Cisco PIX firewalls and Cisco ASA Series firewalls integrate comprehensive firewall, intrusion defense, and Virtual Private Network functionality in a cost-effective, one-cabinet format. Both product lines have been superseded by the ASA 5500-X series of firewalls with Firepower Services. (See integration and debugging help with Cisco AA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Nevertheless, both PIX and first-generation ASA 5500 Series firewalls are extensively used and continue to deliver small and mid-size organizations a reliable security solution.

Cisco PIC and the original ASA 5500 firewalls offer powerful client and application policy enforcement, mutlivector assault protection, and secure access features. The enhanced knowledge sharing of consolidated security features in a stand-alone platform provides customers deploying these aggregated firewalls the benefits of enhanced security, reduced TCO, and smaller management costs.

PIX firewalls and Cisco's ASA 5500 product line join IOS Firewall, the FWSM for Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches, and 7600 routers as parts of Cisco's flexible, self-contained firewall solutions. Based on a scalable, modular platform, every offering is equipped with a particular array of options to provide more efficient security to a variety of networking situations. These products can be independently deployed to protect specific areas of a connectivity environment, or can be combined for a systematic, defense-in-depth approach based on the design leading practices described in the Cisco SAFE framework. Completing the integrated firewall solutions, Cisco has developed a complete security management offering, spanning Cisco security appliance and Cisco IOS security components and embedded appliance managers, to standalone management applications, helping to make sure that businesses can effectively manage their Cisco protection infrastructure purchases.

Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series
PIX Security Appliance Series deliver robust user and application policy enforcement, multi-source invasion defense, and safe connectivity features in cost-effective, simple-to-configure modules. These specialized devices provide a wealth of built-in security and connectivity capabilities such as application-aware firewall features, VoIP and multimedia protection, robust multi-site and remote-connectivity IPcec Virtual Private Network connectivity, excellent resiliency, smart networking services, and versatile management solutions. The PIX firewall family spans compact plug-and-go desktop units for small and at home offices to modular high-bandwidth products with ROI for large business and ISP customers, PIX firewall appliances provide dependable protection, performance, and availability for environments of all sizes.

Cisco PIX Security Consultants

Built upon a hardened, purpose-built operating system that delivers a wealth of security services, Cisco PIX firewalls offer a high level of security and have received Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4 status and ICSA Labs Firewall and IP Security (IPsec) qualification. PIX security appliances provide protection for a broad array of Voice over IP and other multimedia conventions such as H.323 v. 4, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), SCCP, RTSP, and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), helping businesses to protect deployments of a broad array of current and upcoming IP voice and multimedia applications.

PIX firewall appliances offer a variety of setup, tracking, and analysis features, giving businesses the flexibility to utilize the techniques that best match their needs. Management options include common, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-based management, and compatibility with remote-monitoring protocols such as SNMP and syslog. The integrated ASDM interface offers a powerful web-based control platform that greatly streamlines the installation, ongoing modification, and monitoring of a single Cisco PIX security appliance without the need of any additional software beyond an ordinary browser and Java plug-in to be installed on an administrator's PC.

IT managers can furthermore remotely configure, monitor, and troubleshoot Cisco PIX firewall appliances via a command-line interface. Safe command-line interface (CLI) access is possible using a number of techniques such as SSHv2 Protocol, Telnet over IP Security (IPsec), and out-of-band via a console port. PIX firewall appliances also include dependable auto-update capabilities, a set of secure remote-management options that make sure that firewall settings and software images are always current.

Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls
Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls are specially engineered solutions that incorporate advanced, industry-leading security and VPN services with a flexible design. The result is a powerful, multifunction network protection appliance better suited to protect small and medium business (SMB) and enterprise networks and, at the same time, reduce the overall installation and operations costs previously associated with this high degree of security.

Cisco ASA Firewalls Consultants
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls leverage technology developed for Cisco's PIX 500 firewall, the Cisco IPS 4200 Series Intrusion Prevention System, and the VPN 3000 model concentrator. These solutions converge on the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall product line to deliver a platform that stops a wide range of attacks. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls deliver application security, network containment and control, and safe Virtual Private Network connectivity across Cisco's product line. This broad scope of security allows defense of any network area, which includes the most common attack vectors such as remote sites, locally-attached internal users, and remote access VPNs.

Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls provide a high-level of application protection through smart, application-sensitive inspection processes that analyze traffic at Layers 4-7. This produces a safer network covering web, voice, and mobile wireless services. To protect environments from application-layer assaults and to offer businesses greater control over the applications and protocols used in their networks, these inspection engines integrate extensive application and protocol knowledgebases and rely on security enforcement technologies such as anomaly sensing and application and protocol state monitoring. Also included are assault detection and remediation techniques including application/protocol command filtering and content verification. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also deliver management of IM and peer-to-peer file sharing, enabling businesses to enforce usage policies and conserve bandwidth for vital business processes.

At the same time as improving network security, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls also decrease deployment and support costs. By providing broad Virtual Private Network and protection functions, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall can be a the only platform for many environments, enabling product commonality. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall can be used as a consolidated attack-protection appliance at a central location by taking advantage of its connectivity control, application inspection, and worm, virus, and other malware mitigation technologies. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall can also be used as a dedicated remote access device using its VPN capabilities. Alternatively, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall performs capably in the network interior for inter-office access control and to defend against worms, viruses, and other malicious code internal users might inadvertently release into the network. For small company and satellite office networks, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall acts as a total solution device providing complete intrusion defense and VPN services while fitting within the cost structure and performance demands of these deployments.

This adaptive one-device, multiple-use approach minimizes the number of appliances that must be deployed and maintained while providing a standard operating and administrative system throughout all those deployments. This approach simplifies the training of configuration, monitoring, troubleshooting, and security personnel. To further minimize maintenance costs, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls are also highly network conscious, allowing these devices to integrate seamlessly into the network without disrupting legitimate data flow and processes.

How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Business with Cisco PIX and ASA Security Appliances
Cisco's ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances and PIX firewalls incorporate an array of setup, tracking, and analysis options which give you the flexibility to configure these security appliances to align optimally with your company's needs. Progent's CCIE certified network consultants can help you to maintain your existing infrastructure that includes Cisco ASA and/or PIX firewalls and that provides security, 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 GISA and CISM-premier information security consultants can help your business to create a security policy that makes sense for your environment and can set up your PIX or ASA firewall to enforce your security policies. Progent's security evaluation consultants can evaluate the strength of your existing firewall deployment and audit the overall security of your entire IT network. Progent's Help Desk Call Center can provide urgent remote technical support for Cisco technology and offer quick access to a Cisco expert.

For additional information about Progent's consulting support for Cisco networking products, select a subject:

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 ask Progent about professional expertise for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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