Cisco PIX family security appliances and ASA 5500 Series firewalls combine comprehensive firewall, intrusion protection, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) functionality in a cost-effective, one-cabinet package. Both of these product families have been replaced by Cisco's ASA 5500-X series of security appliances with Firepower Services. (Refer to configuration and debugging expertise for ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Nevertheless, PIX and first-generation ASA 5500 Series firewalls are extensively deployed and continue to provide small and mid-size companies a reliable security environment.

PIX and legacy ASA 5500 firewalls offer robust user and program policy enforcement, mutlivector assault protection, and safe connectivity services. The increased knowledge sharing of integrated protection features in a single package offers customers implementing these integrated firewalls the advantages of enhanced security, reduced TCO, and smaller maintenance expense.

Cisco PIX security appliances and Cisco's ASA 5500 product line combine with IOS Firewall, the FWSM for Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches, and 7600 Series routers as parts of Cisco's flexible, self-contained firewall line. Engineered with a scalable, building-block approach, every device is designed with a particular array of options to provide better security to different networking situations. These products can be individually deployed to secure certain facets of a network environment, or can be combined for a systematic, protection-in-depth strategy following the architecture leading practices described in the Cisco SAFE framework. Rounding out the integrated firewall solutions, Cisco has developed a comprehensive security management offering, ranging from Cisco security appliance and Cisco IOS security features and built-in device managers, to self-contained management programs, moving to make sure that customers can effectively use their Cisco security infrastructure investments.

Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series
Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series deliver reliable user and application policy enforcement, multivector invasion protection, and safe networking services in economical, simple-to-configure modules. These purpose-built appliances offer a broad range of built-in protection and networking capabilities such as application-aware firewall services, VoIP and multimedia protection, robust multi-site and remote-access IP Security (IPsec) VPN networking, fault tolerance, intelligent networking features, and flexible management solutions. The PIX Security Appliance Series family ranges from small plug-and-play desktop units for small offices or at home offices to stackable gigabit appliances with investment protection for large business and service-provider environments, Cisco PIX firewalls deliver high levels of protection, speed, and availability for network environments of any size.

PIX Firewalls Consultants

Based upon a hardened, purpose-built OS that offers rich protection features, PIX security appliances offer excellent protection and have been awarded EAL 4 status and ICSA Labs Firewall and IP Security qualification. PIX security appliances provide security for a broad range of Voice over IP and additional multimedia conventions including H.323 Version 4, Session Initiation Protocol, SCCP, Real-Time Streaming Protocol, and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), enabling organizations to protect deployments of a broad range of contemporary and next-generation Voice over IP and mixed-media applications.

PIX firewall appliances feature a variety of configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting options, giving IT managers the versatility to utilize the techniques that most closely meet their needs. Management options include centralized, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-accessible administration, and compatibility with remote-tracking standards such as SNMP and syslog. The integrated Adaptive Security Device Manager system provides a powerful web-based control solution that greatly streamlines the installation, in-place configuration, and tracking of a specific PIX firewall without the need of any extra utility beyond a standard web browser and Java applet to be installed on a manager's PC.

Administrators can also remotely configure, track, and troubleshoot Cisco PIX firewalls via a command-line interface (CLI). Safe command-line interface access is available through a number of methods including SSHv2 Protocol, Telnet over IP Security, and out-of-band via a console port. Cisco PIX firewall appliances also include robust automatic-update capabilities, a set advanced protected remote-administration options that make sure that firewall configurations and software images are kept up to date.

Cisco ASA Firewalls
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewalls are specially engineered solutions that bring together market-proven, industry-leading security and VPN services with a flexible architecture. The end product is a robust, multifunction network protection solution better able to defend small and medium business (SMB) and enterprise networks and, simultaneously, reduce the total installation and operations expenses previously associated with this enhanced level of security.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewalls Help
Cisco ASA Firewalls leverage engineering developed for Cisco's PIX 500 Series firewall, the IPS 4200 family Intrusion Prevention System, and the VPN 3000 model concentrator. These technologies enable the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewall family to offer a firewall that defends against a broad range of threats. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls provide program protection, network containment and control, and clean Virtual Private Network functionality across Cisco's product line. This broad scope of protection allows defense of any network area, which includes the most common threat conduits such as remote sites, locally-attached inside users, and remote connected Virtual Private Networks.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewalls deliver a high-level of application protection via smart, application-sensitive inspection engines that analyze traffic at Layers 4-7. The result is a better protected environment including web, voice, and mobile wireless connectivity. To protect environments from application-layer attacks and to give organizations greater control over the applications and protocols used in their environments, these inspection engines incorporate extensive application and protocol knowledgebases and rely on protection enforcement technologies that include anomaly sensing and application and protocol state tracking. Also incorporated are attack detection and mitigation technology including application/protocol command filters and URL deobfuscation. Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also provide management of IM and tunneling applications, enabling businesses to enforce usage policies and preserve bandwidth for critical business processes.

While increasing network protection, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls also decrease installation and support costs. By providing broad VPN and protection services, the Cisco ASA firewall can be a single device for many uses, enabling product commonality. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewall can be used as a converged attack-prevention appliance at a central location by leveraging its connectivity control, application inspection, and malicious assault mitigation technologies. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall can also be deployed as a specialized remote connectivity device using its Virtual Private Network capabilities. As an alternative, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall serves capably in the network interior for interdepartmental connectivity control and to guard against malware internal users may inadvertently 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 intrusion defense and VPN services while fitting within the cost structure and operational models of these deployments.

This versatile one-device, many-solution design reduces the total number of appliances that need to be deployed and managed while providing a standard functional and administrative environment throughout all those installations. This approach streamlines the education of setup, tracking, support, and protection personnel. To further reduce operations costs, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewalls are also highly network conscious, enabling them to insert seamlessly into the environment without disrupting authorized data flow and applications.

How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Cisco PIX and ASA Firewalls
Cisco's ASA 5500 Series firewalls and PIX security appliances provide an array of configuration, tracking, and analysis options which give you the ability to deploy these security appliances to align optimally with your company's requirements. Progent's CCIE certified network consultants can show you how to maintain your current network infrastructure that includes Cisco ASA and/or PIX firewall technology and that offers protection, resilience, performance, and manageability. Progent's firewall experts can also assist your organization to upgrade to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISSP-ISSP-premier information security engineers can help you to develop a security policy appropriate for your environment and can set up your security appliance to enforce your security strategy. Progent's security assessment experts can assess the effectiveness of your current firewall solution and help determine the overall security of your whole information system environment. Progent's Help Desk Call Center can provide emergency online troubleshooting for Cisco products and can give you quick access to a Cisco CCIE expert.

For more information about Progent's engineering support for Cisco solutions, select a subject:

Integration of Cisco and Third-party Firewall 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: If you wish to contact Progent about consulting support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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