Cisco Firepower NGFW Review

Blocks threats from the application layer


What is our primary use case?

The primary use is to block incoming threats from the internet, at the edge of the network.

It's performing well. We check the report of blocked pages, blocked attacks, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, we only had a normal firewall, it was not next generation. It was not blocking many of the threats from Layer 7, the application layer. Now, this solution has IP, an intrusion prevention system, and because of the URL filtering, it can block other malware. It seems with the cloud database and the signatures, it compares the receiving files, then it blocks the URLs, making us more secure.

What is most valuable?

All the features are good. The GUI is among the most valuable.

What needs improvement?

It is on multiple boxes so ISP load balancing, multiple network load balancing would be helpful.

Also a web-based portal for VPN. Earlier they had it in the ASA model, but currently, they don't have it. The user needs to just click on the link so he can work.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable, it is able to detect. But the malware part should probably be upgraded. Performance-wise it is good and it has a long life.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has limits. If your network is going beyond it, then you'll have to replace it with higher model.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have been using Cisco for a long time, various models. We had PIX, then ASA. We were quite comfortable with the performance, it never failed. But our old solution was coming to end-of-life. Also, this is able to more block more threats from the application layer, etc.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are 

  • reputation
  • technology
  • features
  • cost.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a bit complex.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would depend on what your comfort level is. If you have already used Cisco, I would recommend this, to evaluate it at least. Evaluate it and learn how useful it is.

It gives good performance, the technology is quite good, sufficient for our objectives, protecting our network, etc. The missing two points are because they have to do make more improvements.

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