Select and Implement a Next Generation Firewall

Vendor Evaluation


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Your Challenge

  • Like most security solutions, next generation firewalls (NGFWs) are not a one-size-fits-all choice.
  • Organizations can get caught up in flashy sales pitches and attractive visuals, forgetting that the important consideration for firewalls is how they work in your unique environment. It’s about use cases.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  1. Prepare for moveable workloads. Security can’t be statically assigned. Rather, it must be able to move as your data moves. Choose a vendor that’s evolving and adapting to stay ahead.
  2. Use innovative data displays to build your data flow model. Unique visualizations of data (demonstrating threats, heavy bandwidth usage, which users are using which apps, and being able to click to mitigate right away) help organizations get a sense of where their data is going and what threats to prepare for.
  3. Throughput matters. You need to know how the solution will work with all of its features switched on. Know your traffic and scale appropriately.

Impact and Result

  • Before considering an NGFW, organizations must have a strong understanding of the traffic over their network and the future needs of their organization (cloud, more bandwidth, etc.).
  • NGFWs are able to handle a lot and offer a variety of features, but organizations must determine scalability and specific feature needs to prevent over- or under-engineering their firewall decision and suffering network problems as a result.
  • Fortunately, today’s firewalls come in a range of throughputs and threat protection potential. The real resolution comes from conducting the appropriate requirements gathering for architecture and protection needs – cover your bases and there will be fewer instances of regret.


  • Phil Cummings, NS Health
  • Robert Hawk, xMatters
  • Ben Castaldo, Quadcap
  • Tim Vivian, Digital Boundaries
  • Scott Almgren, Illinois Tool Works
  • Edy Gasparini, Australia Post
  • Steven Ferguson, Technical College Institute of Georgia
  • Brian Honan, BH Consulting
  • Andrew Bagrin, MyDigitalShield

Want to Participate in Our Research?

  • Analyst Interviews: Share your best practices, opinions, tools or templates with your peers.
  • Webinars: Interactive session to keep us focused on topics you want to tackle.
  • Upcoming Workshops: Accelerate your project with an onsite, expert analyst to facilitate a workshop for you. Contact us for more details.

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should implement an NGFW solution, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Launch the NGFW project

    Assess the need for an NGFW solution and structure the selection project.

  2. Select an NGFW solution

    Investigate the vendor landscape, produce a vendor shortlist, draft and evaluate RFPs, and conduct vendor demonstrations to select the right NGFW solution.

  3. Plan the NGFW implementation

    Prepare for the NGFW implementation and measure the value of the solution.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Launch the NGFW project and collect requirements

  • Call #1: Identify organizational fit for the technology.

  • Call #2: Create the project plan.

  • Call #3: Plan requirements gathering steps.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Select an NGFW solution

  • Call #1: Discuss the use-case fit assessment results and the Vendor Landscape.

  • Call #2: Contract review.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Plan the NGFW implementation

  • Call #1: Create an implementation plan.

  • Call #2: Finalize success metrics.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Launch the NGFW Project

The Purpose

  • Understand the NGFW marketspace.
  • Plan the NGFW procurement process.
  • Identify the use-case scenarios that align with your NGFW requirements.
  • Determine baseline metrics to evaluate the solution’s effectiveness. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Awareness of the options that exist and where the market is going with respect to NGFW solutions.
  • A formally documented procurement process that will keep tasks on track as individuals are aware of roles, responsibilities, deadlines, etc.
  • A focus on the use-case scenario that applies to your organization.
  • Assessment of your NGFW solution based on concrete metrics that matter.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Discuss the current NGFW market.
  • Realistic perspective of the NGFW marketspace
1.2 Determine if an NGFW solution is right for you.
1.3 Develop the NGFW procurement charter.
  • Formalized procurement process
1.4 Identify your best-fit use-case scenario.
  • The most appropriate use-case scenario on which to structure your evaluation
1.5 Brainstorm baseline metrics and target goals to gauge the solution’s effectiveness.
  • Set of metrics to track the effectiveness of the solution

Module 2: Select Your NGFW Solution

The Purpose

  • Review the vendor profiles to understand strengths, weaknesses, and challenges.
  • Customize the RFP to submit to vendors.
  • Ensure vendor demos focus on the features you care about, rather than simply highlighting their strengths.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Selection of a solution that meets your requirements and fulfills your specific needs.
  • Time saved during RFP development to produce the statement of work, scope of work, requirements, budget & estimated pricing, etc.
  • Realistic view of the products performing relevant tasks.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Analyze the vendor landscape.
  • Detailed understanding of the vendor landscape
2.2 Create a custom vendor shortlist.
  • Narrowed-down list of suitable solutions
2.3 Develop an RFP.
  • Completed and reviewed RFP document
2.4 Standardize a vendor demo script.
  • Fairly evaluated vendor demos

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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