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Top Firewall Management Tools in 2024: Analysis & Comparison

Written by
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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Researched by
Ezgi Alp, PhD.
Ezgi Alp, PhD.
Ezgi Alp, PhD.
Ezgi is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. She specializes in firewall, firewall management and procurement technologies.

She has held various positions in academia and the finance industry. Ezgi holds a PhD in finance and a bachelor's degree in management. She has a background in publishing scientific articles and presenting at conferences.

Publications:
• Tanyeri A. B., and Alp E. (2022).
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Ensuring robust network security is vital for businesses of all sizes to reduce costs of data breaches, which on a global scale exceed $4 million on average according to network security statistics. Businesses need firewall management tools or network security audit tools to ensure the security and integrity of their sensitive data.

This article examines top 11 firewall management tools based on their key features and user reviews and summarizes the key criteria for selecting the right tool.

Top 11 firewall management tools

Table 1. Key features comparison

Product / Platform NameCompliance
Management
Change
Management
Rule
Management
Performance
Management
Audit
Management
VTM*ZTNA**
Tufin Orchestration Suite
Microsoft Azure Firewall Manager
AWS Firewall Manager
Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center
Palo Alto Network Panorama
Fortinet FortiManager
Sophos Central
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Control Center
Skybox Security Firewall Assurance
Manage Engine Firewall Analyzer
FireMon Security Manager

*Vulnerability and threat management

**Zero trust network access

Table 2. Market presence

SoftwareUser Rating*# of employees**Pricing***
Tufin Orchestration Suite4.3 out of 100 reviews482Not publicly available
Microsoft Azure Firewall Manager4.3 out of 21 reviews224,242
$350 Monthly license fee for 1 Device Pack with 1 Users
AWS Firewall Manager4.3 out of 48 reviews124,662
$551 Monthly license fee for 1 Device Pack with 1 Users is
Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center4.3 out of 24 reviews99,369Not publicly available
Palo Alto Network Panorama4.5 out of 60 reviews14,361Not publicly available
Fortinet FortiManager4.6 out of 211 reviews13,935Not publicly available
Sophos Central4.8 out of 130 reviews4,513$402 Operation fee for 1 Device Pack with 1 Users
Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Control Center4.4 out of 39 reviews2,168
$320 Monthly license fee for 1 Device Pack with 1 Users
Skybox Security Firewall Assurance4.5 out of 3 reviews322Not publicly available
Manage Engine Firewall Analyzer4.5 out of 135 reviews275
$395 Monthly license fee for 1 Device Pack with 2 Users
FireMon Security Manager4.0 out of 97 reviews231Not publicly available

*Based on data from B2B review leading platforms

**Based on data from LinkedIn

***Calculated based on the minimum price provided by the vendor for 730 hours usage and 2,500 GB process storage per month

Disclaimer: ❌ means that the AIMultiple team couldn’t identify public evidence about a specific feature.

Inclusion criteria:

  • The table is compiled using publicly available and verifiable data.
  • All vendors featured in this list employ over 200 individuals.
  • Every tool provides compliance and policy management services in addition to other cyber security solutions.
  • The companies are ranked based on the total of employees except for the sponsored products ranked at the top. Sponsored products can be identified by their links.

Analysis based on customer reviews

This section offers some relevant user reviews gathered from B2B review platforms like G2, TrustRadius, and Capterra. We analyzed the reviews and picked the ones relevant to the companies’ firewall management tools.

1- Tufin

Tufin, as one of the firewall security management software, encompasses critical features such as compliance management, change management, rule management, performance management, audit management, VTM, and ZTNA. These functionalities can be valuable as they ensure adherence to regulatory requirements, facilitate efficient policy changes, optimize network performance, provide comprehensive auditing capabilities, and enhance security posture by enabling secure access and traffic management.

Figure 1. Compliance monitoring with Tufin

Tufin's image on compliance management, one of the features of firewall management tools.

User Reviews

✅Users appreciate Tufin’s holistic view of rulesets, routing tables, and network mapping, which aids in understanding the implications of policy changes, easing deployment, risk management, and audits/compliance.

✅The platform is regarded as enterprise-grade and best-in-class, offering automation for policy analysis and optimization across different firewalls1.

❌Limitations are noted for EC2 Managed firewalls, with suggestions for enhancements in future versions2.

Figure 2. A user review on Tufin Orchestration Suite

This image shows a user review on Tufin, one of the top firewall management tools.

2- Palo Alto Network Panorama

Palo Alto Networks’ secure firewall management center primarily focuses on change and rule management, which is essential for maintaining network security and controlling access. While lacking features like compliance, performance, and audit management, VTM and ZTNA are crucial for regulatory compliance, optimizing network performance, comprehensive auditing, and secure access management, respectively.

User Reviews

✅Reviews state that Palo Alto Network Panorama simplifies firewall management by allowing administrators to manage multiple firewalls from a single interface.

❌Users noted that setting up and configuring Panorama can be challenging and may require additional training and a learning curve3.

Figure 3. A user review on Palo Alto Network Panorama

This image shows a user review on Palo Alto Network, one of the top firewall management tools.

3- Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Control Center

Barracuda’s managed firewall service offers change management and audit management for firewall configurations and auditing but falls short in comprehensive tools like compliance management, performance management, rule management, VTM, and ZTNA, which are vital for regulatory adherence, network optimization, policy enforcement, and secure remote access.

User Reviews

✅Barracuda’s support services, including phone and remote support, are highly rated and considered among the best in the industry, providing reassurance and assistance when needed4.

❌The user interface of Barracuda CloudGen firewall is mentioned as being outdated, which may affect user experience and perception of the product’s modernity despite its functional capabilities.

Figure 4. A user review on Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Control Center

This image shows a user review on Barracuda, one of the top firewall management tools.

4- ManageEngine Firewall Analyzer

ManageEngine’s Firewall Analyzer, one of the firewall management tools, offers essential functionalities such as change management, audit management, compliance management, and rule management, which are crucial for maintaining security standards, tracking modifications, and ensuring regulatory compliance. However, it lacks tools for performance management, VTM, and ZTNA, which are crucial for optimizing network performance, enhancing secure remote access capabilities, and ensuring advanced threat protection.

User Reviews

✅The examining capabilities of ManageEngine Firewall Analyzer, which aid in identifying weaknesses in network security posture and suggesting necessary policy changes, are praised by users.

✅Users appreciate the decent technical support provided by ManageEngine for implementation and troubleshooting.

❌Improvement is suggested in providing more detailed information on monitoring employee internet usage5.

5- Sophos Central

Sophos, one of the firewall management tools, focuses on critical aspects like change management, compliance management, VTM (Virtual Traffic Management), and ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access), which are crucial for maintaining a secure and compliant firewall infrastructure. However, it lacks features for performance management, rule management, and audit management, which are vital for optimizing network efficiency, fine-tuning security rules, and maintaining comprehensive security audits.

User Reviews

✅Users appreciate the manageable licensing options, especially at an enterprise scale, which contributes to cost savings.

❌Sophos Central may face challenges in integrating with third-party tools and can be dependent on internet connectivity, limiting its functionality without online access6.

❌Users have noted inconsistencies and vagueness in alerting mechanisms, along with limited customization options, suggesting areas for refining alert systems and providing more customization flexibility.

Figure 5. A user review on Sophos Central

This image shows a user review on Sophos, one of the top firewall management tools.

6- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Firewall Manager

AWS offers firewall management services focusing on compliance, rule management, audit management, and ZTNA, crucial for ensuring regulatory adherence, maintaining rule-based security policies, conducting audits, and enforcing strict access controls. However, AWS doesn’t directly provide features for change management, performance management, or VTM, which are essential for monitoring and optimizing operational changes, enhancing system performance, and managing network traffic routing efficiently.

User Reviews

✅Users appreciate the ability of AWS Firewall Manager to create custom firewall rules tailored to specific application needs, providing flexibility and control over security measuresefn_note]A User Review on AWS. G2. Accessed: 18/April/2024.[/efn_note].

❌Some users find the cost structure of AWS Firewall Manager to be high compared to other products, suggesting a need for better cost management options7.

❌Users have reported occasional issues with response times and support availability, indicating room for improvement in performance and customer service.

7- Fortinet FortiManager

Fortinet’s FortiManager, one of the firewall management tools, focus on critical aspects like change management, performance management, compliance management, audit management, and ZTNA, prioritizing operational efficiency, security compliance, and network performance optimization, although it may not offer extensive rule management or VTM functionalities.

User Reviews

✅Users appreciate its capability to manage multiple cloud environments effectively, streamlining management processes and ensuring consistent security8.

❌Users report that they need to manage next-generation firewalls individually, adding complexity to contract management9.

Figure 6. A user review on FortiManager

This image shows a user review on FortiNet, one of the top firewall management tools.

8- Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center

Cisco’s managed firewall service offers essential capabilities like change management, compliance management, and rule management, crucial for maintaining security policies and regulatory adherence, but lacks features such as performance management, audit management, VTM, and ZTNA, which are vital for optimizing network performance, conducting thorough audits, and enhancing secure remote access capabilities.

User Reviews

✅Users appreciate the centralized administration capability, making it easier to manage multiple firewall operations from a single interface.

❌Users have expressed the need for improvement in the initial setup and switching from existing firewalls, which can be complex and time-consuming10.

9- Microsoft Azure Firewall Manager

Microsoft Azure Firewall Manager, one of the firewall management tools, focus in compliance and rule management, and VTM, ensuring regulatory adherence, enforcing security policies, and mitigating cyber threats, but lacks features for performance, audit and change management, and ZTNA, crucial for optimizing system performance, conducting thorough security audits, managing operational changes, and enhancing secure remote access capabilities.

User Reviews

✅Reviews appreciate the integration of the service with the platform’s other services and third-party security solutions, ensuring a robust security ecosystem.

❌Some users feel that the dashboard interface could be improved for better usability and functionality.

❌Limited network address translation (NAT) functionality, with only one-way NATing available, is seen as restrictive by some users11.

Figure 7. A user review on Microsoft Azure Firewall Manager

This image shows a user review on Microsoft Azure, one of the top firewall management tools.

10- FireMon Security Manager

FireMon Security Manager, one of the firewall management tools, provides in compliance, rule, audit, and change management, crucial for ensuring regulatory adherence, maintaining security policies, conducting audits, and implementing controlled changes, but lacks features like performance management, VTM, and ZTNA, which are vital for optimizing system performance, advanced traffic routing, and secure remote access, respectively.

User Reviews

✅Some users appreciate personalized query capabilities for compliance and custom reports12.

❌Improved documentation is desired for better understanding and usage.

Figure 8. A user review on FireMon Security Manager

This image shows a user review on FireMon, one of the top firewall management tools.

11- Skybox Security Firewall Assurance

Skybox Security’s firewall security management tool offers compliance, rule, audit, change management, and VTM functionalities, crucial for maintaining security policies, ensuring regulatory adherence, and proper configuration management efficiently, yet it lacks specific features for performance management and ZTNA, which are vital for optimizing network performance and enforcing secure remote access policies.

User Reviews

✅Users appreciate Skybox’s ability to manage compliance for firewalls, ensuring adherence to security policies.

❌Some users report issues with identifying dynamic objects, which may affect accurate detection and management13.

Key criteria for selecting the right tool

Key features

Firewall management provides features for maintaining a secure and efficient network environment. The features below are offered by a subset of vendors. Based on how businesses value these features, they can use them to choose some products over others.

1. Compliance management

This includes ensuring that your firewall rules and firewall configurations align with industry standards and regulatory requirements to protect sensitive data and prevent data breaches.

2. Change management

This feature allows you to track and audit changes to firewall rules and firewall configurations, ensuring that modifications are made securely and in line with industry standards and organizational policies.

Read more: NCCM software.

3. Rule management

It includes the ability to create, modify, and delete rules as needed to enhance security posture and streamline network traffic management.

4. Performance management

This enables monitoring firewall performance metrics, optimizing rule sets for efficiency, and identifying and mitigating performance bottlenecks to ensure optimal network performance.

5. Audit management

Firewall audit includes maintaining audit logs, conducting periodic audits, and generating audit reports for compliance purposes to track and analyze firewall activities.

6. Virtual Traffic Management (VTM) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Firewall management solutions that incorporate VTM and ZTNA capabilities for advanced network traffic management and secure access controls enhance network security, especially in remote locations and cloud environments.

Market presence

1. User ratings and reviews

Insights from existing users can provide valuable information about the software’s reliability, ease of use, customer support, and overall satisfaction.

2. Number of employees

A company’s workforce size is an indicator of its innovation potential, and customer service capabilities. In network security, a company’s size plays a role in providing the necessary support and expertise.

3. Pricing

Pricing is a critical factor in selecting the right firewall management tools as it directly impacts the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI), influencing the affordability and value proposition of the solution for the organization.

What is the difference between firewall management software & firewall management services?

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably. A software solution to manage firewalls that is offered as a SaaS application can be called a firewall management service.
However, firewall management service has another meaning as well. There are managed service providers (MSPs) that manage firewall configurations of their clients. This service is also called firewall management service.

Important security software to combine with firewall management tools

Network security audit tools: Identify threats, vulnerabilities, and malicious activity to help companies mitigate cyber attacks and follow compliance with regulations.

NCCM software: Monitor information about your organization’s network devices by documenting network device configurations.

DSPM vendors: Provide network visibility into where to find sensitive data, who has access to it, and how it has been used across the cloud.

Network security policy management solutions (NSPM): Protect network infrastructure using firewalls and security policies against all threats.

SDP software: Deliver a software-defined perimeter (SDP) across the cloud to determine who gets access to what resources.

Further reading

Find the Right Vendors
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Sources:

AIMultiple.com Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience, Similarweb.
Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics, Business Insider.
Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
Data management barriers to AI success, Deloitte.
Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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