Written by: Daniel Haurey on 08/15/16

This year, we launched BOUNDARY, and we’re quite excited about it.  BOUNDARY is our SonicWALL firewall-as-a-service offering (FWaaS) which allows organizations to consume their firewalls as a monthly operational expense, as opposed to a one-time or periodic capital expenditure.

Why firewall-as-a-service?  A radically different threat landscape has caused IT pros and business leaders to change their thinking around IT security.  In the old days, we installed a simple, stateful firewall, setup some basic rules, and generally took a “set it and forget it” approach to IT security.  But the onslaught of serious attacks, including SSL-evading Trojans and the explosion of ransomware has necessitated the need for a much more proactive stance using next generation firewalls (NGFW).  You absolutely need to stay ahead of the cybersecurity curve.

Viruses, malware and other cybersecurity threats are a moving target.  The very nature of the hacker’s game is that of “cat and mouse”.  Cybercriminals around the world are hard at work right now developing new ways to circumvent the latest and greatest defense mechanisms.  When you installed your firewall, it may have been state of the art at that moment and well-suited for your needs.  But I can assure you that after a short amount of time lapsed (maybe less than a few months), your new firewall was already behind the times.  Just like computer operating systems, firewalls have their own operating system software.  And just like operating systems like Microsoft Windows or Apple’s OS X, they need constant patching and upgrading.  An unpatched operating systems is just as much of a security hole as is an unpatched firewall, and the same can be said for an old firewall operating system.

But there are other mitigating circumstances here that make a good case for firewall-as-a-service, aside from the obsolescence factor.  When you consume your firewalls-as-a-service, you are never locked into a particular device.  Firewall-as-a-service is as dynamic as your business.  For example, let’s say that you are start-up company with only a small handful of employees that starts out with a properly sized SonicWALL TZ400.  After a year, your company grows, installs a much faster Internet connection, hires more employees and starts hosting a very mission-critical application in your office.  While a great choice at the time, the SonicWALL TZ400 does not support high-availability (redundant firewalls) and may now be woefully inadequate for your needs.  If you are a BOUNDARY firewall-as-a-service customer, we’d take the time to understand your particular needs and circumstances and upgrade you to a new firewall, at a new monthly cost.  Of course, if you had bought that original firewall outright, you would have lost that investment.

Firewall-as-a-service may not be for everyone, but I am hard-pressed to think of a situation where it is not a good fit.  The many benefits and value-add that comes with firewall-as-a-service are too many to list in this blog post, so please feel free to check out our web page.  If you have any questions, please go ahead and reach out to us.  Our friendly and knowledgeable engineers, several of which are SonicWALL certified, will be happy to discuss your particular firewall and IT security needs to see if you too can benefit from firewall-as-a-service.