Network firewalls and firewall appliances have been an interesting subject for me the past several years working in various lab and production environments. Several years back, I had a friend that recommended a firewall solution called Untangle. It was free to download and had many great features. Needless to say, I downloaded it and have been a fan of the product ever since. That was circa “version 7” or so. Let’s just say the product has come a long way since those days.
Yesterday, at the time of this writing, news of Untangle NG Firewall 15 released – new features was announced. In this post, we will take a look at some great new features and notables with this release and see how this strengthens Untangle’s security offering.
Evolving Cyber Security Threats
With this release, Untangle is empowering organizations and their IT admins to be even more effective in the fight against cyber security threats. Threats like ransomware and other malicious activity are on the rise across the board.
Often, SMBs do not have the budget to research and understand the threats targeting their businesses. However, Untangle provides a turnkey solution to effectively protect businesses from new and emerging threats.
Straight from Untangle:
“As attacks on SMBs continue to increase, cost-efficient, trustworthy and scalable unified threat management solutions must become readily available for them. The release of NG Firewall 15.0 provides peace of mind to today’s network administrators. While hackers are using newer technologies and are attacking under the radar, Untangle is faster evolving to block their attacks before they even happen.”
Untangle NG Firewall 15 Released New Features
With cyber security threats in mind, this release doubles down on those threats with new features that will help businesses fight the ever-growing threats to their business-critical data.
- New Threat Prevention App – The new threat prevention app analyzes web pages, associated links, applications and files. It even analyzes SSL encrypted web traffic that is commonly used by hackers to hide malicious network communication. The new threat prevention app is an effective gatekeeper for your organization to help prevent many of the holes associated with web traffic that malicious threat actors are using to infiltrate your defenses.
- KidzSearch – In settings such as schools, libraries, and other landscapes that need to be content sensitive, Untangle 15 introduces KidzSearch filter that allows ensuring search terms in Google or Bing return appropriate results. This is accomplished by redirecting known search engine requests through https://www.kidzsearch.com. Support for search engines Kidzsearch and DuckDuckGo have been added including support for search terms and kid friendly search.
- Custom Email Alerts – There is a new Email Template tab that allows email alerts to be customized. The template has a preview that displays the changes you are making in a live view so you can see these real-time.
- Customization of Web Filter Blocked Pages – There is a new advanced option for Custom Block page that allows redirecting to an external site for block page customization.
In case you have not heard about Untangle in general, check out the company overview:
“Untangle is the most trusted name in solutions specifically designed to help small-to-medium businesses and distributed enterprises optimize their networks while safeguarding their data and devices. Untangle’s Network Security Framework provides cloud-managed security and connectivity options that work together seamlessly to ensure protection, monitoring, and control across the entire digital attack surface from headquarters to the network edge. Untangle’s award-winning products are trusted by over 40,000 customers and protect millions of people and their devices. Untangle is committed to bringing open, innovative and interoperable solutions to its customers through its rapidly growing ecosystem of technology, managed services, and distribution partners worldwide. Untangle is headquartered in San Jose, California. www.untangle.com.“
Impressions of Untangle NG Firewall 15
One of strengths of the Untangle solution IMHO is the ease of which it is deployed and can be integrated into your environment. Especially if you are making use of virtualization, you can easily deploy the OVA appliance, configure a few settings for network configuration, and start filtering traffic in less than a few minutes.
After spinning up a new Untangle 15 appliance, I was able to quickly get up and running, signed into my account and have the new Threat Prevention App added to the dashboard in just minutes.
Under the Advanced settings for the Web Filter, you see the new Force searches through kid-friendly search engine as well as the Custom block page.
A look at the new email template tab that allows customizing the email alerts for certain events.
Untangle 15 NG Firewall Released New Features contains great new functionality that allows bolstering cyber security objectives as well as making the platform more customizable for various alerting.
Untangle is super easy to spin up and use, especially in a VM and can be configuring and protecting your environment in minutes.