Cisco PIX security appliances and ASA 5500 Series firewalls integrate next-generation firewall, intrusion protection, and Virtual Private Network technologies in a cost-effective, single-box package. Both product families have been replaced by Cisco's ASA 5500-X series of security appliances with Firepower. (See configuration and debugging expertise for ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Still, PIX and previous-generation ASA 5500 model adaptive security appliances are widely used and continue to deliver small and mid-size companies a viable firewall environment.

PIX and the original ASA 5500 firewalls offer robust user and application policy support, mutlivector assault protection, and safe connectivity services. The enhanced knowledge sharing of integrated protection features in a stand-alone package provides customers implementing these integrated solutions the benefits of enhanced protection, lower cost of ownership, and minimal management expense.

PIX security appliances and Cisco's ASA 5500 Series combine with Cisco IOS Firewall, the Firewall Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 family switches, and Cisco 7600 routers as parts of Cisco's flexible, self-contained firewall product. Based on an expandable, building-block platform, every device is equipped with a particular feature set to deliver better protection to a variety of networking environments. These solutions can be independently installed to secure specific areas of a network infrastructure, or can be combined for a layered, protection-in-depth approach based on the architecture leading practices described in the Cisco SAFE Blueprint. Completing the modular firewall product line, Cisco provides a complete security management offering, ranging from Cisco security appliance and IOS Software security components and built-in appliance controllers, to self-contained management programs, moving to make sure that customers can productively manage their Cisco protection infrastructure investments.

Cisco PIX Firewall Appliances
Cisco PIX firewall appliances deliver reliable user and application policy enforcement, multivector attack protection, and safe networking services in economical, simple-to-configure modules. These specialized appliances offer a wealth of integrated protection and connectivity services including process-aware firewall features, Voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia protection, robust multi-location and remote-access IPcec Virtual Private Network (VPN) networking, excellent resiliency, intelligent networking services, and versatile administration options. The PIX firewall Appliance product line spans small plug-and-play devices for small offices and home offices to stackable high-bandwidth appliances with investment protection for enterprise and service-provider environments, Cisco PIX firewall appliances deliver dependable protection, performance, and availability for environments of any size.

PIX Firewalls Consulting

Based upon a hardened, specialized operating system that delivers rich protection features, PIX firewall appliances offer a high level of protection and have earned Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4 status and ICSA Labs Firewall and IP Security certification. Cisco PIX security appliances offer protection for a broad array of VoIP and additional mixed-media conventions such as H.323 Version 4, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Cisco Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP), Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), helping organizations to safeguard installations of a broad range of contemporary and next-generation Voice over IP and multimedia applications.

Cisco PIX firewalls feature a variety of configuration, tracking, and troubleshooting options, providing IT managers the versatility to utilize the methods that most closely meet their needs. Management solutions include common, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-accessible administration, and support for remote-monitoring standards like Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and syslog. The integrated Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) system offers a powerful web-based control solution that significantly streamlines the installation, in-place configuration, and monitoring of a specific Cisco PIX firewall without the need of any additional software beyond an ordinary web browser and Java plug-in to be running on an administrator's computer.

Administrators can furthermore remotely set up, track, and analyze PIX firewalls via a command-line interface. Safe CLI interface communication is possible using a number of techniques including Secure Shell (SSHv2) Protocol, Telnet over IPsec, and out-of-band via a console port. PIX firewall appliances also include robust auto-update features, a collection of protected remote-administration services that make sure that firewall configurations and software images are always up to date.

Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls are specially engineered devices that bring together advanced, industry-leading security and VPN services with a flexible architecture. The result is a powerful, versatile network protection appliance better suited to defend small and medium business (SMB) and enterprise networks and, at the same time, reduce the overall installation and maintenance expenses previously associated with this enhanced degree of protection.

>Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls Support
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewalls leverage engineering developed for Cisco's PIX 500 family Security Appliance, Cisco's IPS 4200 Intrusion Prevention System, and Cisco's VPN 3000 model concentrator. These solutions converge on the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewall product line to deliver a firewall that defends against a broad range of threats. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewalls provide program security, network containment and control, and clean Virtual Private Network functionality throughout Cisco's product portfolio. This breadth of security allows defense of any network section, including the most typical threat conduits such as remote locations, locally-connected internal users, and remote access VPNs.

Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls deliver robust application security through smart, application-aware inspection engines that examine network flows at Layers 4-7. This produces a better protected environment covering web, voice, and mobile wireless access. To protect networks from application-layer assaults and to give organizations more control over the programs and protocols utilized in their networks, these inspection engines incorporate extensive application and protocol knowledge and rely on security enforcement solutions that include anomaly detection and application and protocol state monitoring. Also incorporated are assault sensing and remediation techniques such as application and protocol command filters and URL deobfuscation. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also provide control over IM and peer-to-peer file sharing, enabling organizations to police usage policies and preserve bandwidth for critical business processes.

While improving network protection, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewalls also decrease deployment and operational costs. By providing broad VPN and protection services, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall can be a the only platform for a multitude of environments, allowing product commonality. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall can be used as a consolidated threat-protection device at a central location by taking advantage of its connectivity control, application inspection, and malicious assault remediation capabilities. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall can also be used as a dedicated remote connectivity device utilizing its VPN features. Alternatively, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall performs capably inside the network for interdepartmental access control and to guard against worms, viruses, and other malicious code inside workers may inadvertently introduce into the environment. For small company and branch office networks, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall serves as a total solution platform offering complete threat prevention and Virtual Private Network functionality while fitting within the budgets and performance models of these situations.

This adaptive one-platform, many-solution design minimizes the total number of devices that need to be deployed and maintained while providing a standard functional and management system across all installations. This architecture simplifies the training of configuration, monitoring, support, and protection personnel. To further reduce operations costs, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewalls are also highly network conscious, allowing these devices to integrate gracefully into the environment without interfering with legitimate traffic and processes.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco PIX and ASA Firewalls
Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances and PIX security appliances provide a wealth of setup, tracking, and troubleshooting features which offer you the flexibility to deploy these firewalls to align optimally with your company's requirements. Progent's CCIE certified network consultants can help you to support your existing infrastructure that incorporates Cisco ASA or PIX firewalls and that provides security, resilience, throughput, and manageability. Progent can also assist you to migrate to ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISM-qualified IS security experts can help you to develop a security policy that makes sense for your environment and can configure your PIX or ASA firewall to support your security strategy. Progent's risk evaluation experts can assess the strength of your current firewall solution and validate the security of your entire information system network. Progentís Help Desk support team can provide urgent remote technical support for Cisco technology and offer fast access to a Cisco CCIE expert.

Integration of Cisco and Third-party Security Technology
Progent offers expertise in firewall and VPN products from all major vendors and can help you integrate Cisco technology with additional security solutions to help you build a cost-effective network infrastructure that provides a level of security and flexibility appropriate for your business. Third-party firewall and VPN support services available from Progent include:

To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for additional Cisco products and technologies, select a topic: To learn more information about Progent's professional help for Cisco networking products, choose a topic: For more information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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