Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Review

Provides us with application visibility and control

What is our primary use case?

We are a large company in the country in which we operate. We are a government agency dealing with taxes and we provide services for all taxpayers within the country. We have services for internal users, as well as services for public users. The main reason we use these firewalls is to protect our environment and to provide our services efficiently so that we are up and running 24/7.

Our solution is deployed in a private cloud. Everything is hosted in our environment and provided as cloud services. We are in the process of moving our infrastructure from the previous environment to the new environment where Cisco firewalls are installed.

In terms of our security maturity as an organization, we are young. In fact, we are young as a country. We have been providing electronic services for more than 10 years for our clients. We have a huge number of clients, with over 120,000 users who subscribe to our system and who access our services on a daily basis or, at a minimum, three to four times per year.

We use a few tools for security in terms of management, both internal and external, but we are mainly relying on Cisco. Our network is based on Cisco, and we also protect our mail system with Cisco. Previously, and in parallel, we used Sophos next-generation firewalls.

What is most valuable?

The solution provides us with application visibility and control and, at this stage, we are happy with it. Similarly, we are very happy with Cisco Firepower Management Center. We're still at an early stage, but we haven't seen any problems with the Cisco products. We are still switching on features and looking at how they are working.

When it comes to the integration among Cisco tools, we find it easy. It's a very practical integration with other components as well.

We also believe that Cisco is updated about all security issues and threats and efficient enough to provide us with the features and protection we need.

For how long have I used the solution?

We just installed them recently. We started installation at the end of 2020 and we completed it this month, April 2021.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's still early, but we believe the stability is alright.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is better than the other firewalls we have, due to technical features. Our technicians have realized that this is much more scalable compared to other solutions.

How are customer service and technical support?

So far, the technical support has been excellent.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough.

We did a proper implementation plan according to the complexity of our network and our requirements. Then we used the best method for implementing it while mitigating our risks and meeting our requirements. We found a good way to implement it.

The setup took us two calendar months, but in terms of the actual time required to configure it, it was not so long. The setup took approximately as long as for other firewalls we have used.

What was our ROI?

It's hard to talk about ROI when it comes to security, but security now is expensive. You have to pay for it.

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

For us, the pricing was more economical than other products we used. There were no extra costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a lot of the providers: Juniper, Palo Alto, Check Point, and Fortinet. Our technical team really researched things for a considerable amount of time, and they came up with a decision that this would be the best.

Cisco was chosen because there were many features according to assessments made by other users and as noted in technical data sheets we looked at during the research. They came up with a few features which are better than what other products have. 

Also, especially when you have been a long-time user of Cisco products and services, we found that from a budget perspective it was going to be much more preferable than the others.

What other advice do I have?

We are very satisfied with the service and the product. I don't think that any product would be better than Cisco when it comes to next-generation firewalls.

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