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Cisco ASA Firewall OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco ASA Firewall is #6 ranked solution in best firewalls. IT Central Station users give Cisco ASA Firewall an average rating of 8 out of 10. Cisco ASA Firewall is most commonly compared to Fortinet FortiGate:Cisco ASA Firewall vs Fortinet FortiGate. Cisco ASA Firewall is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 56% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 35% of all views.
What is Cisco ASA Firewall?

Cisco ASA firewalls deliver enterprise-class firewall functionality with highly scalable and flexible VPN capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small/branch offices to high performance data centers and service providers. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco ASA can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Flexible VPN capabilities include support for remote access, site-to-site, and clientless VPN. Also, select appliances support clustering for increased performance, VPN load balancing to optimize available resources, advanced high availability configurations, and more.

Cisco ASAv is the virtualized version of the Cisco ASA firewall. Widely deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco ASAv is ideal for remote worker and multi-tenant environments. The solution scales up/down to meet performance requirements and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco ASAv can deliver micro-segmentation to protect east-west network traffic.

Cisco firewalls provide consistent security policies, enforcement, and protection across all your environments. Unified management for Cisco ASA and FTD/NGFW physical and virtual firewalls is delivered by Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), with cloud logging also available. And with Cisco SecureX included with every Cisco firewall, you gain a cloud-native platform experience that enables greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency.

Learn more about Cisco’s firewall solutions, including virtual appliances for public and private cloud.

Cisco ASA Firewall was previously known as Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv.

Cisco ASA Firewall Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco ASA Firewall Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Cisco ASA Firewall Customers

There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.

Cisco ASA Firewall Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall pricing:
  • "When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher. Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active."
  • "It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on Fortigate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up."
  • "There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device."
  • "When we bought it, it was really expensive. I'm not aware of the current pricing. We had problems with licensing. After our IPS subscription ended, we couldn't renew it because Cisco was moving to the next-generation firewall platform. So, they didn't provide us with the new license."
  • "It is expensive. There is a cost for everything. There is per year license cost and support cost. There is also a cost for any training, any application, and any resource. Things are very costly to do with Cisco. Other brands are cheaper. They are also more flexible in terms of training, subscription, and licensing. They give lots and lots of years free. They provide more than Cisco."

Cisco ASA Firewall Reviews

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JF
Cisco Security Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Robust solution that integrates well with both Cisco products and products from other vendors

Pros and Cons

  • "If you have a solution that is creating a script and you need to deploy many implementations, you can create a script in the device and it will be the same for all. After that, you just have to do the fine tuning."
  • "Cisco missed the mark with all the configuration steps. They are a pain and, when doing them, it looks as if we're using a very old technology — yet the technology itself is not old, it's very good. But the front-end configuration is very tough."

What is our primary use case?

The ASAs are a defense solution for companies. Many of them use the AnyConnect or the VPN licenses. They also use it to have a next-generation firewall and to be compliant with GDPR.

The majority of our usage of the solution is on-prem or hybrid. The culture, here in Portugal — even knowing that the future is full cloud, in my opinion — is to only be on the way to full cloud.

What is most valuable?

All the features are very valuable. 

Among them is the integration for remote users, with AnyConnect, to the infrastructure. All the security through that is wonderful and it's very easy. You connect and you are inside your company network via VPN. Everything is encrypted and it's a very good solution. This is a wonderful feature. You need to make sure your machine has the profile requested by the company. That means having the patches updated. Optionally, you should have the antivirus updated, but you can decide whatever you would like in order to enable acceptance of the end-device in the enterprise network. That can be done with AnyConnect for remote/satellite users, or with ISE for local users.

The intrusion prevention system, the intrusion detection, is perfect. But you can also integrate Cisco with an IPS solution from another vendor, and just use the ASA with AnyConnect and as a firewall. You can choose from among many other vendors' products that the ASA will integrate with. Now, with Cisco SecureX, it's much easier than before. Cisco used to be completely blocked from other vendors but with SecureX they are open to other vendors. That was a massive improvement that Cisco probably should have made 10 years ago or seven years ago. They only released SecureX three or four months ago. 

Cisco ASA also provides application control. You can block or prevent people from going to certain applications or certain content. But the ASA only acts as a "bodyguard." It doesn't provide full visibility of the network. For that, there are other solutions from Cisco, such as ISE, although that is more for identity. Stealthwatch or TrustSec is what you need for visibility. They are both for monitoring and providing full visibility of the network, and they integrate with ASA.

Also, all of Cisco's security products are supported with Talos. Talos is in the background, handling all the improvements, all the updates. If something happens in Australia, for example, Talos will be aware of it and it will update the worldwide Talos network for all Cisco products. Within two minutes or three minutes, worldwide, Cisco products will be aware of that threat. Talos belongs to Cisco. It's like a Cisco research center.

What needs improvement?

My concern in the 21st century, with ASA, is the front-end. I think Cisco missed the mark with all the configuration steps. They are a pain and, when doing them, it looks as if we're using a very old technology — yet the technology itself is not old, it's very good. But the front-end configuration is very tough. They probably still make a good profit even with the front-end being difficult, but it's not easy. It's not user-friendly. All the configuration procedures are not user-friendly.

Also, they launched the 1000 series for SMBs. They have all the same features as the enterprise solutions, but the throughput is less and, obviously, the price is less as well. It's a very nice appliance. However, imagine you buy one, take it out of the box to connect it and the device needs one hour or two hours to start up. That is a pain and that is not appropriate for the 21st century. They should solve that issue.

Another issue is that when you integrate different Cisco solutions with each other, there is an overlap of features and you need to turn some of them off, and that is not very good.  If you don't, and you have overlap, you will have problems. Disabling the overlap can be done manually or the solution can identify that there is already a process running, and will tell you to please disable that function.

For today's threats, for today's reality, you need to add solutions to the ASA, either from Cisco or from other vendors, to have a full security solution in an enterprise company.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Cisco ASA NGFW for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the ASA is perfect. There is no downtime. And you can have redundancy as well. You can have two ASAs working in Active-Passive or load balancing. If the product needs a restart, you don't have downtime because you use the other one. From that point of view it's very robust.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can go for other models for scalability and sort it out that way.

My suggestion is to think about scalability and about your tomorrow — whether you'll increase or not — and already think about the next step from the beginning.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco's technical support for ASA is very good. I have dealt with them many times. They are very well prepared. If you have a Smart Account, they will change your device by the next business day. That is a very good point about Cisco. You have to pay for a Smart Account, but it's very useful.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very complex. You need to set a load of settings, whether from the CLI or the GUI. It's not an easy process and it should be. That is one of the reasons why many retailers don't go for Cisco. They know Cisco is very good. They know Cisco does ensure security, that it is one of the top-three security vendors, but because of the work involved in the implementation, they decide to go with other solutions.

There are two possibilities in terms of deployment. If we go to a client who is the ASA purchaser and they give us all their policies, all their permissions, and everything is organized, we can deploy, with testing, in one full day. But many times they don't know the policies or what they would like to allow and block. In that scenario, it will take ages. That's not from the Cisco side but because of the customer.

One person, who knows the solutions well, is enough for an ASA deployment. I have done it alone many times. After it's deployed, the number of people needed to maintain the solution depends on their expertise. One expert could do everything involved with the maintenance.

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

When it comes to security, pricing should not be an issue, but we know, of course, that it is. Why is an Aston Martin or a Rolls Royce very expensive? It's expensive because the support is there at all times. Replacement parts are available at all times. They offer a lot of opportunities and customer services that others don't come close to offering. 

Cisco is expensive but it's a highly rated company. It's one of the top-three security companies worldwide.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I can see the differences between Cisco and Check Point. 

Cisco has a solution called Umbrella which was called OpenDNS before, and from my point of view, Umbrella can reduce 60 percent of the attack surface because it checks the validity of the DNS. It will check all the links you click on to see if they are real or fake, using the signature link. If any of them are unknown, they will go straight to the sandbox. Those features do not exist with Check Point.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco ASA is a very robust solution. It does its job and it has all the top features. If you have a solution that is creating a script and you need to deploy many implementations, you can create a script in the device and it will be the same for all. After that, you just have to do the fine tuning. It lacks when it comes to the configuration steps and the pain that that process is. You need to spend loads of time with it at setup. Overall, it does everything they say it does.

It's a very good solution but don't only go with the ASA. Go for Cisco Umbrella and join them together. If you have remote employees, go for AnyConnect to be more than secure in your infrastructure.

You cannot do everything with Cisco Defense Orchestrator. You have a few options with it but cannot do everything from the cloud if you are connected with the console of a device. You don't have all the same options, you only have some options with it. For example, you can manage the security policies, all of them, from the cloud. However, not all the settings and all the things you can do when in front of the device are available with CDO. What you see is what you get.

Most companies using ASA are big companies. They are not SMB companies. There are very few SMB companies using it. There are the banks and consulting companies, the huge ones. Usually the ASAs are for massive companies.

Our reality in Portugal is a little different. I was at a Cisco conference here in Lisbon and the guy said, "Oh, we have this solution," — it was for multi-factor authentication — "and we have different licenses. We have a license for 40,000 and for 20,000 users. And I was thinking, "This guy doesn't know Portuguese reality. There are no companies in Portugal with 40,000 employees."

Large companies who do use ASA use various security tools like IPS and Layer 7 control. From my experience, and from common sense, it's best to have solutions from different vendors joining together. The majority have defense products for the deterrent capacities they need to achieve security. Our clients also often have Cisco ISE, Identity Service Engine. It's a NAC solution that integrates perfectly with ASA and with AnyConnect as well.

As for future-proofing your security strategy, ASA is the perfect solution if you integrate other Cisco solutions. But the ASA alone will not do it because it does not handle some of the core issues, like full visibility of the network, the users, the machines, the procedures, and the applications, in my opinion.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Othniel Atseh
Network Security Consultant at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Consultant
Top 20
URL filtering and easy integration with other Cisco products are key features for us

Pros and Cons

  • "If we look at the Cisco ASA without Firepower, then one of the most valuable features is the URL filtering."
  • "It's easy to integrate ASA with other Cisco security products. When you understand the technology, it's not a big deal. It's very simple."
  • "One area where the ASA could be improved is that it doesn't have AMP. When you get an ASA with the Firepower model, ASA with FTD, then you have advanced malware protection."

What is our primary use case?

The first time I deployed Cisco ASA was for one of our clients. This client had a Palo Alto firewall and he wanted to migrate. He bought an ASA 2505, and he wanted us to come in and deploy it and, after that, to put in high-availability. We deployed it and the high-availability means that in case one fails, there is a second one to take over.

I have deployed Cisco ISE and, in the same environment, we had a Cisco FTD. In that environment, we were using the ASA for VPN, and we were using the FTD like an edge device. The ASA was deployed as VPN facilitator and for the wireless part too, so that the wireless network was under the ASA firewall.

What is most valuable?

If we look at the Cisco ASA without Firepower, then one of the most valuable features is the URL filtering.

Also, it's easy to integrate ASA with other Cisco security products. When you understand the technology, it's not a big deal. It's very simple.

When it comes to threat visibility, the ASA is good. The ASA denies threats by using common ACLs. It can detect some DoS attacks and we can monitor suspicious ICMP packets using the ASA. It helps you know when an attack is detected.

Cisco Talos is good. It provides threat intelligence. It updates all the devices to be aware of the new threats and the new attacks out there, so that is a good thing. It's like having God update all the devices. For example, even if you have FTD in your company, malware can be very difficult to detect. There is a new type of malware called polymorphic malware. When it replicates, it changes its signature which makes it very difficult for a firewall to detect. So if your company encounters one type of malware, once, it is automatically updated in your environment. And when it is updated, Talos then updates every firewall in the world, so even if those other firewalls have not yet encountered those particular types of malware, because Talos automatically updates everything, they're able to block those types of malware as well. Talos is very beneficial.

When it comes to managing, with FMD (Firepower Management Device) you can only manage one device, but when you work with FMC (Firepower Management Center) you can manage a lot of sensors, meaning FTDs. You can have a lot of FTDs but you only have one management center and it can manage all those sensors in your company. It is very good.

What needs improvement?

One area where the ASA could be improved is that it doesn't have AMP. When you get an ASA with the Firepower model, ASA with FTD, then you have advanced malware protection. Right now, threats and attacks are becoming more and more intense, and I don't think that the ASA is enough. I think this is why they created FTD.

Also, Cisco is not so easy to configure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using and deploying Cisco ASA for two to three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco ASA is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. You can integrate AD, you can integrate Cisco NAC. You can integrate quite a lot of things so that makes it scalable.

How was the initial setup?

When you configure the ASA, there is already a basic setup there. Based on your environment, you need to customize it. If you understand security and firewalls very well, you can create your own setup.

For me, the initial setup is easy, but is it good? Because from a security perspective, you always need to customize the initial setup and come up with the setup that fits with your environment. So it's always easy to do the initial setup, but the initial setup is for kids in IT.

The time it takes to set up the ASA depends on your environment. For a smaller deployment, you just have the one interface to configure and to put some policies in place and that's all. If you are deploying the ASA for something like a bank, there are a lot of policies and there is a lot of testing to do, so that can take you all night. So the setup time really depends on your environment and on the size of the company as well.

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

When it comes to Cisco, the price of everything is higher.

Cisco firewalls are expensive, but we get support from Cisco, and that support is very active. When I hit an issue when I was configuring an FTD, as soon as I raised a ticket the guy called me and supported me. Cisco is very proactive.

I had the same kind of issue when I was configuring a FortiGate, but those guys took two or three days to call me. I fixed the issue before they even called me.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have used firewalls from Fortinet, Palo Alto, and Check Point. To configure an ASA for VPN, there are a lot of steps. When it comes to the FortiGate, it's just a few clicks. FortiGate also has built-in templates for configuring VPN. When you want to create a VPN between FortiGate and FortiGate, the template is already there. All you need to do is enter an IP address. When you want to configure a VPN with a third-party using the FortiGate, and say the third-party is Cisco, there is a VPN template for Cisco built into the FortiGate. So FortiGate is very easy to configure, compared to Cisco. But the Cisco firewall is powerful.

Check Point is something like Cisco but if I have to choose between Cisco and Check Point firewalls, I will choose Cisco because of all the features that Cisco has. With Cisco you can do a lot of things, when it comes to advanced malware protection and IPS. Check Point is very complicated to manage. They have recently come out with Infinity where there is a central point of management.

Palo Alto has a lot of functionality but I haven't worked on the newer models.

What other advice do I have?

Cisco firewalls are not for kids. They are for people who understand security. Now I know why people with Cisco training are very good, because they train you to be competent. They train you to have ability. And when you have ability, their firewall becomes very easy to configure.

When Cisco is teaching you, Cisco teaches you the concept. Cisco gives you a concept. They don't focus on how to configure the device. With Fortinet, for instance, Fortinet teaches you how to configure their device, without giving you the concepts. Cisco gives you the concepts about how the technology is working. And then they tell you how you are going to configure things on their box. When you are an engineer and you understand the technology from Cisco, it means that you can drive everything, because if you understand Cisco very well, you can work with FortiGate. If you understand security from Cisco, it means that you can configure everything, you can configure every firewall. This is why I like Cisco.

When it comes to other vendors, it's easy to understand and it's easy to configure, but you can configure without understanding. And when you configure without understanding, you can't troubleshoot. To troubleshoot, you need understanding. 

I'm a security analyst, so I deal with everything about firewalls. I'm talking about ASA firewalls, and I'm talking about ASA with Firepower, FTD, and Cisco Meraki MX. When it comes to security tools I am comfortable with Cisco and everything Cisco.

One of our clients was using Cisco ASA. They got attacked, but I don't think that this attack came from outside their company. They were managing their firewall and configuring everything well, but they were still getting attacks. One of their employees had been compromised and his laptop was infected. This laptop infected everything in the organization. So the weakest link can be your employees.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Cisco ASA Firewall. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,382 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jonathan Muwanga
Head of Information Communication Technology at National Building Society
Real User
Top 20
Standard reports allow us to constantly monitor our environment and take corrective steps

Pros and Cons

  • "The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks."
  • "If I want to activate IPS features on it, I have to buy another license. If I want Cisco AnyConnect, I have to buy another license. That's where we have challenges."

What is our primary use case?

We use the Cisco firewall for a number of things. We've got VPN tunnels, IPsec tunnels. We also use it for basic network layer filtering for our internal service, because we have a number of services that we offer out to clients, so that is the first device that they come across when they get into the network.

We have a network of six remote sites and we use proxy to go to the internet, and from the internet Cisco is the first line of defense. We have internet banking services that we offer to our clients, and that also makes use of the Cisco firewall as the first line of defense. And we've got a number of servers, a Hyper-V virtual environment, and we've got a disaster recovery site.

We had VAPT (vulnerability assessment and pen testing) done by external people to see our level of security from inside and outside and they managed to find some deficiencies inside. That's when they recommended that we should put in network access control. By integrating the ASA with Cisco ISE, that is what we are trying to achieve.

The whole idea is to make sure that any machines that are not on our domain should not be able to connect to the network. They should be blocked.

We also have Cisco switches deployed in our environment. All our active switches are Cisco. The ASA is integrated with them. This integration was done by a combination of our Cisco partner and in-house, because we did this at the time of setting up the infrastructure in 2016.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks. The VPN is also helpful.

What is most valuable?

Among the most valuable features are the reports which are generated according to the rules that we've put in place to either block traffic or report suspicious attempts to connect to our network. They would come standard with any firewall and we're always monitoring them and taking any corrective steps needed.

What needs improvement?

We have the ASA integrated with Cisco ISE for network access control. The integration was done by our local Cisco partner. It took them about a month to really get the solution up and running. I would like to believe that there was some level of complexity there in terms of the integration. It seems it was not very easy to integrate if the experts themselves took that long to really come up with a working solution. Sometimes we had to roll back during the process.

Initially, when we put it up, we were having issues where maybe it would be barring things from users completely, things that we wanted the users to access. So we went through fine tuning and now I think it's working as we expect.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Cisco ASA NGFW since 2016, when we launched.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The ASA is utilized 100 percent of the time. It's up all the time as it's a perimeter firewall. It's always up. It's our first line of defense. It's quite robust, we've never had issues with it. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't maxed it out in terms of its capacity, and we've got up to about 200 users browsing the internet at any given time. In terms of throughput, we've got an ASA 5525 so it handles capacity pretty well. There aren't any issues there.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have a Cisco partner, so if ever we did have issues we'd go through them, but up until now — this bank has been open for four years — we've never had an issue with the Cisco firewall.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We went with Cisco because it's a reputable brand and we also have CCNP engineers in our team as well. It's the brand of choice. We were also familiar with it from our past jobs.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is the fact that we haven't been attacked.

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

It's a brilliant firewall, and the fact that it comes with a perpetual license really does go far in terms of helping the organization in not having to deal with those costs on an annual basis. That is a pain point when it comes to services like the ones we have on FortiGate. That's where we really give Cisco firewalls the thumbs up.

From the point of view of total cost of ownership, the perpetual licensing works well in countries like ours, where we are facing challenges with foreign exchange. Trying to set up foreign payments has been a challenge in Zimbabwe, so the fact that we don't have to be subscribed and pay licenses on an annual basis works well. If you look at FortiGate, it's a good product, but we are always under pressure when renewal time comes.

Where Cisco falls a bit short is because of the fact that, if I want IPS, I have to buy another license. That's why I have my reservations with it. If I want Cisco AnyConnect, I have to buy another license. That's where we have challenges. That's unlike our next-gen FortiGate where everything comes out-of-the-box.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is "go for it," 100 percent. If ever I was told to implement a network, ASA would definitely be part and parcel of the solution.

The biggest lesson we've learned from using the product is about the rapid growth of the product's offerings.

In terms of the maturity of our organization's security implementation, I would like to believe that we are about midway. We still need to harden our security. We need to conduct penetration testing every two years and, resources permitting, maybe yearly. The guys out there who do cyber security crimes are becoming more and more advanced, so there is a need for us to also upgrade our security.

We have a two-layer firewall setup, which is what is recommended as the standard for the payment card industry. We probably need solutions linked with cloud providers from the likes of Cisco, and to put in some bank-grade intrusion detection solutions. Because we have already adopted two technologies, Cisco and FortiGate, we might be looking at solutions from those two providers.

We're also looking at end-point security solutions. We've been using the one which comes with our Office 365 and Microsoft product, Windows Defender. We are going to be trialing their new end-point management solution. We are trying to balance things from a cost point of view and providing the right level of security.

In addition to Windows Defender and the firewalls — ASA and FortiGate — and the network access control, we also have SSL for the website.

As for application visibility and control, currently we're just using logging. We don't have the Firepower installed, so it's just general logging and scheduled checks here and there. As for threat visibility, for us the ASA is a perimeter firewall. Behind that firewall we have an IDS and an IPA. We actually have the license for Firepower but we haven't implemented it; it was just an issue of priorities at the time.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EricHart
CEO at NPI Technology Management
MSP
Top 20
Great support and extremely stable with an excellent command-line interface

Pros and Cons

  • "Everything is all documented in the file or in the command line script that gets uploaded to the device. It gives us great visibility."
  • "I would say that in inexperienced hands, the interface can be kind of overwhelming. There are just a lot of options. Too much, if you don't know what you are looking for or trying to do."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use it for our clients. We have one or more at each client site - or multiple locations if they have multiple locations.

Typically our clients are up to about 500 users. Most of them are smaller than that, but they go as large as 500. They're using the solution for the full next-gen firewall stacks - intrusion protection, URL filtering, advanced malware protection, or so-called AMP. Those are the three subscription services that Cisco sells. All of our clients have those subscription services enabled at their main location. Typically, they're just protecting users that are behind the firewall. We also use it for site-to-site VPN, and we use it for client-to-site VPN.

How has it helped my organization?

In terms of our clients, security is one of those things that, ideally, nobody notices. It improves the functioning in the sense that you don't get hacked. However, from a noticeable, management point of view, the URL filtering is a pretty significant enhancement. People are able to block access to various websites by category. It isn't revolutionary. Lots of products do this. However, it's a nice sort of add-on to a firewall product.

At the end of the day, the solution offers good productivity enhancement to a company.

What is most valuable?

Cisco's support is great. 

For experienced users, they are pretty much able do anything they want in the interface with few restrictions.

The command-line interface is really useful for us. We script basic installations and modifications through the command-line, which is considered sort of old school, and yet it allows us to fully document the changes that we're making due to the fact that we can save the exact script that was applied and say, "Here are the changes that we made." 

We can have less experienced people do initial takes on an install. They can edit a template, and we can have a more experienced person review the template, and then apply it, and we don't have to worry about whether anyone inexperienced went into certain corners of the interface and made changes or whatever.

Everything is all documented in the file or in the command line script that gets uploaded to the device. It gives us great visibility.

What needs improvement?

I would say that in inexperienced hands, the interface can be kind of overwhelming. There are just a lot of options. It's too much if you don't know what you are looking for or trying to do.  

The GUI still uses Java, which feels out of date today. That said, it's an excellent GUI.

The biggest downside is that Cisco has multiple firewall lines. The ASA line which is what we sell, and we sell most of the latest versions of it, are kind of two families. One is a little older, one's a little newer. We mostly sell the newer family. Cisco is kind of de-emphasizing this particular line of products in their firewall stable. That's unfortunate. 

They have the ASA line, Meraki, which is a company they bought some years ago where all the management is sort of cloud interface that they provide rather than a kind of interface that you manage right on the box. They also bought Snort and they integrated the Snort intrusion detection into the ASA boxes. In the last couple of years, they've come out with a sort-of replacement to Snort, a line of firewalls that don't use IOS.

It's always been that the intrusion prevention and the based firewalling features had separate interfaces within IOS. They've eliminated IOS in this new product line and built it from the ground up. We haven't started using that product yet. They have higher performance numbers on that line, and that's clearly the future for them, but it hasn't reached feature parity yet with the ASA. 

The main downside is that it feels a little bit like a dead end at this point. One needs to decide to move to one of these other Cisco lines or a non-Cisco line, at some point. We haven't done the research or made the plunge yet.

What I would like to see is a more inexpensive logging solution. They should offer either the ability to maintain longer-term logs right on the firewall or an inexpensive server-based logging solution. Cisco has logging solutions, however, they're very high end.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for 20 or more years. It's been well over two decades at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is solid. It's a big advantage of choosing Cisco. There are no worries about stability at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is good. Within our customer base, it is absolutely scalable. You can go very large with it. However, if you really want the highest speeds, you have to move off of the IOS ASA line and onto the newer stuff.

Typically our clients cap out at 500 employees.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent. They are extremely knowledgeable and responsive. It'd rate the ten out of ten. We're quite satisfied with the level of support Cisco provides.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use Juniper's NetScreen product on and off for a while. We stopped using it about ten years ago now.

We had previous experience with the Cisco gear, so we were comfortable with it, and Juniper bought the NetScreen product and sunsetted it. You had to move into a different firewall product that was based on their equivalent of IOS, something called Juno OS, and we didn't like those products. Therefore, when they sunsetted the Juniper products, we looked around and settled on Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

Due to the fact that we're experienced with it and we've scripted the command line, it's extremely simple for us. That said, I think it's complex for somebody that doesn't know the IOS platform.

What other advice do I have?

We're Cisco resellers.

We're always on the latest version. I don't actually keep track of the version numbers myself, however, part of what the service that we provide for our clients is updating their firewalls to the latest version.

We use multiple deployment models. We use both on-premises and cloud versions. They are also all different sizes, according to the requirements of the company.

I'd advise other companies considering Cisco to be sure to factor in the cost of the ongoing security subscriptions and the ongoing SmartNet into the purchase price. Those things, over the years, represent more than the cost of the firewall itself - significantly more. However, I'd advise others to get the security subscriptions due to the fact that it really dramatically increases the security of the solution overall.

On a scale from one to ten, I'd rate them at an eight. We love the product, however, we feel like it's not Cisco's future direction, which is the only reason I would downgrade its score. To bring it up to a 10, they'd have to make it their main product line again, which they aren't going to do.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Vipin Garg
Co-Founder at Multitechservers
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Great remote VPN features, easy to set up, and offers 24/7 access to support

Pros and Cons

  • "Cisco ASA provides us with very good application visibility and control."
  • "If they want to add better features to the current Cisco ASA, they can start by increasing the encryption. That is the only thing they need to improve."

What is our primary use case?

We are primarily using the solution for VLAN implementations and also for remote VPN capability - basically it's used for connecting to remote offices securely.

How has it helped my organization?

After implementing tools, including Cisco ASA, unauthorized access comes down a lot. We are not facing asset issues as of now. We are not facing an issue related to malicious traffic or any bad activity in our network.

What is most valuable?

The solution can allow and block traffic over the VLANs.Some of the unauthorized actions and malicious traffic can also be blocked effectively, as we are following PCI DSS compliance. We are a card industry. We are using cards as a payment method, and therefore we need to follow the compliance over the PCI DSS. That's why we chose one of the best products. ASA Firewall is very secure.

It's always easy to integrate Cisco with the same company products. If you are using other CIsco products, there's always easy integration.

Cisco is one of the most popular brands, and therefore the documentation is easily available over the internet.

They are best-in-class.

The remote VPN feature is one of the best features we've found. 

We like that there is two-factor authentication on offer.  We can integrate a Google authenticator with Cisco ASA so that whenever a person is logging on to any network device, they need to enter the password as well as the security code that is integrated by Google. It's a nice added security feature.

Cisco ASA provides us with very good application visibility and control. The Cisco CLI command line is one of the easiest we found on the market due to the fact that the GUI and the user interface are very familiar. If you're a beginner, you can easily access it. There's no complicated UI.

When compared to other products available, the cost is pretty similar. There's no big gap when you compare Cisco pricing to other products. 

There are multiple features in a single appliance, which is quite beneficial to us.

Support that is on offer 24/7. Whenever we face some technical issue, we can reach out to them easily.

We have not had any security breaches. 

They provide a helpful feature that allows us to configure email. 

We are getting a lot from the appliance in real-time.

What needs improvement?

There's an upgraded version of the 5500 that has come to the market. It offers the latest encryption that they have. If they want to add better features to the current Cisco ASA, they can start by increasing the encryption. That is the only thing they need to improve. The rest is good.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about five or more years at this point. It's been a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability and availability are very good. there are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. it's a reliable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have it in our infrastructure for around 15 plus users, including Fortinet sites.

We have found that whenever the traffic spikes at peak times, the product automatically scales up to the requirement. We have also implemented the single sign-on it, and therefore, it automatically scales up. We haven't felt any limitations. Currently, we are using it for 1500 plus users. At any given time, there are around 700 plus users available in the office. It's a 24/7 infrastructure. We have tested it for up to 750 plus users, and it's perfectly fine.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent. they are always available, no matter the time of day, or day of the week. We are quite satisfied with their level of support. They are quite helpful and very responsive. I'd rate them at a ten out of ten. They deserve perfect marks.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not previously use a different solution. When the office was launched we implemented Cisco as a fresh product.

We are using a Cisco ASA Firewall, as well as Sophos at the remote sites. We are using another product is for log collecting. There are three solutions that basically cover us for security purposes. Those, at least, are the physical devices we are using as of now. The rest are cloud solutions such as Nexus. 

That said, I personally, have used Sophos XG as a firewall in the past. Sophos is good in terms of traffic blocking and identifying interruptions to the traffic. The features are better on Cisco's side. For example, there is two-factor authentication and a remote VPN. The only benefit I found in Sophos was the way it dealt with the traffic. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not overly complex or difficult. It was quite straightforward and very easy to implement. 

Deployment takes about 20 to 25 minutes. 

In terms of the implementation strategy, at first, we put up the appliances in the data center. After that, we connected it with the console. After connecting the console, we had an in-house engineer that assisted. Cisco provided us onboarding help and they configured our device for us. We have just provided them the IP address and which port we wanted up. Our initial configuration has been done by them.

What about the implementation team?

While most of the setup was handled in-house, we did have Cisco help us with the initial configurations.

What was our ROI?

The ROI we are getting from Cisco ASA is higher availability, which we are getting all the time. On top of that, it's good at blocking traffic and protecting us from cyber-crime issues.

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

The pricing is pretty reasonable. it's standard and comparable to other solutions. The maximum difference between products might be $20 to $40. It's not much of a difference. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other solutions. We trust Cisco. It's a very good product and well known in the market.

What other advice do I have?

We are a customer and an end-user.

We are using physical Cisco appliances.

We use a lot of Cisco products, Cisco router (the 3900-series routers), and Cisco switches.

In the next quarter, we will implement SD-WAN. Once the SD-WAN is implemented, then we will go with an automated policy and DNS kinds of tools. We are in the process of upgrading to Cisco ASA Firepower in the next quarter. We have not integrated Cisco ASA with Cisco's SecureX solution.

I'd recommend the solution, especially for medium-sized or larger companies and those who are looking for long-term solutions (for example those with a user base of around 2,000 plus users in and around 20 plus applications). It's reliable and offers users a lot of features. This helps companies avoid having to rely on other third-party solutions.

If you are new to Cisco, you should take advantage of the education they have on offer. Cisco provides access to training and it's worth taking advantage of this.

Overall, I'd are the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AS
CSD Manager at BTC
Reseller
Top 5
Automated policy application and enforcement saves significant time when adding devices, users, or new locations

Pros and Cons

  • "The traffic inspection and the Firepower engine are the most valuable features. It gives you full details, application details, traffic monitoring, and the threats. It gives you all the containers the user is using, especially at the application level. The solution also provides application visibility and control."
  • "Security generally requires integration with many devices, and the management side of that process could be enhanced somewhat. It would help if there was a clear view of the integrations and what the easiest way to do them is."

What is our primary use case?

We are a Cisco partner and we implement solutions for our customers who are generally in the banking sector and other private sectors.

They are using it as a data center firewall and to secure their internet connections. Our customers usually integrate the firewall with ISE, with a Firepower module for IPS, and there are some NAC solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution enhances the performance of the network. It blocks most of the threats and it updates attack signatures so it protects customer data better. The loss of data would be a crisis for any customer. With the deep inspection and analysis and the threat updates, it gives you more protection and safety.

Our clients use automated policy application and enforcement. For example, when you have a very big deployment or a bank needs to deploy more branches, this saves a lot of time when doing the implementation. Similarly, when you add more users or you add more devices, when you create a profile of the policies, they will be available in a matter of minutes, regardless of the number of branches or users or applications. It reduces the time involved in that by 75 percent.

What is most valuable?

The traffic inspection and the Firepower engine are the most valuable features. It gives you full details, application details, traffic monitoring, and the threats. It gives you all the containers the user is using, especially at the application level. The solution also provides application visibility and control.

The integration between the ASA and Cisco ISE is very easy because they are from the same vendor. We don't face any integration problems. This is one of the valuable points of Cisco firewalls. They can be easily integrated with different Cisco security products.

Our clients also use other products with Cisco ASA, such as Aruba ClearPass and different NAC solutions. The integration of these other products is also easy with Cisco. 

It integrates with email security and Firepower. For example, if you have an attached file infected or you have attacks through email, the traffic will be forwarded to the email security and it will be blocked by the firewall. It gives you a clear view of the file and it can be blocked at every stage, protecting your network from this threat.

One of the best parts is the traffic management and the inspection of the traffic packets. The Device Manager is easy to use to supervise things, and the Firepower application gives you clear threat detection and blocking of all threats. Cisco also provides a better analysis of the traffic.

In addition, Talos is an enhancement to Cisco firewalls, and provides a better view.

The device management options, such as Firepower Device Manager (FDM), Cisco Firepower Management Center (FMC), or Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO) add a lot of enhancements in the initial deployment and configuration. In migrating, they can help to create the migration configuration and they help in managing encryption and automation. They add a lot enhancements to the device. They make things easier. In the past, you had to use the CLI and you could not control all this. Now you have a GUI which provides visibility and you can easily integrate and make changes.

What needs improvement?

When I deal with other firewalls like Palo Alto or Fortinet, I think there is some room for performance tuning and enhancement of the ASA. I'm not saying there is a performance issue with the product, but when compared to others, it seems the others perform a little bit better.

There could be enhancements to the cloud part of the solution. It's good now, but more enhancements would be helpful.

Finally, security generally requires integration with many devices, and the management side of that process could be enhanced somewhat. It would help if there was a clear view of the integrations and what the easiest way to do them is.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco ASA NGFW for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The ASA is stable. There may be some small stability issues, when compared to others, but it is a stable product. There could be enhancements to the ASA in this area when compared to other vendors, but it is not a problem with the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, with virtualization and other features.

In terms of future-proofing our customers' security, we recommend the ASA. We have tested it in large environments and it's working well. The lesson I have learned from using Cisco ASA is that Cisco's research is continuous. They provide enhancements every day. It's a product for the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is a very strong point in Cisco's favor. I would rate it very highly. The support is excellent.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is of medium difficulty. It is not very complex. Generally, when working in the security field, things are a little bit complex because you are integrating with many vendors and you are defending against a lot of different kinds of attacks.

The amount of time it takes to deploy the ASA depends on the complexity of the site where it is being set up. On average, it can take about a week. It could be that there are many policies that need to be migrated, and it depends on the integration. For the initial setup, it takes one day but the amount of time it takes beyond that depends on the security environment.

What was our ROI?

Our customers definitely see return on investment with Cisco ASA because when you protect your network there is ROI. If you lose your data you have a big loss. The ROI is in the security level and the protection of data.

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

The value of the pricing needs to be enhanced from Cisco because there are a lot of competitors in the market. There is room for improvement in the pricing when compared to the market. Although, when you compare the benefits of support from Cisco, you can adjust the value and it becomes comparable, because you usually need very good support. So you gain value there with this device.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to take care of and monitor your policies and be aware of the threats. You also have to be careful when changing policies. When you do, don't leave unused policies around, because that will affect performance. You should have audits of your firewall and its policies and follow the recommendations from Cisco support.

Among the things I have learned from using Cisco ASA is that integration is easy, especially with Cisco products. And the support helps you to integrate with anything, so you can integrate with products outside of the Cisco family as well.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Rauf Mahmudlu
Network Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Capable of handling a lot of traffic, never had any downtime, and very easy to configure

Pros and Cons

  • "The configuration was kind of straightforward from the command line and also from the ASDM. It was very easy to manage by using their software in Java."
  • "One thing that we really would have loved to have was policy-based routing. We had a lot of connections, and sometimes, we would have liked to change the routing depending on the policies, but it was lacking this capability. We also wanted application filtering and DNS filtering."

What is our primary use case?

We were using ASA 5585 without firepower. We were using it just as a stateful firewall. We also had an IPS module on it. So, we were also using it for network segmentation and network address translations for hosting some of the services or giving access to the internet for our end users.

How has it helped my organization?

Initially, it was good. At the time we bought it, usually, IPS was in a different solution, and the firewall was in a different solution. You had to kind of correlate between the events to find the attacks or unwanted behavior in the network, but it had everything in a kind of single platform. So, the integration was great.

Our bandwidth was increasing, and the number of services that we were hosting was increasing. Our old solutions couldn't catch up with that. Cisco ASA was able to handle a lot of traffic or concurrent connections at that time. We had almost 5 million per week. We didn't have to worry about it not having enough memory and stuff like that. It was a powerful machine.

What is most valuable?

The configuration was kind of straightforward from the command line and also from the ASDM. It was very easy to manage by using their software in Java. 

High throughput, high concurrent connections, easy site-to-site VPN were also valuable. It also had the capability to do double network translations, which is really useful when you are integrating with other vendors for site-to-site VPN.

What needs improvement?

When we bought it, it was really powerful, but with the emerging next-generation firewalls, it started to lack in capabilities. We couldn't put application filtering, and the IPS model was kind of outdated and wasn't as useful as the new one. For the current state of the network security, it was not enough.

One thing that we really would have loved to have was policy-based routing. We had a lot of connections, and sometimes, we would have liked to change the routing depending on the policies, but it was lacking this capability. We also wanted application filtering and DNS filtering.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for around eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is really great. It is very stable. We didn't have to worry about it. In the IT world, every time you go on holiday, you think that something might break down, but that was not the case with Cisco ASA.

Initially, we had just a single firewall, and then we moved to high availability. Even when it was just one hardware without high availability, we didn't have any problems. Apart from the planned maintenance, we never had any downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We feel we didn't even try to make it scalable. We had 30,000 end users.

How are customer service and support?

We haven't interacted a lot with them because we have our own network department. We were just handling all the problem-solving. So, there were only a couple of cases. Initially, when one of the first devices came, we had some problems with RAM. So, we opened the ticket. It took a bit of time, and then they changed it. I would rate them an eight out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our bandwidth was increasing, and the number of services that we were hosting was increasing. Our old solutions couldn't catch up with that. We had some really old D-link firewalls. They were not enterprise-level firewalls.

After our IPS subscription ended, we couldn't renew it because Cisco was moving to the next-generation firewall platform. They didn't provide us with the new license. Therefore, we decided to move to Palo Alto. The procurement process is taking time, and we are waiting for them to arrive.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward. Cisco is still leading in the network area. So, there are lots of resources where you can find information. There are community forums and Cisco forums, where you can find answers to any questions. You don't even have to ask. You can just Google, and you will find the solution. Apart from that, Cisco provides a lot of certification that helps our main engineers in learning how to use it. So, the availability of their resources was great, and we just followed their best-case scenarios. We could easily configure it.

The deployment took around two or three weeks because we had different firewalls. We had a couple of them, and we migrated all to Cisco. We also had around 30,000 rules. So, the data input part took a lot of time, but the initial installation and the initial configuration were done in a matter of days.

It took us one week to set up the management plane. It had different ports for management and for the data. After finishing with the management part, we slowly moved segments to Cisco. We consolidated the rules from other firewalls for one zone. After Cisco verified that it was okay, we then moved on to the next segment.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves. We had about five network admins for deployment and maintenance.

What was our ROI?

We definitely got a return on investment with Cisco ASA. We have been using it for eight years, which is a long time for IT. We only had one capital expenditure. Apart from that, there were no other costs or unexpected failures. It supported us for a long time.

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

When we bought it, it was really expensive. I'm not aware of the current pricing.

We had problems with licensing. After our IPS subscription ended, we couldn't renew it because Cisco was moving to the next-generation firewall platform. So, they didn't provide us with the new license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am not sure about it because back then, I was just an engineer. I didn't have decision-making authority, so I wasn't involved with it.

We recently have done pilots with Check Point and FortiGate for a couple of months. They were next-generation firewalls. So, they had much more capability than ASA, but because of being a pilot, we didn't get full-scale throughput like big enterprise-level firewalls. The throughput was not enough, and their memory cache was always filling up. They were smaller models, but both of them had the features that ASA was lacking. Traffic shaping in ASA is not as good, but these two had good traffic shaping.

What other advice do I have?

I wouldn't recommend this solution because it is already considered to be a legacy firewall.

I would rate Cisco ASA Firewall a strong eight out of 10. It is powerful, but it lacks some of the capabilities.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Mitku Bitew
Network Administration Section Head at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Provides role-based access, helps in securing our environment, and is easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "The remote access, VPN, and ACL features are valuable. We are using role-based access for individuals."
  • "Other products are becoming easier to access and configure. They are providing UI interfaces to configure, take backup, synchronize redundant machines, and so on. It is very easy to take backup and upgrade the images in those products. Cisco ASA should have such features. If one redundant machine is getting upgraded, the technology and support should be there to upgrade other redundant machines. In a single window, we should be able to do more in terms of backups, restores, and upgrades."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it as a firewall for our data center and headquarter. We are also using it for DR. We are using Cisco ASA 5500 Series.

How has it helped my organization?

It is a security device, and it is useful for securing our environment. It provides role-based access and other features and helps us in easily securing our environment.

It provides visibility. It has been helpful for packet inspection and logging activities for all kinds of packets, such as routing packets, denied packets, and permitted packets. All these activities are visible on Cisco ASA. There are different commands for logging and visibility.

We use Cisco ASA for the integration of the network. Our company is a financial company, and we are integrating different organizations and banks by using Cisco ASA. We are using role-based access. Any integration, any access, or any configuration is role-based. 

What is most valuable?

The remote access, VPN, and ACL features are valuable. We are using role-based access for individuals.

IPS is also valuable for intrusion detection and prevention. It is a paid module that can be added. I'm using it for security, VLAN management, segregation management, and so on.

It is easy to use. In our region and our country, Cisco is well known, and most of the companies are using Cisco products. We have been using Cisco devices for a while, and our company primarily has Cisco devices. So, we are familiar with it, which makes it very easy to use for us. Even when we compare it with other products, it is easier to use.

It is easy for us to manage it because it is a familiar product, and it has been a part of our environment. Now, other products are providing free training, free access, and free license, because of which things are changing. So, you can easily become familiar with other products.

What needs improvement?

Its licensing cost and payment model can be improved. Cisco doesn't provide training and certification for engineers without payments. Other companies, such as Huawei, provide the training for free. Their subscription and licenses are also free and flexible. Other products are breaking the market by providing such features. 

It doesn't support all standard interfaces. It is also not suitable for big companies with high bandwidth traffic. Its capacity should be improved.

Other products are becoming easier to access and configure. They are providing UI interfaces to configure, take backup, synchronize redundant machines, and so on. It is very easy to take backup and upgrade the images in those products. Cisco ASA should have such features. If one redundant machine is getting upgraded, the technology and support should be there to upgrade other redundant machines. In a single window, we should be able to do more in terms of backups, restores, and upgrades.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for almost eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. It needs to be configured based on the standards and functionality. We have one device that has been working for more than 10 years, which indicates it is stable, but it requires licenses to upgrade features.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It doesn't have an expansion card. So, it may not scalable for huge buildings. It also lacks a lot of standard interfaces. Other products are providing capacity for a data center. Other technologies are expanding their interface bandwidth from 10 gigs. In my opinion, Cisco ASA doesn't have this capability.

How are customer service and support?

Their support is very good. We have a support license, so their support is very good. They are tracing us and following up with us to solve the problem on time.

How was the initial setup?

Its setup is easy. We are familiar with Cisco ASA and other Cisco products, and they are easy to configure. A lot of resources are available on the internet, so it is easy to set up for anyone with basic training. It is easy in different types of environments, such as universities and colleges.

It generally doesn't take more than a day, but it also depends on the size of the organization. If an organization is very big and if you need a line-by-line configuration for access role and VPN, it can take a bit more time.

Cisco is constantly upgrading and providing features based on current requests. We usually plan deployments at the end of the year and at the beginning of the year. Everyone plans for new products, new configurations, and new expansions based on that.

What was our ROI?

Any security product provides a return on investment. Any gap in security may cost an organization more.

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

It is expensive. There is a cost for everything. There is per year license cost and support cost. There is also a cost for any training, any application, and any resource. Things are very costly to do with Cisco.

Other brands are cheaper. They are also more flexible in terms of training, subscription, and licensing. They give lots and lots of years free. They provide more than Cisco.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise understanding its features, advantages, and disadvantages as compared to other solutions. It is simple, but its cost is a negative point. 

I would rate Cisco ASA Firewall an eight out of 10.

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