10 Best Firewalls for Small & Medium Business Networks in 2023


Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly becoming targets for cyber attacks. According to Verizon, about 61 percent of SMBs reported at least one cyber attack in 2021. Worse, Joe Galvin, chief research officer at Vistage, reported that about 60 percent of small businesses fold within six months of a cyber attack.

To protect your network from potential threats, you need a reliable and effective firewall solution. This tool will act as the first line of defense against unauthorized access and can help prevent malicious attacks from infiltrating a business’s network.

We reviewed the top SMB firewall solutions to help you determine the best one for your business.

Top SMB firewall software comparison

 Best forIPSContent filteringStarting price
Perimeter 81Best overallYesYes$8 per user per month, billed annually
pfSenseOpen sourceYesYes$0.01 per hour 
Comodo Free FirewallWindows PCsYesYesFree
ManageEngine Firewall AnalyzerLog, policy, and firewall configuration managementYesYes$395 per device
Fortinet FortiGateHybrid workforcesYesYesApprox. $335
SonicWall TZ400 Security FirewallAdvanced threat protectionYesYesApprox. $1,000–$1,500
Cisco Meraki MX68Small branches with up to 50 usersYesYesApprox $640
Sophos XGS SeriesRemote workersYesYesApprox. $520
Protectli Vault – 4 PortBuilding your own OPNsense or pfSense router and firewallYesYes$269 for FW4B – 4x 1G Port Intel J3160
OPNSenseFlexibilityYesYesFree, or $170.46/yr for business ed.

Jump to:

Perimeter81 icon

Perimeter 81

Best overall

Founded in 2018, Perimeter 81 is a cloud and network security company that provides organizations with a secure and unified platform for accessing and managing their applications and data.

It provides many security solutions, including firewall as a service (FWaaS), secure web gateway (SWG), zero trust network access (ZTNA), malware protection, software-defined perimeter, VPN-alternative and secure access service edge (SASE) capabilities, to ensure that data is secure and accessible to authorized personnel. It also provides centralized management and user access monitoring, enabling organizations to monitor and control user activity across the network.

Perimeter 81 provides granular access control policies that enable organizations to define and enforce access rules for their network resources based on the user’s identity, device type, and other contextual factors—making it easy for employees to access the company’s resources without compromising security.


Pricing plansMinimum usersCost per month, plus gateway costCost per year, plus gateway costCloud firewallAgentless application accessDevice posture check
Essential10$10 per user, plus $50 per month per gateway$8 per user, plus $40 per month per gatewayNo2 applicationsNo
Premium10$12 per user, plus $50 per month per gateway$15 per user, plus $40 per month per gateway10 policies10 applications3 profiles
Premium Plus20$16 per user, plus $50 per month per gateway$20 per user, plus $40 per month per gateway100 policies100 applications20 profiles
Enterprise50Custom quotesCustom quotesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited


  • Identity-based access for devices and users.
  • Network segmentation.
  • OS and application-level security and mutual TLS encryption.
  • Enable traffic encryption enforcement, 2FA, Single Sign-On, DNS filtering, and authentication.


  • Provides visibility into the company network.
  • Allows employee access from on-premise.
  • Automatic Wi-Fi security.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Low and mid-tiered plans lack phone support.
  • Limited support for Essential, Premium, and Premium Plus.
pfSense icon


Best open-source-driven firewall

pfSense is an open-source firewall/router network security solution based on FreeBSD. Featuring firewall, router, VPN, and DHCP servers, pfSense is a highly customizable tool that can be used in various network environments, from small home networks to large enterprise networks.

The tool supports multiple WAN connections, failover and load balancing, and traffic shaping, which can help optimize network performance. pfSense can be used on computers, network appliances, and embedded systems to provide a wide range of networking services.


pfSense pricing varies based on your chosen medium—cloud, software, or hardware appliances.

For pfSense cloud:

  • pfSense on AWS: Pricing starts from $0.01 per hour to $0.40 per hour.
  • pfSense on Azure: Pricing starts from $0.08 per hour to $0.24 per hour.

For pfSense software:

  • pfSense CE: Open source version available to download for free.
  • pfSense+ Home or Lab: Available at no cost for evaluation purposes only.
  • pfSense+ W/TAC LITE: Currently available at no charge, but vendor may increase rate to $129 per year in the future. 
  • pfSense+ W/TAC PRO: $399 per year.
  • pfSense+ W/TAC ENT: $799 per year.

For pfSense appliances:

pfSense+ appliancesDevice costBest forFirewall speed (IPERF3 TRAFFIC)Firewall speed
Netgate 1100$189Home607 Mbps(10k ACLs)191 Mbps(10k ACLs)
Netgate 2100$349Home
Home Pro
Branch/Small Business
964 Mbps(10k ACLs)249 Mbps(10k ACLs)
Netgate 4100$599Home Pro
Branch/Small Business
Medium Business
4.09 Gbps(10k ACLs)1.40 Gbps(10k ACLs)
Netgate 6100$799Home Pro
Branch/Small Business
Medium Business
9.93 Gbps(10k ACLs)2.73 Gbps(10k ACLs)
Netgate 8200$1,395Branch/Small Business
Medium Business
Large Business
18.55 Gbps5.1 Gbps
Netgate 1537$2,199Medium Business
Large Business
Data Center
18.62 Gbps(10k ACLs)10.24 Gbps(10k ACLs)
Netgate 1541$2,899Medium Business
Large Business
Data Center
18.64 Gbps(10k ACLs)12.30 Gbps(10k ACLs)


  • Stateful packet inspection (SPI).
  • IP/DNS-based filtering.
  • Captive portal guest network.
  • Time-based rules.
  • NAT mapping (inbound/outbound).


  • Anti-spoofing capability.
  • Connection limits option.
  • Community support.


  • The tool’s open-source version support is limited to community or forum. It lacks remote login support, private login support, a private support portal, email, telephone, and tickets.
  • Complex initial setup for inexperienced users.
Comodo icon

Comodo Free Firewall

Best for Windows PCs

Comodo Firewall is a free firewall software designed to protect computers from unauthorized access and malicious software by monitoring all incoming and outgoing network traffic. 

The firewall features packet filtering, intrusion detection and prevention, and application control. It also includes a “sandbox” feature that allows users to run potentially risky applications in a protected environment without risking damage to the underlying system. 

The software works seamlessly with other Comodo products, such as Comodo Antivirus and Comodo Internet Security.


Comodo is free to download and use. The vendor recommends adding its paid antivirus product (Comodo Internet Security Pro) to its firewall for added security. The antivirus costs $29.99 per year for one PC or $39.99 per year for three PCs. 


  • Auto sandbox technology.
  • Cloud-based behavior analysis. 
  • Cloud-based allowlisting. 
  • Supports all Windows OS versions since Windows XP (Note: Windows 11 support forthcoming).
  • Website filtering.
  • Virtual desktop.


  • Monitors in/out connections.
  • Learn user behavior to deliver personalized protection.
  • Real-time malware protection.


  • Lacks modern user interface.
  • Pop-up notifications—some users may find the frequent alerts generated by the software annoying and intrusive.
ManageEngine icon

ManageEngine Firewall Analyzer

Best for log, policy, and firewall configuration management

ManageEngine Firewall Analyzer is a web-based log analytics and configuration management software for firewall devices. 

It provides real-time visibility into network activity and helps organizations identify network threats, malicious traffic, and policy violations. It supports various firewalls, including Cisco ASA, Palo Alto, Juniper SRX, Check Point, SonicWall, and Fortinet. 

Firewall Analyzer helps monitor network security, analyze the security posture of the network, and ensure compliance with security policies. It also provides reports, dashboards, and automated alerting to ensure the network remains secure.


The amount you will pay for this tool depends on the edition you choose and the number of devices in your organization. 

You can download the enterprise edition’s 30-day free trial to test-run it and learn more about its capabilities. It’s available in two versions: Windows OS or Linux. You can also download it for mobile devices, including iPhone devices and Android phones or tablets.

  • Standard Edition: Starts at $395 per device, up to 60 devices.
  • Professional Edition: Starts at $595 per device, up to 60 devices.
  • Enterprise Edition: Starts at $8,395 for 20 devices, up to 1,200 devices.


  • Firewall rules report and firewall device audit report.
  • Regulatory compliance with standards such as ISO, PCI-DSS, NERC-CIP, SANS, and NIST.
  • Network behavioral anomaly alert.
  • Security reports for viruses, attacks, spam, denied hosts, and event summaries.
  • Historical configuration change tracking.
  • Bandwidth report for live bandwidth, traffic analyzer, URL monitor, and employee internet usage.
  • Compatible with over 70 firewall versions.


  • Excellent technical support.
  • Users praise its reporting capability.
  • In-depth auditing with aggregated database entries capability.
  • VPN and security events analysis.


  • Complex initial setup.
  • Users reported that the tool is occasionally slow.
Fortinet icon

Fortinet FortiGate

Best for hybrid workforces

Fortinet FortiGate is a network security platform that offers a broad range of security and networking services for enterprises of all sizes. It provides advanced threat protection, secure connectivity, and secure access control. It also provides advanced firewall protection, application control, and web filtering. 

Business owners can use Fortinet’s super-handy small business product selector to determine the best tool for their use cases. 

Small and mid-sized businesses may find the following FortiGate’s model suitable for their needs:

 IPSNGFWThreat ProtectionInterfacesSeries
FortiGate 80F1.4 Gbps1 Gbps900 MbpsMultiple GE RJ45 | Variants with PoE, DSL,3G4G, WiFi and/or storageFG-80F, FG-80F-PO, FG-80F-Bypass, FG-81F, FG-81F-PO, FG-80F-DSL, FWF-81F-2R-POE, FWF-81, F-2R-3G4G-POE, FWF-80F/81F-2R, and FWF-80F/81F-2R-3G4G-DSL
FortiGate 70F 1.4 Gbps1 Gbps800 MbpsMultiple GE RJ45 | Variants with internalstorageFG-70F and FG-71F
FortiGate 60F 1.4 Gbps1 Gbps700 MbpsMultiple GE RJ45 | Variants with internalstorage | WiFi variantsFG-60F, FG-61F, FWF-60F, and FWF-61F
FortiGate 40F 1 Gbps800 Mbps 600 MbpsMultiple GE RJ45 | WiFi variantsFG-40F, FG-40F-3G4G, FWF-40F, FWF-40F-3G4G

Fortinet FortiGate is compatible with several operating systems and can easily be integrated into existing networks. 


Unfortunately, Fortinet doesn’t publish their prices. Reseller prices start around $335 for the FortiGate 40F with no support. Contact Fortinet’s sales team for quotes.


  • Offers AI-powered security services, including web, content, and device security, plus advanced tools for SOC/NOC.
  • Continuous risk assessment. 
  • Threat protection capability.


  • Top-rated firewall by NSS Labs.
  • Intrusion prevention.


  • According to user reviews, the CLI is somewhat complex.
  • Complex initial setup.
SonicWall icon

SonicWall TZ400 Security Firewall

Best for advanced threat protection

The SonicWall TZ400 is a mid-range, enterprise-grade security firewall designed to protect small to midsize businesses. It supports up to 150,000 maximum connections, 6,000 new connections per second, and 7×1-Gbe. 

The TZ400 features 1.3 Gbps firewall inspection throughput, 1.2 Gbps application inspection throughput, 900 Mbps IPS throughput, 900 Mbps VPN throughput, and 600 Mbps threat prevention throughput. 


This product’s pricing is not available on the Sonicwall website. However, resellers such as CDW, Staples, and Office Depot typically sell it in the $1,000–$1,500 range. You can request a quote for your particular use case directly from Sonicwall.


  • Deep memory inspection.
  • Single-pane-of-glass management and reporting.
  • SSL/TLS decryption and inspection.
  • SD-WAN and zero-touch deployment capabilities.


  • Optional PoE and Wi-Fi options.
  • DDoS attack protection (UDP/ICMP/SYN flood).
  • Fast performance with gigabit and multi-gigabit Ethernet interfaces.
  • Protects against intrusion, malware, and ransomware.
  • High-performance IPS, VPN, and threat prevention throughput.
  • Efficient ​​firewall inspection and application inspection throughput.


  • Support can be improved.
  • It can be difficult to configure for inexperienced users.
Cisco icon

Cisco Meraki MX68

Best for small branches with up to 50 users

The Cisco Meraki MX68 is a security appliance designed for SMBs. It’s part of the Cisco Meraki MX series of cloud-managed security appliances that provide network security, content filtering, intrusion prevention, and application visibility and control.

The MX68 is equipped with advanced security features such as a stateful firewall, VPN, and intrusion prevention system (IPS) to protect your network from cyber attacks. The MX68 has a variety of ports and interfaces, including LAN and WAN ports and a USB port for 3G/4G failover. It also supports multiple WAN uplinks, providing redundancy and failover options to ensure your network remains online and available.


The Cisco Meraki MX68 pricing isn’t listed on the company’s website, but resellers typically list it starting around $640. You can request a demo, free trial, or quotes by contacting the Cisco sales team.


  • Centralized management via web-based dashboard or API.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS).
  • Next-generation layer 7 firewalls and content filtering.
  • SSL decryption/inspection, data loss prevention (DLP), and cloud access security broker (CASB).
  • Instant wired failover with added 3G/4G failover via a USB modem.


  • Remote browser isolation, granular app control, and SaaS tenant restrictions.
  • Support for native IPsec or Cisco AnyConnect remote client VPN.
  • Provides unified management for security, SD-WAN, Wi-Fi, switching, mobile device management (MDM), and internet of things (IoT)


  • The license cost is somewhat high.
  • Support can be improved.
Sophos icon

Sophos XGS Series

Best for remote workers

Sophos XGS Series Desktop is a range of network security appliances designed to provide comprehensive protection for SMBs. These appliances combine several security technologies, including firewall, intrusion prevention, VPN, web filtering, email filtering, and application control, to provide a robust and integrated security solution.

Here’s a comparison table of the Sophos XGS series firewalls:

 FirewallTLS inspectionIPSIPSEC VPNNGFWFirewall IMIXThreat protectionLatency (64 byte UDP)
XGS Desktop Models3,850 Mbps375 Mbps1,200 Mbps3,000 Mbps700 Mbps3,000 Mbps280 Mbps6 µs
XGS 107 / 107w7,000 Mbps420 Mbps1,500 Mbps4,000 Mbps1,050 Mbps3,750 Mbps370 Mbps6 µs
XGS 116 / 116w7,700 Mbps650 Mbps2,500 Mbps4,800 Mbps2,000 Mbps4,500 Mbps720 Mbps8 µs
126/126w10,500 Mbps800 Mbps3,250 Mbps5,500 Mbps2,500 Mbps5,250 Mbps900 Mbps8 µs
136/136w11,500 Mbps950 Mbps4,000 Mbps6,350 Mbps3,000 Mbps6,500 Mbps1,000 Mbps8 µs

The Sophos XGS Series Desktop appliances are available in several models with varying performance capabilities, ranging from entry-level models suitable for small offices to high-performance models suitable for large enterprises. They are designed to be easy to deploy and manage, with a user-friendly web interface and centralized management capabilities.


Sophos doesn’t advertise the pricing for their XGS Series Desktop appliances online, but they typically retail starting at about $520 from resellers. 

Potential customers are encouraged to request a free trial and pricing information by filling out a form on the “Get Pricing” page of their website.


  • Centralized management and reporting.
  • Wireless, SD-WAN, application aware routing, and traffic shaping capability.
  • SD-WAN orchestration.
  • Advanced web and zero-day threat protection.


  • Zero-touch deployment.
  • Lateral movement protection.
  • Users find the tool scalable.


  • Performance limitations.
  • Support can be improved.
Protectli icon

Protectli Vault – 4 Port

Best for building your own OPNsense or pfSense router and firewall

The Protectli Vault is a small form-factor network appliance designed to act as a firewall, router, or other network gateway. The 4-Port version has four gigabit Intel Ethernet NIC ports, making it ideal for SMB or home networks.

The device is powered by a low-power Intel processor and can run a variety of open-source firewall and router operating systems, such as pfSense, OPNsense, or Untangle. It comes with 8GB DDR3 RAM and up to 32GB DDR4 RAM. 

The Protectli Vault is designed to be fanless, silent, and compact, making it ideal for use in the home or office environments where noise and space may be an issue. It’s also designed to be energy-efficient, consuming only a few watts of power, which can save businesses considerable amounts of money on energy costs over time.


The amount you will pay for this tool depends on the model you select and your desired configuration. The rates below are starting prices; your actual rate may vary based on your configuration. Note that all these items ship free to U.S. addresses.

  • VP2410 – 4x 1G Port Intel J4125: Starts at $329.
  • VP2420 – 4x 2.5G Port Intel J6412: Starts at $379.
  • FW4B – 4x 1G Port Intel J3160: Starts at $269.
  • FW4C – 4x 2.5G Port Intel J3710: Starts at $289.


  • Solid-state and fanless tool.
  • Provides 2.5 GB ports unit.
  • AES-NI, VPN, and coreboot options.


  • A 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Transparent pricing.
  • Coreboot support.
  • CPU supports AES-NI.


  • Steep learning curve.
OPNSense icon


Best for flexibility 

OPNsense is a free and open-source firewall and routing platform based on the FreeBSD OS. It was forked from the popular pfSense and m0n0wall project in 2014 and was officially released in January 2015.

OPNsense provides a modular design that allows users to easily add or remove functionality based on their needs. 

OPNsense is popular among IT professionals and network administrators who need a flexible and customizable firewall and routing platform that they can tailor to their specific needs. It’s also a good choice for small businesses and home users who want to improve their networks’ security without spending a lot of money on commercial solutions.


OPNSense is a free, open source tool. It is available in two editions: Community edition and business edition. You can download the community version at no cost. For the business version, a one-year subscription costs $170.46 per year.


  • High availability and hardware failover.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention.
  • Captive portal.
  • VPN (site-to-site and road warrior, IPsec, OpenVPN, and legacy PPTP support).
  • Built-in reporting and monitoring tools, including RRD Graphs.


  • Free, open source.
  • Traffic shaper.
  • Support for plugins.
  • Multi-language support, including English, Czech, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


  • Reporting capability can be improved.
  • The interface can be improved.

Key features of SMB firewalls

Firewalls designed for SMBs share many of the same characteristics as their enterprise-grade cousins—such as firewall rule and policy configuration, content filtering, reporting and analytics—while placing additional emphasis on affordability and ease of use.

Firewall rules and policies

Administrators should be able to set up firewall rules and policies that control traffic flow and block or permit traffic based on various criteria, such as source/destination IP addresses, ports, and protocols. 

These rules and policies can be used to control the types of applications, services, and data that are allowed to traverse the network, as well as create restrictions on access. 

Firewall rules and policies are essential to the security of a network, as they provide the first line of defense against malicious attacks.

Content filtering

Content filtering is the process of blocking or restricting certain types of content from entering or leaving a network. It can be used to block websites, applications, or data that may contain malicious or unwanted content, such as malware, viruses, or pornographic material. 

Content filtering is typically implemented using a combination of hardware and software solutions. Hardware solutions, such as routers and switches, can be configured to block certain types of traffic or data or to restrict access to certain websites or applications. Software solutions, such as firewall rules and policies, can also be used to block or restrict certain types of content.

Reporting and analytics 

Reporting and analytics are essential for any business network, as they provide important insights into the health and security of the network. Firewall reporting and analytics features allow network administrators to identify trends, detect potential threats, and analyze the performance of the network over time.

Reporting and analytics can also be used to identify any areas of the network that may be vulnerable to attack, as well as identify any areas where the network may not be performing optimally.


For SMBs, affordability is a key factor when it comes to purchasing a firewall. SMB firewalls are typically more affordable than enterprise firewalls and can be purchased for as little as a few hundred dollars, so it is important to consider your budget when selecting a firewall.

Some SMB firewalls offer additional features for a fee, so consider what features are necessary for your network and the ones you can do without, as this will help you decide on the most cost-effective firewall solution. At the same time, be careful not to cut corners—your business’s data is too important to be insufficiently protected.

Ease of use and support

For SMBs, finding a firewall solution that is easy to use and has good support is essential. Firewalls should be easy to configure and manage so the network administrator can quickly and easily make changes as needed.

Additionally, good support should be available for any issues or questions that arise. This support should include an online knowledge base and access to technical support staff that can assist with any questions or problems, ideally 24/7.

How to choose the best SMB firewall software for your business

When shopping for the best SMB firewall software for your business, look for software that offers the features you need, easy installation and management, scalability to grow with your business, minimal impact on network performance, and an affordable price.

It’s also important to choose a vendor with a good reputation in the industry, backed up by positive reviews and customer feedback.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is an SMB firewall?

An SMB firewall is a type of network security device that is designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s used to protect networks from unauthorized access, malicious attacks, and other security threats.

What features should I look for in an SMB firewall?

Above all you need a solution with a strong security profile. Look for specific security measures such as:

  • Intrusion prevention
  • Content filtering
  • Malware protection
  • Application control
  • Traffic shaper 

Other factors to consider include ease of management, scalability, and cost.

Do small businesses need a firewall?

Yes, small businesses need a firewall. It provides an essential layer of network security that helps protect against unauthorized access, malware, and other security threats. Without a firewall, small businesses are vulnerable to attacks that could compromise sensitive data, cause network downtime, and damage their reputation.

How much does a firewall cost for SMBs?

The cost of an SMB firewall can vary widely depending on the features, capabilities, and brand of the firewall. Generally, SMB firewalls can range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

How many firewalls do you need for a small business?

The number of firewalls needed for a small business will depend on the size and complexity of the network. In many cases, a single firewall may be sufficient to protect the entire network. However, in larger networks, it may be necessary to deploy multiple firewalls to provide adequate protection.

Factors such as network segmentation, geographic location, and compliance requirements may also influence the number of firewalls needed. It’s best to consult with a network security expert to determine the appropriate number of firewalls for your small business.


We analyzed dozens of SMB firewall software and narrowed down our list to the top ten. We gathered primary data—including pricing details, features, support, and more—from each tool provider’s website, as well as third-party reviews. We selected each software based on five key data points: security, ease of use, affordability, quality of service, and user satisfaction.

Bottom line: Choosing an SMB firewall

The solutions we evaluated are some of the best SMB firewalls currently available on the market. They are designed to provide SMBs with advanced security features, easy management, and scalability at affordable rates.

If your business is growing fast and you need an enterprise-grade network firewall solution, we also reviewed the best firewall software for enterprise networks.

Read our complete guide to designing and configuring a firewall policy for your organization, complete with a free, downloadable template.

Source :

7 Best Firewall Software Solutions: 2023 Firewall Comparison


In the fast-paced realm of cyberspace where threats continue to multiply, firewall software represents a critical line of defense for businesses of all sizes.

Such programs function as digital gatekeepers, regulating the flow of inbound and outbound network traffic according to a set of rules defined by the user.

With the continued rise of data breaches, investing in the best firewall software isn’t a mere consideration; it’s a necessity.

That’s why we researched, analyzed, and selected the best firewall software solutions for 2023:

Best firewall software comparison

Before delving into each firewall software’s in-depth review, let’s take a quick overview of what each product offers via a comparison chart:

Comprehensive security suiteScalabilityUser-friendly interfaceRobust featuresCloud-based managementOpen-sourceStarting price
Norton$49.99 for 5 devices for the first year
FortiGate$250/year for home office
GlassWireFree, or $2.99/month/license
Cisco Secure Firewall Management CenterContact Cisco
Sophos FirewallContact Sophos
ZoneAlarmFree, or $22.95/year for 1 PC

Jump to:

Norton icon


Best for a comprehensive security suite

Norton is a household name in cybersecurity that has long been delivering top-tier firewall software that signifies its wealth of experience in the sector.

The standout attribute of Norton is its comprehensive security suite, going beyond basic firewall protection to incorporate a smart firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS), antivirus capabilities, identity theft protection, and even a VPN offering.

All that adds up to a holistic solution for businesses desiring a single-stop security software.


Norton’s Smart Firewall is included in Norton 360, whose pricing plans at the time of writing are:

  • Deluxe: $49.99 for the first year for 5 PCs, Macs, tablets, or phones.
  • Select + LifeLock: $99.99 for the first year for 10 PCs, Macs, tablets, or phones.
  • Advantage + LifeLock: $191.88 for the first year for 10 PCs, Macs, tablets, or phones.
  • Ultimate Plus + LifeLock: $299.88 for the first year for unlimited PCs, Macs, tablets, or phones.


  • Advanced smart firewall with customizable rules, allowing businesses to modify access based on their specific needs, thus providing a higher level of personalized security.
  • Integrated VPN for safe browsing ensures users can access the internet securely without worrying about potential threats or privacy breaches.
  • Identity theft protection is another vital feature, which helps safeguard sensitive personal and business data from potential hackers.
  • SafeCam feature prevents unauthorized access to your webcam, thwarting any potential spying or privacy intrusions.
  • Automatic updates ensure that your protection is always up-to-date, reinforcing defenses against new and evolving threats.


  • Norton offers a comprehensive security suite, providing a broad spectrum of protective measures beyond the typical firewall, creating a fortified line of defense against a myriad of cyber threats.
  • The interface is easy to navigate, making the process of setting up and managing the firewall less complex and more user-friendly, even for those with limited technical knowledge.
  • It provides 24/7 customer support, ensuring that you’ll have access to assistance whenever you need it, regardless of the hour or day.


  • While perfect for small to mid-sized businesses, Norton might not be as scalable for larger businesses with a vast network of devices, potentially limiting its effectiveness in such an environment.
  • Depending on your requirements, the subscription can become expensive with add-ons, which might be a drawback for businesses on a tight budget.
Fortinet icon


Best for scalability

Fortinet is a well-regarded player in the cybersecurity arena and its firewall software exemplifies its commitment to delivering high-quality solutions. FortiGate, Fortinet’s firewall offering, is recognized for its advanced firewall solutions that are scalable and robust.

Particularly useful for growing businesses, FortiGate brings forward top-notch features that can effortlessly adapt to the needs of expanding network infrastructures.


Fortinet offers a variety of solutions priced broadly to accommodate all business sizes—from $250 for home office to $300,000 for large enterprises. Contact Fortinet for accurate pricing information.


  • FortiGate offers an advanced firewall with extensive protection against incoming threats, thus maintaining the security of your network.
  • With scalability at its core, FortiGate can adapt and grow along with your business, addressing increasing security demands seamlessly.
  • Smooth integration with other Fortinet security solutions, enabling a comprehensive security ecosystem for your business.
  • FortiGate Cloud-Native Firewall offers high resiliency to ease security delivery across cloud networks and availability zones at scale.
  • Automatic updates keep the firewall current and equipped to deal with the latest threats, ensuring your network’s protection remains robust.


  • Fortinet’s robust firewall features deliver comprehensive security for your network, providing the necessary defenses to ward off potential threats.
  • With a strong focus on scalability, Fortinet is an ideal choice for rapidly growing businesses that need a security solution to match their expanding network.
  • The software’s high-performance nature means that it delivers robust security without hampering your network’s speed or efficiency.


  • Despite (or because of) offering a wealth of features, Fortinet’s interface may not be as user-friendly as some other options, potentially causing difficulties for those without substantial technical knowledge.
  • While Fortinet offers a range of pricing options, the cost can quickly escalate for larger networks or when additional features are included, which may not suit budget-conscious businesses.
  • Pricing information is not transparent and requires negotiation. Your mileage may vary.
GlassWire icon


Best for user-friendly interface

GlassWire is an elegant and visually appealing firewall software that provides comprehensive network monitoring capabilities.

It uniquely combines a network monitor and firewall, offering users a clear visual representation of their network activity. This functionality helps users to understand their online behavior and potential threats in a way that’s easy to interpret.


GlassWire offers a tiered pricing model:

  • Free: provides limited features, perfect for individual users or small businesses.
  • Premium: Starts at $2.99 per month per license, paid annually. Its premium tier plans suitable for business range between 10 and 200 licenses.


  • Real-time and detailed visualization of your current and past network activity, offering an intuitive and easy-to-understand representation of what’s happening on your network.
  • Built-in firewall that allows users to easily monitor applications using the network and block any suspicious activity, providing a comprehensive network security solution.
  • A unique “Incognito” mode for users who do not want certain network activities to appear on the network graph, ensuring user privacy.
  • Firewall profiles to instantly switch between different environments, such as public and private networks.
  • The network time machine feature allows users to go back in time up to 30 days to see what their computer or server was doing in the past.


  • GlassWire offers a beautifully designed, user-friendly interface that presents complex network security information in a visually appealing and understandable way.
  • Its comprehensive network monitoring capability allows users to understand their online behavior, identify patterns and detect anomalies.
  • The software’s built-in firewall offers users the flexibility to control which applications can access the network, enhancing the overall security of their systems.


  • The software requires a moderate amount of system resources to run efficiently, which might be an issue for systems with limited resources.
  • Although GlassWire’s visualizations are beautiful and informative, some users may find them overwhelming and would prefer a more traditional interface.
Cisco icon

Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center

Best for centralized management and control

The Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center provides a comprehensive solution for centralized control and management of security policies. It enhances the overall efficiency of network administration by offering a unified platform to manage multiple Cisco security appliances.

Businesses that use a variety of Cisco security tools will find this a valuable addition to streamline operations and enhance control.


Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center’s pricing depends on the scale of operations and the specific needs of a business. For detailed and customized pricing information, you can directly contact Cisco or its partners.


  • A unified management console that can control a wide range of Cisco security appliances, reducing the complexity associated with managing multiple devices.
  • Advanced threat detection and analysis capabilities, enabling administrators to swiftly identify and respond to security incidents.
  • Flexible deployment options, including on-premises, virtual and cloud-based solutions, catering to various operational needs and preferences.
  • Comprehensive policy management, allowing administrators to efficiently establish and enforce security policies across their Cisco security infrastructure.
  • Integration with other Cisco security tools, such as Cisco Threat Response, provides a cohesive and powerful security solution.


  • The ability to manage multiple Cisco security appliances from a single platform is a significant advantage, especially for larger enterprises managing complex security infrastructures.
  • Cisco Secure Firewall Management Center offers advanced threat detection and analysis capabilities, aiding in swift and efficient incident response.
  • Its flexible deployment options cater to diverse operational needs, providing convenience and ease of setup to businesses of all sizes.


  • Although powerful, the platform may require a steep learning curve, particularly for those who are new to Cisco’s ecosystem.
  • Some users have reported a desire for more customization options within the management interface to meet their specific operational needs.
  • Pricing information is not transparent and requires negotiation. Your mileage may vary.
pfSense icon

pfSense: Best open source solution

pfSense is an open-source firewall software solution that is highly customizable, suitable for tech-savvy businesses that prefer having the flexibility to tailor their firewall to specific needs. It’s built on the FreeBSD operating system, offering a comprehensive range of features for network management and security.


As an open-source platform, pfSense is free to download and use. However, Netgate, the company behind pfSense, offers paid support and services, including hardware solutions integrated with pfSense software.


  • A wide array of networking functionalities, including firewall, VPN, and routing services, ensuring comprehensive network protection.
  • Being open-source, it offers extensive customization options, allowing businesses to tailor the software to their specific needs.
  • Supports a large selection of third-party packages for additional features, granting more flexibility in expanding its capabilities.
  • Detailed network monitoring and reporting tools, allowing for granular insight into network traffic and potential security threats.
  • It has a community-backed development model, ensuring continuous improvements and updates to its features.


  • pfSense’s open-source nature allows for extensive customization, giving businesses control over how they want to configure their firewall.
  • The software provides a comprehensive set of features, ensuring thorough network protection and management.
  • Its support for third-party packages allows for the addition of further functionalities, enhancing its overall capabilities.


  • The configuration of pfSense can be quite complex, particularly for users without a strong technical background, which could pose a challenge for some businesses.
  • The user interface, while functional, may not be as polished or intuitive as some commercial firewall solutions.
  • As with many open-source projects, while there’s a supportive community, professional customer service might not be as accessible as with commercial solutions.
Sophos icon

Sophos Firewall

Best for cloud-based management

Sophos Firewall brings a fresh approach to the way you manage your firewall and how you can detect and respond to threats on your network.

Offering a user-friendly interface and robust features, this product provides businesses with an effective and efficient solution for their network security needs. It’s a versatile solution that not only offers traditional firewall capabilities but also integrates innovative technologies to ensure all-round security.


Sophos does not publicize pricing information, because their solutions are provided by resellers and can vary depending on the business’s size, needs, and location. You can contact them directly for accurate pricing information.


  • All-in-one solution by integrating advanced threat protection, IPS, VPN, and web filtering in a single comprehensive platform, thereby providing robust security for your network.
  • Deep learning technology and threat intelligence, both of which work in synergy to identify and respond to threats before they can cause damage, offering advanced protection against malware, exploits, and ransomware.
  • User-friendly interface that simplifies configuration and management tasks, making it easier for users to set up security policies and monitor network activities.
  • Synchronized Security technology that facilitates communication between your endpoint protection and your firewall, creating a coordinated defense against cyber threats.
  • The Sophos Firewall comes with an effective cloud management platform, allowing administrators to remotely manage the system, configure settings, and monitor network activity.


  • A user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of setting up and managing network security policies, making it suitable for businesses with limited technical expertise.
  • It integrates advanced protection capabilities, such as threat intelligence and deep learning technology, to provide robust defense against sophisticated cyber threats.
  • This firewall software’s unique Synchronized Security feature offers a coordinated and automated response against threats, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your network security.


  • Some users have reported that while the user interface is intuitive, it might take some time to navigate due to the depth of features available.
  • The initial setup and configuration might require technical expertise, although Sophos provides comprehensive resources and customer support to guide users.
  • Although Sophos’ site advertises “Simple Pricing,” their costs are not in fact transparent and will require negotiating a quote. Your mileage may vary.
ZoneAlarm icon


Best for personal use

ZoneAlarm is an excellent choice for personal use and small businesses due to its simplicity and effectiveness.

With a robust set of features and an intuitive interface, it provides robust protection without requiring extensive technical knowledge. Its reputation as a reliable firewall solution makes it an attractive choice for users seeking to safeguard their systems from various threats.


ZoneAlarm offers both free and premium versions of their firewall software. The free version provides basic protection, while the Pro Firewall version, which comes at a yearly subscription fee starting from $22.95 for 1 PC, offers advanced features such as zero-day attack protection and full technical support.


  • Robust two-way firewall protection, preventing unauthorized access to your network while also stopping malicious applications from sending out your data.
  • Advanced privacy protection feature that protects your personal information from phishing attacks.
  • Unique ID Lock feature that keeps your personal information safe.
  • ZoneAlarm boasts an Anti-Phishing Chrome Extension that detects and blocks phishing sites, protecting your information online.
  • The premium version offers advanced real-time antivirus protection, ensuring that your system is continuously protected from threats.


  • ZoneAlarm offers a straightforward interface and setup process, making it an ideal choice for users who lack advanced technical skills.
  • The software provides a comprehensive suite of features, including robust firewall protection, advanced privacy tools and real-time antivirus capabilities.
  • ZoneAlarm’s ID Lock feature is a standout, helping to ensure the security of personal data.


  • While ZoneAlarm offers robust features, its protection level may not be adequate for large enterprises or businesses with complex network architectures.
  • Some users have reported that the software can be resource-intensive, potentially slowing down system performance.

Key features of firewall software

When choosing the best firewall software for your business, there are key features you should consider. These range from the extent of the security suite to scalability and cloud-based management, all of which play a significant role in how effectively the software will serve your needs.

Comprehensive security suite

A comprehensive security suite is more than just a basic firewall. It includes additional layers of security like antivirus capabilities, identity theft protection, and a VPN.

The best firewall software solutions should deliver this kind of comprehensive coverage, protecting against a wide variety of threats and helping you maintain the security of your entire network. Norton, Cisco, and Sophos firewalls excel in this area.


Scalability is particularly important for businesses that are growing or plan to grow. As the size of your network increases, your security needs will change and become more complex.

Firewall software like FortiGate and pfSense are designed with scalability in mind, allowing them to adapt to the increasing security demands of your expanding network.

User-friendly interface

A user-friendly interface is crucial, especially for those who may not have a lot of technical expertise. Firewall software should be easy to navigate and manage, making the process of setting up and adjusting the firewall less daunting.

Norton excels in this area, with an intuitive interface that is straightforward to use. GlassWire, while not as intuitive, also offers an attractive and convenient interface.

Robust features

Having robust features in firewall software is key to ensuring comprehensive protection. This includes an advanced firewall with extensive customizable rules, IPS, and threat detection capabilities.

The most robust firewall solutions include Norton, FortiGate, Cisco, and Sophos, as well as pfSense, although you’ll have to do some legwork to program the latter in particular.

Cloud-based management

Cloud-based management is a significant advantage in today’s digital landscape. It allows for the remote configuration and monitoring of your firewall, making it easier to manage and adjust as needed. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses with remote workers or multiple locations.

Norton, FortiGate, Cisco, Sophos, and ZoneAlarm all provide this capability.

Advanced firewall protection

Advanced firewall protection includes capabilities like deep packet inspection, which examines data packets to detect malware that could otherwise bypass standard firewalls. This kind of advanced protection is vital to secure your network from sophisticated threats. Most of the firewalls in this list offer advanced, next-generation capabilities.


Integration capabilities are crucial as they allow your firewall software to work in harmony with other security solutions you might have in place. Cisco firewalls, as you might expect, integrate seamlessly with other Cisco solutions, but can falter when trying to integrate with third-party solutions. On the other hand, thanks to its open-source nature, pfSense can be configured to integrate very broadly.

By considering these features when choosing your firewall software, you can ensure that you select a solution that meets the specific needs of your business, provides comprehensive protection and offers room for growth and adaptation as your business evolves.

Benefits of working with firewall software

Employing robust firewall software within your network infrastructure brings along a myriad of benefits that contribute to the overall security and efficiency of your business operations, from enhanced network security and data protection to reduced downtime and regulatory compliance.

Enhanced network security

Perhaps the most fundamental advantage of using firewall software is the enhanced network security it provides. Firewall software acts as the first line of defense against potential threats, including hackers, viruses, and other cyberattacks.

By monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules, firewall software ensures that only safe connections are established, thus protecting your network.

Data protection

With the increasing incidence of data breaches and cyber theft, data protection is more crucial than ever. Firewall software plays a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive data from being accessed or stolen by unauthorized users.

By blocking unauthorized access, it ensures the safety of important information and reduces the risk of data breaches.

Traffic management

Firewall software is not only about protection but also about managing and optimizing the network traffic. Features like bandwidth management can be leveraged to allocate network resources effectively and ensure the smooth functioning of your online operations.

Real-time security updates

With the constantly evolving threat landscape, maintaining up-to-date security measures is vital. Firewall software frequently receives real-time security updates, which help to protect your network against the latest threats. This ensures that your network remains secure against even the most recent forms of cyberattacks.

Reduced downtime

Downtime can be a significant issue for any business, leading to financial losses and damage to reputation. By proactively identifying and preventing potential threats, firewall software can significantly reduce the risk of system outages, leading to increased uptime and reliability.


As your business grows, so does the complexity and the scope of your network. Scalable firewall software grows with your business, adjusting to the increased demands and providing consistent protection despite the expanding network size. This makes it a cost-effective solution that can support your business in the long term.

Regulatory compliance

Many industries have regulations in place requiring businesses to protect sensitive data. Firewall software helps meet these regulatory requirements by providing robust security measures that prevent data breaches and protect client and customer information.

Incorporating firewall software into your network infrastructure is a critical step towards securing your business in an increasingly digital world. The benefits it offers are invaluable, providing not just enhanced protection, but also efficiency and adaptability that can significantly contribute to your business’s success.

How to choose the best firewall software for your business

Choosing the best firewall software for your business involves a careful examination of your specific needs and security requirements. 

  • Size and security level: The size and nature of your business, the sensitivity of your data, and the extent of your network operations are crucial factors that determine what kind of firewall software will be the most beneficial.
  • Comprehensive features: Moreover, you should consider firewall solutions that offer a comprehensive suite of security features, such as VPN services, antivirus protection, and advanced threat detection capabilities.
  • Scalability: The scalability of a firewall software solution is important, particularly for growing businesses. Opt for software that can seamlessly adapt to the expanding needs of your network, providing reliable protection irrespective of your business size.
  • Interface: Unless you have a robust, well-trained IT department, the interface of your chosen software will need to be user-friendly and easily manageable, even for those with minimal technical expertise.
  • Cloud-based management: Features that allow for remote configuration and monitoring are highly beneficial in the current era of remote work. These features offer the flexibility of managing your network’s security from any location, improving overall efficiency.
  • Integration: Your chosen software should integrate smoothly with your existing security infrastructure to create a comprehensive, effective security system.
  • Support: Solid customer support from the vendor is also crucial to navigating any issues that may arise during setup or throughout the software’s lifespan.

Choosing firewall software is an investment in your business’s security, so take the time to evaluate each option thoroughly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who should use firewall software?

Any individual, business, or organization that uses a network or the internet should consider using firewall software. Whether you’re a small business owner, a large corporation, or a home user, a firewall can provide essential protection against unauthorized access and various cyber threats.

Where are firewalls located on a network?

Firewalls are typically located at the edge of a network, serving as a barrier between a trusted internal network and an untrusted external network, such as the internet. They can also be positioned between different parts of an organization’s networks to control access.

Are there any downsides to using a firewall?

While firewalls are essential for network security, they can occasionally block legitimate traffic if the security settings are too restrictive. Additionally, managing and maintaining a firewall can require technical expertise. However, the benefits of using a firewall far outweigh these potential challenges.

How often should a firewall be updated?

Firewall software should be updated regularly to ensure it can protect against the latest threats. Many firewall providers release updates regularly and many firewalls are set to update automatically. However, it’s a good idea to check for updates manually periodically to ensure your firewall is up-to-date.

What is firewall software’s role in regulatory compliance?

For many businesses, especially those in regulated industries like healthcare or finance, firewall software plays a critical role in meeting compliance requirements. Regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require robust data protection measures, which includes network security provided by a firewall.

Can firewall software protect against all cyber threats?

While firewall software provides a strong layer of protection, it’s not a panacea for all cyber threats. Some sophisticated threats, like targeted phishing attacks or insider threats, require additional security measures. It’s essential to have a comprehensive security strategy in place that includes firewall software, antivirus software, strong access controls, and user education about safe online practices.


To deliver this list, we based our selection on an examination of firewall software features and overall reputation in addition to their ease of use, quality of customer support, and value for money.

This information is available in user reviews as well as official product pages and documentation. Nonetheless, we encourage you to conduct your own research and consider your unique requirements when choosing a firewall software solution.

Bottom line: Choosing the best firewall software for your business

The evolving threat landscape necessitates a robust and reliable firewall solution for both personal use and businesses of all sizes. Based on the products listed, it’s evident that several excellent options exist in the market, each with its own unique strengths and capabilities.

Choosing the best firewall software ultimately depends on your requirements, the nature of the network environment, and the budget at hand. It’s essential to consider each product’s features, pros, and cons, and align them with your individual or business needs.

The chosen solution should provide comprehensive protection, be user-friendly, and ideally offer scalability for future growth. Whether it’s for personal use or to protect a multilayered enterprise network, there’s a firewall solution out there that fits the bill.

Also see

Firewalls come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s a look at eight different types of firewalls.

We also did a review of the best firewalls for small and medium-sized businesses.

And once you’ve selected your firewall, make sure you define and implement a clear, strong firewall policy to back it up—as well as setting robust firewall rules to govern the software.

Source :

7 Best Firewall Solutions for Enterprises in 2023


Enterprise firewall software is an essential component of network security infrastructure for organizations. These firewalls are designed to provide high availability and scalability to meet the needs of large and complex networks because they can handle high traffic volumes and accommodate the growth of network infrastructure.

By exploring the following top firewall solutions, enterprises can make an informed decision to fortify their network defenses and safeguard critical assets from ever-evolving cyber threats.

Best firewall solutions for enterprises: Comparison chart

Best for DLP capabilityURL filteringReportingIntegration with third party solutionDNS filteringStarting price
Palo Alto NetworksOverallAvailable on request
Check Point QuantumConnected devicesAvailable on request
Fortinet FortiGateFlexibility and scalabilityAvailable on request
Juniper NetworksLogging and reporting capabilityAvailable on request
Cisco Secure FirewallCentralized managementAvailable on request
ZscalerBusinesses with cloud network infrastructure$72 per user per year
pfSenseOpen source$0.01 per hour

Jump to:

Palo Alto Networks icon

Palo Alto Networks

Best overall enterprise firewall

Palo Alto is a leading network security provider of advanced firewall solutions and a wide range of network security services.

The company offers various firewall solutions for various enterprise use cases, including cloud next generation firewalls, virtual machine series for public and private clouds, container series for Kubernetes and container engines like Docker, and its PA-series appliances designed for data centers, network edge, service providers, remote branches and retail locations, and harsh industrial sites.

These firewalls provide enhanced visibility, control, and threat prevention capabilities to protect networks from various cyber threats, including malware, viruses, intrusions, and advanced persistent threats (APTs).


Palo Alto doesn’t advertise its product pricing on its website. Our research found that the Palo Alto PA-series price range from $2,900 to $200,000 (more or less). To get the actual rates for your enterprise, contact the company’s sales team for custom quotes.

Standout features

  • Advanced threat prevention.
  • Advanced URL filtering.
  • Domain name service (DNS) security.
  • Medical IoT security.
  • Enterprise data loss prevention (DLP).
  • Up to 245 million IPv4 OR IPv6 sessions.


  • Provides visibility across IoT and other connected devices.
  • Provides visibility across ​​physical, virtualized, containerized and cloud environments.
  • Offers a variety of products for different business sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises.
  • Easy-to-navigate dashboard and management console.


  • Complex initial setup.
  • Some users reported that the Palo Alto license is pricey.
Check Point icon

Check Point Quantum

Best for connected devices

Check Point is an Israeli multinational company that develops and sells software and hardware products related to network, endpoint, cloud, and data security.

Check Point Quantum is designed to protect against advanced cyber threats, targeting Gen V cyber attacks. This solution encompasses various components to safeguard networks, cloud environments, data centers, IoT devices, and remote users.

Check Point’s SandBlast technology employs advanced threat intelligence, sandboxing, and real-time threat emulation to detect and prevent sophisticated attacks, including zero-day exploits, ransomware, and advanced persistent threats.


Check Point does not publicly post pricing information on its website. Data from resellers shows that Check Point products can range from around $62 for a basic solution to over $50,000 for an enterprise-level solution. Contact the Check Point sales team for your actual quotes.

Standout features

  • URL filtering.
  • DLP.
  • Full active-active redundancy.
  • Zero-trust protection for IoT devices.
  • Check Point Quantum protects against GenV attacks.
  • Advanced threat protection.


  • 24/7 customer service and support.
  • Easy to setup and use.
  • Management platform with automation features.
  • Sandblast protection for testing malware.


  • Users reported that the Check Point firewall is expensive.
  • Documentation can be improved.
Fortinet icon

Fortinet FortiGate

Best for flexibility and scalability

Fortinet offers various firewall products for different organization sizes, from home offices to large enterprises.

The FortiGate 7000 series (FG-7121F, FG-7081F, FG-7081F-2, FIM-7921F, FIM-7941F, and FPM-7620F) is an enterprise firewall product that provides high-performance network security. It is designed for organizations with high network traffic volumes and that have to manage large network infrastructures.

This firewall series is powered by a Security Processing Unit (SPU) of up to 520Gbps and also includes the latest NP7 (Network Processor 7) and CP9 (Content Processor 9).


Fortinet’s FortiGate firewall tool pricing is available upon request. Pricing will depend on various factors, including the size of the network, the number of users, and the types of security features needed. Contact a Fortinet representative for pricing and product information.

Standout features

  • Protects IT, IIoT, and OT devices against vulnerability and device-based attack tactics.
  • FortiGate 7000F series provides NGFW, segmentation, secure SD-WAN, and mobile security for 4G, 5G, and IoT.
  • Offers various types of firewalls, including container firewalls, virtual firewalls and hardware firewall appliances.
  • Zero Touch Integration with Fortinet’s Security Fabric Single Pane of Glass Management.


  • Integrations with over 500 third-party services.
  • AI-powered capabilities.
  • Users reported that the tool is user-friendly.


  • Support can be improved.
  • Its reporting feature can be improved.
Juniper Networks icon

Juniper Networks

Best for logging and reporting capability

Juniper Networks’ firewall helps enterprises protect their network edge, data center, and cloud applications.

The company is also known for its Junos operating system (OS), a scalable network OS that powers Juniper Networks devices. Junos provides advanced routing, switching, and security capabilities and allows for seamless integration with third-party software and applications.

Juniper Networks vSRX virtual firewall provides enhanced security for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud environments, while its cSRX Container Firewall offers advanced security services to secure applications running in containers and microservices. The company’s SRX firewalls series is designed for various organization sizes, from small to large enterprises.


Juniper Network pricing is available on request. However, they offer different license methods, including Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) and Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL) options for public clouds. Contact the company’s sales team for custom quotes.

Standout features

  • Juniper Network has various types of firewalls, including container firewalls, virtual firewalls and hardware firewall appliances.
  • Public cloud workload protection, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Logging and reporting capability.
  • Supports VMware ESXi, NSX, and KVM (Centos, Ubuntu).


  • Advanced threat prevention capability.
  • Deployable on-premises and cloud environments.


  • Support can be improved.
  • Users report that some Juniper Networks firewall products are expensive.
Cisco icon

Cisco Secure Firewall

Best for centralized management

Cisco Secure Firewall combines firewall capabilities with advanced security features to protect networks from various threats, including unauthorized access, malware, and data breaches.

Cisco Secure Firewall integrates with Cisco Talos, a threat intelligence research team. This collaboration enables the firewall to receive real-time threat intelligence updates, enhancing its ability to identify and block emerging threats.

Cisco Secure Firewall can be centrally managed through Cisco Firepower Management Center (FMC). This management console provides a unified interface for configuration, monitoring, and reporting, simplifying the administration of multiple firewalls across the network.


Contact Cisco’s sales team for custom quotes.

Standout features

  • IPS to protect against known threats.
  • Web filtering.
  • Network segmentation.
  • Centralized management.


  • Provides comprehensive visibility and control.
  • Efficient support team.
  • Highly scalable tool.


  • Support can be improved.
  • Complex initial setup.
Zscaler icon


Best for businesses with cloud network infrastructure

The Zscaler firewall provides cloud-based security for web and non-web traffic for all users and devices. Zscaler inspects all user traffic, including SSL encrypted traffic, with elastically scaling services to handle high volumes of long-lived connections.

One of the key advantages of Zscaler’s cloud-based approach is that it eliminates the need for on-premises hardware or software installations. Instead, organizations can leverage Zscaler’s infrastructure and services by redirecting their internet traffic to the Zscaler cloud. This makes scaling and managing security easier across distributed networks and remote users.


Zscaler doesn’t advertise its rates on its website. However, data from resellers shows that its pricing starts from about $72 per user per year. For your actual rate, contact the Zscaler sales team for quotes.

Standout features

  • Centralized policy management.
  • Fully-integrated security services.
  • Real-time granular control, logging, and visibility.
  • User-aware and app-aware threat protection.
  • Adaptive IPS security and control.
  • File transfer protocol (FTP) control and network address translation (NAT) support.


  • Easy to use and manage.
  • AI-powered cyberthreat and data protection services.
  • Always-on cloud intrusion prevention system (IPS).
  • AI-powered phishing and C2 detection.


  • Complex initial setup.
  • Documentation can be improved.
pfSense icon


Best open-source firewall

pfSense is an open-source firewall and routing platform based on FreeBSD, an open-source Unix-like OS. It is designed to provide advanced networking and security features for small and large networks.

pfSense can be deployed as a physical appliance or as a virtual machine. pfSense offers many capabilities, including firewalling, VPN connectivity, traffic shaping, load balancing, DNS and DHCP services, and more.


For pfSense cloud:

  • pfSense on AWS: Pricing starts from $0.01 per hour to $0.40 per hour.
  • pfSense on Azure: Pricing starts from $0.08 per hour to $0.24 per hour.

For pfSense software:

  • pfSense CE: Open source version available to download for free.
  • pfSense+ Home or Lab: Available at no cost for evaluation purposes only.
  • pfSense+ W/TAC LITE: Currently available at no charge, but the vendor may increase the rate to $129 per year in the future. 
  • pfSense+ W/TAC PRO: $399 per year.
  • pfSense+ W/TAC ENT: $799 per year.

pfSense offers three hardware appliances tailored to the needs of large enterprises.

  • Netgate 8200: Cost $1,395. It has 18.55 Gbps IPERF3 and 5.1 Gbps IMIX traffic speed.
  • Netgate 1537: Cost $2,199. It has 18.62 Gbps(10k ACLs) IPERF3 and 10.24 Gbps (10k ACLs) IMIX traffic speed.
  • Netgate 1541: Cost $2,899. It has 18.64 Gbps(10k ACLs) IPERF3 and 12.30 Gbps(10k ACLs) IMIX traffic speed.

Standout features

  • NAT mapping (inbound/outbound).
  • Captive portal guest network.
  • Stateful packet inspection (SPI).


  • Free open-source version.
  • Community support.
  • Anti-spoofing capability.


  • Steep learning curve for administrators with limited experience.
  • GUI is old-fashioned and could be simplified.

Key features of enterprise firewall software

There’s a wide variety of capabilities that enterprise firewall software can provide, but some of the key features to look for include packet filtering, stateful inspection, application awareness, logging and reporting capabilities, and integration with your existing security ecosystem.

Packet filtering

Firewall software examines incoming and outgoing network packets based on predefined rules and policies. It filters packets based on criteria such as source/destination IP addresses, ports, protocols, and packet attributes. This feature enables the firewall to block or allow network traffic based on the configured rules.

Stateful inspection

Enterprise firewalls employ stateful inspection to monitor network connections’ state and analyze traffic flow context. By maintaining information about the state of each connection, the firewall can make more informed decisions about which packets to allow or block.

Application awareness 

Modern firewall software often includes application awareness capabilities. It can identify specific applications or protocols within network traffic, allowing organizations to enforce granular policies based on the application or service used. This feature is handy for managing and securing web applications and controlling the use of specific services or applications.

Logging and reporting

Firewall software logs network events, including connection attempts, rule matches, and other security-related activities. Detailed logging enables organizations to analyze and investigate security incidents, track network usage, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Reporting capabilities help generate comprehensive reports for auditing, security analysis, and compliance purposes.

Integration with the security ecosystem

Firewall software is typically part of a broader security ecosystem within an organization. Integration with other security tools and technologies, such as antivirus software, threat intelligence platforms, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems, and network access control (NAC) solutions, allows for a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to network security.

Benefits of working with enterprise firewalls

Key advantages of enterprise firewall solutions include enhanced network security, threat mitigation, and access control, as well as traffic analytics data.

  • Network security: Firewalls act as a protective barrier against external threats such as unauthorized access attempts, malware, and other malicious activity. Enforcing access control policies and modifying network traffic helps prevent unauthorized access and protect critical data.
  • Threat mitigation: By combining intrusion prevention techniques, deep packet monitoring, and threat intelligence, a firewall can detect and block suspicious traffic, reducing the risk there that the network will be corrupted and damaged so
  • Access control: Firewall software allows administrators to restrict or allow access to network resources, applications, and services based on specific user roles, departments, or needs. This ensures that only authorized people or systems can access the screen and its accessories.
  • Traffic data and analytics: In addition to protecting your network, firewalls can also provide granular information about traffic and activity passing through your network, as well as its overall performance.

How do I choose the best enterprise firewall solution for my business?

When choosing the best enterprise firewall software for your business, consider the following factors.

  • Security: Assess your organization’s specific security needs and requirements.
  • Features: Evaluate the features and capabilities of firewall solutions, such as packet filtering, application awareness, intrusion prevention, VPN support, centralized management, and scalability. Consider the vendor’s reputation, expertise, and support services.
  • Compatibility: Ensure compatibility with your existing network infrastructure and other security tools.
  • Hands-on tests: Conduct a thorough evaluation of different firewall solutions through demos, trials, or proofs of concept to assess their performance, ease of use, and effectiveness in meeting your organization’s security goals.
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO): Consider the cost, licensing models, and ongoing support and maintenance requirements.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and select the best enterprise firewall software that aligns with your business needs and provides robust network security.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is an enterprise firewall different from a normal firewall?

Although they share many characteristics, an enterprise firewall is not the same as a consumer-grade firewall. Enterprise firewalls are designed to meet large organizations’ security needs and network infrastructure challenges. They are robust, scalable, and can handle high network traffic volumes and sophisticated threats, compared to generic firewalls for home or small office environments.

What is the strongest type of firewall?

A firewall’s strength depends on various factors, and no universally dependable firewall exists. A firewall’s effectiveness depends on its materials, configuration, and how well it fits into the organization’s security needs. 

That said, next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) provide improved security capabilities and are often considered the ideal firewall solution in today’s enterprise. NGFWs combine traditional firewall features with additional functionality such as application awareness, intrusion prevention, deep packet monitoring, and user-based policies. They provide advanced protection against modern threats with greater visibility and control over network traffic.

How do you set up an enterprise firewall?

Setting up an enterprise firewall involves several steps:

  1. Determine your network topology.
  2. Define security policies.
  3. Plan firewall placement.
  4. Configure firewall rules.
  5. Implement VPN and remote access.
  6. Test and monitor firewall performance.
  7. Perform regular updates and maintenance.

We recommend engaging network security experts or reviewing vendor documentation and support materials for specific guidance in installing and configuring your enterprise firewall.


The firewall solutions mentioned in this guide were selected based on extensive research and industry analysis. Factors such as industry reputation, customer reviews, infrastructure, and customer support were considered.

We also assessed the features and capabilities of the firewall solutions, including packet filtering, application awareness, intrusion prevention, DLP, centralized management, scalability, and integration with other security tools.

Also see

If you’re not sure one of the firewalls included here is right for your business, we also determined the best firewalls for SMBs, as well as the best software-based firewalls.

And once your firewall is in place, don’t neglect its maintenance. Here are the best firewall audit tools to keep an eye on its performance.

Source :

A Step-by-Step Guide to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST

April 26, 2023 Thiraviam

As an organization admin, you may encounter situations such as users leaving their position or migrating to another mail service, etc. In such circumstances, you need to export Office 365 mailbox to PST and store them offline for investigation purposes. You can accomplish this in Office 365 without depending on any external third-party tools. You can export individual mailboxes or entire exchange mailboxes as an eDiscovery admin through the Microsoft Purview compliance portal. 

This guide will walk you through the steps to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST format using eDiscovery and PowerShell.  

Why Do We Need to Export Exchange Online Mailbox to PST?

PST stands for Personal Storage Table file format used by Microsoft Outlook to store email messages, contacts and calendar entries. When you back up your email mailbox to a PST file, that will be saved on your computer. 

Here are some reasons why PST files are commonly used for exporting Office 365 mailbox data: 

Compatibility: PST files can be opened and accessed by a variety of email clients, including Outlook and some third-party email clients. This makes it easy to share data with others or to access your data from different devices. 

Portability: PST files are small in size and can be easily transferred to a different location, such as a hard drive, USB drive, or cloud storage. This makes it easy to create backups of your mailbox data or to move your data to a different computer. 

Offline Access: PST files can be accessed even when you are not connected to the internet, making it easy to access your email messages and other data when you are on the go. 

Organization: PST files allow you to organize your email messages, contacts, and other data into folders, making it easy to find and retrieve specific items. 

Steps to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST

As an Office 365 admin you can get the Exchange Online mailboxes and their details by exporting them to PST with eDiscovery admin permission. You need to follow the steps listed below. 

  1. Assign eDiscovery administrator 
  2. Content search to export Office 365 mailbox 
  3. Export Office 365 mailbox to PST 
  4. Download exported PST file from Office 365 mailbox

Assign eDiscovery Administrator 

To export Office 365 mailboxes, you must be an eDiscovery Administrator. By default, this role is not assigned to a global administrator. Follow the steps to assign user(s) to eDiscovery admin role.  

  1. Login to the Microsoft Purview compliance portal with your global administrator account. 
  2. Navigate to ‘Roles & Scopes’ tab and select ‘Permissions’ option. 
  3. Select ‘Roles’ under ‘Microsoft Purview Solutions’ category.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Assign Permissions eDiscovery Admin
  4. Click on ‘eDiscovery Manager’ role and select ‘Edit’ option in the popup window.                                                                                                 eDiscovery Role Management
  5. Navigate to ‘Manage eDiscovery Administrator’ page by clicking on ‘Next’ button.                                                                                               Manage eDiscovery Manager
  6. Select ‘Choose users’ and select the user(s) who you want to make as eDiscovery admin. Then click on the ‘Select’ button in the popup and select ‘Next’ button.                                                                                                                                                                                           Manage eDiscovery Administrator
  7. Finally, click ‘Save’ on the ‘Review and finish’ page.                                                                                                                                                     eDiscovery Admin Review and Finish Page

In Office 365, before exporting a mailbox, it’s necessary to perform a content search that collects all the mail of the specified user(s) or all the contents of a mailbox. Once you complete the search, you can use the Export option to export the results to a PST file.

Note: An informational alert will trigger, and you will receive mail when an eDiscovery search started or exported. 

  1. Login to the Microsoft Purview compliance portal with the user account with which you have assigned an eDiscovery Administrator role.  
  2. Go to ‘Content search’ tab in the solutions menu and click on ‘New Search’ option.                                                                                      Content Search to Export Office365 Mailbox to PST
  3. Type the preferred name and description in the ‘Name and description’ page and click on ‘Next’.
  4. Turn ‘Exchange mailboxes’ on and click on ‘Choose users, groups, or Teams’ to select the users from the list.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Choose Users, Groups, or Teams for Content Search
  5. Select the required users whose mailbox is to be exported or leave this option to export all user’s mailboxes and click on the ‘Next’ button. 
  6. Leave the conditions empty if you want to export the complete mailbox and click on ‘Next’. You can also define your conditions if you want filtered results.   
  7. Check the details in ‘Review your search’ page and click on ‘Submit’. 
  8. A message ‘New search created. Soon you will be able to review estimates and preview results for your search’ will show in the portal.
  9. Click on ‘Done’ and wait for the status to change to ‘Completed’ in the content search page.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Content Search Status

Note: The waiting time may differ with respect to the size of the mailboxes you have performed a content search. 

You can also perform Content search using the PowerShell with ‘New-ComplianceSearch cmdlet. First, connect to the compliance center ‘Connect-IPPSSession‘ cmdlet. 


Now run the cmdlet below by providing the name for the content search and Exchange location that you want to do content search. 

New-ComplianceSearch <SearchName> -ExchangeLocation <UPN>| Start-ComplianceSearch

Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST 

Once you have successfully created a mailbox content search, the next step is to export the search results. To do this, simply follow the steps below, which will guide you through the process.  

  1. Click on the content search ‘Mailbox Export’ that you have created in the previous steps. 
  2. Select ‘Actions’ and choose ‘Export results’.                                                                                                                                                                               Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST
  3. Select the appropriate ‘Output options’ and the ‘Export Exchange Content as’ options. Then click on ‘Export’. If you are not sure about the options, leave it as default.                                                                                                                                                                        PST Export Results Options
  4.  A message box with a message “A job has been created” is displayed. Click on ‘OK’. It will take some time to complete the export. 

You can also perform export using the PowerShell with ‘New-ComplianceSearchAction cmdlet. 

Run the below cmdlet with the content search name to export the mailbox. 

New-ComplianceSearchAction <SearchName> -Export -Format Fxstream
Content Search Using PowerShell

 You can also get the properties related to the export by using the following cmdlet. 

Get-ComplianceSearchAction "<SearchName>_export" -IncludeCredential | FL 

Download Exported PST File From Office 365 Mailbox  

With the help of Microsoft Office 365 eDiscovery Export Tool, you can download the exported mailbox results as a PST file. 

Note:  It’s important to note that this can only be done using the Microsoft Edge browser.

  1. Make sure that the status of the export is completed by clicking on the export job name in the ‘Export’ tab.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mailbox Export Status Check
  2. Copy the ‘Export key’ by clicking on the ‘Copy to clipboard’ option and click on the ‘Download results’ option.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Download Exported Results
  3. If this is the first time you are downloading a .pst file, you are prompted to install Microsoft Office 365 eDiscovery Export Tool. If you have already installed, skip this step and go to the next step. 
  4. Click ‘Open’ button in the upcoming popup and paste the export key.                                                                                                                    Permission to Open the Exported PST File
  5. Select the required location to store the download file by clicking on the ‘Browse’ button and click ‘Start’.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  eDiscovery Export Tool
  6. You can be able to see the “Processing has completed” message after the download. Go to the specified location in your PC to view the downloaded PST file(s).                                                                                                                                                                                       Download Exported PST file from Office 365 Mailbox 

Office 365 Export PST File Size Limit 

When exporting PST files, the default file size limit is 10 GB. However, you have the ability to change this limit depending on your specific needs by increasing or decreasing the file size. Additionally, if the exported mailbox exceeds the PST size limit, the tool will automatically split the PST file into sequentially numbered files to accommodate the larger size.  

The main reason to do this is so PST files can fit on removable media, such a DVD, a compact disc, or a USB drive. You can adhere to the following steps to change the PST export file size limit. 

  • Before proceeding, make sure to check whether the eDiscovery Export tool is open, and if so, be sure to close it before continuing.
  • Type the following text in a notepad and save the following text to a filename suffix of .reg. For example, Pst.reg.   
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

In the example above, the PstSizeLimitInBytes value is set to 1,073,741,824 bytes or approximately 1 GB. However, if you need to change this limit, you can easily do so by replacing the existing value with your desired limit in bytes.

  • Once you have created the .reg file by following the previous steps, it’s time to open it and proceed with the next steps.
  • In the User Access Control window, choose ‘Yes’ to grant permission to the Registry Editor to make the change. 
  • When asked to confirm, select ‘Yes’.                                                                                                                                                                               
Registry entry

The Registry editor will then display a confirmation message indicating that the “keys and values was successfully added to the registry”. 

Limitations in Exporting PST File in Office 365 

When exporting an Office 365 mailbox to a PST file, it is important to be aware of the limitations involved. Here is a list of the limitations you may encounter during the export process.

  • Browser Restrictions: You need to use Microsoft Edge browser. It’s not possible to export mailboxes to PST using other browsers without any extensions. 
  • File Corruption Issues: Increasing the default size of PST files larger than 10 GB might have corruption issues. 
  • Mailbox count limitation: You cannot download more than 100,000 mailboxes for search results using the eDiscovery Export Tool. 
  • Export Data Size Constraint: An organization can export 2TB data per day through content search. 
  • Output Display Restriction: Only 1,000 exports or reports will be displayed in Content search. 

Thus, exporting Office 365 mailbox to PST is a simple process that can be done in a few clicks. You can have a clear understanding of how to complete this task efficiently by following the above steps. Feel free to leave a comment below if you encounter any difficulties or need any assistance.

Source :

Group Policy Assignments Using Microsoft Teams PowerShell

May 30, 2023 Shan

Unmanaged devices, external file-sharing, and email integration impose a big question mark on the security posture of Microsoft Teams. In order to secure and manage Microsoft Teams, policies are used under various sections like messaging, meetings, calling, conferencing, and many more. Usually, these Teams policies for users, groups, and batches are managed in the Microsoft Teams admin center or using the Teams PowerShell Module (TPM). But now Microsoft extends the managing capability of additional Office 365 group policies using the Teams PowerShell Module as per MC557818.    

According to this latest update, group policy assignments for Microsoft 365 groups, distribution lists, mail-enabled security groups, and security groups support additional policies in the Teams PowerShell Module. Apart from action control, policy assignments also set way for security controls like restricting anonymous access in meetings. 

Let us see how to assign group policies using Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module and their functionalities under this blog. 

What are Group Policy Assignments? 

As the name suggests, assigning a policy to a particular group of users is known as a group policy assignment. The groups can be managed in Microsoft 365 admin center whereas group policies can be managed under the single roof of the Teams PowerShell Module.  

Policy assignments are applied only to the direct members of a group and not to the nested group. That too, they are applied according to the precedence rules. And at the time of addition or deletion of users from a group, the policy assignments are updated which is also applicable when a policy is unassigned. Before jumping into group policy assignments, let us look through the precedence rules and ranking of policies.

What are Microsoft Teams Policy Precedence Rules?

Policy precedence determines the user’s effective policy when a user is assigned two or more of the same policy types. The precedence rules of policies are listed below for deeper insights into how an assigned policy will be deployed according to these rules. 

  • If a user is directly assigned a policy, the same type of policy can’t be inherited from the group. Therefore, the directly assigned policy takes precedence over the same policy type defined by the group. 
  • Also, if a user doesn’t contain a directly assigned policy, the user inherits the highest-ranking policy from the same type of policies applied by two or more groups. 
  • Finally, if the user is not assigned a policy directly or by group, then the global (organization-wide) policy takes precedence

The user policy is updated under the following circumstances. 

  • Especially when a user is added or removed from the policy assigned group. 
  • And when a group policy is unassigned.
  • At last, if a directly assigned policy is removed from a user.

What is Group Policy Assignment Rank in Teams?

As an admin, you are asked to define the rank of policy while assigning the policy. Primarily this ranking weighs the priority of the same type of policies assigned from two or more groups for a common user. Finally, the highest-ranking group policy is assigned as the effective policy to the end user after weighing the priority. Because a policy type can be assigned to a maximum number of 64 groups in Office 365.  

NOTE: If the rank value is undefined, then the lowest ranking is given to the policy assignment. 

How to Assign Policy to a Group in Teams Admin Center? 

Follow the below steps to configure group policies in the Teams admin center where it majorly supports Teams calling policy, Teams call park policy, Teams policy, Teams live events policy, Teams meeting policy, and Teams messaging policy. 

  1. Navigate using the path below.  

Microsoft Teams admin center 🡢 Messaging Policies (Select the desired policy type page) 🡢 Group policy assignment 🡢 Add group 🡢 Assign policy to group  

Group Policy Assignments in the Teams admin center

2. Then, select a group to which you want to assign a policy.
3. Set the ranking value for the group policy assignment through the select rank option. 
4. After that, select a policy from the available policy types in the drop-down list and click Apply

Unfortunately, all policy types can’t be managed under the Microsoft Teams admin center since it supports only certain policy types. Without a second thought, PowerShell is the go-to solution! Yes, managing policies using PowerShell is easy and efficient as it is the primary automation tool that ensures the deployment of objects in multiple tenants. Also, it is a place where error handling and logging are more flexible compared to the native admin center. Thus, let us deeply look through the next section of the blog to manage group policy assignments using Microsoft Teams PowerShell.  

Manage Group Policy Assignments Using Teams PowerShell Module 

As per the new update, Teams PowerShell Module now helps to manage group policies of Microsoft 365 groups, mail-enabled security groups, distribution lists, and security groups including Teams-related policies. Thus, create & manage groups in Microsoft 365 admin center and manage their policies in Teams PowerShell. Before getting started with PowerShell cmdlets, make sure to connect to the Teams PowerShell Module.  

  1. Assign Policy to Group Using Teams PowerShell Module 
  2. Get Group Policy Assignments Using MS Teams PowerShell 
  3. Remove Policy Assignment from a Group Using TPM 
  4. Modify Group Policy Assignment Using Teams PowerShell Module

Assign Policy to Group Using Teams PowerShell Module

By defining group policies, you can control user-specific actions like allowing them to schedule meetings, edit sent messages, etc. You can assign the available policies or create and assign custom policies depending on your requirements.
Execute the following cmdlet after replacing the unique group identifier, policy type, policy name, and expected rank to assign a new policy for a group.  

New-CsGroupPolicyAssignment -GroupId d8ebfa45-0f28-4d2d-9bcc-b158a49e2d17 -PolicyType TeamsMeetingPolicy -PolicyName AllOn -Rank 1 

This “New-CsGroupPolicyAssignment” cmdlet is basically used to create new policy assignments for security groups and distribution lists. In which the group ID, policy type, policy name, and rank must be mentioned as mandatory parameters. Here with the rank value as one, the ‘AllOn’ policy under TeamsMeetingPolicy type is created for the given group. 

The rank of the policy must be defined to determine the precedence. The recommended group membership size is 50,000 users per group while assigning a group policy. Also, it takes 24 hours or more to propagate the policy to all members of the larger groups.

Get Group Policy Assignments Using MS Teams PowerShell

Knowing all the available policy assignments allows you to understand the working conditions and their precedence levels better. Using this you can remove unnecessary policies, alter the desired ranking for policies and efficiently manage teams & groups around your Office environment. 

The “Get-CsGroupPolicyAssignment” cmdlet primarily returns all the group policy assignments with some optional parameters to filter the results.    

  1. Primarily, list all the policy-assigned groups by running the following command. 
Group Policy Assignments Using Microsoft Teams PowerShell

2. However, you can also retrieve all the policies assigned to a particular group using the below cmdlet. 

Get-CsGroupPolicyAssignment -GroupId e050ce51-54bc-45b7-b3e6-c00343d31274 

Here the cmdlet is mentioned with group ID so that retrieving only the policy assignments of that particular group. 

3.Also, you can list the groups based on their policy type by executing the below command.   

Get-CsGroupPolicyAssignment -PolicyType TeamsMeetingPolicy 

In this case, the policy type is mentioned as TeamsMeetingPolicy. Hence this cmdlet returns only the groups assigned with this policy.

Get Group Policy Assignments Using Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module

Remove Policy Assignment from a Group Using TPM

Remove the unnecessary policies found in your organization that are interrupting the ranking and slowing down the work progress. Most importantly, the removal of policies will update the ranking value of the same type policies where the policies in the list will be ranked consecutively after the removal. 

Run the following cmdlet to remove a specific group policy assignment in Microsoft 365 environment. 

Remove-CsGroupPolicyAssignment -PolicyType TeamsMeetingPolicy -GroupId f985e013-0826-40bb-8c94-e5f367076044 

The” Remove-CsGroupPolicyAssignment” cmdlet removes the given policy type in mentioned group ID.  

Remove Group Policy Assignment Using Teams PowerShell Module

Modify Group Policy Assignment Using Teams PowerShell Module

Directly altering the policy assignment ranking value is not possible in the Teams admin center. The policy assignments should be removed and newly assigned again with a new rank value to change the ranking. To take away this hassle, PowerShell lends you a hand with a simple and reusable cmdlet which is described below.   

Set-CsGroupPolicyAssignment -GroupId 566b8d39-5c5c-4aaa-bc07-4f36278a1b38 -PolicyType TeamsMeetingPolicy -PolicyName SupportCallPark -Rank 3 

The “Set-CsGroupPolicyAssignment” cmdlet can be used to make the following alterations in group policy assignments based on the given attributes. 

  1. Change policy assignment ranking. 
  2. Change the policy under the existing policy type. 
  3. Change policy assignment ranking value and policy of a given policy type. 

In this example, the policy is changed to ‘SupportCallPark’ policy, and the rank value is assigned to 3. 

NOTE: The “Set-CsGroupPolicyAssignment” cmdlet is currently not released for use. So, for now, you need to remove policies and add new policies to change the policy or ranking. But you can easily alter the policy settings once after the availability of this cmdlet.

New Group Policy Assignment Support in Teams PowerShell Module 

Microsoft rolls out group policy assignment support for additional policies in Teams PowerShell Module as a new update. So that admins can manage their groups in the M365 admin center and group policies in Teams PowerShell with a breeze. This feature will allow you to configure custom policies to groups for all Microsoft commercial licenses. With this update, dependency on global or direct policy assignments through manual methods is eliminated. In addition to the core policies such as meeting policies, calling policies, and messaging policies, the following policies are now expected to be available in Teams PowerShell by late May 2023.    

  • Application Access Policy 
  • Call Hold Policy 
  • Carrier Emergency Call Routing Policy 
  • Cortana Policy 
  • Dial Out Policy 
  • Education Assignments App Policy 
  • Emergency Calling Policy 
  • Enhanced Encryption Policy 
  • Events Policy 
  • External Access Policy 
  • Feedback Policy 
  • Files Policy 
  • IPPhone Policy 
  • Media Logging Policy 
  • Meeting Branding Policy 
  • Meeting Template Permission Policy 
  • Mobility Policy 
  • Notification And Feeds Policy 
  • Room Video Tele Conferencing Policy 
  • Synthetic Automated Call Policy 
  • Teams Branch Survivability Policy 
  • Template Permission Policy 
  •  VDI Policy 
  • Video Interop Service Policy 
  • Voice Routing Policy 
  • Voicemail Policy 

In conclusion, ultimately manage all group policies including Teams using PowerShell cmdlets. Take charge of the user-specific actions and security controls through this group policy assignment. Not only policies, you can also manage your Teams using PowerShell for effective administration. Rather than performing numerous repetitive tasks in the Teams admin center, automate them with just a few cmdlets in PowerShell.  

I hope that this blog provides you with deeper insights into group policy assignments using Teams PowerShell. For any clarifications feel free to reach us through comments. 

Source :

Top 20 Open Source Cyber Security Monitoring Tools in 2023

As cyber threats continue to evolve, security professionals require reliable tools to defend against security vulnerabilities, protect sensitive data, and maintain network security. Open source cyber security tools provide a cost-effective solution for individuals and organizations to combat these threats on-premises and with cloud security and mobile devices. Let’s consider the top 25 open-source cyber security monitoring tools in 2023 that help ensure continuous network and system performance monitoring.

Table of contents

What are the Top Cybersecurity Threats Today?

As cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, organizations must stay informed and prepared to defend against a wide range of security risks.

Here are the top cybersecurity threats that businesses and individuals should be aware of today:

1. Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks are a prevalent form of social engineering where cybercriminals use deceptive emails or websites to trick users into revealing sensitive information or installing malware. These attacks often target login credentials, financial information, and other personal data.

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2. Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts a victim’s files or locks their systems, demanding a ransom payment to restore access. Ransomware attacks can cause significant financial losses and operational disruptions for organizations.

3. Insider Threats: Insider threats refer to security risks posed by employees, contractors, or other individuals with authorized access to an organization’s systems and data. These threats can result from malicious intent or negligence, leading to data breaches or system compromises.

4. Supply Chain Attacks: Also known as third-party attacks or vendor risk, supply chain attacks target an organization’s suppliers, vendors, or partners to gain access to their systems and data. These attacks often exploit security vulnerabilities in the supply chain to compromise multiple organizations.

5. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks: DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a target’s network or system with a flood of traffic, rendering it inaccessible to legitimate users. DDoS attacks can cause severe downtime and service disruptions.

6. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): APTs are sophisticated, coordinated cyberattacks by well-funded threat actors or nation-state groups that target specific organizations for espionage, data theft, or sabotage. APTs often use advanced techniques and tactics to evade detection and maintain a long-term presence within a target’s network.

7. Zero-Day Exploits: Zero-day exploits are attacks that take advantage of previously unknown security vulnerabilities in software or systems. These vulnerabilities, also known as zero-day flaws, have no existing patches or fixes, making them particularly dangerous and challenging to defend against.

8. Internet of Things (IoT) Security: The increasing adoption of IoT devices and connected technologies has expanded the attack surface for cybercriminals. IoT devices are often vulnerable to cyber threats due to weak security measures, creating new risks for organizations and consumers.

9. Data Breaches: Data breaches occur when unauthorized individuals gain access to an organization’s sensitive data, such as customer information, financial records, or intellectual property. Data breaches can result in significant financial and reputational damage for organizations.

10. Cloud Security Threats: As more organizations migrate to cloud-based services, cloud security has become a critical concern. Threats in the cloud can arise from misconfigurations, weak authentication mechanisms, and vulnerabilities in cloud applications or infrastructure.

Benefits of Open-Source CyberSecurity tools

Open source cyber security monitoring tools offer numerous advantages over proprietary solutions, making them an attractive option for businesses, organizations, and individuals looking to enhance their security posture and perform effective security testing.

Here are some key benefits of using open-source tools for cyber security monitoring for monitoring services that pose security threats, even if you have another network monitoring system. Proper cybersecurity monitoring and access management are key to maintaining a secure environment.


One of the most significant benefits of open-source cyber security tools is their cost-effectiveness. With no licensing fees or subscription costs, these free tools enable security teams to access powerful network monitoring solutions without breaking the bank.

This particularly benefits small businesses and startups with limited budgets, allowing them to allocate resources to other critical areas.

Customizability and Flexibility

Open-source network monitoring tools offer high customizability and flexibility, allowing security professionals to tailor the tools to their specific needs. This adaptability enables organizations to address unique security threats and vulnerabilities, ensuring a more robust security posture.

Additionally, the ability to integrate these tools with existing security infrastructure adds an extra layer of protection to network security.

Rapid Development and Updates

The open-source community is known for its rapid development and frequent updates. As new security threats and vulnerabilities emerge, open-source cyber security tools are often among the first to receive patches and updates.

This continuous monitoring and proactive response help organizations stay ahead of potential security risks and maintain a strong security posture.

Extensive Support and Collaboration

Open-source cyber security tools benefit from an extensive support network, comprising developers, users, and experts from around the world.

This collaborative environment fosters knowledge sharing, allowing security professionals to learn from one another and develop more effective security strategies.

Additionally, the availability of comprehensive documentation and online forums makes it easier for users to troubleshoot issues and enhance their understanding of network monitoring and security.

Improved Security and Transparency

With their source code openly available for inspection, open-source cyber security tools offer greater transparency than proprietary alternatives. This transparency allows security professionals and researchers to scrutinize the code for potential security vulnerabilities and ensure its integrity.

Moreover, the collaborative nature of the open-source community means that any identified issues are addressed quickly, further enhancing the overall security of these tools.

Platform Independence and Interoperability

Open-source network monitoring software often supports a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, allowing organizations to deploy these tools across diverse environments.

This platform independence and interoperability help organizations ensure comprehensive network monitoring, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

Top 25 Open Source Cyber Security Monitoring Tools in 2023

Note the following free cyber security monitoring tools in 2023 and the open-source list of solutions you can take advantage of and no free trial needed.

1. Wireshark: Network Protocol Analyzer

Wireshark is a widely-used network protocol analyzer that enables security teams to troubleshoot, analyze, and monitor network traffic in real-time to detect security issues. It is a defacto standard network monitoring tool.

command line interface data packets open source platform data breaches packet capture web apps network packets computer security experts solarwinds security event manager security scanning

By dissecting network protocols, Wireshark provides valuable insights into potential security risks and network vulnerabilities, allowing professionals to identify and resolve issues efficiently with the Wireshark network monitoring solution.

You can monitor a wide range of protocols, including TCP/IP, simple network management protocol, FTP, and many others. If you are looking for a network monitor this is it.

2. Snort: Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention System

Snort is a powerful open-source intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS) that monitors network traffic and detects potential security threats.

It provides real-time traffic analysis, packet logging, and alerting capabilities, making it an essential tool for security auditing and network monitoring.

3. OSSEC: Host-Based Intrusion Detection System

OSSEC is a comprehensive host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS) that offers log analysis, file integrity checking, rootkit detection, and more.

It supports various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS, and helps security professionals monitor and analyze network protocols for potential security vulnerabilities.

4. Security Onion: Intrusion Detection and Network Security Monitoring Distribution

Security Onion is a Linux distribution specifically designed for intrusion detection, network security monitoring, and log management.

With a suite of powerful open-source tools, including Snort, Suricata, and Zeek, Security Onion provides a robust solution for security teams to monitor networks and detect security breaches.

5. Nmap: Network Scanning and Discovery Tool

Nmap is a versatile network scanning and discovery tool that helps security professionals identify network devices, open ports, and running services.

It is an essential network monitoring software for vulnerability management, penetration testing, and network inventory management.

6. Kismet: Wireless Network Detector, Sniffer, and Intrusion Detection System

Kismet is a wi fi security tool that detects, sniffs, and analyzes wireless networks. By monitoring wireless network traffic, Kismet identifies potential security risks, network vulnerabilities, and unauthorized users, making it an invaluable tool for wireless network security.

7. Suricata: High-Performance Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention Engine

Suricata is an open-source, high-performance network intrusion detection and prevention engine that provides real-time network traffic analysis, threat detection, and alerting.

Suricata enables security professionals to maintain network integrity and security by employing advanced threat defense and anomaly detection techniques.

8. Zeek (formerly Bro): Network Analysis Framework for Security Monitoring

Zeek, previously known as Bro, is a powerful network analysis framework that offers real-time insight into network traffic.

With its flexible scripting language and extensible plugin architecture, Zeek provides comprehensive visibility into network activity, enabling security teams to detect and prevent security threats.

9. OpenVAS: Vulnerability Scanning and Management Solution

OpenVAS is a comprehensive vulnerability scanning and management solution that helps security professionals identify, assess, and remediate security vulnerabilities.

With its extensive plugin library, OpenVAS ensures continuous monitoring and up-to-date vulnerability information, making it a critical tool for vulnerability management.

10. ClamAV: Open-Source Antivirus Engine

ClamAV is an open-source antivirus engine that detects trojans, viruses, and other malicious software.

It offers a command-line scanner, a graphical user interface (GUI) for Windows operating system, and integration with mail servers, ensuring that your systems are protected from security threats.

11. Fail2Ban: Log-Parsing Application to Protect Against Brute-Force Attacks

Fail2Ban is a log-parsing application that monitors log files for malicious activity, such as repeated failed login attempts. Fail2Ban bans the offending IP address when a potential attack is detected, effectively protecting your network from brute-force attacks and unauthorized access.

12. AlienVault OSSIM: Open-Source Security Information and Event Management Platform

AlienVault OSSIM is an open-source security information and event management (SIEM) platform that provides real-time event correlation, log analysis, and threat intelligence.

By integrating multiple security tools, OSSIM helps security teams maintain a unified user interface and enhance their overall security posture.

13. Cuckoo Sandbox: Automated Malware Analysis System

Cuckoo Sandbox is an open-source automated malware analysis system that enables security professionals to analyze suspicious files and URLs in a safe, isolated environment.

It provides detailed reports on malware behavior, including network traffic analysis, file system changes, and API traces, helping security teams identify and mitigate security risks.

14. Logstash: Log Processing and Management Tool

Logstash is part of the Elastic Stack (ELK Stack) and offers log processing and management capabilities.

It collects, parses, and stores log data from various sources, making it an essential tool for security professionals to monitor and analyze network activity, detect security breaches, and maintain system performance.

15. pfSense: Open-Source Firewall and Router Distribution

pfSense is an open-source firewall and router distribution based on FreeBSD. It offers a powerful and flexible network security, traffic shaping, and VPN connectivity solution.

With its extensive features and customization options, pfSense is ideal for securing web servers and internal networks.

16. ModSecurity: Open-Source Web Application Firewall

ModSecurity is an open-source web application firewall (WAF) providing real-time security monitoring and access control. It detects and prevents web attacks, protects sensitive data, and helps security professionals maintain compliance with industry standards and regulations.

17. AIDE (Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment): File and Directory Integrity Checker

AIDE is a file and directory integrity checker that monitors system files for unauthorized changes. It detects modifications, deletions, and additions, allowing security teams to maintain system integrity and prevent security breaches.

18. Graylog: Open-Source Log Management Platform

Graylog is an open-source log management platform that centralizes and analyzes log data from various sources.

Graylog helps security professionals detect security threats, identify network vulnerabilities, and maintain network security by providing comprehensive visibility into network activity.

19. Wazuh: Security Monitoring and Compliance Solution

Wazuh is a free, open-source security monitoring and compliance solution that integrates host-based and network-based intrusion detection systems, file integrity monitoring and security policy enforcement.

Wazuh’s centralized management and powerful analytics capabilities make it an essential tool for security teams to detect and respond to security threats.

20. T-Pot: Honeypot Platform

T-Pot is a platform combining multiple honeypots into a single, easy-to-deploy solution for cyber security monitoring. By simulating vulnerable systems and services, T-Pot attracts attackers and collects threat data, providing valuable insights into current attack trends and techniques.

Honorable mentions

Samhain: Host-Based Intrusion Detection System

Samhain is a host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS) that provides file integrity checking and log file monitoring. It detects unauthorized modifications, deletions, and additions, helping security professionals maintain system integrity and prevent security breaches.

SELKS: Network Security Management ISO with Suricata

SELKS is a live and installable network security management ISO based on Debian, focusing on a complete and ready-to-use Suricata IDS/IPS ecosystem. It offers a user-friendly interface and powerful analytics tools, making it an ideal choice for security teams to monitor networks and detect potential security threats.

Squid: Open-Source Web Proxy Cache and Forward Proxy

Squid is an open-source web proxy cache and forward proxy that improves web performance and security. By caching frequently-requested web content and filtering web traffic, Squid helps reduce bandwidth usage, enhance user privacy, and protect against web-based security threats.

YARA: Pattern-Matching Tool for Malware Researchers

YARA is a pattern-matching tool designed for malware researchers to identify and classify malware samples. By creating custom rules and signatures, YARA enables security professionals to detect and analyze malicious software, enhancing their understanding of current malware trends and techniques.

Arkime (formerly Moloch): Large-Scale, Open-Source, Indexed Packet Capture and Search System

Arkime is a large-scale, open-source, indexed packet capture and search system that provides comprehensive visibility into network traffic. It enables security professionals to analyze network protocols, detect security vulnerabilities, and identify potential security threats, making it an essential tool for network monitoring and security auditing.

Tips to Improve Your Cybersecurity Posture

Improving your cybersecurity posture is essential for safeguarding your organization from various cyber threats. Here are some practical tips to help enhance your cybersecurity defenses:

  1. Implement Regular Security Audits: Conducting routine security audits can help identify potential weaknesses in your organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
  2. This includes checking for outdated software, misconfigured settings, and other vulnerabilities that may expose your systems to attacks.
  3. Keep Software and Systems Updated: Regularly update your software, operating systems, and firmware to protect against known vulnerabilities and exploits.
  4. This includes applying security patches and updates as soon as they become available.
  5. Use Strong Authentication Mechanisms: Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all critical systems and applications.
  6. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide additional verification, such as a one-time code or biometric authentication, in addition to their password.
  7. Encrypt Sensitive Data: Encrypt sensitive data both in transit and at rest to prevent unauthorized access. This includes using secure communication protocols, such as HTTPS and TLS, and implementing encryption solutions for data storage.
  8. Establish a Strong Password Policy: Enforce a robust password policy that requires users to create complex, unique passwords and update them regularly. Additionally, consider using a password manager to help users manage and store their passwords securely.
  9. Educate Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices: Provide ongoing security awareness training to educate employees about common cyber threats, safe online practices, and how to recognize and report potential security incidents.
  10. Implement Network Segmentation: Divide your network into smaller segments, isolating critical systems and data from less secure areas. This can help prevent the spread of malware and limit the damage in case of a security breach.
  11. Regularly Backup Important Data: Regularly back up essential data and store copies offsite or in the cloud. This ensures that you can quickly recover from data loss or ransomware attacks.
  12. Utilize Endpoint Security Solutions: Deploy comprehensive endpoint security solutions to protect devices connected to your network.
  13. This includes antivirus software, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and device management tools.
  14. Monitor and Analyze Network Traffic: Use network monitoring tools to analyze network traffic, detect anomalies, and identify potential security threats. Regular monitoring can help detect and respond to security incidents more effectively.
  15. Develop a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan: Create a detailed incident response plan outlining the steps to take in a security breach. Regularly review and update the plan, and ensure that all employees are familiar with the procedures.
  16. Collaborate with Security Professionals: Engage with cybersecurity experts or managed service providers to help develop and maintain a strong security posture.
  17. This can provide access to specialized knowledge and resources to stay up-to-date with the latest threats and best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the best open-source cyber security monitoring tools available in 2023?

This blog post covers the top 25 open-source cyber security monitoring tools in 2023, including Wireshark, Snort, OSSEC, Security Onion, Nmap, Kismet, Suricata, Zeek, OpenVAS, ClamAV, and more.

These tools provide comprehensive network monitoring, threat detection, and vulnerability management capabilities to help organizations maintain a robust security posture.

2. Why choose open-source cyber security monitoring tools over proprietary alternatives?

Open-source cyber security monitoring tools offer several advantages: cost-effectiveness, customizability, rapid development and updates, extensive support, improved security, and platform independence.

These benefits make open-source tools attractive for organizations looking to enhance their network security and protect sensitive data.

3. How can I improve my organization’s cybersecurity hygiene?

In addition to utilizing open-source cyber security monitoring tools, organizations can improve their cybersecurity hygiene by implementing security awareness training, regularly updating software and systems, employing strong password policies, using multi-factor authentication, monitoring network traffic, and conducting regular security audits and penetration testing.

4. What is the importance of continuous monitoring in cybersecurity?

Continuous monitoring plays a crucial role in identifying and addressing security threats and vulnerabilities in real-time.

By regularly analyzing network traffic, security professionals can detect potential issues, respond to incidents promptly, and ensure the safety and integrity of their digital assets.

5. How can I protect my web applications from security threats?

Web application security can be improved by using tools such as ModSecurity, an open-source web application firewall (WAF) that provides real-time application security monitoring and access control.

Regularly updating web applications, conducting vulnerability assessments, and implementing secure coding practices can also help mitigate security risks.

6. What role do threat intelligence and threat data play in cybersecurity?

Threat intelligence and threat data help security professionals understand the latest trends, tactics, and techniques cybercriminals use.

Organizations can proactively address potential issues and maintain a strong security posture by staying informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

7. Are open-source cyber security monitoring tools suitable for small businesses and startups?

Yes, open-source cyber security monitoring tools are ideal for small businesses and startups, as they offer cost-effective and powerful network monitoring solutions.

These tools enable organizations with limited budgets to access advanced security features without incurring high licensing fees or subscription costs.

Wrapping up

The ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats demands reliable and effective tools for security professionals to protect networks, systems, and sensitive data.

These Top 20 open-source cyber security monitoring tools in 2023 provide a comprehensive network monitoring, threat detection, and vulnerability management solution.

By incorporating these tools into your security strategy, you can enhance your overall security posture and ensure the safety and integrity of your digital assets.

Source :

Huge List Of PowerShell Commands for Active Directory, Office 365 and more

This is the ultimate collection of PowerShell commands for Active Directory, Office 365, Windows Server and more.

These commands will help with numerous tasks and make your life easier.

Table of Contents:

This section contains general commands for getting domain details.

View all Active Directory commands

get-command -Module ActiveDirectory

Display Basic Domain Information


Get all Domain Controllers by Hostname and Operating

Get-ADDomainController -filter * | select hostname, operatingsystem

Get all Fine Grained Password Policies

Get-ADFineGrainedPasswordPolicy -filter *

Get Domain Default Password Policy

Gets the password policy from the logged in domain


Backup Active Directory System State Remotely

This will back up the domain controllers system state data. Change DC-Name to your server name and change the Backup-Path. The backup path can be a local disk or a UNC path

invoke-command -ComputerName DC-Name -scriptblock {wbadmin start systemstateback up -backupTarget:"Backup-Path" -quiet}

Related: Windows CMD Commands

This section is all Active Directory user commands.

Get User and List All Properties (attributes)

Change username to the samAccountName of the account

Get-ADUser username -Properties *

Get User and List Specific Properties

Just add whatever you want to display after select

Get-ADUser username -Properties * | Select name, department, title

Get All Active Directory Users in Domain

Get-ADUser -Filter *

Get All Users From a Specific  OU

OU = the distinguished path of the OU

Get-ADUser -SearchBase “OU=ADPRO Users,dc=ad,dc=activedirectorypro.com” -Filter *

Get AD Users by Name

This command will find all users that have the word robert in the name. Just change robert to the word you want to search for.

get-Aduser -Filter {name -like "*robert*"}

Get All Disable User Accounts

Search-ADAccount -AccountDisabled | select name

Disable User Account

Disable-ADAccount -Identity rallen

Enable User Account

Enable-ADAccount -Identity rallen

Get All Accounts with Password Set to Never Expire

get-aduser -filter * -properties Name, PasswordNeverExpires | where {$_.passwordNeverExpires -eq "true" } | Select-Object DistinguishedName,Name,Enabled

Find All Locked User Accounts

Search-ADAccount -LockedOut

Unlock User Account

Unlock-ADAccount –Identity john.smith

List all Disabled User Accounts

Search-ADAccount -AccountDisabled

Force Password Change at Next Login

Set-ADUser -Identity username -ChangePasswordAtLogon $true

Move a Single User to a New OU

You will need the distinguishedName of the user and the target OU

Move-ADObject -Identity "CN=Test User (0001),OU=ADPRO Users,DC=ad,DC=activedirectorypro,DC=com" -TargetPath "OU=HR,OU=ADPRO Users,DC=ad,DC=activedirectorypro,DC=com"

Move Users to an OU from a CSV

Setup a csv with a name field and a list of the users sAmAccountNames. Then just change the target OU path.

# Specify target OU. $TargetOU = "OU=HR,OU=ADPRO Users,DC=ad,DC=activedirectorypro,DC=com" # Read user sAMAccountNames from csv file (field labeled "Name"). Import-Csv -Path Users.csv | ForEach-Object { # Retrieve DN of User. $UserDN = (Get-ADUser -Identity $_.Name).distinguishedName # Move user to target OU. Move-ADObject -Identity $UserDN -TargetPath $TargetOU }

This section list commands used for getting Active Directory group information.

Get All members Of A Security Group

Get-ADGroupMember -identity “HR Full”

Get All Security Groups

This will list all security groups in a domain

Get-ADGroup -filter *

Add User to Group

Change group-name to the AD group you want to add users to

Add-ADGroupMember -Identity group-name -Members Sser1, user2

Export Users From a Group

This will export group members to a CSV, change group-name to the group you want to export.

Get-ADGroupMember -identity “Group-name” | select name | Export-csv -path C:\OutputGroupmembers.csv -NoTypeInformation

Get Group by keyword

Find a group by keyword. Helpful if you are not sure of the name, change group-name.

get-adgroup -filter * | Where-Object {$_.name -like "*group-name*"}

Import a List of Users to a Group

$members = Import-CSV c:itadd-to-group.csv | Select-Object -ExpandProperty samaccountname Add-ADGroupMember -Identity hr-n-drive-rw -Members $members

List of commands for getting Active Directory computers.

Get All Computers

This will list all computers in the domain

Get-AdComputer -filter *

Get All Computers by Name

This will list all the computers in the domain and only display the hostname

Get-ADComputer -filter * | select name

Get All Computers from an OU

Get-ADComputer -SearchBase "OU=DN" -Filter *

Get a Count of All Computers in Domain

Get-ADComputer -filter * | measure

Get all Windows 10 Computers

Change Windows 10 to any OS you want to search for

Get-ADComputer -filter {OperatingSystem -Like '*Windows 10*'} -property * | select name, operatingsystem

Get a Count of All computers by Operating System

This will provide a count of all computers and group them by the operating system. A great command to give you a quick inventory of computers in AD.

Get-ADComputer -Filter "name -like '*'" -Properties operatingSystem | group -Property operatingSystem | Select Name,Count

Delete a single Computer

Remove-ADComputer -Identity "USER04-SRV4"

Delete a List of Computer Accounts

Add the hostnames to a text file and run the command below.

Get-Content -Path C:ComputerList.txt | Remove-ADComputer

Delete Computers From an OU

Get-ADComputer -SearchBase "OU=DN" -Filter * | Remote-ADComputer

List of commands for getting group policy details.

Get all GPO related commands

get-command -Module grouppolicy

Get all GPOs by status

get-GPO -all | select DisplayName, gpostatus

Backup all GPOs in the Domain

Backup-Gpo -All -Path E:GPObackup

Office 365 PowerShell Commands

Commands for Office 365.

Connect To Exchange Online

This will pop up and ask for credentials

$UserCredential = Get-Credential $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection Import-PSSession $Session

Force Azure Sync

This is for the azure ad sync client.

Force delta sync (only sync changes

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta Force a full sync Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Initial

Get A List of All Office 365 Users

Get-MsolUser | Select DisplayName, City, Department, ObjectID

Get Full mailbox details

Get-Mailbox email-address | fl

Get Calendar Permissions

Get-MailboxFolderPermission username:calendar

Enable Remote Mailbox (Hybrid Environment)

Use this command if you have an existing on-premise user that needs an office 365 mailbox. There are other ways to do this but this creates all the attributes in the AD account.

Replace the username and the tenant fields

Enable-RemoteMailbox username -RemoteRoutingAddress "username@tenant.mail.onmicrosoft.com"

Windows Server & Client Commands

Get all Services


Get all Processes


Display Network Adapters

Gets detailed about the network adapter installed such as name,  status, speed and mac address.


Restart Remote Computers

Restart-Computer -ComputerName "Server01", "Server02", "localhost"

Get Last Boot Time

This takes a few lines

$os = Get-WmiObject win32_operatingsystem $uptime = (Get-Date) - $os.ConvertToDateTime($os.LastBootUpTime) Write-Output ("Last boot: " + $os.ConvertToDateTime($os.LastBootUpTime))

You can also run this single line to get last boot time

systeminfo | more

Start a Remote Session

Use this to start an interactive session with a remote computer

Enter-PSSession -ComputerName

Read the Content of a File (Open a file)

This example shows how to read the content of the windows firewall log file

Get-Content -Path "c:windowssystem32logfilesfirewallpfirewall.log"

Copy Files & Folders

Use this command to copy an entire folder to another folder. This will copy the folder and all the sub folder/files. The -verbose command will display the results to the console.

copy-item E:\WindowsImageBackup\exchange -destination \\server1\Backups\Exchange -recurse -verbose

Basic PowerShell Commands

Get Execution Policy


Set Execution Policy to Unrestricted

set-executionpolicy unrestricted

Show PowerShell Version


Get help for a command

Use this to get the help information for a command

get-help command-name

Search Get Help

Use this to search the help files. This is useful if you don’t know the command or want to see if one exists.

get-help *keyword*

Get Installed Modules

Use this command to display all the installed modules on a computer


List All Available Modules

This will list all available modules on the computer.

Get-Module -ListAvailable

Exporting results to CSV

Add export-csv to the end of commands

Get-ADUser username -Properties * | Select name, department, title | export-csv c:\user.csv

Display available commands

This will display all commands that are available based on the modules that are loaded.


Find New Modules

Replace *ntfs* with the keyword you want to search for. This searches modules at https://www.powershellgallery.com/

Find-Module *ntfs*

Install a New Module

Installs modules from https://www.powershellgallery.com/

I found a module called NTFSSecurity, to install it I run this command

install-module NTFSSecurity

Recommended Tool: SolarWinds Hybrid Systems Monitor

Monitor your physical and virtual servers with ease and troubleshoot more easily when downtime or other application performance issues occur.

What I like best about this tool is it’s easy-to-use dashboard and built-in alerting. See key metrics to help identify issues before users complain.

Monitor Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, and other critical IT systems, both locally and cloud hosted. Get automated email alerts and know which applications are having issues in your environment.

Source :

Why High Tech Companies Struggle with SaaS Security

It’s easy to think high-tech companies have a security advantage over other older, more mature industries. Most are unburdened by 40 years of legacy systems and software. They draw some of the world’s youngest, brightest digital natives to their ranks, all of whom consider cybersecurity issues their entire lives.

Perhaps it is due to their familiarity with technology that causes them to overlook SaaS security configurations. During the last Christmas holiday season, Slack had some private code stolen from its GitHub repository. According to Slack, the stolen code didn’t impact production, and no customer data was taken.

Still, the breach should serve as a warning sign to other tech companies. Stolen tokens allowed threat actors to access the GitHub instance and download the code. If this type of attack can happen to Slack on GitHub, it can happen to any high-tech company. Tech companies must take SaaS security seriously to prevent resources from leaking or being stolen.

App Breaches: A Recurring Story#

Slack’s misfortune with GitHub wasn’t the first time a GitHub breach occurred. Back in April, a stolen OAuth token from Heroku and Travis CI-maintained OAuth applications were stolen, leading to an attacker downloading data from dozens of private code repositories.

MailChimp, a SaaS app used to manage email campaigns, experienced three breaches over 12 months spanning 2022-23. Customer data was stolen by threat actors, who used that data in attacks against cryptocurrency companies.

SevenRooms had over 400 GB of sensitive data stolen from its CRM platform, PayPal notified customers in January that unauthorized parties accessed accounts using stolen login credentials, and Atlassian saw employee data and corporate data exposed in a February breach.

Clearly, tech companies aren’t immune to data breaches. Protecting their proprietary code, customer data, and employee records that are stored within SaaS applications should be a top priority.

Reliance on SaaS Applications#

A strong SaaS posture is important for any company, but it is particularly important for organizations that store their proprietary code in SaaS applications. This code is especially tempting to threat actors, who would like nothing more than to monetize their efforts and ransom the code back to its creators.

Tech companies also tend to rely on a large number and mix of SaaS applications, from collaboration platforms to sales and marketing tools, legal and finance, data warehouses, cybersecurity solutions, and many more – making it even more challenging to secure the entire stack.

Tech employees heavily depend on SaaS apps to do their day-to-day work; this requires security teams to strictly govern identities and their access. Moreover, these users tend to log into their SaaS apps through different devices to maintain efficiency, which may pose a risk to the organization based on the device’s level of hygiene. On top of this, tech employees tend to connect third-party applications to the core stack without thinking twice, granting these apps high risk scopes.

Learn how Adaptive Shield can help you secure your entire SaaS stack.

Controlling SaaS Access After Layoffs#

The high-tech industry is known for periods of hyper-growth, followed by downsizing. Over the past few months, we’ve seen Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Shopify and others announce layoffs.

Deprovisioning employees from SaaS applications is a critical element in data security. While much of the offboarding of employees is automated, SaaS applications that are not connected to the company directory don’t automatically revoke access. Even those applications that are connected may have admin accounts that are outside the company’s SSO. While the primary SSO account may be disconnected, the user’s admin access through the app’s login screen is often accessible.

Organic Hyper Growth and M&As#

At the same time, the industry is ripe with mergers and acquisition announcements. As a result of M&As, the acquiring company needs to create a baseline for SaaS security and monitor all SaaS stacks of merged or acquired companies, while enabling business continuity. Whether the hyper growth is organic or through an M&A, organizations need to be able to ensure access is right-sized for their users, at scale and rapidly.

Identity Threat Detection & Response#

The majority of data breaches impacting tech companies stem from stolen credentials and tokens. The threat actor enters the system through the front door, using valid credentials of the user.

Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR) picks up suspicious events that would otherwise go unnoticed. An SSPM (SaaS Security Posture Management) solution with threat detection engines in place will alert when there is an Indicator of Compromise (IOC). These IOCs are based on cross-referencing of activities such as user geolocation, time, frequency, recurring attempts to login, excessive activities and more.

Securing High Tech’s SaaS#

Maintaining a high SaaS security posture is challenging for high tech companies, who may mistakenly believe they are equipped and well trained to prevent SaaS attacks. SaaS Security Posture Management is essential to preventing SaaS breaches, while an SSPM with ITDR capabilities will go a long way toward ensuring that your SaaS data is secure.

Learn how Adaptive Shield can help you secure your entire SaaS stack.

Source :

NIST Password Guidelines

Joe Dibley

Published: November 14, 2022

Updated: March 17, 2023

What are NIST Password Guidelines?

Since 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a U.S. federal agency, has issued  guidelines for managing digital identities via Special Publication 800-63B. The latest revision (rev. 3) was released in 2017, and has been updated as recently as 2019. Revision 4 was made available for comment and review; however, revision 3 is still the standard as of the time of this blog post.

Section 5.1.1 – Memorized Secrets provides recommendations for requirements around how users may create new passwords or make password changes, including guidelines around issues such as password strength. Special Publication 800-63B also covers verifiers (software, websites, network directory services, etc.) that validate and handle passwords during authentication and other processes.

Handpicked related content:

Not all organizations must adhere to NIST guidelines. However, many follow NIST password policy recommendations even if it’s not required because they provide a good foundation for sound digital identity management. Indeed, strong password security helps companies block many cybersecurity attacks, including  hackers, brute force attacks like credential stuffing and dictionary attacks. In addition, mitigating identity-related security risks helps organizations ensure compliance with a wide range of regulations, such as HIPAA, FISMA and SOX.

Quick List of NIST Password Guidelines

This blog explain many NIST password guidelines in detail, but here’s a quick list:

  • User-generated passwords should be at least 8 characters in length.
  • Machine-generated passwords should be at least 6 characters in length.
  • Users should be able to create passwords at least 64 characters in length.
  • All ASCII/Unicode characters should be allowed, including emojis and spaces.
  • Stored passwords should be hashed and salted, and never truncated.
  • Prospective passwords should be compared against password breach databases and rejected if there’s a match.
  • Passwords should not expire.
  • Users should be prevented from using sequential characters (e.g., “1234”) or repeated characters (e.g., “aaaa”).
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) should not use SMS for codes.
  • Knowledge-based authentication (KBA), such as “What was the name of your first pet?”, should not be used.
  • Users should be allowed 10 failed password attempts before being locked out of a system or service.
  • Passwords should not have hints.
  • Complexity requirements — like requiring special characters, numbers or uppercase letters — should not be used.
  • Context-specific words, such as the name of the service or the individual’s username, should not be permitted.

You probably notice that some of these recommendations represent a departure from previous assumptions and standards. For example, NIST has removed complexity requirements like special characters in passwords; this change was made in part because users find ways to circumvent stringent complexity requirements. Instead of struggling to remember complex passwords and risking getting locked out, they may write their passwords down and leave them near physical computers or servers. Or they simply recycle old passwords based on dictionary words by making minimal changes during password creation, such as incrementing a number at the end.

NIST Guidelines

Now let’s explore the NIST guidelines in more detail.

Password length & processing

Length has long been considered a crucial factor for password security. NIST now recommends a password policy that requires all user-created passwords to be at least 8 characters in length, and all machine-generated passwords to be at least 6 characters in length. Additionally, it’s recommended to allow passwords to be at least 64 characters as a maximum length.

Verifiers should no longer truncate any passwords during processing. Passwords should be hashed and salted, with the full password hash stored.

Also the recommended NIST account lockout policy is to allow users at least 10 attempts at entering their password before being locked out.

Accepted characters

All ASCII characters, including the space character, should be supported in passwords. NIST specifies that Unicode characters, such as emojis, should be accepted as well.

Users should be prevented from using sequential characters (e.g., “1234”), repeated characters (e.g., “aaaa”) and simple dictionary words.

Commonly used & breached passwords

Passwords that are known to be commonly used or compromised should not be permitted. For example, you should disallow passwords in lists from breaches (such as the Have I Been Pwned? database, which contains 570+ million passwords from breaches), previously used passwords, well-known commonly used passwords, and context-specific passwords (e.g., the name of the service).

When a user attempts to use a password that fails this check, a message should be displayed asking them for a different password and providing an explanation for why their previous entry was rejected.

Reduced complexity & password expiration

As explained earlier in the blog, previous password complexity requirements have led to less secure human behavior, instead of the intended effect of tightening security. With that in mind, NIST recommends reduced complexity requirements, which includes removing requirements for special characters, numbers, uppercase characters, etc.

A related recommendation for reducing insecure human behavior is to eliminate password expiration.

No more hints or knowledge-based authentication (KBA)

Although password hints were intended to help users to create more complex passwords, users often choose hints that practically give away their passwords. Accordingly, NIST recommends not allowing password hints.

NIST also recommends not using knowledge-based authentication (KBA), such as questions like “What was the name of your first pet?”

Password managers & two-factor authentication (2FA)

To account for the growing popularity of password managers, users should be able to paste passwords.

SMS is no longer considered a secure option for 2FA. Instead, one-time code provider, such as Google Authenticator or Okta Verify, should be used.

How Netwrix Can Help

Netwrix offers several solutions specifically designed to streamline and strengthen access and password management:

  • Netwrix Password Policy Enforcer makes it easy to create strong yet flexible password policies that enhance security and compliance without hurting user productivity or burdening helpdesk and IT teams.
  • Netwrix Password Reset enables users to safely unlock their own accounts and reset or change their own passwords, right from their web browser. This self-service functionality dramatically reduces user frustration and productivity losses while slashing helpdesk call volume.


What is NIST Special Publication 800-63B?

NIST’s Digital Identity Guidelines (Special Publication 800-63B) provides reliable recommendations for identity and access management, including effective password policies.

Why does NIST recommend reducing password complexity requirements?

While requiring complex passwords makes them more difficult for attackers to crack, it also makes passwords harder for users to remember. To avoid frustrating lockouts, users tend to respond with behaviors like writing down their credentials on a sticky note by their desk or choosing to periodically reuse the same (or nearly the same) password — which increase security risks. Accordingly, NIST now recommends less stringent complexity requirements.

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Top Strategies to Harden Your Active Directory Infrastructure

Joe Dibley

Published: April 28, 2023

Microsoft Active Directory (AD) is the central credential store for 90% of organizations worldwide. As the gatekeeper to business applications and data, it’s not just everywhere, it’s everything! Managing AD is a never-ending task, and securing it is even harder. At Netwrix, we talk to a lot of customers who are using our tools to manage and secure AD, and over the years, key strategies for tightening security and hardening AD to resist attacks have emerged. Here are 10 Active Directory security hardening tips that you can use in your environment:

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Tip #1: Clean up stale objects.

Active Directory includes thousands of items and many moving elements to safeguard. A core method for increasing security is to decrease clutter by removing unused users, groups and machines. Stale AD objects may be abused by attackers, so deleting them reduces your attack surface.

You may also find seldom-used items. Use HR data and work with business stakeholders to determine their status; for example, for user accounts, determine the user’s manager. While this takes time, you’ll appreciate having it done during your next audit or compliance review.

Tip #2: Make it easy for users to choose secure passwords.

To prevent adversaries from compromising user credentials to enter your network and move laterally, passwords need to be hard to crack. But users simply cannot remember and manage multiple complex passwords on their own, so they resort to practices that weaken security, such as writing their passwords on sticky notes or simply incrementing a number at the end when they need to change them. That led security experts to weaken their recommendations concerning password complexity and resets.

However, with an enterprise password management solution, you can make it easy for users to create unique and highly secure passwords and manage them effectively, so you do not have to compromise on strong password requirements. A user needs to memorize just one strong password, and the tool manages all the others for them.

Tip #3: Don’t let employees have admin privileges on their workstations.

If an attacker gains control of a user account (which we all know happens quite a bit), their next step is often to install hacking software on the user’s workstation to help them move laterally and take over other accounts. If the compromised account has local admin rights, that task is easy.

But most business users do not actually need to install software or change settings very often, so you can reduce your risk by not giving them admin permissions. If they do need an additional application, they can ask the helpdesk to install it. Don’t forget to use Microsoft LAPS ensure all remaining local admin accounts have strong passwords and change them on a regular schedule.

Tip #4: Lock down service accounts.

Service accounts are used by applications to authenticate to AD. They are frequently targeted by attackers because they are rarely monitored, have elevated privileges and typically have passwords with no expirations. Accordingly, take a good look at your service accounts and restrict their permissions as much as possible. Sometimes service accounts are members of the Domain Admin’s group, but typically don’t need all of that access to function — you may need to check with the application vendor to find out the exact privileges needed.

It’s also important to change service account passwords periodically to make it even more difficult for attackers to exploit them. Doing this manually is difficult, so consider using the group managed service account (gMSA) feature, introduced in Windows Server 2016. When you use gMSAs, the operating system will automatically handle the password management of service accounts for you.

Tip #5: Eliminate permanent membership in security groups.

The Enterprise Admin, Schema Admin and Domain Admin security groups are the crown jewels of Active Directory, and attackers will do everything they can to get membership in them. If your admins have permanent membership in these groups, an attacker who compromises one of their accounts will have permanent elevated access in your domain.

To reduce this risk, strictly limit membership in all of these highly privileged group and, furthermore, make membership temporary. The Enterprise Admin and Schema Admin groups are not frequently used, so for these, this won’t be an issue. Domain Admin is needed much more, so a system for granting temporary membership will have to be set up.

Tip #6: Eliminate elevated permissions wherever possible.

There are three fairly common permissions that attackers need to execute attacks against AD: Reset Password, Change Group Membership and Replication. These permissions are harder to secure since they are so frequently used in daily operations.

Accordingly, you should monitor all changes to security group permissions or membership that would grant these rights to additional users. Even better, implement a privileged access management (PAM) solution that enables just-in-time temporary provisioning of these privileges.

Tip #7: Implement multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to verify their identity by providing at least two of the following types of authentication factors:

  • Something they know, such as a password, PIN or answer to a security question
  • Something they have, such as a code from a physical token or a smart card
  • Something they are, which means biometrics like a fingerprint, iris or face scan

Tip #8: Closely audit your Active Directory.

It is important to audit Active Directory for both non-secure settings and suspicious activity. In particular, you should perform regular risk assessment to mitigate security gaps, monitor for anomalous user activity, and promptly identify configuration drift in critical system files. It’s ideal to invest in tools that will automatically alert you to suspicious events and even respond automatically to block threats.

Tip #9: Secure DNS.

Securing DNS can help you to block a variety of attacks, including as domain hijacking and DNS spoofing. Steps to take include implementing DNSSEC, using a secure DNS server and regularly reviewing DNS settings.

Tip #10: Regularly back up Active Directory.

Having a recent backup of your Active Directory is crucial for recovery from cyber incidents, including ransomware attacks and natural disasters. Backups should be stored securely, tested regularly and be readily accessible to ensure your critical AD settings are recoverable in the event of a disaster.


Active Directory is an amazing system for controlling access. However, it’s only secure when it’s clean, understood, properly configured, closely monitored and tightly controlled. These tips are practical ways that you can tighten security and harden your Active Directory.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hardening in Active Directory?

Hardening in Active Directory is the process of securing and strengthening the directory service to reduce the risk of data breaches and downtime. It involves controlling access to sensitive data, removing unnecessary objects, enforcing password policies and monitoring for suspicious activity.

What is domain controller hardening?

Domain controller hardening is the process of strengthening the servers that run Active Directory to reduce the risk of unauthorized access, data breaches and service disruption. It includes deactivating superfluous services, deploying security patches and updates, establishing firewall rules, and enforcing strong password practices.

What happens if a domain controller is compromised?

An adversary who compromises a domain controller can do significant damage, from accessing sensitive data to creating, modifying and deleting user accounts and other critical AD objects.

How do I secure Active Directory?

Securing Active Directory is an ongoing process that involves multiple layers of security controls. In particular, organizations need to  implement strong password policies, limit user access, monitor for suspicious activity, keep machines patched and updated, secure domain controllers, use multifactor authentication (MFA) to add extra security, and educate employees on cybersecurity best practices and potential threats.

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