Business and Technical Benefits

Updated: December 1, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security provides your organization with a scalable and tightly-integrated solution that is also simple to use.

Connected computers face the following challenges:

  • Mobile workers and devices complicate a network’s physical topology, making it difficult to prevent unauthorized access to trusted network assets.

  • Viruses, worms, and denial of service (DoS) attacks are increasing in complexity, making it more difficult to mitigate the risk of malware and other threats.

  • Regulatory burdens are increasing, making it more difficult to achieve and maintain compliance with legislative regulations.

  • Data is a critical asset for almost every employee in most organizations, making it difficult to limit access to only authorized users while still providing ease of access.

To help address these challenges, Windows Firewall with Advanced Security offers the following benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of network security threats.  Windows Firewall with Advanced Security reduces the attack surface of a computer, providing an additional layer to the defense-in-depth model. Reducing the attack surface of a computer increases manageability and decreases the likelihood of a successful attack. Network Access Protection (NAP), a feature of Windows Server® 2008 R2 and Windows Server® 2008, also helps ensure client computers comply with policies that define the required software and system configurations for computers that connect to your network. The integration of NAP helps prevent communications between compliant and noncompliant computers.

  • Safeguards sensitive data and intellectual property.  With its integration with IPsec, Windows Firewall with Advanced Security provides a simple way to enforce authenticated, end-to-end network communications. It provides scalable, tiered access to trusted network resources, helping to enforce integrity of the data, and optionally helping to protect the confidentiality of the data.

  • Extends the value of existing investments.  Because Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is a host-based firewall that is included with Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008, and because it is tightly integrated with Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) and Group Policy, there is no additional hardware or software required. Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is also designed to complement existing non-Microsoft network security solutions through a documented application programming interface (API).