We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The IPS, as well as the malware features, are the two things that we use the most and they're very valuable."
"The protection and security features, like URL filtering, the inspection, and the IPS feature, are also very valuable for us. We don't have IT staff at most of the sites so for us it's important to have a robust firewall at those sites"
"We can easily track unauthorized users and see where traffic is going."
"With the FMC and the FirePOWERs, the ability to quickly replace a piece of hardware without having to have a network outage is useful. Also, the ability to replace a piece of equipment and deploy the config that the previous piece of equipment had is pretty useful."
"They wanted to leverage something which is equivalent that can give them the next gen features like application awareness and intrusion protection. So that is a major reason they were looking forward to this. The original ASA firewall did not have these features. This was the major reason the customer moved on to Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD). Now they can go ahead and leverage those functionalities."
"The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate."
"Being able to determine our active users vs inactive users has led us to increased productivity through visibility. Also, if an issue was happening with our throughput, then we wouldn't know without research. Now, notifications are more proactively happening."
"One of the most valuable features is the AMP. It's very good and very reliable when it comes to malicious activities, websites, and viruses."
"Auto-scaling and zero touch are valuable features."
"What's most valuable to me is that it's a contiguous solution that aligns well with the components that we've relied on and trusted from a traditional hardware, firewall, and unified threat management system. My engineers and analysts don't have to learn another platform. We have already entrusted our security controls to Check Point for perimeter and physical security, and now we can do so at the virtual layer as well, which is key to us."
"We have found the overall functionality of the product to be exactly similar to the physical product. The one good advantage is that it is cloud-based and can be deployed either as a part of a scale set or one can shut down the virtual machine and adjust the physical parameters of the virtual machine easily and bring it right back up."
"I find it really useful that CloudGuard supports all the main players on the Public Clouds market including AWS, GCP, and Azure, as well as some exotic ones like Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud."
"The visibility, the one-pane-of-glass which allows me to see all of my edge protection through one window and one log, is great. Monitoring everything through that one pane of glass is extremely valuable."
"The main benefit of the Check Point Virtual Systems solution is its ability to split up the hardware appliances that we have into several logical, virtual devices with separate traffic handling policies, as well as the switching and routing."
"The features of the solution which I have found most valuable are its flexibility and agility. It's a fully scalable solution, from our perspective. We can define scaling groups and, based on the load, it will create new instances. It's truly a product which is oriented toward the cloud mindset, cloud agility, and this is a great feature."
"The most valuable feature is that we can use the same manager server that we use on our own Check Point firewalls. We integrated CloudGuard on that manager and we can use the same kind of protections that we use on the on-prem firewalls, like the IPS and antivirus policy. We can have the same kind of protection on the Cloud environment that we have on-premise."
"The information coming from Talos does a good job... I like the fact that Cisco is working with them and getting the information from them and updating the firewall."
"For us, the most valuable features are the IPX and the Sourcefire Defense Center module. That gives us visibility into the traffic coming in and going out, and gives us the heads-up if there is a potential outbreak or potential malicious user who is trying to access the site. It also helps us see traffic generated by an end device trying to reach out to the world."
"The most valuable feature is that the encryption is solid."
"They provide DDoS protection and multi-factor authentication. That is a good option as it enables work-from-home functionality."
"If you have a solution that is creating a script and you need to deploy many implementations, you can create a script in the device and it will be the same for all. After that, you just have to do the fine tuning."
"The traffic inspection and the Firepower engine are the most valuable features. It gives you full details, application details, traffic monitoring, and the threats. It gives you all the containers the user is using, especially at the application level. The solution also provides application visibility and control."
"If we look at the Cisco ASA without Firepower, then one of the most valuable features is the URL filtering."
"It's easy to integrate ASA with other Cisco security products. When you understand the technology, it's not a big deal. It's very simple."
"For the new line of FTDs, the performance could be improved. We sometimes have issues with the 41 series, depending what we activate. If we activate too many intrusion policies, it affects the CPU."
"The user interface for the Firepower management console is a little bit different from traditional Cisco management tools. If you look at products we already use, like Cisco Prime or other products that are cloud-based, they have a more modern user interface for managing the products. For Firepower, the user interface is not very user-friendly. It's a little bit confusing sometimes."
"We would like to see improvement in recovery. If there is an issue that forces us to do recovery, we have to restart or reboot. In addition, sometimes we have downtime during the maintenance windows. If Cisco could enhance this, so that upgrades would not necessarily require downtime, that would be helpful."
"We had an event recently where we had inbound traffic for SIP and we experienced an attack against our SIP endpoint, such that they were able to successfully make calls out... Both CTR, which is gathering data from multiple solutions that the vendor provides, as well as the FMC events connection, did not show any of those connections because there was not a NAT inbound which said either allow it or deny it."
"I was just trying to learn how this product actually operates and one thing that I see from internal processing is it does fire-walling and then sends it to the IPS model and any other model that needs to be performed. For example, content checking or filtering will be done in a field processing manner. That is something that causes delays in the network, from a security perspective. That is something that can be improved upon. Palo Alto already has implemented this as a pilot passed processing. So they put the same stream of data across multiple modules at the same time and see if it is giving a positive result by using an XR function. So, something similar can be done in the Cisco Firepower. Instead of single processing or in a sequential manner, they can do something similar to pile processing. Internal function that is something that they can improve upon."
"The product line does not address the SMB market as it is supposed to do. Cisco already has an on-premises sandbox solution."
"The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team."
"One feature I would like to see, that Firepower doesn't have, is email security. Perhaps in the future, Cisco will integrate Cisco Umbrella with Firepower. I don't see why we should have to pay for two separate products when both could be integrated in one box."
"Zero touch removes any independence for configuring."
"It's meeting our needs at this time. If I could make it better, it would be by making it more standalone. That would be beneficial to us. I say that because our current platform for virtualization is VMware. The issue isn't any fault of Check Point, it's more how the virtualization platform partners allow for that partnership and integration. There has to be close ties and partnerships between the vendors to ensure interoperability and sup-portability. There is only so far that Check Point, or any security vendor technology can go without the partnership and enablement of the virtualization platform vendor as it relies on "Service Insertion" to maintain optimal performance."
"I think they have pretty much mastered what can be done. There are some nuances like when you fail over from one cluster member to the other, the external IP address takes about two minutes to fail over."
"I hope that Check Point continues to improve its technical documentation regarding the Check Point CloudGuard IaaS gateway and management system."
"The biggest room for improvement is that, for a long time now, they've moved everything over to R80 but they still maintain some of the stuff in the old dashboard. They need to "buy in" and move everything to the modern dashboard so that you don't have to go to one place and to another place, at times, to configure the environment. It's time they just finish what they started and put everything in the new, modern dashboard."
"As an administrator, I can say that among all of the Check Point products I have been working with so far, the Virtual Systems solution is one of the most difficult."
"The convergence time between cluster members is still not perfect. It's far away from what we get in traditional appliances. If a company wants to move mission-critical applications for an environment to the cloud, it somehow has to accept that it could have downtime of up to 40 seconds, until cluster members switch virtual IP addresses between themselves and start accepting the traffic. That is a little bit too high in my opinion. It's not fully Check Point's fault, because it's a hybrid mechanism with AWS. The blame is 50/50."
"CloudGuard functions just like any other firewall. It functions very well. The only thing that could maybe be improved would be to integrate some tools that are not integrated with the SmartConsole, like the SmartView Monitor that we need to open on a different application to access."
"Our latest experience with a code upgrade included a number of bugs and issues that we ran into. So more testing with their code, before it hits us, would help."
"We were also not too thrilled when Cisco announced that in the upcoming new-gen ASA, iOS was not going to be supported, or if you install them, they will not be able to be managed through the Sourcefire. However, it seems like Cisco is moving away from the ASA iOS to the Sourcefire FireSIGHT firmware for the ASA. We haven't had a chance to test it out."
"It is expensive."
"Cisco provides us with application visibility and control, although it's not a complete solution compared to other vendors. Cisco needs to work on the application behavior side of things, in particular when it comes to the behavior of SSL traffic."
"Cisco missed the mark with all the configuration steps. They are a pain and, when doing them, it looks as if we're using a very old technology — yet the technology itself is not old, it's very good. But the front-end configuration is very tough."
"Security generally requires integration with many devices, and the management side of that process could be enhanced somewhat. It would help if there was a clear view of the integrations and what the easiest way to do them is."
"One area where the ASA could be improved is that it doesn't have AMP. When you get an ASA with the Firepower model, ASA with FTD, then you have advanced malware protection."
"If I want to activate IPS features on it, I have to buy another license. If I want Cisco AnyConnect, I have to buy another license. That's where we have challenges."
"Cisco's pricing is high, at times, for what they provide."
"The one-time cost is affordable, but the maintenance cost and the Smart Net costs need to be reduced. They're too high."
"We normally license on a yearly basis. The hardware procurement cost should be considered. If you're virtual maybe that cost is eradicated and just the licensing cost is applied. If you have hardware the cost must be covered by you. All the shipping charges will be paid by you also. I don't thing there are any other hidden charges though."
"Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
"There are additional implementation and validation costs."
"Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
"This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
"This product is expensive."
"Licensing is simply by the number of hosts that you are looking to protect within your environment. It makes it much easier to ensure that you are covering your environment."
"There is flexibility in the different licensing models that are offered."
"The pricing is pretty high, not just for your capital, for what you have to pay upfront, but for what you pay for your annual software renewals as well, compared to a lot of other vendors. Check Point is near the top, as far as how much it's going to cost you."
"Pricing of CloudGuard is pretty fair when you have a single account. It's comparable with other cloud providers. But for our use case, it got really pricey when we had to deploy multiple CloudGuards on multiple accounts in different regions, because you can't have CloudGuard protecting multiple regions. That's the big thing."
"The pricing and licensing have been good. We just had to do a license increase for our portion of it. We had that done within a couple of days. Given the fact that it's purely a software-based license, it ends up being even quicker than doing it for an on-prem firewall."
"It is not expensive, but it is a little bit above the middle range. There are other solutions that are a little more expensive than this, but they also have some interesting features."
"The price could be better."
"You get charged only for what resources you choose and how much traffic actually passes through the firewall, which in turn saves a lot of money."
"We used Check Point and the two are comparable. Cost was really what put us onto the ASAs... the price tag for Check Point was exorbitantly more than what it is for the ASA solution."
"Pricing varies on the model and the features we are using. It could be anywhere from $600 to $1000 to up to $7,000 per year, depending on what model and what feature sets are available to us."
"In terms of costs, other solutions are more expensive than Cisco. Palo Alto is more expensive than Cisco."
"There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device."
"When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active."
"Cisco is expensive, but you do get benefits for the price."
"It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up."
"The licensing is a bit off because the physical firewall is cheaper than the virtual one. We only have the physical ones as they are cheaper than the virtual ones. We only use the physical firewalls because of the price difference."
Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from
small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide
range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your
environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is
delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco
SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables
greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.
Check Point CloudGuard provides unified cloud native security for all your assets and workloads, giving you the confidence to automate security, prevent threats, and manage posture – everywhere – across your multi-cloud environment.
Cisco ASA firewalls deliver enterprise-class firewall functionality with highly scalable and flexible VPN capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco ASA can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Flexible VPN capabilities include support for remote access, site-to-site, and clientless VPN. Also, select appliances support clustering for increased performance, VPN load balancing to optimize available resources, advanced high availability configurations, and more.
Cisco ASAv is the virtualized version of the Cisco ASA firewall. Widely deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco ASAv is ideal for remote worker and multi-tenant environments. The solution scales up/down to meet performance requirements and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco ASAv can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.
Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.
Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 25 reviews while Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 64 reviews. Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is rated 8.6, while Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Check Point CloudGuard Network Security writes "Unified Security Management has enabled us to combine our on-prem appliances and cloud environments". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Gives us visibility into potential outbreaks as well as malicious users trying to access the site". Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Azure Firewall, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and pfSense, whereas Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, Juniper SRX and OPNsense. See our Check Point CloudGuard Network Security vs. Cisco ASA Firewall report.
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