In today’s digital world, our home and corporate networks are under constant threat. How can a network administrator or a protective parent stay one step ahead of the curve and keep their staff or family safe from the world of viruses, spyware, intrusions and questionable websites that litter the information superhighway?
As a senior technical instructor and the Dell SonicWALL course director at Global Knowledge, I recommend that you check out Dell SonicWALL Unified Threat Management (UTM) devices. They provide network performance and security protection with a very user-friendly management interface.
Driven by the SonicOS operating system, the Dell SonicWALL UTM line of products enable custom network segmentation and zone control. This powerful OS uses proprietary routing logic, as well as flexible Network Address Translation (NAT) configuration. Combine these with state-of-the-art packet scanning to create true network security in a wide variety of environments.
Some of the highlights of the SonicWALL UTM line include:
Troubleshooting and Diagnostic Tools
The SonicOS includes onboard tools for tracing and monitoring vital network activities and statistics. These include a packet capture, ping utility and many more. Using these tools, administrators can quickly identify and troubleshoot network performance and threat events.
The SonicOS supports dynamic routing protocols such as Routing Information Protocol (RIP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). This allows the SonicWALL UTM to integrate effectively into simple or complex routing environments.
Custom routing policies allow granular control over network traffic path. Specified protocols can be forced to use a single interface to reach their destination.
Reassembly Free Deep Packet Inspection (RF-DPI)
The SonicOS scans each packet payload and searches for signature matches in the SonicWALL library of threats. Viruses, spyware and intrusions are monitored and dropped. Encrypted sessions can also be scanned using the DPI-SSL feature, which can act as a man in the middle and decrypt SSL sessions in order to scan them for threats.
Network Monitoring and Optimization
The SonicOS provides real-time traffic visualization that can show what types of applications and protocols are passing though the network and accurately determine the sources of suspicious or non-productive traffic. This next-generation functionality enables powerful control through visualization, categorization and control techniques from logging, blocking or limiting bandwidth associated with unauthorized connections. Traffic from suspicious origins can be blocked from entering the network.
The SonicOS provides customizable reporting of traffic flows for tracking users and network activity. These reports can be archived for a historical record of network performance and utilization patterns. Combined with an external server, these reports can be scheduled or on demand to meet the needs of a dynamic environment.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
The SonicOS provides an Application Layer Gateway (ALG) function to support SIP signaling and media streams. When SIP traffic goes thru a Network Address Translation (NAT) process, the media stream can be misrouted due to the translated addressing. The SonicWALL appliance can look into the SIP body and accommodate for this by adjusting the address within the SIP message.
Dell SonicWALL firewalls can be configured as a pair of devices that work as a single unit to provide network connectivity through a hardware failure. The devices are seen by the network as one gateway, and a failover to the backup appliance can quickly re-establish network functionality.
Dell SonicWALL offers a wide range of UTM models to fit into many different network environments. Along with excellent support resources and vast documentation libraries, SonicWALL administrators are well armed to provide comprehensive network security in an evolving IT landscape.
Dell SonicWALL Secure Remote Access Basic Administrator (SRABA)
Network Security Basic Administration Training (NS-102) introduces the SonicOS and how to deploy these powerful devices into a corporate environment. It also prepares you for the Certified SonicWALL Security Administrator (CSSA) certification exam.
SonicWALL Network Security Advanced Administration takes the next step into deeper technical aspects of the SonicOS feature set and capabilities and prepares you for the Certified SonicWALL Security Professional (CSSP) certification exam.
CSSA and CSSP certifications are both a good gauge of an administrator’s network security acumen, awareness and overall expertise using the SonicOS effectively in production.