Policy Introduction – Profile-based NGFW vs policy-based NGFW – FortiOS 6.2

Profile-based NGFW vs policy-based NGFW

From version 5.6, we added a new policy mode called Next Generation Firewall (NGFW). This mode is only available when the VDOM inspection-mode is flow. This model is divided into two working modes — profile-based and policybased. Profile-based NGFW is the traditional mode where a user needs to create an AV/web/IPS profile which is applied to the policy.

Policy-based mode is new. In this mode, users can add applications and web filtering categories directly to a policy without having to first create and configure Application Control or Web Filtering profiles. If a URL category is set, the applications that are added to the policy must be within the browser-based technology category. NGFW is per VDOM setting. This means users can operate their FortiGate or individual VDOMs on their FortiGate in NGFW policy-based mode when they select flow-based inspection.

Switching NGFW mode from profile-based to policy-based converts your profile-based security policies to policy-based security policies. If you don’t want this to happen or you just want to experiment with policy-based NGFW mode, consider creating a new VDOM for policy-based NGFW mode. You can also backup your configuration before switching modes.

NGFW policy-based firewall policies might have unintended consequences to the passing or blocking of traffic. For example, if you add new firewall policies that are designed to DENY social media traffic based on applications or URLs, having a traditional “catch all” firewall policy to DENY all other traffic at the bottom of the firewall policy list may have the unintended consequence of blocking legitimate traffic. Also note that NGFW policy-based mode applies the NAT settings from matching Central SNAT policies. If you don’t already have a Central SNAT policy in place, you must create one.

After version 6.2, we removed the inspection-mode from VDOM to firewall policy, and the default inspection-mode is flow so we can change NGFW mode from profile-based (default) to policy-based directly in the VDOM’s System > Settings.

To enable policy-based NGFW mode using the GUI:

You can operate your FortiGate or individual VDOMs in Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) policy mode.

  1. Go to System > Settings.
  2. In NGFW Mode, select Policy-based.
  3. In SSL/SSH Inspection, select the SSL/SSH inspection mode to be applied to all policies.

To enable policy-based NGFW mode using the CLI:

config system settings set ngfw-mode {profile-based | policy-based} end

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