Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is the #4 ranked solution in our list of best firewalls. It is most often compared to Fortinet FortiGate: Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Fortinet FortiGate

What is Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall?

Cisco NGFW firewalls deliver advanced threat defense 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 NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Advanced threat
defense capabilities include Next-generation IPS (NGIPS), Security Intelligence (SI), Advanced
Malware Protection (AMP), URL filtering, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and flexible VPN
features. Inspect encrypted traffic and enjoy automated risk ranking and impact flags to reduce event
volume so you can quickly prioritize threats. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering
for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.
Cisco Firepower NGFWv is the virtualized version of Cisco's Firepower NGFW firewall. Widely
deployed in leading private and public clouds, Cisco NGFWv automatically scales up/down to meet
the needs of dynamic cloud environments and high availability provides resilience. Also, Cisco NGFWv
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 Firepower NGFW Firewall is also known as Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv.

Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Customers

Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield

Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall pricing:
  • "I like the Smart Licensing, because it is more dynamic and easier to keep track of where you are at. If we have a high availability firewall pair and they are deployed in active/standby rather than active/active, I would expect that we would only pay for one set of licenses because you are using only one firewall at any one time. The other is there just for resiliency. The licensing, from a Firepower perspective, still requires you to have two licenses, even if the firewalls are in active/standby, which means that you pay for the two licenses, even though you might only be using one firewall any one time. This is probably not the best way to do it and doesn't represent the best value for money. This could be looked at to see if it could be done in a fairer way."
  • "Cisco is not for a small mom-and-pop shop because of the cost, but if you're in a regulated industry where a breach could cost you a million dollars, it's a bargain."
  • "Our subscription costs, just for the firewalls, is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year."
  • "I know that licensing for some of the advanced solutions, like Intrusion Prevention and Secure Malware Analytics, are nominal costs."

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TG
Lead Network Administrator at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Enables analysis, diagnosis, and deployment of fixes quickly, but the system missed a SIP attack

What is our primary use case?

These are our primary edge firewalls at two data centers.

Pros and Cons

  • "With the FMC and the FirePOWERs, the ability to quickly replace a piece of hardware without having to have a network outage is useful. Also, the ability to replace a piece of equipment and deploy the config that the previous piece of equipment had is pretty useful."
  • "We had an event recently where we had inbound traffic for SIP and we experienced an attack against our SIP endpoint, such that they were able to successfully make calls out... Both CTR, which is gathering data from multiple solutions that the vendor provides, as well as the FMC events connection, did not show any of those connections because there was not a NAT inbound which said either allow it or deny it."

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned from using this solution is that you can't always trust that console. In the particular case of the traffic which I was used to seeing identified in CTR, not seeing that traffic but knowing that it was actually occurring was a little bit of a concern. It wasn't until we actually put rules in that said "block that traffic" that I started to see the traffic in the console and in the CTR. Overall, my confidence in Cisco as a whole was shaken by that series of events. I have a little bit less trust in the brand, but so far I've been happy with the results…
Matt Back
Cyber Security Practice Lead at Eazi Security
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
You can have granular accounts with its role-based access control

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is mainly around perimeter security at the HQ and the branch. This will include using the Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS), using advanced malware protection for networks on the firewall, and remote access VPN as well as site-to-site VPN. I work for a Cisco partner and managed service provider. We have a number of customers. Typically, the standard setup that we have is a Firepower Management Center Virtual, running in VMware, with physical FTD appliances (as the firewalls) on-premises. We work with more mid-size organizations who typically have email… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful."
  • "FlexConfig is there as a bridge for features that are not yet natively integrated into Firepower. It is a way of allowing you to be able to configure things that wouldn't otherwise be possible until the development team can add them into Firepower's native capability. There is still some work that needs to be done around FlexConfig. There are still quite a few complex things, like policy-based routing, that have to be done in FlexConfig, and it doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes, there are some glitches. It is recommended that you configure FlexConfig policies with Cisco TAC. It would be good to see Cisco accelerate some of those configurations that you can only do in FlexConfig into the platform, so that they are there natively."

What other advice do I have?

I would probably ask, "How long do you want to keep the connection and intrusion events for?" You need to remember that Firepower Management Center can only keep a certain amount of events. I think you need to have that in mind as one criteria to make your decision against. You need to look at what hardware platform you are going to be deploying. We have a lot of customers who are running ASAs, but they are running the Firepower Threat Defense image on their ASA. For all intents and purposes, those ASAs act as FTDs. Now, try to remember those ASAs were never designed originally to run the FTD…
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
536,114 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MK
IT Administrator / Security Analyst at a healthcare company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Reliable, good support, good documentation makes it straightforward to set up

What is our primary use case?

I am an IT administrator and my job is probably 80% security analyst. We are a HIPAA environment, so we're a regulated industry and my job is to keep us from being breached. It's extremely difficult and an ever-changing, evolving problem. As such, I spend a couple of hours a day just reading everything threat report from every source I can get. We have a pair of 2110 models, with high availability set up. There are multiple licenses that you can get with this firewall, and we subscribe to all three. A few months ago, we made the decision to do an enterprise agreement just because of the amount… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "We get the Security Intelligence Feeds refreshed every hour from Talos, which from my understanding is that they're the largest intelligence Security Intelligence Group outside of the government."
  • "It would be great if some of the load times were faster."

What other advice do I have?

Every firewall has its pluses and minuses, but because we've taken such a layered approach and we're not relying on one thing to keep us safe, I've never really gone, "Oh, I've had it." I've heard some complaints about Cisco TAC, but generally speaking, I've been able to configure them and do whatever I need to with the Cisco firewall. There's nothing in my experience with Cisco that leads me to believe that that's going to stop. I've always felt comfortable with every Cisco purchase we've made and every improvement they've made to it. I think they keep moving in a positive direction and…
JT
Network Administration Lead at Forest County Potawatomi Community
Real User
Highlights and helps us catch Zero-day vulnerabilities traveling across our network

What is our primary use case?

We use them in multiple places on our network. We use them on the edge of our network, in more of the traditional sense for inbound and outbound filtering. We also use them as a center of our network between all of our users and servers, so that all user traffic going through our servers is IPS and IDS as well. We have multiple Cisco 5000 Series firewalls and we also have a 4110 Series firewall, all running the FireSIGHT threat detection image. We keep that up to date within three months. If a new release comes out within three months, we're updating. The software deployment is on-prem.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of Cisco firewalls are the IPS and IDS items. We find them very helpful. Those are the biggest things because we have some odd, custom-made products in our environment. What we've found through their IPS and IDS is that their vulnerability engines have caught things that are near-Zero-day items, inside of our network."
  • "The worst part of the entire solution, and this is kind of trivial at times, is that management of the solution is difficult. You manage FireSIGHT through an internet browser. I've had Cisco tell me to manage it through Firefox because that's how they develop it. The problem is, depending on the page you're on, they don't function in the same way. The pages can be very buggy, or you can't resize columns in this one, or you can't do certain things in that one. It causes a headache in managing it."

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be: Don't let the price scare you. I would describe the maturity of our company's security implementation as "working on it." It is an evolving process. When it comes to the Cisco product line, we try to keep it as up to date as possible when they release new products. An example would be their DNA Center which we're looking at installing in the next year. From a product standpoint, we're pretty well off. From a policy and procedure standpoint, that is where we're somewhat lacking in our organization. In terms of the number of security tools our organization uses, we have a lot…
EV
IT Infrastructure Specialist at RANDON S.A
Real User
Shows the top-consuming applications to help determine if there is a deviation or if we need to increase bandwidth

What is our primary use case?

Currently, we have 16 remote sites. Some of them are sales offices and some of them are industrial plants. And we have a centralized IT department here in Brazil. The business asked me to support those remote sites. We started using the Firepower Threat Defense, which is one of the versions of next-gen firewalls from Cisco, at some of the sites. We have them operating at five sites, and we are deploying at a sixth site, in Mexico, with the same architecture. That architecture has the firewall running on the site's router, and we manage them all from here in Brazil.

Pros and Cons

  • "The protection and security features, like URL filtering, the inspection, and the IPS feature, are also very valuable for us. We don't have IT staff at most of the sites so for us it's important to have a robust firewall at those sites"
  • "The user interface for the Firepower management console is a little bit different from traditional Cisco management tools. If you look at products we already use, like Cisco Prime or other products that are cloud-based, they have a more modern user interface for managing the products. For Firepower, the user interface is not very user-friendly. It's a little bit confusing sometimes."

What other advice do I have?

You must know exactly what features are important for you, and how you can manage all this infrastructure in the future. Sometimes you can have a product that is superior but it might demand an increase in manpower to manage all the software or platforms. Another point to consider is how good the integration is between products? You should check what features you need, what features you can have, and the integration with other products. In terms of the maturity of our security implementation, we have had security appliances, software or hardware, for more than 15 years. So we have a long…
JV
Project Engineer at Telindus B.V.
Real User
Top 20
Talos continuously enriches intelligence so that you get information about upcoming threats on time

What is our primary use case?

Telindus, our company, is an integrator. We sell Firepower and we do use it ourselves. I use all the different versions of the product. We either replace our customers' other brands of firewalls with Firepower, or we upgrade their old Cisco ASA Firewalls to the new Firepower firewalls. The type of device we advise them to install depends on the customer's requirements and the throughputs needed. Our primary use case for Firepower is for big networks.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most important feature is the intensive way you can troubleshoot Cisco Firepower Firewalls. You can go to the bit level to see why traffic is not handled in the correct way, and the majority of the time it's a networking issue and not a firewall issue. You can solve any problem without Cisco TAC help, because you can go very deeply under the hood to find out how traffic is flowing and whether it is not flowing as expected. That is something I have never seen with other brands."
  • "The Firepower FTD code is missing some old ASA firewalls codes. It's a small thing. But Firepower software isn't missing things that are essential, anymore."

What other advice do I have?

My advice is "buy it." A lot of people prefer a specific brand and it's fairly hard to convince them that something else, like Cisco, is not bad, as well. They are so convinced about their existing firewall that they want to keep that brand because they are familiar with it and they won't need to learn a new firewall. It's hard for a customer to learn how a firewall works in the first place. But my advice is that people should read about how Cisco security, in general, is set up and how it is trying to protect them with Talos. They need to understand that Cisco security is very good at what it…
Mike Bulyk
Director IT Security at a wellness & fitness company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Given us protection and peace of mind in terms of attacks against our infrastructure from known or emerging threats

What is our primary use case?

It is for defense, protecting workloads from a distributed type of an environment. On-premises, we are hosting several different distributed user session type environments. In our case, it is remote desktop services, which enable users to go out and browse the Internet, in some cases to do legitimate services, and in other cases, it is more of a personal browsing session. In this case, the primary purpose is to protect those user sessions when they are accessing the Internet. The secondary use case is to protect these services and applications from inbound threats, e.g., Internet scanning… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "It is one of the fastest solutions, if not the fastest, in the security technology space. This gives us peace of mind knowing that as soon as a new attack comes online that we will be protected in short order. From that perspective, no one really comes close now to Firepower, which is hugely valuable to us from an upcoming new attack prevention perspective."
  • "There is limited data storage on the appliance itself. So, you need to ship it out elsewhere in order for you to store it. The only point of consideration is around that area, basically limited storage on the machine and appliance. Consider logging it elsewhere or pushing it out to a SIEM to get better controls and manipulation over the data to generate additional metrics and visibility."

What other advice do I have?

On the IT infrastructure side, we are using Cisco hardware for the network. Then, as a security team, we are looking at adding Cisco's incident response solution, but we have not done it yet. Firepower provides us with application visibility and control. We don't utilize it to the fullest extent. We rely on some additional tools like DNS, to identify applications being used across our endpoints. However, the Firepower deployment primarily protects the servers. So, on the servers, it is a controlled environment. Therefore, we do know the applications and services being used and deployed out of…
AF
Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Default intrusion prevention engine helps identify malicious code and prevent it from being pushed into the system

What is our primary use case?

We helped a customer to configure a new data center network. We provided the core firewalling. Between virtual routing instances, or virtual networks, we had two Firepower 2130s in HA. We did the routing and firewalling between the VRS and, in the same data center, we have an internet edge firewall also set in HA that provided the routing and firewalling to the internet and to Azure. In the same data center we had two ASAs for out-of-band management. If an error occurred in the data center, we could VPN into the ASA and troubleshoot the routing issues in the data center.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most important features are the intrusion prevention engine and the application visibility and control. The Snort feature in Firepower is also valuable."
  • "On the VPN side, Firepower could be better. It needs more monitoring on VPNs. Right now, it's not that good. You can set up a VPN in Firepower, but you can't monitor it."

What other advice do I have?

Have a plan. Find out how much bandwidth and throughput you need before you implement it because if you don't scale it well from the start, it can slow down your environment. Keep in mind that it adds so much security that the total data throughput can take a hit. We have many customers, but in general, many of our customers are using all the tools they can to secure their infrastructure, such as AMP, Umbrella, and Firepower. Many companies are doing what they can to secure their network and their infrastructure. But there are also customers that only have a firewall. In today's world that's…
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