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Eight New Ways the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform Protects Businesses

Two years ago, the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform was a vision — one that boldly represented the future of how our company would better empower, enable and protect our global customers.

And now that it’s a reality, we’re evolving it yet again — in new areas with even more capabilities. Based on invaluable feedback from end-users, internal business owners and partners, the goal of this launch was to focus on these five areas where SonicWall could:

  • Help organizations better protect business cloud applications, like Office 365 and G Suite
  • Deliver more cost-effective network security options for a wider range of enterprises, small and medium businesses, and government agencies
  • Empower administrators with more advanced endpoint protection capabilities
  • Streamline wireless security, management, visibility and planning
  • Simplify wireless security and expansion with a mobile app, mesh networking and zero-touch deployment capabilities

Today, we announced new solutions that better protect networks, cloud applications, endpoints and all respective data. In all, this effort includes eight new products or solution enhancements to the Capture Cloud Platform.

  • Cloud App Security 2.0 — Available for Office 365 and G Suite, Cloud App Security provides advanced threat protection to stop targeted phishing attacks, zero-day threats and email fraud, such as business email compromise (BEC) and account takeovers (ATO). It also helps identify and mitigate malicious PDFs and Microsoft Office files stored in cloud solutions like Office 365, G Suite and Dropbox.
  • SonicWall SOHO 250 & TZ350 Firewalls — This pair of new next-generation firewalls (NGFW) consolidate security, networking and performance for a low total cost of ownership (TCO). They help organizations reduce costs and save time through integrated features, such as secure SD-WAN, auto-provision VPN and Zero-Touch Deployment.
  • SonicWall WiFi Cloud Manager — This scalable, centralized Wi-Fi network management system simplifies wireless access, control and troubleshooting capabilities across networks of any size or location through a ‘single pane of glass.’ SonicWall also is introducing the SonicWiFi mobile app, available on iOS and Android, to help you monitor your network, easily onboard wireless access points and set up wireless mesh networks.
  • SonicWall WiFi Planner — An intuitive, easy-to-use Wi-Fi surveying tool, SonicWall WiFi Planner helps you design and deploy secure wireless networks that enhance the user experience and ensure workforce productivity. Make sound Wi-Fi coverage decisions that account for different types of office spaces, floor plans, building materials, power requirements, signal strength, channel width and radio bands.
  • SonicWall SonicWave 200 Series Wireless Access Points — Enhance wireless user experiences by delivering gigabit performance, range and the reliability of 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless technology in a solution that is secure and extremely affordable. Activate advanced security services, including the Content Filtering Service (CFS) and Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox service, directly from SonicWave access points — even where firewalls aren’t deployed.
  • Capture Client 2.0 — With advanced Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities, the latest version of SonicWall Capture Client lets administrators track threat origins and intended destinations, kill or quarantine as necessary, and roll back endpoints to a last-known good state in case of infection.
  • Email Security 10.0 — Our enhanced secure email solution now provides multi-layered protection, including attachment sandboxing and time-of-click URL protection against advanced threats like targeted phishing attacks, ransomware, business email compromise (BEC) and email fraud.
  • SonicOS 6.5.4 — The latest version of our powerful operating system supports new SonicWall hardware platforms and includes major improvements in authentication, network security and wireless capabilities, such as the ability to increase DPI-SSL connections across all platforms and more comprehensive logging and reporting required by government organizations.

To learn more about each new product or enhancement, review our press release, contact a SonicWall security expert, or stay tuned to the blog this week as our security experts do deep-dives into each major product update.

More business. Less fear. That’s SonicWall’s commitment to you.

Securely Connect Remote Locations, Networks with Cost-Effective Firewalls

Firewalls, travel and sandwiches don’t always go hand in hand, but a recent trip to Arizona paired them perfectly. Whenever I visit the southwest part of the U.S., I see more construction and a little less desert.

On this particular trip, I started to think about the new businesses sprouting up around the valley. Some were the smaller independent variety, but others were clearly part of a larger chain.

When I stop for lunch at a restaurant, I’m conditioned to look around for the wireless access point; I know this is nerdy, but it’s there somewhere. I start thinking about how the particular location secures its network for its employees and customers who want to hop on the Wi-Fi to save their data or enjoy faster speeds.

Companies, like the franchise I visited, that expand their footprint incur costs for the time and expense of getting each new site up and running. In addition to the site and equipment needed to sell their core products (or, in this case, sandwiches), there’s also the networking aspect.

Each site has to be able to securely connect to their internet service provider (ISP) as well as to the corporate headquarters. Having the right firewall is crucial. But so is a solution that enables the parent company to bring up new sites quickly and easily — wherever they’re located.

Firewalls for SMBs, Remote Locations: Introducing SOHO 250 & TZ350

The SonicWall TZ series of Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewalls is a perfect fit for both small and home offices, as well as distributed networks with remote sites. We’ve just expanded our lineup to include two new models: SOHO 250 and TZ350.

Similar to other TZ series firewalls, the new models consolidate all the security and networking capabilities a new site requires. They’re also really fast when it comes to processing packets moving across the network.

With multiple high-speed processors optimized for performance, these firewalls are built to deliver exceptionally fast deep packet inspection (DPI) throughput of both unencrypted and encrypted traffic.

For example, the SOHO 250 delivers a 50 percent increase in threat prevention throughput over the current SOHO, while the TZ350 provides a 25 percent increase over the TZ300, which is a workhouse in its own right.

Both include a wireless controller and optional integrated wireless connectivity. For extended wireless coverage, you can attach one of our SonicWave 4×4 or 2×2 802.11ac Wave 2 access points.

Zero-Touch Deployment for Firewalls

Of course, speed and security don’t get a new franchise up and running, especially if your new site is thousands of miles away from corporate.

You could send someone to each location to install and configure the firewalls locally, but that’s costly and time-consuming. Ideally, you would ship a new firewall to each site, have someone in the store or office plug it in, connect it to the internet and have a pre-defined configuration pushed to the device and it’s up and running.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s what happens with SonicWall Zero-Touch Deployment.

With SonicWall Secure SD-WAN and Zero-Touch Deployment, cloud-based deployment of remote firewalls is as simple as register, connect, power up and manage.

Available in the Capture Security Center, SonicWall’s cloud-based central management console, Zero-Touch Deployment simplifies the deployment and configuration of firewalls at remote sites.

Just register the new SOHO 250 or TZ350 firewalls, ship them to the new site, have someone power it up and connect the device to the internet. It’s now operational and manageable.

The configuration and policies you created can then be pushed to the firewall through Capture Security Center, which also enables cloud-based central management of the firewalls and wireless access points.

SonicOS 6.5.4: New Features & Enhancements

SOHO 250 and TZ350 series firewalls run SonicOS 6.5.4, the latest release of SonicWall’s operating system for our next-generation firewalls. SonicOS 6.5.4 includes over 25 new features and enhancements covering networking, security, wireless, authentication, logging and auditing, and more.

A key feature in SonicOS for organizations with remote and branch sites is Secure SD-WAN. Connecting sites to share business-critical cloud applications can be costly. Instead of relying on more expensive legacy WAN technologies like MPLS, organizations use Secure SD-WAN to connect sites through publicly available lower-cost internet services, such as broadband, cable and 3G/4G. They can then deliver SaaS-based applications to each location securely and reliably at a much lower price.

Whether your site is a small or home office, or it’s a franchise that’s part of a larger organization, SonicWall has a TZ series firewall that fits your needs and your budget.

Choosing a Firewall with PoE Integration

If you’ve ever hung holiday lights on your house, you know what a chore it can be to run the wiring. Unless you have a lot of power outlets scattered around your property, you likely have one long string of lights attached to a power source.

The entire process is time-consuming and often a little frustrating. Although, the end result can be spectacular and festive.

In some ways, setting up network devices for an office, campus or retail location provides a similar experience. Printers, access points, security cameras, IP phones, point of sale (POS) terminals and other devices need power and a connection to a switch or firewall/router.

Typically, this means placing each device near an outlet and running cables through walls and plenum spaces. I did this for my home network with one of my sons. We ran power cords and Ethernet cables through book cases and under the floor. But was there a better way?

What is PoE?

Hanging the holiday lights was a great learning experience for him and we got to use some power tools. However, the ideal solution would have involved fewer cables and cords — something a firewall with power over Ethernet (PoE) can provide.

If you have a mid-size or larger network, there’s a good chance you have a PoE switch to provide power to your PoE-enabled devices. It’s a good solution, although there is a cost to purchase the switch.

If you have a smaller network, with only a few devices that need power and you don’t want to spend the money to buy a PoE switch, a firewall with built-in power over Ethernet is your answer. Fortunately, SonicWall can help.

Using Firewalls with PoE Integration

Designed for small organizations and distributed enterprises with remote and branch offices, the SonicWall TZ600P and TZ300P integrate support for PoE and PoE+ devices. These Unified Threat Management (UTM) firewalls help reduce both the cost and complexity associated with PoE injectors and switches by providing power directly to connected PoE-enabled devices, such as wireless access points, POS terminals, printers, cameras and other IP devices.

Instead of two cables, there’s one. And you don’t need to place the device near an outlet, which helps when you’re designing your office or store layout. Plus, you don’t need to spend your budget on a PoE switch. Both firewalls support the IEEE 802.3af (PoE) and more powerful 802.3at (PoE+) standards, which newer devices require.

SonicWall TZ600P and TZ300P deliver integrated PoE to help remove wire clutter and deployment complexity.

PoE/PoE+ support is just one of the many features included with TZ series firewalls. In addition, the TZ600P and TZ300P consolidate a host of essential security and networking features. For example, small organizations, including retail shops, can utilize high-speed 802.11ac wireless for internal and customer/guest connectivity while segmenting traffic for each group using virtual LANs.

Larger distributed enterprises can take advantage of these same capabilities while connecting locations using site-to-site VPN. There’s also Secure SD-WAN, SonicWall’s implementation of software-defined networking in a wide area network. Secure SD-WAN helps distributed organizations reduce the cost and complexity of building a secure private network using expensive MPLS technology.

Bringing up new sites is simplified using Zero-Touch Deployment, which removes the need for onsite personnel to provision the firewall. If you do have multiple sites to manage, the SonicWall Capture Security Center enables single-pane-of-glass management for SonicWall devices via the cloud.

Of course, the big benefit is security. This year alone, we’ve seen more high-profile network breaches across multiple industries. The TZ600P and TZ300P help stop breaches and other cyberattacks, including ransomware, cryptojacking and more.

SonicWall firewalls were validated for their high security effectiveness and overall value by NSS Labs again in 2018, so you can feel confident your data and your customers’ information are secure from cybercriminals. Learn more about how TZ series firewalls can fit into your small or distributed enterprise network.

What is Secure SD-WAN and How Can It Save Me Money?

No matter your type of organization — large or small, public or private — cutting expenses is always a key initiative. After all, reducing your OpEx looks good on the books and enables the company to invest in other meaningful initiatives.

One cost every organization faces is internet connectivity. Access to the internet is essential for communications, website hosting, sharing files, serving up apps and a host of other activities. But it can be expensive, especially if your organization has multiple offices, branches or stores.

Today’s broadband users, whether employees or customers, define their experience by performance rather than availability. We don’t just expect to have access to apps and videos, we demand that they perform in real time. Any delay is met with complaints and a call for more bandwidth, which increases expenses.

How to Securely Connect, Network Remote Locations

When you have a distributed network with branch or remote locations, they need to be securely connected with each other and the corporate headquarters. This can be done using several techniques. One common method is multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). Using MPLS, organizations can create a private wide-area network (WAN) to securely send data between locations via the shortest path available without going through the public internet.

“Integrated security features with SD-WAN are table stakes for most enterprises adopting the technology.”

Mike Fratto
Analyst
451

MPLS supports multiple connection types, including T1 and frame relay. The problem? These connections have to support an increasing number of connected devices and bandwidth-intensive applications that demand higher speeds, which means they’re expensive. That’s why many distributed organizations are moving to SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area network).

“For SD-WAN to be a viable alternative to private WANs, enterprises need to ensure they have the same level of inspection and enforcement at the branch and remote sites as they have at the data center,” said Mike Fratto, analyst at 451, in SonicWall’s official launch announcement. “Integrated security features with SD-WAN are table stakes for most enterprises adopting the technology.”

Reduce Costs with Secure SD-WAN

To help organizations reduce their costs while still receiving secure and consistent performance for business-critical applications, SonicWall offers Secure SD-WAN. A feature of SonicOS 6.5.3, the operating system for SonicWall TZ and NSa firewalls, Secure SD-WAN technology enables distributed organizations to build, operate and manage secure, high-performance networks using readily-available, low-cost public internet services, such as DSL, cable and 3G/4G.

An alternative to more expensive WAN connection technologies, including MPLS, Secure SD-WAN enables virtually any organization — retailers, banks, manufacturers and others — to connect sites spread over great distances for the purpose of sharing data, applications and services. Features such as intelligent failover and load balancing help ensure consistent performance and availability of critical business and SaaS applications.

And, unlike solutions from pure-play SD-WAN providers, Secure SD-WAN doesn’t require you to purchase additional hardware or licenses.

Secure SD-WAN: Safe, Fast & Reliable

Reducing expenses is always a priority for every organization. What else is? Here are some other key issues Secure SD-WAN helps distributed enterprises solve:

  1. Protect your network from cyber criminals. Both encrypted and unencrypted traffic run through a SonicWall next-generation firewall to be scanned for threats, such as malware and ransomware, ensuring maximum threat detection and prevention. If you have a separate SD-WAN-only solution, you’ll need to make sure you also have a way to protect data from modern cyberattacks, such as encrypted threats and ransomware.
  2. Achieve consistent, optimized application performance. Realize faster, more consistent performance for SaaS and business-critical applications, such as VoIP, video and unified communications, through capabilities such as deterministic application performance, which steers the apps over less-congested links to overcome jitter, latency, packet loss and other unfavorable network conditions.
  3. Enhance agility. Using SonicWall Zero-Touch Deployment, bringing up new sites is greatly simplified. Provisioning hardware remotely removes the need to have onsite IT personnel perform the task. In addition, IT administrators can manage the entire network, including devices at SD-WAN-enabled branch/remote locations, through a single pane of glass using Capture Security Center, SonicWall’s cloud-based management and analytics platform.

Learn more about how SonicWall can help your distributed enterprise reduce costs and complexity while enhancing security by switching from expensive MPLS to Secure SD-WAN.

Security for Multi-Cloud Strategies: How SonicWall Safely Guides Organizations to a Virtualized, Cloud-Connected World

Not every organization adopts new technology with the same gumption and fervor. Some are measured and patient. Others are early and agile. And this dichotomy holds true for embracing cloud initiatives.

That’s why SonicWall’s goal is to make the journey to the cloud secure, fast, efficient and cost-effective for enterprises and SMBs across a wide range of industries and verticals. To usher organizations toward a secure, cloud-powered existence, the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform protects your multi-cloud infrastructures by helping you:

  1. Build, operate and manage secure, high-performance networks using hybrid cloud strategies.
  2. Secure public, private and hybrid clouds with affordable, easy-to-use virtual appliances and solutions.
  3. Use personalized, real-time cyber threat intelligence and risk scoring to identify potential security vulnerabilities.

On paper, that’s logical and pragmatic. In reality, that requires real products, services and solutions. As such, SonicWall is introducing a range of new products and enhancements, which includes:

  • Secure SD-WAN — A new capability of SonicOS 6.5.3 and available on SonicWall next-generation firewalls, SonicWall Secure SD-WAN enables distributed organizations to safely deploy and connect branch and remote sites for sharing data, applications and services.
  • Zero-Touch Deployment — Another feature of SonicOS, SonicWall Zero-Touch Deployment allows organizations to quickly and securely launch new SD-WAN-connected locations without requiring on-site personnel to configure hardware.
  • NSv Firewalls — SonicWall NSv virtually extends next-generation firewall capabilities to cloud deployments, which now include Azure and AWS.* Cloud security capabilities include application control, IPS, TLS/SSL decryption and inspection, advanced threat protection (ATP), VPN and network segmentation.
  • Capture Security Center Risk Meters — The new Risk Meters service empowers organizations with data-driven analysis about evolving cyber threat vectors (e.g., network, web, cloud, applications, endpoints, mobile devices, databases) that expand beyond the traditional corporate perimeter.
  • TZ300P & TZ600P Firewalls — New SonicWall TZ300P and TZ600P unified threat management (UTM) firewalls reduce the costs and complexity associated with PoE injectors and switches by providing power directly to connected PoE-enabled devices (i.e., fewer cables because no dedicated power source required), such as wireless access points, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, printers, cameras and other IP devices.

Evolving the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform

The SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform tightly integrates security, management, analytics and real-time threat intelligence across the company’s full portfolio of network, email, mobile and cloud security products.

The platform provides intelligence, management and analytics to supplement SonicWall’s complete portfolio of cybersecurity hardware, virtual appliances and endpoint clients for an efficient, easy-to-use and connected customer experience.

SonicWall’s mission remains as steadfast as ever: deliver automated, real-time breach detection and protection for enterprises and SMBs. This is the next phase of that unwavering commitment.

Each new product or solution will be featured via in-depth blog coverage this week. To inquire about a specific product, please contact SonicWall or reach out to your dedicated SonicWall SecureFirst partner.

* Availability in the AWS Marketplace pending.

Top Reasons to Update to SonicWall SonicOS 6.2.5 for Better Network Protection

Like many people, I sometimes pass over or delay software updates, but this one was different. The new SonicOS6.2.5 adds so many critical new features and so much functionality that I updated my SonicWall TZ firewall the moment it was available.

The new SonicOS 6.2.5 also gave me a chance to make more sense out of my network. My wife works from home, so our network carries both business and personal traffic. SonicOS 6.2.5 adds support for SonicWall X-Series switches on the SonicWall TZ300, TZ400, TZ500 and TZ600 next-generation firewalls. So by replacing my old switch with a SonicWall X-Series switch, I now have a secure network that will allow me to expand as I add more technology. Plus, I am confident that both our home and business data is now protected with the same security engine that is used by governments, colleges, hospitals and banks.

Here are a few reasons this update makes sense for any small business:

  1. The TZ firewall does not slow my network down.
  2. I manage everything from the TZ firewall, including the switch and my SonicWall SonicPoint access points
  3. Protection, protection, protection. At the National Retail Federation show in January, I (accurately) predicted 2016 to be the year where businesses will be hit with ransomware attacks. One of the strengths of  SonicWall is how fast it protects me from all new malware (in this case, ransomware). I continue to make backups, but I feel confident that I will not get breached by this particularly insidious type of malware.

And here what is so exciting about this new release for the distributed enterprise:

  1. With GMS, you can centrally manage the entire network infrastructure of a single site (and all distributed remote sites) including firewalls, switches, wireless access points and WAN acceleration devices. Being able to see what is happening on your network and pushing consistent policies to all sites is a compelling reason to upgrade.
  2. Multiple enhancements for more efficient inspection of encrypted traffic (TLS/SSL) with easier troubleshooting, better scalability and enhanced ease of use. Encrypted traffic is on the rise (50% surge according to 2016 SonicWall Security Annual Threat Report). It’s time to up your game and avoid a costly compromise or denial of service.
  3. With SonicOS 6.2.5,  SonicWall firewalls have achieved the prestigious Department of Defense (DoD) certification based on stringent security requirements. If a product with a firmware version is qualified for use by DoD, then it’s a safe (pun-intended) reason to upgrade your products to 6.2.5 now.

There are also additional improvements that anticipate the dynamic malware business. In our recently published Threat Report, we noted a substantial rise in encrypted communication. This is great for your privacy, but it also gives criminals a very easy method to penetrate networks. Most firewalls either do not inspect encrypted sessions or have this feature turned off a big mistake! An easy way to bypass your network’s security is by sending encrypted malware. Encrypted malware is a reality, so be better prepared with this new OS release. With this new release, the improved user interface makes it easier to set up and manage, especially when it comes to excluding inspection on traffic (such as Google searches).

Building a secure network is something that everyone should insist on. With the new SonicOS features I am a little bit closer. The addition of X-Series switch support to the TZ line (and it is only the TZ300, TZ400, TZ500 and TZ600 products at this time), my network is easier to manage, less complex and more secure.

My friend, Sathya Thammanur, product manager for SonicWall TZs, talked in more detail about the new features of SonicOS 6.2.5 in his recent launch blog. If you are looking for more information his comments are a great place to start or you can download our whitepaper: The Distributed Enterprise and the SonicWall TZ – Building a Coordinated Security Perimeter. If you are ready to upgrade your network, give us a call to explain how security does not have to cost you a lot of money or give you a big headache. As the security officer of your small business, your home or your distributed enterprise, SonicWall has a solution to make your life easier.