Untangle Updates NG Firewall to Improve SD-WAN Security

A new release of Untangle's firewall platform benefits from a shift to a newer version of the Debian Linux operating system as the base.

Untangle 14

Untangle will announce version 14.0 of its NG Firewall platform on June 12, providing new features that enhance the security capabilities of the Linux-based platform.

Untangle NG Firewall 14.0 benefits from enhanced support for securing software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology for small and medium-sized organizations. The new release also includes the latest network security and malware definition updates for the firewall platform.

"Our version releases deal with core features and functionality of the firewall," Untangle founder and Chief Product Officer Dirk Morris told eWEEK. "We constantly release updates to malware signatures, app and website classification, etc."

Both hardware and software are part of Untangle’s network security portfolio. The company last updated its hardware with the xSeries release, which was announced on Jan. 17. The xSeries includes the u25x, which includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and the u50x, which provides four ports for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

"We do not usually tie hardware and software releases together, since Untangle is a software distribution and can run on our hardware, third-party hardware, as a virtual machine or in the public cloud," Morris said.

Linux-based

At the core of Untangle's software is the open-source Linux operating system. Untangle NG 14.0 is based on the Debian 9 (stretch) Linux distribution, using a 4.x Linux kernel, Morris said. Previously, Untangle was based on Debian 8 (jessie).

"This is a more modern operating that includes systemd and a newer kernel with a wider array of hardware support and better performance," he said.

Morris added that the rules engine and reporting capabilities are proprietary, as are multiple paid applications that are available to further extend the core functionality of NG Firewall. That said, Morris noted that the core of NG Firewall is released under the GPL version 2 open-source license.  

SD-WAN

With Untangle NG 14.0, there is enhanced support for both enabling and securing SD-WAN connectivity. With SD-WAN, organizations are able to make use of public internet links to create a distributed WAN deployment. Virtual private network (VPN) tunnels can now be set up across different WAN segments with NG 14.0 such that administrators can centralize policies across an entire distributed network, with the use of a cloud-deployed firewall.

"We believe that smaller, multisite organizations can also benefit from SD-WAN and public cloud deployments," Morris said. "We announced support for AWS in April to address this need and are seeing strong customer adoption."

Morris said Untangle will be adding support for Azure and Google Cloud Platform later in the year. 

"We're excited to continue to invest in research and development for helping below-enterprise organizations take advantage of what the cloud and SD-WAN can offer in terms of efficiencies and cost-savings," he said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.