Firewall as a Service

Firewall as a Service unifies traffic inspection and infiltration prevention for all your organization’s resources with one cloud-based firewall, and it is a crucial part of Perimeter 81’s Network as a Service platform.

What is Firewall as a Service (FWaas)?

Firewalls are a legacy component of any organization’s successful cybersecurity effort, and act as a membrane through which traffic into and out of the network is inspected for authenticity. Unauthorized traffic is flagged and blocked from entry, while firewalls’ proactive monitoring identifies verified entrants and lets their traffic pass intact. Firewalls cover access to both software and hardware, and help enforce the specific security policies that IT administrators implement on the organization.

Accordingly, Firewall as a Service – or FWaaS – is a concept that brings this utility onto the cloud, making it easier to consume than traditional firewalls. Instead of requiring hardware to get the benefits of a firewall, FWaaS extends the full range of firewall capabilities to the cloud, so that IT can eliminate these appliances completely and centralize security inspection to a single accessible panel. What results from FWaaS is an organization with all its local and cloud (SaaS) resources connected to this single cloud-hosted firewall, which is used to enforce global security policies over all users and resources.

All traffic occurring over the network – from the headquarters, branch offices, remote workers, and both local and cloud sources – is routed through the FWaaS platform. This on-demand network security functionality is possible thanks to impressive progress in software and cloud technology, and is quickly changing the day-today of security professionals, who are now able to enforce corporate security policies across the entire organization from a single place.

How Does Firewall as a Service Work?

Firewalls work by enforcing the custom rules that IT administrators set, and by blocking things on the network that they don’t want people to see. When someone on the network tries to access something that is potentially dangerous, or if someone potentially dangerous tries to connect to the network, the firewall blocks this connection and displays the appropriate message. This is similar to a legacy on-premises firewall but instead of being physically installed as an appliance connected to internet routers, it is offered via third party Firewall as a Service service providers and hosted on one panel in the cloud.

To implement rules in the firewall, IT has an administrative panel available via the internet where they can whitelist or blacklist URLs, block IP addresses and entire geographical areas, and otherwise create access rules for those inside and outside the network. Configuring the firewall as a service features is relatively simple, and generally involves changing your router settings and little else. Once the router is connected to the Firewall as a Service provider, internet traffic is routed through the provider instead of your own system.

Benefits of Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)

  1. Protect Remote Workers: In the “work from home” era, FWaaS is exceptional at extending network defenses to remote employees. They connect to the FWaaS through their designated client (usually a Business VPN or even a Network as a Service) and have automatic security when using the internet or accessing company cloud resources like Salesforce or AWS.
  2. Easy Configuration: Cloud-based firewalls are very simple and can be configured in modular ways to do specific jobs. For instance, a FWaaS can be configured to only direct traffic, but it can also filter URLs from within the network and defend against attacks. IT admins are able to choose which firewall functions to consume and which to ignore.
  3. Scalability: FWaaS cloud firewalls scale with organizational growth, both in terms of the expansion of security utility and easy application to new users and potential threats. It’s easy to add a new branch office or user to a FWaaS backend, and easier still to add more capacity or extend protection to additional resources – without hardware acquisition involved.
  4. Simple Infrastructure: With all network traffic (data centers, HQ, branches, remote workers) visible in one cloud platform, Firewall as a Service architecture is simple compared to the old way, which was to combine multiple solutions and endpoints. IT no longer needs to work as hard to synchronize firewall policies across many sources of traffic, and gets better visibility.
  5. Better Visibility: The result of traffic unification across a simpler architecture, a FWaaS gives IT teams a single looking glass into the entire network and the data moving across it. It’s easy to integrate a FWaaS with a complex network featuring multiple sources of traffic and to see how they are responding to the policies that defend it.
  6. Easy to Maintain: Because there’s no hardware involved, IT teams are saved from tough configuration and maintenance that used to take up a lot of time. Because FWaaS is offered as cloud-consumed service, organizations are able to offload these responsibilities to their provider. This saves time and effort otherwise spent more productively.

Why Do Companies Need Firewall as a Service?

It used to be that organizations stored all their apps, and the data generated by users in on-premises servers, which also needed onsite protection in the form of accompanying firewall appliances. The perimeter-based network security approach has no relevance given the transformation of this perimeter, however, as the adoption of the cloud and remote workers drastically increases network complexity. 

IT teams without any visibility into third party clouds makes it important to build a custom cloud-friendly security model, and firewalls are still a vital part of this strategy. They’ve moved to the cloud for IT teams to consume, and these FWaaS products work fluidly with the other cloud- based SaaS solution in use everywhere, but also with local resources. This is the reason why Gartner’s FWaaS report has identified the solution as a crucial part of its hype cycle in tech. 

FWaaS enables IT to aggregate traffic from each source in the network, gain total visibility and apply universal policies that more thoroughly protect a network than any physical firewall could.

Firewall as a Service FAQs

How is FWaaS different from a regular firewall?
FWaaS is essentially the same basic functionality as a regular hardware-based firewall, in that it acts as a barrier between the public internet and the traffic going into and out of your network. However, instead of being required to install a firewall appliance onto your physical server in order to protect those accessing it, a Firewall as a Service brings this capability to the cloud, so that it can be consumed through a simple admin panel rather.
What are firewall rules and how do I make them?
Firewalls allow you to implement rules that filter traffic and URLs that can be accessed through the internet, from network-connected devices. Rules that revolve around whitelisting and blacklisting URLs, for instance, are enabled through the firewall and prevent certain IPs from accessing network resources and vice versa, preventing users on the network from connecting to IPs like web pages that are deemed inappropriate or unproductive.
How secure are firewalls, and can they be hacked?
Firewalls are very secure, and are ideal for protecting against specific threats such as incoming and outgoing traffic from bad actors or hackers, malware, unauthorized outgoing data, and other risks. It’s worth noting that firewalls are merely a first line of defense and should be supplemented with other security tools.
I have multiple firewalls, is this OK?
There’s nothing you can do with two firewalls that you can’t do better with one. A single firewall should be enough for any network, no matter how large or disparate, and if it’s served over the cloud as a FWaaS this is especially true. Consumption from the cloud and easy integration with all network resources (both local and cloud) means only one solution is ever necessary.
What’s the price of a Firewall as a Service?
The cost of a Firewall as a Service is more flexible for businesses, since it’s consumed as a service via subscription pricing, rather than by buying hardware or software licenses. The price per month or year, for instance, depends on the FWaaS provider, but is generally quite affordable.
Is setting up FWaaS difficult?
Not at all! One of the benefits of firewall as a service is that it’s simple to get going. Setting up a FWaaS is a matter of logging into a web panel and inputting the correct details of the resources you wish to protect, creating traffic policies for these resources (they could be SaaS platforms, local server storage etc.) and then managing it all from the same concentrated place.
Is a FWaaS different from security groups?
Yes, security groups operate at the instance itself while FWaaS supports one policy from the edge of the network, and filters traffic before it enters the network.
What are the Firewall as a Service pros and cons?
The pros of FWaaS are its flexibility in both orchestration across network resources and pricing. It can be integrated quickly and without hardware into a network’s cloud and local resources, providing fast visibility where there once was none. A downside of FWaaS, as well as any cloud platform, is that you have less control, and relinquish much of it to your provider.

Defend the Network Flexibly with Perimeter 81 FWaaS

Perimeter 81’s cloud-native FWaaS is a vital part of our Network as a Service platform, and enables superior traffic security for your network.

Additional Encryption

Encryption protocols including IPSec and SSL establish a secure connection between users’ devices and network resources, and combine with FWaaS to deliver multifaceted protection and a reduced attack surface.

Perfect for Remote

Give secure network access to your employees who choose to work from home. They can get work done and browse the web safely from any device and expect the same constant level of protection as if they were at the office.

Cloud Integration

Our FWaaS solution is native to the cloud and is integrated seamlessly with resources that workers use every day: Salesforce, AWS, Microsoft Office, Azure and most SaaS platforms that companies rely on.

Looking for a Firewall as a Service Solution?

Capabilities of Network and Firewall as a Service

One Unified Panel
One cloud-based platform to connect and secure all local and cloud resources on your network. Includes access management, monitoring, security and more.

Global Firewall Network
Segment your network for global users and put their resources close to them. Our edge network is made up of 50+ data centers providing fast and safe network access.

Complement FWaaS Security
Enable 2FA, single sign-on, and automatic Wi-Fi protection across mobile devices using iOS and Android, PC and Mac desktops and the web when connected.

Zero Trust Access
Reduce the attack surface and make your network a moving target, by implementing least-privilege access policies on top of your broader firewall rules.

What Our FWaaS Solution Offers Organizations

Security on All Devices: BYOD policies multiply the number and variety of devices connecting to your network. Ensure only authorized devices connect to your virtual desktops with NaaS endpoint security.

Cloud Agnostic Integration: The ease with which our solution integrates into your virtual office, whether local or cloud-based, enables organizations to protect all their resources in unified fashion.

Superior Quality Assurance for Marketing: Connecting to the network through a diverse global server array allows marketing teams to mask their identity and location, enabling them to determine how successful their current advertising efforts are for various localities and environments.

Safe Remote Access: Automatic Wi-Fi security lets remote workers connect to sensitive resources from the public internet without fear of exposure, while encrypted tunnels shield data sharing from prying eyes.

Precise User Segmentation: Beyond the capabilities of traditional security solutions, the addition of granular policy-based permissioning helps organizations exercise greater control over those entering their virtual infrastructure.

IP Whitelisting: Explicitly define the IP addresses that are allowed to access the network, granting IT teams a stronger grip on security and also the ability to assign static IPs to automatically trusted sources of traffic.

Looking for a Firewall as a Service Solution?

Simplify your network security today.