Cisco ASA NGFW Review

We can create a profile and can give access depending on the access level they need to be on


What is our primary use case?

We use remote desktop services from our data center. We can clean the client and the remote desktop server and from there we can establish a VPN channel. 

How has it helped my organization?

We can create a profile and we can give them access depending on the access level they need to be on. All the way from level one to level 16. I just create the user and from the dropdown, I select what access level they need to be on and that's it. I don't need to go individually to each and every account and do the configuration.

What is most valuable?

I like the user interface because the navigation is very easy and straightforward. On the left side pane, you have all the sites that you need to browse. Unlike any other firewalls, it's pretty straightforward.

What needs improvement?

If I need to download AnyConnect in a rush, it will prompt me for my Cisco login account. Nobody wants to download a client to a firewall that they don't own. 

I would definitely love to have a much nicer web interface compared to the systems interface that it has now. I also would like to download utilities without having to login into the system. Nobody would want to download a client unless they're going to use it with a physical firewall. I don't understand the logic. If I was a hacker, I could get someone to download it for me and then I can use the client. There's no logic behind it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would rate their stability a nine out of ten. It's pretty stable. I never come across a situation where the firewall hangs and then I need to reboot it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco is expensive and when you want to grow, it means you're going to need to spend some money but you can justify it.

We have closer to 50 users on the firewall at the moment and do have plans to increase usage.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We were previously using Sophos firewall but it had a lot of issues. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a little difficult compared to other firewalls but once you get it right, especially the assistant control list, it's fine. It's a little difficult compared to other firewalls. 

The deployment took us about three days because we did some testing and we also did certain attacks and checked some hackers which is why it took some time. We wanted to make sure that it was at least 99.99% protected.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through a UK company called Rackspace. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is expensive compared to other solutions. Especially in other regions because people are very careful when it comes to spending on IT infrastructure. My suggestion is, first test it, once you see how good it is you will definitely want to renew it. 

What other advice do I have?

I would advise someone considering this solution to just go for it. It's expensive but it's a robust solution. The only thing is that you have to convince your finance guy to go for it.

I would rate it a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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