Aug 22 2023

Review: Barracuda CloudGen Firewall VF50 Helps Businesses Protect Many Assets at Once

This virtual security appliance secures as many as 50 assets, no matter where they’re located.

Modern business is complex and always on. Enterprises have complicated hybrid environments that include on-premises and cloud assets, legacy equipment, public-facing websites and more. And even small companies can invest in an intricate mix of IT assets that work around-the-clock.

All those assets and complexity allow businesses to serve more customers and make more money, but this also exposes them to additional risk and a larger attack surface for cybercriminals. The assets need protection, but installing security appliances for each one or at every location creates management challenges that all but defeat the purpose.

Barracuda has a better way to protect everything at the same time, regardless of where it’s located or what kind of IT asset it is. The next-generation CloudGen Firewall is a virtual appliance that can be installed almost anywhere, on-premises or in the cloud. The VF50 model, which I evaluated, also can be easily configured to protect up to 50 IPs, so it can work with multiple sites and assets at the same time.

CloudGen Firewall


The Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Is Easy to Deploy

Installing the VF50 is straightforward for anyone who has even a little bit of experience with firewalls. It works with most cloud providers or can be installed on any workstation or server with at least 2 gigabytes of RAM and 60G of free hard drive space. You can use a maximum of two CPU cores to drive it, which provides a good deal of throughput and simultaneous operations before a user would need to upgrade to the VF100 or above.

The VF50 provides all the typical protection that users have come to expect from a quality firewall, plus quite a few advanced protections that form a defense-in-depth strategy to ensure that nearly every threat thrown against it gets caught.

The first level of protection is made up of a firewall IPS and rule-based blocking, application control, dynamic routing, signature-based protection blocking, and web filtering. More advanced protections include static code inspection, SSL interception, behavior analysis and detailed reporting with analytics. It’s clear the VF50 is much more than just a firewall.

READ MORE: Why the concept of the zero-trust security framework is gaining popularity.

The Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Helps Better Protect Your Files

And there is even more protection. At the very top of the onboard protections is a sandbox where the VF50 puts any suspicious files or code that is not fully identified by the previous defenses. Once there, the code is detonated to look for malicious intent.

Any threat detected in the sandbox is not only stopped by the VF50 but is also studied by it so that similar future threats can be blocked without going through the sandboxing process again. That saves resources and prevents shotgun-type attacks from overloading the firewall or bogging down operations.

The VF50 was able to stop all of the polymorphic threats tossed at it from my in-house malware zoo, as well as several that were crafted on the fly with stealth and other obfuscation techniques. Even with never-before-seen threats, so-called zero-day attacks, the VF50 was able to stop them using its defense in depth. Only one threat I crafted made it all the way to the sandbox, and none got past the firewall completely.

All of that makes the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall VF50 a great choice for companies that have expanded to new locations or into the cloud, or that maintain a hodgepodge of different IT assets to keep their businesses always open and moving forward.


PRODUCT TYPE: Next-generation virtual firewall
FIREWALL DEFENSES: Application control, intrusion prevention, web filtering, anti-malware/anti-spam, advanced sandboxing and site-to-site VPN
COMPATIBLE CLOUD PLATFORMS: VMware, Citrix XenServer, Oracle VirtualBox, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform


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