Cisco PIX family security appliances and ASA 5500 Series firewalls integrate next-generation firewall, intrusion defense, and Virtual Private Network functionality in a cost-effective, single-box package. Both of these product lines have been superseded by Cisco's ASA 5500-X family of security appliances with Firepower. (See configuration and debugging support for ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Still, both PIX and previous-generation Cisco ASA 5500 model firewalls are widely used and continue to deliver small and mid-size organizations a reliable firewall solution.

Cisco PIC and legacy ASA 5500 firewalls offer robust client and application policy support, mutlivector attack defense, and safe access features. The enhanced intelligence sharing of integrated security features in a stand-alone package provides customers deploying these integrated solutions the benefits of enhanced protection, lower cost of ownership, and minimal management expense.

Cisco PIX firewalls and Cisco's ASA 5500 product line join Cisco IOS Firewall, the Firewall Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, and 7600 Series routers as components of Cisco's flexible, integrated firewall line. Based on an expandable, building-block approach, every offering is equipped with a specific feature set to deliver better security to different networking situations. These solutions can be independently deployed to secure certain areas of a connectivity environment, or can be grouped for a layered, defense-in-depth approach based on the design best practices outlined in the Cisco SAFE Blueprint. Completing the modular firewall product line, Cisco has developed a complete security management product portfolio, spanning Cisco security appliance and IOS security components and built-in appliance managers, to standalone management utilities, helping to ensure that businesses can effectively use their Cisco protection solution purchases.

Cisco PIX Firewall Appliances
Cisco PIX firewalls deliver reliable policy enforcement, multi-source invasion defense, and safe connectivity features in cost-effective, simple-to-configure modules. These purpose-built appliances offer a wealth of integrated protection and connectivity services including application-aware firewall features, Voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia security, reliable site-to-site and remote-connectivity IP Security Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity, high availability, smart networking features, and versatile management options. The Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series family spans small plug-and-play devices for small or at home offices to stackable gigabit appliances with investment protection for enterprise and ISP environments, Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series provide high levels of security, speed, and availability for network environments of all sizes.

Cisco PIX Firewalls Consulting

Based around a hardened, purpose-built operating system that delivers a wealth of security services, Cisco PIX firewall appliances provide a high level of protection and have earned Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4 status and ICSA Labs Firewall and IP Security qualification. Cisco PIX security appliances offer protection for a wide array of VoIP and additional multimedia standards such as H.323 Version 4, SIP, SCCP, Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), and MGCP, helping organizations to safeguard deployments of a wide range of current and next-generation IP voice and multimedia applications.

Cisco PIX firewalls offer a variety of configuration, tracking, and troubleshooting features, providing IT managers the versatility to utilize the methods that best meet their requirements. Administrative options include centralized, policy-based administration utilities, integrated web-based management, and compatibility with remote-monitoring standards such as SNMP and syslog. The integrated Adaptive Security Device Manager system offers a world-class web-based control platform that significantly simplifies the installation, in-place configuration, and monitoring of a specific PIX firewall without the need of any additional software other than a standard browser and Java applet to be installed on a manager's PC.

Administrators can furthermore remotely configure, track, and troubleshoot PIX firewall appliances via a command-line interface (CLI). Secure CLI interface communication is available through a number of techniques including SSHv2 Protocol, Telnet through IP Security, and out-of-band via a console port. Cisco PIX firewalls also have dependable automatic-update features, a set advanced protected remote-management services that ensure security settings and software images are kept current.

Cisco ASA Firewalls
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series Firewalls are purpose-built solutions that incorporate market-proven, industry-leading security and Virtual Private Network services plus a flexible design. The end product is a powerful, multifunction network security appliance better able to protect small and medium business and larger networks and, at the same time, lower the total deployment and operations costs formerly required for this enhanced degree of security.

Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls Support
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewalls build on engineering behind the PIX 500 firewall, Cisco's IPS 4200 Intrusion Prevention System, and Cisco's VPN 3000 Series concentrator. These solutions converge on the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewall family to offer a firewall that stops a wide range of attacks. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewalls provide program protection, network containment and control, and safe Virtual Private Network connectivity throughout the entire product portfolio. This breadth of security allows defense of any network section, which includes the most common threat vectors like remote sites, locally-connected inside users, and remote access Virtual Private Networks.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewalls provide robust application security via intelligent, application-aware inspection processes that analyze network flows at Layers 4-7. This produces a safer environment including web, voice, and mobile wireless services. To protect networks from application-layer assaults and to give businesses more control over the programs and protocols used in their environments, these inspection engines incorporate extensive application and protocol knowledgebases and rely on protection enforcement technologies such as protocol anomaly sensing and state monitoring. Also included are assault detection and mitigation techniques such as application and protocol command filters and URL deobfuscation. Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also deliver control over IM and tunneling applications, enabling businesses to police usage policies and recover network bandwidth for important business processes.

While improving network protection, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewalls also lower 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 firewall can be deployed as a consolidated attack-prevention device at the datacenter by leveraging its connectivity control, application inspection, and malware remediation capabilities. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall can also be used as a dedicated remote connectivity solution using its Virtual Private Network features. As an alternative, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall performs capably in the network interior for inter-office access control and to guard against malicious assaults inside workers may unwittingly release into the network. For small company and satellite office environments, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) firewall serves as an all-in-one device providing comprehensive intrusion defense and Virtual Private Network functionality while fitting within the cost structure and performance demands of such deployments.

This adaptive single-platform, multiple-use approach minimizes the total number of devices that must be installed and managed while providing a common operating and administrative system across all deployments. This approach streamlines the training of setup, tracking, troubleshooting, and security personnel. To further minimize maintenance costs, Cisco ASA firewalls are also exceptionally network aware, enabling them to insert seamlessly into the network without disrupting authorized data flow and processes.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Firewalls
Cisco ASA Series firewalls and PIX family security appliances provide a wealth of setup, tracking, and analysis options which offer you the ability to configure these firewalls to match your company's requirements. Progent's CCIE certified network consultants can assist you to support your current infrastructure that incorporates Cisco ASA or PIX firewall technology and that offers protection, fault tolerance, performance, and recoverability. Progent's firewall experts can also assist you to migrate to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISSP-ISSP-certified IS security experts can assist you to create a security policy appropriate for your environment and can set up your security appliance to support your security policies. Progent's security assessment experts can assess the effectiveness of your current firewall deployment and validate the overall security of your entire information system environment. Progent's Technical Response Center (TRC) can deliver emergency online troubleshooting for Cisco products and can give you fast access to a Cisco CCIE expert.

To find out more details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco products, select a topic:

In order to get in touch with Progent about technical support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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