Cisco PIX firewalls and ASA 5500 Series adaptive security appliances combine next-generation firewall, intrusion protection, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) functionality in a cost-effective, one-cabinet package. Both product lines have been replaced by Cisco's ASA 5500-X family of firewalls with Firepower Services. (Refer to configuration and troubleshooting expertise for Cisco AA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Nevertheless, both PIX and first-generation ASA 5500 model adaptive security appliances are widely deployed and continue to offer small and mid-size organizations a reliable firewall environment.

PIX and the original ASA 5500 firewalls deliver robust user and program policy support, mutlivector assault protection, and safe access features. The increased knowledge sharing of consolidated protection features in a single platform offers customers implementing these aggregated solutions the advantages of enhanced security, reduced TCO, and smaller management costs.

Cisco PIX firewalls and Cisco's ASA 5500 family combine with Cisco IOS Firewall, the Firewall Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, and Cisco 7600 family routers as components of Cisco's flexible, self-contained firewall product. Engineered with a scalable, building-block approach, every offering is equipped with a specific feature set to deliver better protection to different networking situations. These products can be individually installed to secure specific facets of a network environment, or can be grouped for a layered, protection-in-depth strategy based on the architecture best practices described in the Cisco SAFE framework. Rounding out the integrated firewall product line, Cisco has developed a comprehensive security management offering, ranging from Cisco security device and IOS Software security features and embedded device managers, to standalone management applications, helping to make sure that customers can productively use their Cisco protection infrastructure investments.

Cisco PIX Firewall Appliances
PIX firewall appliances deliver robust policy support, multivector attack protection, and safe networking services in economical, easy-to-deploy modules. These purpose-built devices offer a wealth of built-in protection and networking services such as process-aware firewall services, Voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia security, robust site-to-site and remote-connectivity IP Security (IPsec) Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity, fault tolerance, intelligent networking features, and flexible management solutions. The Cisco PIX firewall Appliance product line spans small plug-and-play devices for small or at home offices to stackable high-bandwidth products with ROI for large business and service-provider environments, PIX firewalls deliver high levels of security, speed, and availability for environments of all sizes.

Cisco PIX Security Consultants

Built around a tested, purpose-built OS that delivers a wealth of protection features, Cisco PIX firewall appliances provide a high level of protection and have received Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4 status and ICSA Firewall and IP Security (IPsec) certification. PIX security appliances provide protection for a broad array of Voice over IP and other multimedia standards including H.323 Version 4, Session Initiation Protocol, Cisco Skinny Client Control Protocol, Real-Time Streaming Protocol, and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), enabling organizations to safeguard installations of a wide array of current and upcoming Voice over IP and multimedia applications.

PIX firewalls feature a variety of configuration, tracking, and troubleshooting options, providing IT managers the flexibility to utilize the techniques that most closely meet their requirements. Management solutions include centralized, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-accessible administration, and compatibility with remote-monitoring standards like SNMP and syslog. The integrated Adaptive Security Device Manager system offers a world-class web-accessible control solution that significantly simplifies the installation, in-place modification, and monitoring of a single Cisco PIX security appliance without requiring any additional utility beyond a standard browser and Java plug-in to be running on a manager's computer.

Administrators can furthermore remotely set up, track, and troubleshoot Cisco PIX security appliances using a CLI interface. Safe CLI interface access is possible using a number of techniques such as SSHv2 Protocol, Telnet over IP Security, and out-of-band through a console port. PIX firewalls also have robust auto-update capabilities, a set of protected remote-management options that make sure that firewall settings and software images are kept current.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) Firewalls are purpose-built devices that incorporate market-proven, best-of-breed security and Virtual Private Network services plus a flexible architecture. The end product is a robust, multifunction network protection appliance better suited to protect small and medium company and enterprise networks and, at the same time, lower the total deployment and maintenance costs previously associated with this high degree of security.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls Consulting Firm
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls leverage engineering behind the Cisco PIX 500 Security Appliance, the IPS 4200 family Intrusion Prevention System, and the Cisco VPN 3000 family concentrator. These technologies enable the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall family to offer a platform that defends against a broad range of attacks. Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls provide program protection, network containment and control, and safe Virtual Private Network connectivity across the entire product portfolio. This broad scope of security enables the guarding of any network section, including the most typical attack conduits such as remote sites, locally-attached internal users, and remote access Virtual Private Networks.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewalls deliver robust application security through intelligent, application-aware inspection processes that examine traffic at Layers 4-7. This results in a better protected environment covering web, voice, and mobile wireless access. To protect environments against application-layer attacks and to give organizations greater control over the programs and protocols used in their environments, these inspection engines integrate broad application and protocol knowledgebases and employ security enforcement technologies that include protocol anomaly detection and state tracking. Also included are assault detection and remediation technology including application and protocol command filters and URL deobfuscation. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also provide management of instant messaging and peer-to-peer file sharing, enabling businesses to enforce usage policies and preserve bandwidth for critical business applications.

At the same time as increasing security, Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewalls also decrease deployment and support expenses. By providing broad VPN and security functions, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewall can be used as the single device for a multitude of environments, allowing platform commonality. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall can be used as a consolidated threat-protection device at a central location by leveraging its access control, application inspection, and malicious assault mitigation technologies. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall can also be used as a specialized remote access device using its VPN capabilities. As another option, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall serves capably in the network interior for inter-office connectivity control and to guard against malicious assaults internal workers might unwittingly release into the network. For small business and satellite office networks, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall serves as an all-in-one platform providing complete threat prevention and VPN services while suiting the budgets and performance demands of such situations.

This versatile one-platform, multiple-solution approach minimizes the total number of appliances that need to be installed and maintained while providing a standard operating and administrative environment throughout all deployments. This architecture simplifies the training of configuration, monitoring, support, and protection staff. To further reduce operations costs, Cisco ASA firewalls are also exceptionally network aware, enabling them to integrate seamlessly into the network without interfering with 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 adaptive security appliances and PIX security appliances incorporate a wealth of configuration, tracking, and analysis options that offer you the flexibility to configure these security appliances to align optimally with your company's requirements. Progent's CCIE certified network consultants can help you to maintain your current infrastructure that includes Cisco ASA or PIX firewall technology and that provides security, resilience, throughput, and manageability. Progent can also assist you to migrate to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISM-certified IS security engineers can help you to develop a security policy that makes sense for your situation and can set up your firewall to support your security policies. Progent's security assessment consultants can assess the effectiveness of your current firewall solution and help determine the overall security of your entire information system environment. Progent's Technical Response Center can provide urgent remote troubleshooting for Cisco products and can give you fast access to a Cisco expert.

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 find out about Progent's consulting and support services for additional Cisco products and technologies, select a topic: For additional information concerning Progent's professional assistance for Cisco products, pick a subject: For more information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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