Cisco is a network company that many security professionals are familiar with. For both the enterprise and service provider markets, the networking behemoth has traditionally been the leading provider of routing and switching solutions. We all know that the Cisco ASA was a true workhorse that had very few issues and almost never failed. Then why should we upgrade from Cisco ASA to Cisco Firepower NGFW?
Difference between Cisco ASA and Cisco Firepower
Cisco created the Firepower appliance, which is the ASA’s heir apparent and replacement. The ASA code and the FTD (Firepower Threat Defense) code were both used by Firepower. The ASA was the foundational program, although it lacked advanced next-generation and IPS features. The Firepower module of the next-generation ASA software ran inline on top of the ASA’s current architecture.
Through Firepower, the module would then give IPS, Malware, and URL filtering capabilities. The Cisco Firepower appliance now combines the firewall capabilities of the module with the Firepower capabilities of the Cisco Firepower appliance to create a single solution.
Cisco ASA vs. Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) Software
|Cisco ASA 9.9||Cisco FTD v6.2.3|
|Routing||√ (OSPF, BGP, EIGRP, Static, RIP, Multicast)||√ (OSPF, BGP, EIGRP, Static, RIP, Multicast, PBR via FlexConfig)|
|Unified ASA & FW Rules/Objects||X||√|
|On Box Management||√||√|
|VPN||√ (Site to Site and Remote Access)||√ (Site to Site and Remote Access)|
|Hypervisor Support||X||√ (AWS, Vmawre, KVM, Azure)|
|Smart Licensing Support||X||√|
NGIPS (Firepower 7K and 8K) and NGFW (ASA with Firepower) solutions were both available under the old Firepower brand. Both ASAs and Firepower using the new FTD Software are NGFW solutions that can be administered centrally using Firepower Management Center (FMC), which was previously known as FireSIGHT Management Center. Cisco continues to market both ASAs and Firepower Hardware Appliances (2100, 4100, and 9300), but it is clear that they are focusing more on Firepower Hardware Appliances (2100, 4100, and 9300), which have superior specifications and more advanced functionality. It’s also clear that they’re beginning to phase out ASAs, both hardware and software.
Hot Cisco Firepower Models: FPR2130-NGFW-K9, L-FPR2130T-TMC-1Y, FPR1120-NGFW-K9, FPR2110-NGFW-K9
Some Reasons to Upgrade from ASA to Firepower
1.More than just access control
Access control and traffic filtering are provided by the Cisco ASA stateful firewall. All of this and more is provided by the Cisco NGFW, including application visibility and control, as well as deep visibility into threats via built-in advanced security features.
2.Uptime and Reliability
While the ASA is known for its reliability and uptime, the Cisco NGFW expands on the ASA’s legacy by providing reliability and uptime even when sophisticated security capabilities such as NGIPS are used. When the Cisco Firepower 2100‘s NGIPS feature is enabled, the throughput does not suffer. Finally, you can take advantage of the firewall’s powerful security features without sacrificing network throughput.
3.A well-designed architecture
Cisco NGFW was not created in a vacuum. It was designed to function in tandem with other Cisco security products. As part of Cisco’s Integrated Security architecture, threat intelligence, policy information, and event data are shared across all Cisco security systems. This is significant for several reasons.
For starters, these integrations give you additional insight across different attack vectors, from edge to endpoint, allowing you to respond faster to attacks. As a result, if a single security instrument detects a threat in one location, all other security tools will be alerted and will automatically stop the threat across the entire extended network.
As the ASA product line fades away and the Firepower appliance line grows in popularity, it’s worth looking at how the Firepower line can best assist you. There are a variety of options to use and deploy, and the Firepower line is a reliable and strong choice for not just a data center but also a small or medium-sized enterprise.
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