Overview of Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall for Chicago SMBs

Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT | EQInc.com

Cisco’s ASA 5506-X is a Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) that is designed for SMBs. It leverages the same software and security protection as the larger enterprise ASAs on right-sized hardware. It also includes Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) as part of their FirePOWER feature set.

 

 

 

 

The Cisco ASA line is the world’s most widely deployed, enterprise-class stateful firewall with remote access VPN and advanced clustering for highly secure, high-performance access and high availability to help ensure business continuity. SMBs in Chicago can take advantage of its worldwide popularity and reasonable price point.

View Cisco's 2-minute video below for a quick overview:

 

The requirement for NGFW features and IPS is standard in the modern era. Security threats and risks are increasing and an advanced firewall is needed to have a strong baseline of protection for all SMBs. You must be vigilant in protecting your data and reducing the risk of a security breach.

Total Cost of Ownership

The Total Cost of Ownership of an ASA 5506-X firewall is low. Consider the ease of deployment and management along with the high security protection. If the ASA is able to prevent just one breach over its lifecycle for your Chicago SMB, it would have more than paid for itself. Cisco has a large team of security experts continually improving and updating the FirePOWER services.

According to Cisco’s 2014 Annual Security Report, Cisco threat researchers found malicious traffic was visible on 100 percent of the corporate networks that they observed, with evidence that adversaries had often penetrated those networks and were frequently operating undetected over a long period. You need to stop these risks at the edge with a firewall.

Significant security challenges are not only faced by large enterprises, but every organization, regardless of its size. As reported by the U.S. National Cybersecurity Alliance in 2014, 41 percent of directed cyberattacks were focused on compromising organizations with fewer than 500 employees. Further, The New York Times reported in 2014 that a growing number of SMBs were being asked by their larger partners to adopt stronger threat defense programs including next-gen firewalls.

With FirePOWER, you get protection and intelligence before, during and after the attack continuum:

Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT | EQInc.com

 

When evaluating a new firewall vendor and model for your Chicago SMB, your solution must be:

1. Tailored for SMBs and distributed enterprises

2. Threat focused for effective information security and advanced malware protection

3. Reducing complexity and costs

The solution must also mitigate common, but important, network risks through access policies, virtual network segmentation, and secure site-to-site and remote access VPN connections. This foundational baseline is a useful starting point upon which to base your purchasing decision. For example, not all Layer 7 application control solutions include best-of-breed stateful firewalling and VPN capability.

The ASA 5506-X model includes all management software on the device. No additional virtual machine or remote PC is required for management. It includes advanced features such as IPS, Advanced Malware Protection and URL filtering which categorizes more than 280 million URLs. This is in addition to traditional firewall features of VPN, encryption and the ability to publish applications.

View Cisco's 4-minute video below for a more detailed overview of FirePOWER:

 

Top 14 ASA 5506-X Firewall Intangibles

1. The firewall is extremely quiet and initial setup takes 2 minutes with an intuitive wizard.
2. It includes (8) 1-Gig ports all at Layer 3. This model has no Layer-2 switching.
3. This firewall is a multi-core architecture, which allows for more performance compared to the previous single-core model, ASA 5505.
4. All FirePOWER updates can occur without taking basic function of the firewall offline allowing for ease of management.
5. The FirePOWER features are the same as on the enterprise grade 5585 firewall, providing a major advantage for SMBs.
6. The maximum throughput for web browsing traffic with all security features enabled is 90 Mbps.
7. The Security Plus license must be purchased separately or in a bundle. This firewall add-on is recommended since it will allow more than double the maximum concurrent sessions and reduce the chance of a performance bottleneck.
8. The maximum Remote VPN (AnyConnect) concurrent sessions is 50 with the Security Plus license, which should fit any SMB well before considering an upgrade to the next model more suited for Mid-Markets, 5508-X.
9. FirePOWER services are managed through the management port on the firewall. The 8 on-board ports are dedicated to typical production traffic.
10. If you would like to rack-mount the ASA 5506-X, be sure to buy the rack-mount parts separately. It is designed in a small desktop form factor.
11. Cisco ASA was cited by the 2014 IDC Worldwide Quarterly Security Appliance Track Study as the world’s most widely deployed firewall.
12. Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is the world’s leading VPN client, with over 100 million deployments, and is fully compatible with Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services.
13. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services uses daily threat feeds from Cisco Security Intelligence to the firewall to provide timely threat detection capability.
14. Cisco’s support is based in North America.
   

Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall | Chicago IT Services | Equilibrium IT | EQInc.com

 

The ASA 5506-X provides superior threat defense with the same industry-leading security technology found in larger Cisco next-generation firewalls. It is appropriately sized and affordably priced for SMB budgets in Chicago, including a low total cost of ownership. It has simplified on-device management or optional centralized management for multiple device installations.

Best of all, the ASA 5506-X firewall provides advanced security protection for your SMB in Chicago at an affordable price point.

Additional Free Resources

Cisco Whitepaper: Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall is Designed for SMBs

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls (April 2015)

EQ Blog: Lock Down Your Defense in Depth

Cisco ASA 5506-X Firewall Product Page

 

Would you like to learn more about securing your SMB in Chicago? Let's Talk.

Author: Todd Bey

Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc.

Firewalls & IPS in Chicago

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