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November 2020, Vol. 21, No. 4

Weighing the future of firewalls in a zero-trust world

In a classic, darkly comedic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a cart passes through a small medieval village collecting plague victims for burial. "I'm not dead," insists an elderly gentleman in a nightshirt, as a younger man loads him on the cart. "I feel fine! I'm getting better!" The moment has arguably become less funny in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it neatly illustrates the longstanding plight of the firewall. Cybersecurity experts have been announcing its imminent demise for at least a decade, but the device is still with us. And according to John Burke, CIO and principal analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill., the firewall actually will keep "getting better" in its role as a key player within zero-trust networks. Information Security magazine spoke with Burke to discuss how he imagines the future of firewalls unfolding in tomorrow's zero-trust, software-defined world. Editor's note: This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. How do you view the future of firewalls as ...

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