Business, Security Connected

Backing Up the Claims: ESG Validates McAfee NGFW Strengths

By on Jun 04, 2014

Some might say I’m biased.  I’m not.  I truly believe McAfee has the strongest performing Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) on the market.  In fact, I’ve bet on it.  Sure, you’ve heard it all before.  Everyone makes the claim:  their solution offers the best quality, the most scalability, the highest performance, the greatest security.  Well, today is the day that I can support my conviction with facts.

The facts are here in a new report released from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), which validates our claims about the McAfee NGFW using real-life scenarios. The lab was set up to simulate the typical environment managed by network operations trying to secure an enterprise – office users attempting to access prohibited sites and services, remote users accessing the internet over the corporate VPN, and a branch office accessing corporate resources over a VPN Tunnel. The tests focused on areas of most interest to network buying centers who are evaluating NGFW technology – high availability, centralized management and granular application and user control.

Not only do the ESG results back up my claims, but they also illustrate why McAfee NGFW customers rate the product so highly. Each lab test revealed how the tools and functions available to network and security operations personnel empower them to be more efficient and successful in managing security. We like to say that the product has taken over 22 years to perfect – and that its development wouldn’t have been possible if not for the input of those that use it on a daily basis. The findings prove this to be true.

For example, when an employee has an issue accessing anything, the call to the help desk usually ends up on the desk of the network operations team to diagnose. They have to drill down and evaluate the user, the policies, the activities, etc. on a granular basis. This can take time. By including analysis and daily workflow tools that anticipate these types of requests, the McAfee NGFW immediately supports the complex and difficult tasks of the firewall, IPS, VPN and associated security managers.

Another critical piece of the ESG testing was done in an area that many competitive network security products are ignoring – advanced evasion techniques (AETs).  In fact, I recently wrote about how many CIOs do not have the insight or the resources to fully understand AETs – one of today’s biggest and most destructive threats.  Backing up the McAfee report, ESG confirmed the dangers of AETs by reporting on the effectiveness of the McAfee Evader tool in bypassing a competitor’s next generation firewall product and achieving command line access to a target machine. The report reiterates our position that “AETs pose a great threat because most security solutions can’t detect or stop them.”

Overall, ESG validates the features of the McAfee NFGW, while also sharing unique insight into how those features fit within the daily work of typical network operations centers. I believe this ESG Lab Validation Report is a necessary resource in the due diligence process when evaluating NGFW technology.  To supplement the report findings, join McAfee and ESG analyst Tony Palmer in a live webinar on June 18 (click here to register).