Secure Sockets Layer / Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)

Secure Sockets Layer / Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)


The SSL performance testing was conducted during the 2018 Next Generation Firewall Group Test. With the increased use of SSL/TLS in the traffic traversing the modern network, an NGFW must be able to inspect encrypted content. SSL and TLS protocols are the foundation of e-commerce security, encrypting the transfer of sensitive data, verifying the authenticity of websites, and ensuring the integrity of exchanged information. Threat actors are increasingly using SSL/TLS to deliver malicious attacks. Gartner estimates that in 2017 more than half of the network attacks targeting enterprises used encrypted traffic to bypass security controls.


The 2018 SSL/TLS Performance Tests determined how 10 of the industry’s leading NGFW products performed in the following key areas:

  • Cipher Functionality – Confirm and validate the device under test is correctly decrypting and (if applicable) inspecting SSL/TLS traffic.
  • Performance – A performance baseline using various types of HTTP traffic is established for the device. The device is then measured with HTTPS-based real-world performance in order to establish comparative metrics for the device (with or without SSL decryption/inspection). This ensures the device is not bypassing the decryption/inspection process to demonstrate better performance.

Read our latest methodology. 

2018 Test Methodology (currently published reports)