Deciphering the IT “aaS” code
What is FWaaS?
There are many acronyms in the internet technology industry ending “aaS.” SaaS, HaaS, and FWaaS are three. The “aaS” ending means as a service. So SaaS is software as a service, while HaaS is hardware as a service. And FWaaS is firewall as a service.
FWaaS includes all the technology required to provide remote firewall management. The service which Alliant provides through Dell combines the firewall appliance with security and management software plus all related support services bundled into a monthly subscription price which avoids upfront cost or investment.
What is included in FWaaS?
Alliant’s FWaaS offers a powerful, single security solution consisting of these three products:
- Comprehensive Gateway Security – this network protection combines gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware intrusion prevention, application intelligence and control, content filtering, firmware updates and 24×7 support.
- Unified Threat Management – UTM provides a high-performance deep packet inspection bundled into a comprehensive network protection from a wide range of emerging threats.
- Global Management System – GMS provides, manages and deploys not only the firewall initially, but anti-spam, backup and recovery and secure remote access solutions.
What’s the Difference between Firewall and Gateway?
A gateway is a machine through which data packets flow. It is responsible for linking together two networks (e.g. an internal business network, and the Internet). A firewall is a filtering system through which data packets are sent; the firewall decides to let some of the packets pass through, while it blocks or divert others.
The gateway is like an open door allowing anyone to walk on in and sit right down. The firewall asks questions. Who are you? Why are you here? Who did you want to see? What do you have in that brown paper bag? What are your credentials of trustworthiness?
Another element of firewall difference is the difference between a cheap firewall and an expensive one. The answer is one word – bottleneck. A cheap firewall hasn’t the hardware capacity to pass the information through to the network quickly. So it becomes a bottleneck.
All information coming in the door (gateway) must be asked the right questions (filtered). This process of examining the packets of data as they arrive at your network needs to happen with speed to get the data to its intended target. But it must also happen with great exactness and efficiency. Any resource exhaustion will result in delays or dropped packets of data.
As a business gets larger, there is also the consideration of the number of concurrent connections, obviously increasing the overall amount of data examined (filtered). Enterprise sized businesses use clustered firewalls to provide the need for higher availability.
Alliant provides FWaaS to many of our customers. If you have any questions or concerns about the security of your business network, be sure to give us a call. 626-461-1300.