Is there another way to express "raise the bar"? The context I'm looking for would fit this sentence:
A firewall raises the bar for would-be attackers.
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"raise the bar" carries a connotation of making something better; raise standards or expectations, especially by creating something to a higher standard.
Acme's new technology will raise the bar for the entire industry. It also connotes a challenge to overcome, as in raising the bar in high jumping.
I think you want to connote something that attackers would see as a hinderance or deterrance.
deters, hinders, impedes, discourages, dissuades, discourages, inhibits (all can be used with 'further' to strengthen them.)