Apr 05 2023

Review: Barracuda CloudGen Firewall VF50 Provides Powerful Security Advantages

This software solution can protect up to 50 websites or computing assets.

State governments must maintain complex, hybrid infrastructures to support their missions and the programs they administer on behalf of their citizens. Some states also may interface with or even assist in maintaining similar infrastructures for local governments or quasi-government organizations such as hospitals or schools.

That all makes for a complicated computing environment and an incredibly large footprint for attackers to target. One possible solution would be to install firewalls and other protections at every location or for every group of assets. That can work, managing a dispersed firewall system can become overwhelming.

To protect this large footprint, Barracuda introduced the next-generation CloudGen Firewall. As a virtual appliance, it can be installed almost anywhere, on-premises or in the cloud. And the VF50 model, which I evaluated, can additionally work to protect up to 50 IPs, so it works with multiple sites and assets.

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Multilayered Defense Against Cybersecurity Threats

Installing the VF50 is incredibly easy for anyone with at least some IT experience. It works with most cloud providers and can also be installed on-premises on any workstation or server with at least 2GB of RAM and about 60GB of free hard drive space. Agencies can use a maximum of two CPU cores to drive it, which would provide a good deal of throughput and simultaneous operations before requiring an upgrade to a VF100 or higher-performing virtual firewall.

The VF50 provides all of the typical protection that users have come to expect from a firewall, plus quite a few advanced protections that form a layered defense to ensure that nearly every threat gets caught. The first level of protection consists of a firewall IPS and rule-based blocking, application control, dynamic routing, signature-based protection blocking and web filtering. More advanced protections include static code inspection, SSL interception, behavior analysis and detailed reporting with firewall analytics.

DIVE DEEPER: State and local agencies automate data analysis with Software as a Service.

Sandboxing Threats Eliminated with Ease

At the very high end of its on-board protections, the VF50 will put suspicious files or code into a sandbox that detonates any attachment that is not fully identified by the previous layers. Should a threat get detected in the sandbox, that threat is stopped and the VF50 learns the specific characteristics of the attack so that future threats of the same nature can be blocked. That saves resources and prevents shotgun-type attacks from overloading the firewall or bogging down operations.

In my testing, the VF50 was able to stop all of the polymorphic threats tossed at it from my in-house malware zoo, as well as several which were crafted on the fly with stealth and other obfuscation techniques. The VF50 even was able to stop so-called zero-day attacks using its defense in depth. Only a couple of threats made it all the way to the sandbox, and none got past the firewall completely.

Barracuda CloudGen Firewall VF50

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRODUCT TYPE:  Next-generation virtual firewall
FIREWALL DEFENSES:  Application control, intrusion prevention, web filtering, anti-malware/anti-spam, advanced sandboxing and site-to-site VPN
HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS:  2G RAM, 60G hard drive
COMPATIBLE CLOUD PLATFORMS:  VMware, Citrix XenServer, Oracle VirtualBox, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform
MAX IP ADDRESSES PROTECTED: 50

Image Courtesy of Barracuda
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