Cisco PIX family security appliances and Cisco ASA Series firewalls integrate next-generation firewall, intrusion protection, and VPN technologies in an affordable, one-box package. Both product lines have been superseded by the ASA 5500-X series of security appliances with Firepower Services. (See integration and debugging support for ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Nevertheless, both PIX and first-generation ASA 5500 Series firewalls are extensively used and continue to offer small and mid-size organizations a viable security environment.

Cisco PIC and the original ASA 5500 firewalls offer powerful user and application policy enforcement, mutlivector attack defense, and secure connectivity services. The enhanced knowledge sharing of integrated security services in a single package offers customers implementing these aggregated solutions the benefits of enhanced security, reduced TCO, and smaller maintenance expense.

Cisco PIX security appliances and the ASA 5500 family combine with IOS Firewall, the Firewall Services Module (FWSM) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, and Cisco 7600 routers as parts of Cisco's versatile, integrated firewall line. Based on an expandable, building-block approach, every offering is designed with a specific array of options to provide more efficient protection to a variety of network environments. These solutions can be individually installed to protect certain areas of the connectivity infrastructure, or can be combined for a layered, protection-in-depth approach following the design leading practices outlined in Cisco's SAFE Blueprint. Completing the modular firewall solutions, Cisco provides a comprehensive security management portfolio, spanning Cisco security appliance and IOS Software security features and built-in appliance managers, to standalone management applications, helping to make sure that customers can productively use their Cisco protection infrastructure purchases.

Cisco PIX Firewalls
Cisco PIX firewall appliances deliver robust user and application policy support, multi-source attack protection, and safe connectivity features in affordable, easy-to-deploy solutions. These specialized appliances offer a wealth of integrated security and connectivity services including process-aware firewall features, VoIP and multimedia protection, robust site-to-site and remote-access IP Security VPN networking, high availability, smart networking services, and flexible administration solutions. The PIX Security Appliance Series family spans small plug-and-play devices for small or at home offices to stackable high-bandwidth products with investment protection for enterprise and ISP environments, Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series provide dependable security, performance, and availability for network environments of any size.

PIX Security Consultants

Built upon a tested, purpose-built operating system that delivers a wealth of security features, PIX firewall appliances offer a high level of security and have received Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4 status and ICSA Labs Firewall and IPsec certification. Cisco PIX firewalls provide security for a broad array of VoIP and additional mixed-media standards including H.323 Version 4, Session Initiation Protocol, SCCP, Real-Time Streaming Protocol, and MGCP, enabling businesses to safeguard deployments of a broad range of contemporary and upcoming Voice over IP and video applications.

PIX security appliances feature a variety of setup, monitoring, and analysis features, giving businesses the flexibility to use the techniques that best match their requirements. Administrative options include centralized, policy-based administration utilities, integrated web-based administration, and support for remote-tracking standards such as SNMP and syslog. The integrated Adaptive Security Device Manager system provides a powerful web-accessible management platform that significantly simplifies the installation, ongoing modification, and tracking of a specific PIX firewall appliance without the need of any additional utility beyond a standard web browser and Java plug-in to be installed on a manager's PC.

IT managers can also remotely set up, monitor, and analyze Cisco PIX firewall appliances via a CLI interface. Safe command-line interface access is available through a number of methods such as Secure Shell Protocol, Telnet over IP Security, and out-of-band via a console port. PIX firewall appliances also include dependable auto-update features, a set of protected remote-management services that make sure that security configurations and software images are always current.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls are purpose-built solutions that incorporate advanced, industry-leading security and Virtual Private Network services with an adaptive design. The result is a robust, multifunction network security solution better suited to protect small and midsize business and enterprise networks and, at the same time, lower the overall installation and maintenance costs previously associated with this high level of security.

>Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewalls Consulting
Cisco ASA Firewalls build on engineering behind Cisco's PIX 500 firewall, the Cisco IPS 4200 family sensor, and Cisco's VPN 3000 model concentrator. These technologies enable the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewall product line to deliver a platform that defends against a wide range of attacks. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewalls deliver program protection, network containment, and clean Virtual Private Network connectivity throughout the entire product portfolio. This broad scope of protection enables the guarding of any network area, including the most common threat vectors like remote sites, LAN-connected inside users, and remote access VPNs.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewalls provide a high-level of application protection through smart, application-sensitive inspection engines that examine network flows at Layers 4-7. The result is a safer network covering web, voice, and mobile wireless access. To protect environments against application-layer assaults and to offer businesses greater control over the programs and protocols used in their networks, these inspection engines incorporate broad application and protocol knowledge and employ protection enforcement technologies that include anomaly detection and application and protocol state tracking. Also included are assault sensing and remediation techniques including application/protocol command filtering and URL deobfuscation. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall inspection engines also provide control over IM and tunneling applications, allowing businesses to police usage policies and free up network bandwidth for important business processes.

At the same time as increasing network protection, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls also decrease installation and support expenses. By providing broad Virtual Private Network and protection functions, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall can be used as the single device for a multitude of environments, allowing product standardization. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewall can be used as a consolidated attack-prevention appliance at the datacenter by taking advantage of its access control, application inspection, and worm, virus, and other malware remediation capabilities. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall can also be deployed as a specialized remote connectivity solution using its Virtual Private Network capabilities. As another option, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall serves equally well inside the network for interdepartmental connectivity management and to defend against malware internal users might unwittingly release into the environment. In small business and branch office environments, the Cisco ASA firewall serves as an all-in-one platform providing complete intrusion defense and Virtual Private Network services while suiting the budgets and operational demands of such deployments.

This versatile one-device, many-use approach reduces the number of appliances that need to be deployed and managed while offering a common operating and management system across all installations. This approach simplifies the education of setup, monitoring, support, and protection personnel. To further reduce maintenance costs, Cisco ASA firewalls are also exceptionally network conscious, enabling them to insert seamlessly into the network without disrupting authorized data flow and applications.

How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Cisco Firewalls
Cisco ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances and PIX security appliances incorporate a wealth of configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting features that give you the ability to configure these security appliances to align optimally with your business needs. Progent's CCIE certified network experts can show you how to support your existing network infrastructure that includes Cisco ASA or PIX security appliances and that offers protection, fault tolerance, performance, and manageability. Progent can also assist you to upgrade to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISSP-ISSP-certified IS security professionals can assist your business to create a security strategy appropriate for your situation and can set up your security appliance to support your security policies. Progent's security evaluation professionals can assess the effectiveness of your current firewall solution and help determine the security of your whole information system network. Progentís Help Desk Call Center can provide urgent online troubleshooting for Cisco products and offer fast access to a Cisco expert.

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