Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Review

Good for both small businesses and massive companies but it needs to improve update features

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is protecting companies from hackers. Everyone is vulnerable and it's a challenge to protect everything. 

What needs improvement?

Improvement should focus on fixing vulnerabilities. One of the issues with firewalls is that they don't dynamically update. If you experience an attack it can take a very long time to find a solution. It's the same issue with the Microsoft operating system which has all kinds of vulnerabilities and they put patches on to fix them. Firewalls are similar. 

It would be great to see a sharing of information but this is unlikely to happen. Everything in the industry is proprietary. It's similar to Dell computers, everything is proprietary and Barracuda is the same. They want to protect what they're doing with the firewall and so they don't want you to know how they work. For the user, there are tech people like network managers and security managers who won't share information about their vulnerabilities so you'll never know what's wrong. You know enough to use the product but not enough to enable you to solve the real security issues. 

At some point, they'll probably need to develop frequency hopping to make hacking more difficult. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is always good because the company wants to be able to handle large customers. They can deal with both small businesses and massive companies. The ones I've worked for had thousands of computers. There are people still running Windows XP and Windows 10 and then you've got Mac users and cell phone connections. Scalability is there but it's a lot of work.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is quite poor, similar to Cisco. Technical staff are usually people that they've hired who are generally inexperienced. 

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very complex and the firewalls can sometimes be unpredictable. A lot of this is connected to encryption. Every bit of encryption slows things down but if it's too light there's not enough protection. 

What other advice do I have?

All the firewall companies such as Fortinet tend to go after certain markets. All the highly regulated industries such as banking and security exchanges have to follow a lot of rules. Firewalls can't provide them with all their specific needs. A lot of our time is spent trying to fix their problems. Our problem is that they all run different operating systems so it's difficult for them to do a good job at protection.

In another area, the more variation in equipment creates more issues. If you had a thousand computers, all identical and doing the same job, you wouldn't have as much trouble as you do when there are a thousand computers with 500 variations all doing different things; document control, engineering, facilities management and the most difficult to deal with is material management. 

I would rate this product a five out of 10. 

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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