I have been a fan of Sophos XG since its release. I have written several posts on my blog that covers setup and configuration of the original version (V15). Though there was a learning curve with using the software, it was a powerful and feature rich solution that made a great foundation for securing my network. They continued to improve it through various maintenance releases, however on October 4th they released V16. This new release is very significant on a number of levels and has some long awaited features such as these listed below. There are over 120 new features in all.
- Improved Navigation
- Redesigned and More Powerful Web Policy
- Rule Cloning
- Logging and Troubleshooting Improvements
- Two-factor authentication
- Real-time app visibility
I will be posting additional information as I get more experience with some of these new features, but for now here is an overview of the new interface. Navigation is far superior to the prior version making it much easier to use. Even the terminology was updated to reflect more of industry standard language.
As you can see from the pictures below, they have drastically changed the interface. You now can get to virtually any setting with 2 clicks. The main categories are now on the left and have been changed to more closely match industry terms. When you click on a category, you have the various sub categories across the top of screen making it very easy to get to where you want to go.
The reports screen has also been revamped and it is now much easier to get a quick view of what is going on.
The main rules screen looks the same except when when you edit a rule you now have an option to clone it which is very handy when creating multiple rules that are very similar such as port forwards for cameras or other devices. Also, when creating a new rule the layout is much more efficient and organized much better than it was before.
New Exceptions Screen
This is a welcome feature as it tailors to global exceptions such as updates. I will be writing more on this feature as I experiment with it but for now this is a great way to deal with problem items such as Microsoft updates which in the past could potentially get blocked depending on how your rule was configured.
Web and Application Protection
VPN and Network Setup
If you use Sophos XG now you will welcome the new changes, and if you are new to Sophos XG, you will feel more at home as it now more closely resembles the conventional layout of most routers. I have only had a few days with V16 but so far I am very impressed and love the direction they are going with it. I certainly look forward to future enhancements such as better ways to assign fixed IP addresses, but overall the changes have been great and certainly much needed. They really have done a great job with this and I plan on posting more information as I learn more about these new features in more detail.