Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall Review

A stable solution that has improved a lot

What is our primary use case?

We are a platinum partner of Forcepoint. We work on most of the Forcepoint portfolio, such as web security, event security, and DLP at the endpoint level as well as at the laptop level. 

This solution can be used for different use cases. You can deploy it as an IPS near the data center zone. You can also put it in-line, which is recommended most of the time not only for Forcepoint but also for many other next-generation firewall vendors. Otherwise, you need to deploy it as a normal next-generation firewall and enable some specific IPS policies on the firewall itself. One of our customers needed encryption between remote sites.

We have a professional services team that handles the implementation of these solutions. We install the latest version of this solution. Most of the customers ask for an on-premises deployment. There are some customers who ask for a private cloud deployment.

What is most valuable?

It is a stable solution, and there are no issues so far.

What needs improvement?

Its management center should be easier to use. The management interface of Forcepoint is unique and a little bit different from some of the firewall solutions on which people might have worked before. Sometimes, the customers say that it is not very friendly, and we help them with how to use this management interface. It just takes a little bit of time, and after some time, it gets easy to manage or use. It is quite similar to Palo Alto, Fortinet, and legacy Juniper solutions. 

Their support should be faster. We have received complaints that they are not responding fast, which is not good for the vendor and us.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for almost five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have around 50 users of this solution in our company.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is not bad, but it is also not good at the same time. It should be faster, especially for the RMA. We understand the situation related to the pandemic, but their response wasn't good even prior to that. I believe it is something related to logistics.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is of medium complexity. It is neither straightforward nor complex. If you want to implement a new firewall, you need to connect it to something called SMC or security management center, which is the main thing. It is the brain of the firewall, and without that, you cannot manage the firewalls. There are certain steps that need to be done on the SMC to do the configuration of the firewall. 

What about the implementation team?

We are not a big company. We have two post-sales people who provide professional service. We have two to three pre-sales people as well as technicians.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution in general. We have collected a lot of feedback from customers related to the management, which we will forward to Forcepoint, and then after some time, they will take action on that.

They have improved a lot since they were acquired from McAfee. Earlier, if you wanted to access SMC, you needed remote desktop access to the server or you had to install a small software from the SMC as a client to control the firewall. Customers used to ask us about why they cannot access the firewall management by UI or browser when most of the other firewalls already have such access. We received a lot of such feedback from customers, and when we escalated this to Forcepoint, they took a serious note of it. After some time, they released that option. You can now access the management center through UI, which is a good improvement.

I would rate Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall an eight out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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