Cisco PIX security appliances and ASA 5500 Series firewalls combine next-generation firewall, intrusion defense, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) functionality in a cost-effective, one-box package. Both of these product lines have been replaced by Cisco's ASA 5500-X family of security appliances with Firepower Services. (See integration and troubleshooting expertise for ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.) Nevertheless, both PIX and first-generation ASA 5500 Series firewalls are widely deployed and continue to provide small and mid-size organizations a viable firewall environment.

PIX and legacy ASA 5500 firewalls deliver robust user and program policy support, mutlivector assault protection, and safe access services. The enhanced knowledge sharing of consolidated protection features in a stand-alone platform offers users deploying these integrated firewalls the benefits of advanced security, lower TCO, and smaller management expense.

Cisco PIX firewalls and the ASA 5500 family join Cisco IOS Firewall, the FWSM for Catalyst 6500 family switches, and Cisco 7600 family routers as components of Cisco's flexible, integrated firewall solutions. Engineered with a scalable, building-block platform, every offering is designed with a particular array of options to provide better protection to different networking situations. These solutions can be individually installed to protect specific facets of a network infrastructure, or can be grouped for a layered, defense-in-depth approach following the design leading practices described in the Cisco SAFE framework. Completing the integrated firewall product line, Cisco provides a complete security management portfolio, spanning Cisco security device and Cisco IOS Software security components and built-in appliance managers, to self-contained management programs, moving to ensure that customers can effectively use their Cisco security solution investments.

Cisco PIX Firewall Appliances
PIX Security Appliance Series offer robust user and application policy enforcement, multi-source attack defense, and safe networking features in cost-effective, simple-to-configure solutions. These specialized devices provide a broad range of built-in protection and networking services including process-aware firewall features, Voice over IP and multimedia protection, robust multi-location and remote-connectivity IP Security (IPsec) Virtual Private Network (VPN) networking, excellent resiliency, intelligent networking features, and versatile management solutions. The Cisco PIX Security Appliance Series product line spans small plug-and-go devices for small and at home offices to modular gigabit appliances with investment protection for large business and service-provider customers, Cisco PIX firewall appliances deliver high levels of security, performance, and reliability for environments of all sizes.

Cisco PIX Security Help

Based around a hardened, purpose-built operating system that delivers a wealth of security services, PIX firewalls provide a high level of protection and have earned EAL 4 status and ICSA Firewall and IPsec certification. PIX firewalls provide protection for a wide array of Voice over IP and additional mixed-media conventions such as H.323 v. 4, SIP, Cisco Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP), RTSP, and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), helping organizations to protect deployments of a broad range of contemporary and upcoming IP voice and video applications.

PIX security appliances offer a wealth of configuration, tracking, and troubleshooting options, providing IT managers the flexibility to use the methods that most closely meet their needs. Administrative options include centralized, policy-based management utilities, integrated web-based management, and compatibility with remote-monitoring protocols such as SNMP and syslog. The integrated Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) system offers a world-class web-based control platform that significantly simplifies the deployment, in-place modification, and monitoring of a specific Cisco PIX firewall appliance without the need of any extra software beyond an ordinary browser and Java applet to be running on an administrator's PC.

Administrators can furthermore remotely configure, track, and analyze PIX firewalls using a CLI interface. Safe command-line interface (CLI) communication is possible through a number of techniques including Secure Shell (SSHv2) Protocol, Telnet over IP Security, and out-of-band via a console port. Cisco PIX firewalls also include robust automatic-update features, a collection of secure remote-administration options that ensure firewall settings and software images are always current.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls
Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls are specially engineered devices that incorporate advanced, industry-leading protection and Virtual Private Network support plus an adaptive design. The result is a powerful, versatile network security appliance better suited to defend small and medium business and larger networks and, simultaneously, lower the overall installation and maintenance expenses previously associated with this high degree of protection.

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series Firewalls Experts
Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewalls build on technology behind the Cisco PIX 500 Security Appliance, the IPS 4200 Intrusion Prevention System, and the VPN 3000 Series concentrator. These solutions converge on the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewall family to offer a firewall that defends against a wide range of attacks. Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances Firewalls provide application security, local containment and control, and safe Virtual Private Network connectivity across Cisco's product portfolio. This broad scope of protection allows the guarding of any network segment, which includes the most typical threat vectors like remote locations, locally-connected internal users, and remote connected VPNs.

Cisco ASA firewalls deliver strong application protection through intelligent, application-aware inspection engines that examine network flows at Layers 4-7. This produces a safer environment covering web, voice, and mobile wireless services. To defend environments against application-layer assaults and to offer organizations greater policing of the applications and protocols used in their environments, Cisco's inspection engines integrate extensive application and protocol knowledge and employ protection enforcement technologies such as protocol anomaly sensing and application and protocol state monitoring. Also included are attack sensing and mitigation technology including application and protocol command filtering and content verification. Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall inspection engines also deliver management of instant messaging and peer-to-peer file sharing, allowing organizations to enforce usage policies and preserve bandwidth for vital business processes.

While improving security, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewalls also decrease deployment and support costs. By offering broad Virtual Private Network and protection services, the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewall can be used as the the only platform for many environments, allowing product commonality. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances 5500 Series firewall can be used as a consolidated attack-prevention appliance at the datacenter by taking advantage of its access control, process inspection, and malware mitigation technologies. The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances firewall can also be used as a dedicated remote connectivity solution utilizing its VPN capabilities. As an alternative, the Cisco ASA firewall serves capably inside the network for inter-office connectivity control and to defend against malware inside workers might unknowingly release into the network. For small company and satellite office networks, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall serves as an all-in-one device offering complete intrusion defense and Virtual Private Network services while suiting the budgets and operational demands of such deployments.

This adaptive one-platform, many-use design minimizes the number of devices that must be deployed and maintained while offering a common functional and administrative system throughout all installations. This approach simplifies the education of configuration, tracking, support, and protection personnel. To further minimize operations costs, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) 5500 Series firewalls are also highly network conscious, enabling these devices to insert seamlessly into the environment without interfering with authorized data flow and applications.

How Progent's Cisco Certified Experts Can Assist You with Cisco Firewalls
Cisco ASA Series firewalls and PIX family security appliances incorporate a wealth of setup, tracking, and troubleshooting options which give you the ability to set up these firewalls to align optimally with your business requirements. Progent's CCIE authorized network consultants can help you to maintain your current network infrastructure that incorporates Cisco ASA or PIX security appliances and that offers protection, fault tolerance, performance, and recoverability. Progent's firewall experts can also help you to upgrade to Cisco ASA 5500-X firewalls with Firepower Services.

Progent's GISA and CISSP-ISSP-certified information security experts can assist you to develop a security policy that makes sense for your business and can configure your PIX or ASA firewall to support your security strategy. Progent's risk evaluation experts can assess the strength of your existing firewall solution and help determine the security of your whole IS environment. Progent's Help Desk support team can provide emergency online troubleshooting for Cisco technology and offer fast access to a Cisco CCIE network engineer.

To find out additional details concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco technology, choose a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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