WatchGuard Team

WatchGuard Team has written 28 posts for Smart Security

WatchGuard Triple Threat in Info-Tech NGFW Vendor Landscape Report

In an increasingly complex network threat landscape, delivering security solutions that stop malware in its tracks requires more sophisticated technologies than ever. Traditional firewalls aren’t enough and only stop a portion of signature-based threats. Today’s unknown threats require Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) solutions that provide complete network security and real-time threat visibility.

When Info-Tech Research recently evaluated the top ten NGFW vendors for its 2014 NGFW Vendor Landscape Report, WatchGuard was more than just a “Champion,” they were also the only vendor given the Value and Trend Setter Awards. Info-Tech noted WatchGuard is only the second vendor to place first in all three evaluation categories in any of the 70+ landscape reports they publish annually.

ChampionWatchGuard’s Fireware XTM Series NGFW was the most highly rated among all vendors and was one of only two vendors to receive the highest designation in the report’s Overall Product category. They found the XTM series “provided an affordable price with a solid and scalable product.” Info-Tech was also impressed by the reporting capabilities of the XTM firewall and called WatchGuard Dimension a “differentiator amongst its competitors.”

The combination of WatchGuard’s innovations like WatchGuard Dimension and its promise to always deliver affordable security solutions for organizations of all sizes, continues to separate them from other vendors.

For this Vendor Landscape, Info-Tech chose the ten vendors with broad capabilities across multiple platforms with a strong market or reputational presence among mid- and large-sized enterprises.

Download the Info-Tech report today: www.WatchGuard.com/InfoTech

WatchGuard Technologies a Leader in Three Key Unified Threat Management and Next-Generation Firewall Categories in Frost and Sullivan Report

Companies of all sizes are demanding increased functionality from their network security and management solutions that won’t compromise performance. As the threat landscape shifts from known, signature-based threats to zero-day, advanced malware threats, detecting and eradicating them requires a multi-layered approach to security and real-time threat visibility. Delivering the industry’s best-of-breed security with industry-leading performance requires a commitment to product development and continual assessment of how to improve.

Today, WatchGuard was recognized for its commitment to product development and identified as a leader in three categories of Frost & Sullivan’s 2014 Global Analysis of UTM (Unified Threat Management) and NGFW (Next Generation Firewall) Market research study. In the report, WatchGuard outperformed other vendors in Management and Usability, Flexibility, and Value. WatchGuard was also noted in the areas of Performance and Scalability, and Roadmap.

Chris Rodriguez, senior industry analyst for network security at Frost & Sullivan and report author noted, “WatchGuard is an established competitor in the UTM and NGFW market. Their product strategy focuses on visibility, performance and integration of best-of-breed technologies that are simple to use and provide great value.”

Rodriguez highlights specific product and solution benefits that illustrate how WatchGuard achieved its leadership position. These include:

  • WatchGuard Dimension’s ability to pinpoint security and performance issues streamlines management and usability.
  • The flexibility of WatchGuard’s platform allows integration of only the desired security functionality for increased efficiency and ease of use.
  • The consolidation of leading security technologies from best-of-breed providers onto the Fireware®platform delivers exceptional value to users.
  • Tuning the platform for optimal use of commercial hardware, such as Intel processors, improves packet processing and enables increased performance and scalability of the platform.
  • A roadmap with significant future improvements around Fireware® and other security technologies shows WatchGuard’s continued commitment to product development.

To learn more about how WatchGuard can help move you to the top of the network security food chain, click here.


WatchGuard Secures Leading Convenience Store Chain, Ensures PCI Compliance

Last week, WatchGuard announced that one of Mexico’s leading convenience store chains, Super Kiosko, is securing more than 200 stores across four Pacific states using the company’s UTM solutions.

WatchGuard enables Super Kiosko to leverage the layered defense and best-of-breed services of its UTM solutions to protect its remote retail locations, secure confidential customer and company data, meet PCI compliance standards, and centralize overall security management.

You can read the entire press release here, or check out the mini graphic case study below for more details.


Combating Advanced Malware More Effectively with WatchGuard APT Blocker

In the current information-security landscape, new breeds of malware have emerged that are more advanced and resistant to conventional defenses such as signature-based AntiVirus solutions. Attackers have also evolved over time and are better than ever at evading detection.

But, today the defense against modern malware got much stronger. WatchGuard announced the launch of its new Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) solution, APT Blocker, which provides real-time, advanced-threat visibility for Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Next-Gen Firewall appliances.

Real-time visibility, next-generation sandboxing

APT Blocker identifies and submits suspicious files to a cloud-based, next-generation sandbox powered by partner Lastline, where the actual code is virtually executed and analyzed, using one of the industry’s most sophisticated platforms for detecting APTs and zero-day malware. Why is this important? Because nearly 88 percent of today’s malware can morph to avoid detection by signature-based antivirus solutions.*

APT Blocker also integrates with WatchGuard’s visibility tool, WatchGuard Dimension, providing an instant, single-pane view of advanced threats, along with other top trends, applications and threats covered by WatchGuard security technologies.

The end result with APT Blocker: protection in minutes, not hours.

APT - 5

WatchGuard Dimension with APT Blocker

Today’s advanced threats 

APTs can be difficult to detect because they are unknown threats. Advanced attackers either create custom malware, that has never been seen before, or use different techniques to morph existing malware so that it avoids traditional detection. And, while many companies rely on AntiVirus solutions alone to catch malware, they can often only detect known threats using signature-based solutions. This leaves companies without APT protection almost completely vulnerable.

APT Characteristics

APT Characteristics

Modern malware uses advanced techniques such as encrypted communication channels, kernel-level rootkits, and sophisticated evasion capabilities to get past a network’s defenses.

Persistence is another feature of modern malware. It is stealthy and carefully hides its communications, and it “lives” in a victim’s network for as long as possible, often cleaning up after itself (deleting logs, using strong encryption, and only reporting back to its controller in small, obfuscated bursts of communication).

Many attacks are now blended combinations of different techniques. Groups of highly skilled, motivated attackers represent significant threats because they have very specific targets and goals in mind.

Historically, APT targets were exclusively governments and large enterprises whose critical infrastructures were stymied by the likes of Stuxnet and Duqu. But, today, advanced threats have evolved to target much smaller organizations and corporations to similarly devastating effect.


Examples of an APT 

APT Blocker is now available and comes pre-installed with a free 30-day trial with the launch of version 11.9 of WatchGuard’s Fireware security platform, which includes other best-of-breed services such as: AntiVirus, AntiSpam, Application Control and DLP.

For more information check out our new APT infographic or download the APT whitepaper.


*Malwise—An Effective and Efficient Classification System for Packed and Polymorphic Malware, Deakin University, Victoria, June 2013

How a Leading K-12 School Protects Student Data and Controls Web Access with UTM

Today we announced that a leading K-12 school in the Dominican Republic is using WatchGuard’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions, and WatchGuard Dimension, to secure its network, keep student data safe, control web access, and more.

You can read the entire press release here, access the full-length case study here, or check out the mini case study graphic below.

In addition, if you missed the recent post titled, “5 Ways UTM Security Can Help Schools,” click here to learn more about bandwidth usage, reporting, wireless and more.


WatchGuard Dimension Wins Best New Product & Channel Program Awarded 5-Star Rating by CRN

You may have noticed earlier in the week, WatchGuard Dimension was recognized by the Network Computing Awards as the Best New Product of the Year, and was a runner up for Best Product of the Year. This award was voted on by the readers of Network Computing, and last year there was more than 17,000 votes cast.

Released in late 2013, the cloud-based, zero-install Dimension has take the network security market by storm. By helping customers around the world (including Synerzip, Kiosko, Carol Morgan and Oasis Technologies) turn oceans of network data into real-time security intelligence, WatchGuard is bringing big data visibility to network security, without the associated cost or complexity. (You can read the entire press release here.)


In addition to the Network Computing Awards, and on the heals of Alex Thurber, WatchGuard’s vice president of sales, recently being named one of CRN’s 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, WatchGuard was also awarded a 5-Star Rating in CRN‘s 2014 Partner Program Guide.

The rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partner elements in the channel programs. To determine the 5-Star recipients, CRN’s research team assessed each vendor’s application based on investment in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support and communication.


The guide will be featured on CRN.com and will be highlighted in the April issue of CRN. To read more, click here.

How Does an Agile Software Dev Company Use UTM?

It’s always interesting to hear unique customer stories. Today, we wanted to share how an Agile software development company, called Synerzip, is using WatchGuard’s UTM platforms combined with WatchGuard Dimension, our new cloud-ready visibility tool.

Check out the mini-graphic below to learn more.

If you’d like to read the entire case study, click here.


5 Ways UTM Security Can Help Schools

sc5Schools contain. Educators teach. Students learn.  Simple, right?  Well you’d think so, but as modernization occurs right in front of us, the methods of teaching are evolving. Students face new distractions in the form of always-connected devices, technology in their pockets, and social sharing applications that consume endless hours of time.  But, these same tools that make today’s students the communication generation (thanks parents) are also the tools teachers are increasingly using to help educate.

This new influx of technology into schools has turned what used to be fairly simple networks, into advance networks that need to protect student data, manage access, and deliver performance for in-class technology applications.  Security is a big part of this network ecosystem.  And, as districts roll out new technology, security is moving beyond just protecting, allowing administrators to strategically manage access so students can get the information they need to be successful, while eliminating the distractions.

Gone are the days of the guy with the big key ring watching over the school grounds.  Today, technology is a major component when working to keep kids productive and safe. In the security appliance world, Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms hold the keys to success.  Here are five things to consider when selecting a UTM solution and why they matter:

  1. Bandwidth Problems – Three to four devices per student can have a dramatic impact on bandwidth and create bottlenecks. With each student carrying a notebook, smart phone, and iPad, the UTM firewall is the first point of control for getting access to that bandwidth. If it can’t handle the amount of traffic, you have your first problem – bottlenecks. Increasing the size/bandwidth of your firewall will greatly help with the flow of data, bonus points for a multi-core design appliance working in parallel. Say goodbye to legacy firewalls.
  2. Operating Systems – Windows, Mac, Android, etc., a network security system must be OS agnostic, just like the real-world.
  3. Information Overload – Distractions are everywhere on a school campus, but in the virtual world, the problem is ten-fold. UTM solutions give schools the ability to limit online access with Access Controls, enabling students to access the sites and applications they need to learn (and what educators need to do their job and protect them from legal issues).
  4. Wireless Access – Today’s students expect wireless access at all times. Gone are the days of the telephone wire, the cable box, and RJ45 cable. Updating and improving the wireless infrastructure of a campus goes hand-in-hand with increasing the bandwidth of your firewall.  Having seamless access point integration with your UTM can deliver student location recognition, help identify problem areas, and help you better plan out coverage.
  5. Dynamic Reporting – Real-time visibility is key to understanding what trends and problems might be happening on the network, and useful reporting options help keep teams informed and help shape new policy creation. A UTM solution should help you see, instantly, who your bandwidth hogs are, see where people are “going,” see which access points are the most heavily used and more. Make sure your solution can turn logs of data into security intelligence, so you don’t have to spend hours digging through information.

It’s clear that UTM solutions can help educators to better assist students in their learning career.  Don’t take my word for it, check out the small excerpt below from a recent case study with the Walker School District in Georgia:


Because of the increase in classroom productivity due to WatchGuard’s innovative technology, students are learning more and performing better on exams.

“Since all the kids are staying on the ball with what they’re supposed to be doing in the classroom, our testing scores have gone up. We’ve had some of our highest testing scores this last year that we’ve ever had,” said Bob Swanson, Walker School District Network Administrator.

Test scores reports have been so attractive that Walker Schools has seen an increased number of student registrations from outside the district. Students who previously attended private schools have now switched to Walker Schools after seeing the innovative learning environment that has been created with the help of WatchGuard.

Check out the entire case study at http://www.watchguard.com/tips-resources/casestudies/watchguard-network-security-solution-provides-safe-environment-for-walker-schools.asp

Some additional education case studies include:

Leeds College

Catholic Regional College

Cascade Schools

This post was written by Mark Romano, director of field marketing at WatchGuard Technologies.

Protect Where You Connect: Bringing Enterprise-Level UTM to SOHO Users

The creation and management of a company’s most valuable asset — its intellectual property (IP) — increasingly is done from small office home office (SOHO) environments.

  • Frost & Sullivan reports1 that 70 percent of high-value employees work from home once a week.
  • They also find that 75 percent of corporate IP is housed in email and messaging system.
  • And, recent global WatchGuard research2 shows that 82 percent of companies allow their employees to access the corporate network from a small office home office (SOHO) environment.

But, are these SOHO environments safe? Unfortunately, WatchGuard’s survey also found that nearly 30 percent do not require a gateway security device at all. For those that do, only 23 percent require users to go beyond simple firewall capabilities included in their router to leverage UTM services similar to those used in the corporate headquarters, with features such as Intrusion Prevention, AntiVirus, Data Loss Prevention, Application Control, AntiSpam, and more. (See the complete infographic here.)


Without an integrated, multi-function security appliance (layered defense) at these SOHO locations, employees working remotely are putting the corporate network and business-critical IP at risk.

The good news? Today, WatchGuard announced the WatchGuard Firebox® T10 Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution. Designed to protect enterprise users where they connect – in the small office home office – the appliance allows enterprises to extend powerful network security to the remote workforce.

The Firebox® T10 features WatchGuard’s cloud-based RapidDeploy capability, which enables unattended configuration of  the appliance once it is plugged in and connected to the internet. . WatchGuard UTM solutions feature  best-of-breed AntiSPAM AntiVirus, URL filtering technologies, and blended threat and DDoS attack protection, as well as full security visibility (with WatchGuard Dimension), data loss prevention and central management.

The Firebox® T10 offers the industry’s leading enterprise-level UTM solution with comprehensive services for the home office at only $395 USD (pricing may vary depending on region and regulation) – including one full year of UTM protection.

Want more details? Head over to the WatchGuard Firebox T10 page, click here.


1Frost and Sullivan SOHO study, GFI, Why Organizations need to archive emails

2WatchGuard Global IT Survey 2014

WatchGuard Dimension Adds Microsoft Hyper-V Support and More

Over the last three months, WatchGuard Dimension, our free security visibility tool, has been taking the UTM market by storm. It has helped achieve a record high sales quarter in Q4 2013.  Customers say it’s changing the game in regard to how security information is presented, which allows them to more easily identify problems, see trends and set meaningful security policy.

This visibility issue is something that a recent Frost & Sullivan report talks in-depth about (click here to download it now). Industry Principal, Frank Dickson, writes, “The security industry has been commendable in creating new point solutions to address the evolving threat landscape. However, an unforeseen consequence has developed. As the complexity of the threats being combatted increased, the complexity of the security technologies used to combat the threats also increased.”

Here in lies the value of Dimension.  Taking oceans of security event and log data, visualizing that information in ThreatMaps, TreeMaps, etc., and making it simple for security professionals to get security intelligence!

And, to make Dimension even more powerful, today we announced a new version. You can download it or test-drive it here.  So what’s new?

We’ve extended Dimension’s capabilities with support for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware. This means users have more platform options when deploying the virtual appliance. The latest update also includes faster access and increased scalability with external and shared database support. We’ve also improved visibility with dynamic hostname resolution, and have added native language support for key countries (which will be available toward the end of Q1).

One of our customers, Tony Lara of Oasis Technologies, said it best, “The information is at our finger tips, it’s easy to use and understand, and it changes the game in regard to the type of data we can provide to our customers and how quickly we can do so.” As an MSSP, Oasis runs Dimension on Hyper-V. The company uses the tool’s executive reports and other features to drive additional revenue by offering new security services to its customers.

Want more details, head over to the Dimension page.

Exec Dash Capture 1