Barracuda has announced an integration between its next-generation firewall and cloud security to provide protection both on and off the network.

According to the company, this integration of the Barracuda NG Firewall and Web Security Flex offloads security and reporting functions to the cloud by adding Layer 7 application control, user identity, intrusion prevention and detection, WAN optimisation and network access control enforcement.

The intention is to allow enterprises to regain control of dynamic networks, Barracuda said, in order to protect users with disparate devices who access applications and resources, both on and off the network.

Steve Pao, vice-president of product management at Barracuda Networks, said: “While the historical firewall market has emphasised the box and its associated network accelerators, coprocessors or ASICs, the reality is that needs continue to evolve.

“For example, a key challenge with today's solutions is that network accelerators do not improve reporting performance. With our unique approach of using lightweight on-premises hardware for core network security functions and the cloud for more resource-intensive content security functions, we can apply the most up-to-date security countermeasures against the latest threats, while minimising the hardware footprint and upgrade cycles required to provide that protection."

The company claimed that by moving web filtering to the cloud, organisations are able to simplify capacity planning so that they are not so rigidly bound to the compute cycles available on the on-premises firewall. It also claimed that this would maximise security across all locations as organisations can size their on-premises firewalls while still providing advanced malware scanning, content filtering and centralised reporting to branch offices.

Launched in 2010, the Barracuda NG Firewall integrates next-generation firewall technologies including Layer 7 application profiling, intelligent traffic management, intrusion prevention, web filtering, anti-virus, anti-spam and network access control.

Web Security Flex is a cloud-based web security offering that protects users both in and out of the workplace from malicious content, with complete management and reporting in the cloud.