protection.

  • Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW): These are firewalls that combine traditional firewall functionality with advanced technologies such as application-based filtering, behavioral detection, and content analysis. They are critical to protecting against complex threats and maintaining compliance with security regulations.
  • Web Application Firewalls (WAF): They specialize in protecting web applications against specific attacks, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting. They monitor and filter HTTP and HTTPS traffic to detect and block attempts to exploit web application vulnerabilities.
  • Cloud WAF (Web Application Firewall) is a type of firewall for web applications that operate in the cloud. It provides protection for web applications without requiring the installation of additional hardware or software in the organization’s on-premises infrastructure. Instead, web traffic is directed to the Cloud WAF service, where it is inspected and filtered before reaching the web application. It analyzes and controls web traffic based on the types of web applications used, such as WordPress, Joomla or Magento. It offers protection against botnets but also against SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).

Given the diversity of potential entry points into both a network and a web application or cloud service, in most cases it is important to use all the necessary technologies. They interact with data traffic at different levels.

In addition, a Cloud WAF is an attractive solution for organizations because it eliminates the need to manage and maintain the on-premise hardware and software required for web application protection. It also provides more effective and up-to-date protection against cyber threats, thanks to the ability to benefit from updates and security intelligence from the cloud service provider.

What features does a firewall include?

Modern firewalls come with a wide range of advanced features tailored to deal with today’s cyber threats. These include:

  • Antivirus integration: Firewalls can be integrated with antivirus solutions to detect and block malware in real time.
  • Sandbox: Testing suspicious files in a safe environment to identify malicious behavior.
  • Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): Monitor network activity to detect and prevent cyber attacks in real time.
  • SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Inspection: Inspect encrypted traffic to detect and block hidden threats inside HTTPS connections.
  • Web filtering: Filtering of content accessed via the Internet.

For example, along with the functionality mentioned above, M247 firewalls can also include DNS filters, anti-DDoS protection, data loss prevention (DLP), as well as advanced management and policy enforcement options.

Depending on the package chosen (Bronze, Silver or Gold), M247 firewalls can handle bandwidth connections from 250 Mbps to 1 Gbps. M247 firewalls are mainly based on technologies from Fortinet and Corero.

Important to know, the M247 firewall solutions are Managed Virtual Firewall type, cloud-based and managed by the M247 team, so you do not need your own specialist for configuration, administration and policy application. You benefit from a solution at a recurring fixed cost and 24/7 support from an experienced team.

Why is it important to have a firewall?

Even if Romania enters the Schengen area and the border officers disappear, this does not mean that we no longer have customs control. It remains just as critical, it just moves to a different border. The situation is similar for firewall solutions, which remain an essential component of the cybersecurity infrastructure, providing a critical layer of protection against cyber threats. Whether you operate an IT infrastructure on-premises, hosted in a colocation center or working 100% in the cloud, using an effective firewall can reduce the risk of data compromise, financial loss and reputational damage. Furthermore, the firewall can help comply with security regulations and industry standards such as GDPR or PCI DSS, ensuring that sensitive data is protected and user privacy is maintained.

For details about M247 firewall solutions as well as commercial offers contact us at

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