Cisco PIX firewalls and Cisco ASA Series firewalls integrate next-generation firewall, intrusion defense, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) functionality in an affordable, one-box format. Both product lines have been superseded by the ASA 5500-X line of firewalls with Firepower. (Refer to configuration and debugging support for Cisco AA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Still, PIX and previous-generation Cisco ASA 5500 model adaptive security appliances are extensively deployed and continue to deliver small and mid-size companies a reliable security solution.

Cisco PIC and legacy ASA 5500 firewalls deliver powerful user and application policy support, mutlivector attack defense, and secure connectivity services. The enhanced knowledge sharing of integrated protection services in a stand-alone package provides users deploying these integrated solutions the advantages of enhanced security, lower TCO, and minimal maintenance expense.

Cisco PIX security appliances and the ASA 5500 Series combine with Cisco IOS Firewall, the Firewall Services Module for Catalyst 6500 switches, and 7600 Series routers as components of Cisco's versatile, integrated firewall line. Based on a scalable, building-block approach, each device is equipped with a particular array of options to deliver better security to a variety of networking environments. These products can be independently installed to secure specific facets of a network environment, or can be combined for a layered, protection-in-depth strategy based on the architecture best practices outlined in Cisco's SAFE Blueprint. Completing the integrated firewall product line, Cisco has developed a complete security management offering, ranging from Cisco security appliance and Cisco IOS Software security components and embedded appliance controllers, to self-contained management programs, moving to ensure that businesses can productively use their Cisco protection infrastructure investments.

Cisco PIX Firewall Appliances
Cisco PIX firewall appliances offer robust policy support, multi-source invasion protection, and secure connectivity services in cost-effective, simple-to-configure solutions. These purpose-built appliances provide a wealth of integrated protection and connectivity services such as process-aware firewall features, VoIP and multimedia protection, reliable multi-site and remote-connectivity IPcec VPN connectivity, fault tolerance, intelligent networking services, and versatile management options. The PIX firewall Appliance product line spans compact plug-and-play appliances for small offices and home offices to stackable gigabit appliances with ROI for enterprise and service-provider environments, PIX firewall appliances provide dependable protection, speed, and availability for network environments of any size.

Cisco PIX Firewalls Consulting

Based around a hardened, purpose-built software platform that offers rich security features, Cisco PIX firewalls provide a high level of protection and have earned EAL 4 status and ICSA Labs Firewall and IP Security qualification. PIX firewalls provide security for a wide range of VoIP and additional mixed-media standards including H.323 v. 4, Session Initiation Protocol, SCCP, Real-Time Streaming Protocol, and MGCP, enabling organizations to safeguard deployments of a broad array of contemporary and upcoming Voice over IP and mixed-media applications.

PIX firewall appliances feature a variety of setup, monitoring, and analysis features, giving businesses the flexibility to utilize the methods that most closely match their requirements. Management solutions include centralized, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-based administration, and support for remote-tracking standards like Simple Network Management Protocol and syslog. The integrated Adaptive Security Device Manager system offers a powerful web-based control platform that greatly streamlines the deployment, in-place modification, and tracking of a specific PIX security appliance without requiring any additional utility beyond an ordinary web browser and Java applet to be installed on a manager's PC.

IT managers can furthermore remotely set up, track, and analyze PIX firewall appliances using a command-line interface. Safe command-line interface communication is possible through several techniques including Secure Shell (SSHv2) Protocol, Telnet over IP Security, and out-of-band through a console port. Cisco PIX firewall appliances also have robust automatic-update features, a collection of protected remote-management services that make sure that security configurations and software images are kept current.

Cisco ASA Firewalls
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls are specially engineered solutions that incorporate market-proven, industry-leading security and Virtual Private Network support with an adaptive design. The result is a powerful, multifunction network protection appliance better suited to defend small and midsize business (SMB) and larger networks and, simultaneously, reduce the overall deployment and maintenance expenses formerly required for this enhanced degree of security.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls Consulting
Cisco ASA Firewalls leverage technology behind the PIX 500 firewall, the Cisco IPS 4200 family sensor, and the VPN 3000 model concentrator. These technologies enable the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewall product line to offer a platform that defends against a broad range of threats. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewalls deliver application protection, local containment, and safe VPN functionality across the entire product portfolio. This breadth of security allows defense of any network segment, which includes the most common threat conduits like remote locations, locally-attached internal users, and off-site access Virtual Private Networks.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls provide strong application protection via smart, application-sensitive inspection engines that analyze traffic at Layers 4-7. This produces a better protected network covering web, voice, and mobile wireless access. To defend networks against application-layer attacks and to give businesses more policing of the programs and protocols utilized in their environments, these inspection engines integrate extensive application and protocol knowledgebases and employ protection enforcement technologies such as protocol anomaly sensing and state monitoring. Also included are attack detection and remediation techniques such as application/protocol command filters and URL deobfuscation. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall inspection engines also deliver control over IM and tunneling applications, enabling businesses to enforce usage policies and conserve network bandwidth for crucial business processes.

At the same time as improving network security, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls also lower installation and operational expenses. By offering extensive Virtual Private Network and protection functions, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall can be a single device for many environments, enabling product commonality. The Cisco ASA firewall can be used as a consolidated attack-prevention device at the datacenter by leveraging its connectivity control, process inspection, and malware mitigation capabilities. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall can also be used as a dedicated remote access solution utilizing its Virtual Private Network capabilities. Alternatively, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall performs capably inside the network for inter-office access management and to guard against malware inside workers might unknowingly introduce into the environment. For small company and satellite office networks, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewall acts as a total solution platform providing complete threat prevention and VPN functionality while fitting within the budgets and operational models of these deployments.

This versatile single-device, multiple-solution design reduces the number of appliances that must be deployed and managed while offering a common operating and management environment throughout all those installations. This architecture streamlines the education of setup, tracking, troubleshooting, and protection staff. To further minimize maintenance expenses, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls are also highly network aware, allowing these devices to integrate seamlessly into the environment without interfering with authorized traffic and processes.

How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Cisco PIX and ASA Security Appliances
Cisco ASA Series firewalls and PIX security appliances incorporate an array of configuration, tracking, and analysis features which offer you the flexibility to set up these security appliances to align optimally with your business needs. Progent's CCIE certified network consultants can assist you to support your existing infrastructure that incorporates Cisco ASA and/or PIX security appliances and that offers protection, resilience, throughput, and recoverability. Progent's firewall experts can also assist you to upgrade to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's CISA and CISSP-ISSP-qualified information security consultants can assist your business to create a security strategy appropriate for your situation and can set up your firewall to support your security policies. Progent's risk assessment engineers can evaluate the effectiveness of your existing firewall solution and audit the security of your entire IT network. Progentís Help Desk support team can provide urgent online troubleshooting for Cisco technology and can give you quick access to a Cisco network engineer.

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