Cisco's PIX family security appliances and Cisco ASA Series adaptive security appliances integrate comprehensive firewall, intrusion protection, and Virtual Private Network functionality in an economical, one-box package. Both of these product families have been superseded by the ASA 5500-X series of firewalls with Firepower. (See configuration and debugging support for ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Nevertheless, PIX and earlier-generation ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances are widely used and continue to offer small and mid-size organizations a viable security environment.

PIX and the original ASA 5500 firewalls deliver robust client and program policy enforcement, mutlivector assault defense, and secure connectivity features. The increased knowledge sharing of integrated protection services in a stand-alone package offers customers implementing these integrated firewalls the benefits of advanced security, reduced cost of ownership, and minimal management expense.

Cisco PIX firewalls and Cisco's ASA 5500 product line join Cisco IOS Firewall, the Firewall Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, and 7600 Series routers as components of Cisco's versatile, integrated firewall line. Engineered with an expandable, building-block platform, every device is designed with a particular array of options to provide more efficient security to a variety of network environments. These solutions can be individually deployed to secure certain facets of the connectivity environment, or can be grouped for a systematic, protection-in-depth strategy following the design best practices described in the Cisco SAFE framework. Rounding out the integrated firewall product line, Cisco provides a complete security management catalog, spanning Cisco security appliance and Cisco IOS security components and built-in device managers, to self-contained management utilities, helping to make sure that businesses can productively manage their Cisco protection solution investments.

PIX Firewall Appliances
Cisco PIX firewalls deliver robust policy support, multi-source invasion defense, and safe connectivity features in affordable, out-of-the-box modules. These purpose-built appliances offer a broad range of built-in security and connectivity services such as process-aware firewall features, VoIP and multimedia protection, reliable multi-location and remote-connectivity IPcec VPN networking, excellent resiliency, intelligent networking features, and versatile administration options. The Cisco PIX firewall product line ranges from small plug-and-go devices for small and home offices to stackable gigabit products with ROI for enterprise and service-provider customers, Cisco PIX firewall appliances provide dependable security, performance, and reliability for environments of all sizes.

Cisco PIX Security Experts

Based around a hardened, purpose-built operating system that delivers a wealth of protection features, Cisco PIX security appliances offer excellent security and have received Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4 status and ICSA Firewall and IPsec qualification. PIX firewall appliances provide security for a wide range of Voice over IP and additional mixed-media conventions including H.323 v. 4, Session Initiation Protocol, Cisco Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP), Real-Time Streaming Protocol, and Media Gateway Control Protocol, enabling businesses to protect installations of a wide range of contemporary and upcoming Voice over IP and multimedia applications.

PIX security appliances offer a variety of configuration, monitoring, and analysis features, giving IT managers the versatility to utilize the methods that most closely match their needs. Administrative options include common, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-accessible management, and compatibility with remote-monitoring standards like Simple Network Management Protocol and syslog. The integrated ASDM system offers a powerful web-based management platform that greatly streamlines the installation, ongoing configuration, and monitoring of a single Cisco PIX security appliance without requiring any extra utility beyond an ordinary web browser and Java plug-in to be installed on an administrator's PC.

Administrators can also remotely set up, track, and analyze PIX firewalls using a command-line interface (CLI). Safe command-line interface communication is available through several methods including Secure Shell (SSHv2) Protocol, Telnet through IP Security (IPsec), and out-of-band through a console port. PIX firewall appliances also have dependable auto-update features, a collection of secure remote-administration options that make sure that firewall settings and software images are kept up to date.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls
Cisco ASA Firewalls are specially engineered solutions that bring together advanced, best-of-breed security and VPN support plus a flexible design. The end product is a powerful, multifunction network protection appliance better able to protect small and midsize business (SMB) and enterprise networks and, simultaneously, lower the overall deployment and operations expenses previously associated with this high level of protection.

>Cisco ASA Firewalls Consulting Firm
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls leverage technology developed for the PIX 500 Series Security Appliance, the IPS 4200 Series sensor, and the VPN 3000 Series concentrator. These technologies converge on the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewall product line to offer a firewall that defends against a broad range of attacks. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewalls deliver application security, network containment and control, and clean Virtual Private Network functionality throughout Cisco's product line. This breadth of security allows the guarding of any network area, including the most common attack conduits like remote locations, locally-connected inside users, and remote access Virtual Private Networks.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewalls provide robust application security via intelligent, application-sensitive inspection engines that analyze network flows at Layers 4-7. This produces a better protected environment including web, voice, and mobile wireless connectivity. To protect environments against application-layer assaults and to offer businesses more control over the applications and protocols used in their networks, Cisco's inspection engines integrate extensive application and protocol knowledgebases and employ protection enforcement solutions that include anomaly sensing and application and protocol state monitoring. Also included are assault sensing and remediation techniques such as application/protocol command filters and content verification. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also deliver management of IM and tunneling applications, enabling organizations to enforce usage policies and conserve bandwidth for important business processes.

At the same time as increasing network security, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls also decrease deployment and support costs. By offering extensive Virtual Private Network and security services, the Cisco ASA firewall can be used as the the only platform for many uses, enabling product commonality. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall can be used as a consolidated attack-prevention appliance at the datacenter by leveraging its connectivity control, application inspection, and malicious assault remediation capabilities. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall can also be deployed as a dedicated remote access solution using its Virtual Private Network capabilities. Alternatively, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall performs capably inside the network for inter-office access management and to defend against malicious assaults inside workers may unknowingly release into the network. For small business and satellite office networks, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall acts as a total solution platform providing comprehensive threat prevention and Virtual Private Network functionality while fitting within the budgets and performance models of such situations.

This versatile single-platform, many-use approach reduces the total number of devices that need to be deployed and maintained while providing a standard functional and administrative environment throughout all those deployments. This architecture streamlines the education of configuration, tracking, troubleshooting, and protection staff. To further reduce operations expenses, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls are also exceptionally network aware, allowing these devices to integrate gracefully into the environment without disrupting authorized data flow and processes.

How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Help Your Business with Cisco PIX and ASA Firewalls
Cisco's ASA Series firewalls and PIX family security appliances provide a wealth of configuration, monitoring, and analysis features which give you the ability to set up these security appliances to match your company's requirements. Progent's CCIE certified network professionals can assist you to support your current network infrastructure that includes Cisco ASA or PIX security appliances and that provides protection, fault tolerance, performance, and recoverability. Progent can also assist you to upgrade to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISSP-ISSP-qualified IS security engineers can assist you to develop a security strategy appropriate for your environment and can set up your PIX or ASA firewall to enforce your security policies. Progent's security evaluation experts can evaluate the strength of your current firewall deployment and help determine the overall security of your entire information system environment. Progentís Help Desk support team can provide urgent online technical support for Cisco technology and offer fast access to a Cisco network engineer.

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