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Sreegith Sreedharan Nair - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Network Engineer at LTI - Larsen & Toubro Infotech
Real User
Centralized management, good VPN functionality, provides valuable insights into our traffic
Pros and Cons
  • "The SmartView monitor and SmartReporter help us to monitor and report on traffic."
  • "Integration with a third-party authentication mechanism is tricky and needs to be planned well."

What is our primary use case?

We have deployed Check Point firewalls for perimeter security and also for filtering East-West traffic. 

Check Point helps in improving perimeter security along with giving insights into different kinds of traffic and attacks.

Isolation between different tiers of APPs is critical for us and Check Point is utilized for handling high traffic volumes of East-West traffic.

We are leveraging the VPN module on the perimeter firewall for users to access the VPNs. VPN authentication is integrated with RSA for multi-factor authentication.

How has it helped my organization?

We have reduced the number of firewalls using the VSX cluster from Check Point. This reduced management overhead to a great extent. Also, the stability of clustered firewall helps us in meeting SLAs with clients.

Check Point firewalls can be tuned for one-off cases like allowing out-of-sync packets for a source-destination pair, which is a feature that helped us tackle application issues. 

We have deployed VPN firewalls in multiple data centers, which help with load sharing and redundancy for the VPN traffic.

Managing all of our user VPNs, customer VPNs, and Cloud VPN tunnels' endpoint encryption from a single management portal is helping us.

What is most valuable?

VSX helps to reduce the physical footprint on datacenter racks.

The SmartView monitor and SmartReporter help us to monitor and report on traffic.

Centralized management and management high availability give the ability to manage firewalls in a DR scenario. 

Features such as the ability to simultaneously edit the rule base by multiple admins and revert to a previous rule base revision are very useful.

Having a separate appliance for logging helps us in meeting the security audit requirements, without having an overhead on management.

What needs improvement?

Configurations can be complex in some situations and need experienced engineers for managing the solution.

Integration with a third-party authentication mechanism is tricky and needs to be planned well.

SmartView monitor can be enhanced to display granular details of gateways with a single click. Also, having the ability to generate alerts from the Smart Monitor would be a nice feature.

Buyer's Guide
Check Point NGFW
October 2022
Learn what your peers think about Check Point NGFW. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2022.
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For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Check Point firewalls for the last eight years.

How are customer service and support?

Support might take a long time to resolve issues in rare scenarios.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to always keep an identical configuration, even interface statuses, in a VSX cluster before an upgrade to minimize upgrade failures.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior Security Specialist at Tech Mahindra Limited
Vendor
Top 10
Great URL filtering, Data Loss Prevention, and mobile device connectivity
Pros and Cons
  • "Its auditing features are good for checking who did what changes and when."
  • "The URL objects take significant time in processing compared to other products like Cisco FTD; it would be better if they could improve it."

What is our primary use case?

Check Point NGFW is great in terms of functionality. We use it to control the infra outbound/inbound traffic and with it and we can block suspicious IPs directly on our SAM database instead of creating or adding in firewall rules. This not only saves time but also provides immediate protection from malicious traffic without deploying the changes in firewall gateways. 

We used to check who is doing what changes and when. We can now check logs to find why any traffic is blocked, and, if blocked, it gives good details of each error. We can easily organize all firewalls through one smart console.

How has it helped my organization?

Its GUI platform is very good. It helps us to divide up the rule base which made it easier to recognize the rules. Its SAM database gives us the amazing ability to block suspicious activity without waiting for the next change window to push the changes. In packet flows, it first checks the SAM database beforehand in order to process the packet further.

The logs give us plenty of detail as to why any packet was blocked or allowed. It really proves the purpose of getting a stateful firewall, showing the context of every packet.

What is most valuable?

The SAM database, URL/application filtering and IPS, Data Loss prevention, VPN and mobile device connectivity, stateful packet inspection, and unified management console are all useful features. 

It allows us to avoid having to go and log in to each firewall device for creating the rules as it can be done from its central console. We can manage all the firewalls and create rules and deploy them through the smart console which is really good. It helps us avoid creating the same object in each firewall. 

Its auditing features are also good for checking who did what changes and when.

What needs improvement?

The URL objects take significant time in processing compared to other products like Cisco FTD; it would be better if they could improve it. 

We have seen that whenever we configured URL objects, the CPU percentage went higher. Therefore, we started using IKP-based objects, however, in today's cloud world where every application is in the cloud and they change IPs on a random basis, whenever each new IP change happens, it's too risky to allow the whole cloud subnet (like Google or Azure). They need to therefore fix URL processing times. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for four years.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Check Point NGFW
October 2022
Learn what your peers think about Check Point NGFW. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2022.
635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PeerSpot user
Network Security Administrator at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Great protection, very stable, and offers excellent management
Pros and Cons
  • "The firewall rule writing and object creation are the best and simplest I've seen on a firewall."
  • "When we hit a bug, the support team recommends some hotfix, and if we upgrade to that, we have to uninstall it before we apply some newer jumbo hotfix."

What is our primary use case?

We are a financial institution and we use Check Point as a firewall that is positioned for external connections, like the Internet, leased lines, and site-to-site VPNs for other companies. Check Point protects our mobile applications connected to the internet, as well as the main company website. Some firewalls are positioned on some of our HQs.

We're on version R80.40 (some minor firewalls are on R80.30) and we use 13000, 23000, and 26000 series appliances. We use Application Control, Identity Awareness, IPS, URL Filtering, Anti-bot, Antivirus, Threat extraction, and Threat emulation blades.

How has it helped my organization?

I've been in the same company for 11 years, and Check Point has been running in a stable manner for our company's main internet connection (and 7 years before that).

It has protected our main applications successfully without any performance drops, and with its flawless logging capabilities, we were able to pinpoint any issues every time.

The management is also the best among any other firewall, with the convenience to create the objects and rules on the same page. This has helped us save time on operations. We can use APIs to create objects and rules to easily finish some projects.

What is most valuable?

The best features are the stability and the performance of the firewall and its software blades, simplicity to write the firewall rules on its GUI, and its logging capabilities.

The firewalls are working stably, without any interruptions. As we planned our capacity well, we've never had any performance issues.

The firewall rule writing and object creation are the best and simplest I've seen on a firewall (I've looked at 6 different vendors). I often wonder why the other vendors don't do it Check Point's way.

To see the logs, we can search like a search engine, and we can combine different search strings to pinpoint the interesting traffic.

What needs improvement?

The product can be improved with fewer hotfixes, and if more generally available jumbo hotfixes were used.

We don't often hit bugs. It's perfectly normal for an NGFW device as other vendors are always fixing bugs too. However, when we hit a bug, the support team recommends some hotfix, and if we upgrade to that, we have to uninstall it before we apply some newer jumbo hotfix. If those fixes were included in a fast manner in the jumbo hotfix (as jumbo hotfixes are tested thoroughly for general availability), it would be ideal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for 11 years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Director at TechPlayr
Real User
Top 20
Centralized architecture, with good support, but the scalability could be improved
Pros and Cons
  • "We have not had any issues with the firewall."
  • "Check Point can scale but at times we have experienced some issues."

What is our primary use case?

We deploy solutions for customers. We don't engage in buying. 

We are both consultants and implementers.

What is most valuable?

We have not had any issues with the firewall.

Support is good and it's centralized architecture.

What needs improvement?

We are also working on load balancers. We don't have the option to work more with load balancers, we would like to see what else can come out of this in terms of security.

Technical support and scalability both require improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Check Point NGFW for the last ten years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Check Point can scale but at times we have experienced some issues.

How are customer service and support?

Palo Alto is better compared to Check Point. I would rate Palo Alto as superior support to Fortinet or Check Point.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to work with Fortinet for approximately five years, and the Palo Alto Appliances was some time back.

I believe the Palo Alto support is excellent, and it has more features than Fortinet. Many businesses, in my opinion, are choosing Palo Alto.

Palo Alto support is very good.

Fortinet's main issue is the support. We can't take it to the enterprise level because the Fortinet support is not very good.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Check Point has previously held a large market share, but perhaps not recently. I think that the price point in India is a bit different. Check Point offers options. I don't see that Check Point is very high, but it is geared more towards enterprises.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated Palo Alto Networks VM-Series to see what was available, and recently, I researched the Azure VM series to know how it worked.

What other advice do I have?

I'm leaning toward the now cloud. The appliance base has now been removed. We are now concentrating our efforts on the Azure Cloud, AWS, and other similar platforms. I believe that people must mature in order to work on it. That's where things stand. As a result, we must learn how this is implemented on cloud platforms.

I would rate Check Point a seven out of ten but NGFW a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IT Manager at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
User
Great for threat prevention, offers features on the cloud, and has useful logs
Pros and Cons
  • "Being able to access almost everything in one location manage all your gateways and get all your logs is great."
  • "Sometimes debugging is a hassle."

What is our primary use case?

I planned to block traffic from foreign countries, however, Check Point does not have the intelligence to determine VPN connections from foreign countries coming through the local VPN.

I also wish Check Point could be more effective by collaborating with Microsoft to establish a different connection for Outlook cellphones or devices not on the domain. I wish to hide my devices like cellphones only allowing them to connect via capsule, however, it applies to all devices. It works well.

How has it helped my organization?

It is an excellent, easy-to-acquire system to protect midsize businesses with up to 100+ users that require a security solution that can scale across corporate networks and give us protections against GenV cyberattacks as the business grows. 

What I recommend the most is its central administration. With the smart controller, you can manage all your firewalls from one location. 

Being able to access almost everything in one location manage all your gateways and get all your logs is great. For me, it's the best feature to work with.

What is most valuable?

The solution is great for cyber attack prevention, data bridges, and other threats. You need intelligent and effective solutions to minimize cyber attacks and Check Point gave me peace in December when they had an unidentified log4j vulnerability.

Our main benefit was the elimination of a server/VM from our data center and the usage of a cloud solution.

Having all the features on the cloud was also a benefit since some products when migrated to cloud solutions lose some features  - but not his one.

The setup is a little bit rough and requires some technical expertise, however, this is expected with a solution as complete as a firewall and especially a Check Point one.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes debugging is a hassle. We've had issues with VPN debugging in the past. In the more recent versions, later than R80.10, this seems not to be an issue anymore. 

This year we tried to debug performance issues of the gateways, which was cumbersome. When we finally found the performance bottleneck, it was a licensing issue. 

Check Point uses CPU-based licensing for OpenServer, and buying more licenses helped. However, this is the reason we're upgrading to Check Point appliances next year, as OpenServer becomes pricier every year, and Check Point pushes their customers to use their appliances.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for three years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Network Engineer at Fujairah Port
User
Top 5
Offers a secure environment with great protection and simple upgrade capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "We can also run policies with two or more people simultaneously without problems or the risk of developing the wrong policy."
  • "The smart console is heavy."

What is our primary use case?

We currently use Check Point's firewall for our data center. We use Check Point firewall for providing the first layer of security to web application servers and intranet servers. It is robust and easy to upgrade, which makes it less stressful for the administrators. Its failover clustering option also works seamlessly.

The Check Point firewall is used to secure our environments. It also allows us to set up tunnels between our various sites.

We use it for the publication of services, as well as a notification system that reports on user behavior and unusual traffic - both within and outside of the network. 

How has it helped my organization?

Over the years, we have experienced various types of attacks on our company, and, without the help of the Next Generation CheckPoint Firewall, we would have lost.

The spoofing feature helps us to prevent various attacks in our organization.

The firewall policy designing and implementation allow for inline policies that make for clearer teaching on the correct use of policies as well as a more readable list. We can also run policies with two or more people simultaneously without problems or the risk of developing the wrong policy.

What is most valuable?

The initial sizing is not a problem. You can easily add more resources if needed. Reliability is a major factor in any hardware or software solution, and Check Point uses cutting-edge hardware. Their software upgrade process is flexible for different deployment requirements. 

Their threat analysis reporting in their management console is comprehensive and easy to use. The web-based dashboard is well designed and offers a wide variety of out-of-the-box reporting. It offers admins extensive customization.

What needs improvement?

The list of site-to-site VPN configuration options is long. They can become confusing and communication with other vendors when deploying VPNs is not the strongest. It's totally different from any other VPN vendor I've encountered.

It lists the current threats identified on the appliance's front page. It would be easier to find information by clicking on the threat and clicking the exact logs, rather than all host logs.

The smart console is heavy. It would be better if it was like the web-based consoles that Palo Alto and Fortigate FW offer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for more than a year.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Solutions Architect Infrastructure and Security at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Stable and secure, but not user-friendly in terms of implementation
Pros and Cons
  • "Check Point is awesome from a security standpoint. Based on our experience and also the experience of the other customers, it is a very stable appliance."
  • "It should be user-friendly from an implementation point of view. Its setup is a little bit difficult."

What is our primary use case?

We use a remote access VPN, and this is a perimeter firewall for our data center to secure our servers and internal applications. We are using model G-6600.

What is most valuable?

Check Point is awesome from a security standpoint. Based on our experience and also the experience of the other customers, it is a very stable appliance.

What needs improvement?

It should be user-friendly from an implementation point of view. Its setup is a little bit difficult.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a security standpoint, it is very stable, and I would rate it a nine out of 10. I don't have any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At present, we have 30 for our distribution. So, it is pretty scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is good. Their L1 and L2 support across the globe is great. L3 support is with the Israel team, and they have the right competency to troubleshoot it. Sometimes, when something needs to be done in the software in detail, we need to wait for people to come online from Israel. I would rate their L3 support a six out of 10 because we need to wait for the team from Israel to come online.

How was the initial setup?

It is a little difficult to set up. We need a really skillful engineer to manage it. After we have onboarded it correctly, it is very easy to manage, and it is very secure. Initially, we had some challenges and issues, and when we got the right resource and support from the vendor, they all got resolved. It took four or five days.

It should be user-friendly from an implementation point of view. I would rate it a six out of 10 in terms of implementation.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. From a security standpoint, Check Point is the best product, but a customer should have the right skillsets to onboard and manage this.

I've been working with multiple customers in India, and I don't see any specific features that they need. It has covered pretty much everything.

Overall, I would rate it a seven out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Fabian Miranda - PeerSpot reviewer
Subject Matter Expert - Helthcare and Corporate Verticals Development at Lenovo
Real User
Top 5
Helpful management console with a good security posture and protects from threats
Pros and Cons
  • "Admins and executives are more at ease with the compliance engine within the software as it measures how many of the security requirements we're compliant with, making their work much more accessible from that standpoint."
  • "VMware is not supported by the platform."

What is our primary use case?

We have different cloud platforms within the organization and needed a solution that would allow us to control different aspects of them from one single platform, which has allowed us to manage and apply policies across all different locations. 

It has allowed us to be more efficient with compliance and maintenance of all different platforms; management of the users is now tighter, and fewer resources have to be invested in applying all the needed policies and levels of access based on company roles.

How has it helped my organization?

The product provides a full security posture for our cloud environment. We get complete visibility of all the workload hosted across all different platforms and all traffic coming in/ out of these cloud platforms. These policies are on 24/7 from any device, say desktop, laptop, mobile, etc. 

All this is pretty easy to set up and notifies any anomaly as soon as it arises for immediate attention/ correction; some of these issues will be addressed automatically and just let you know it was identified and solved.

What is most valuable?

The management console offers excellent visibility of all security options and configurations, also showing all the traffic from each user. 

Once you're working on a specific action, the interface will pop relevant information around past actions contradicting the new policy, showing you strictly where potential threats may come from. 

Admins and executives are more at ease with the compliance engine within the software as it measures how many of the security requirements we're compliant with, making their work much more accessible from that standpoint.

What needs improvement?

This is something that doesn't directly affect us. However, I know VMware is not supported by the platform. 

Also, it seems that plenty of features you may not know even exist unless you do some extensive, deep digging as they're not coming up in the initial configuration, so you have to go through the documentation to realize their existence. 

Support is really good, so you may rely on them to learn more about these coded features I'm talking about, also to make the proper calibration for the rules/policies you're applying as they may not turn the results expected from the first config.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the solution for +2 years now.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Check Point NGFW Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: October 2022
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Check Point NGFW Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.