Cisco IOS Security Overview

Cisco IOS Security is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Intrusion Detection and Prevention Software. It is most often compared to Zyxel Unified Security Gateway: Cisco IOS Security vs Zyxel Unified Security Gateway

What is Cisco IOS Security?
Cisco IOS Software delivers a sophisticated set of security capabilities for a comprehensive, layered security approach throughout your network infrastructure. Cisco IOS security technologies help to defend critical business processes against attack and disruption, protect privacy, and support policy and regulatory compliance controls.

Cisco IOS Security is also known as IOS Security.

Cisco IOS Security Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco IOS Security Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2021

Cisco IOS Security Customers
Arup Group, Brunel University London, City of Biel, Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha, K&L Gates , New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Offshore Northern Seas, Transplace
Cisco IOS Security Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco IOS Security pricing:
  • "It is an expensive solution."
  • "Price is certainly something that the IOS technology has fallen behind the competition on."
  • "The pricing is okay. It is competitive. It costs more when you need get more features."
  • "The licensing is on a subscription basis, and it is fairly costly. I would prefer a one-time payment."

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TonyMoore
President at www.virtualtechsolutionsusa.com
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Prevent unauthorized use of network resources and integrate branch offices with reliability

What is our primary use case?

Some of our uses for this product are on-premise-based and then some are cloud-based. Mostly, we are cloud-based right now because we are getting away from physical architecture moving forward into the cloud as is Cisco. It allows going from considering CapEx (Capital Expenditure) to OpEx (Operating Expense, Operating Expenditure). That is one of the important things that it allows us to do. It is easier to have solutions cloud-based when it makes sense. All the updates and maintenance get taken care of on their side which is a benefit. On the cloud, we have both public and private services… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "Completely integrates branch offices with perimeter security."
  • "The capabilities for scalability with this product are huge"
  • "Cisco is head-and-shoulders above all of the competition when it comes to technical support."
  • "The pricing is the only con for this product."

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people and companies considering this solution is to just do the research. Do compatibility research to compare with the other solutions that are out there. Definitely make sure that the firewall you choose is designed for your network architecture, application-layer attacks, and virus and worm protection. If that coverage is what you are looking for and you have an analog phone system. You might not be ready to go to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) yet because you do not want to lose the phones that you have got. Some people add to that base as they scale. We can use…
Javed Hashmi
Chief Technology Officer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good performance, documentation, and support but is lacking a few features

What is our primary use case?

We basically use it for security. It can be used as the internet as well as the data center security firewall.

Pros and Cons

  • "The hardware is pretty stable. It's also a very good product performance-wise. Initially, it wasn't mature like a firewall and there were other leaders, but now they have included almost all the features of next-generation security. Basically, it's a good product to work with."
  • "I would love it if it has a link-by-link feature, integration with Unified Threat Management (UTM), and load balancers. They haven't got any link-by-link feature right now, which can be a very attractive option. This link-by-link feature can also be made available for Cisco's UTM firewalls. The link-by-link feature is available in some of the other firewalls. Currently, integration with UTM is missing. Cisco IOS Security also doesn't have the load balancers and a few things that need to be done to get a good UTM firewall. Normally, other firewalls have UTM. As a next-generation firewall, it's good, but as a UTM, it has to do some work."

What other advice do I have?

We work with Cisco, and we top-rate Cisco firewalls to be sold and deployed. This is because they have good trading and expertise available. Cisco IOS Security is pretty reliable, and it also has really good documentation. It sometimes requires a slightly higher technical expertise to implement all the features as compared to other firewalls. Therefore, users definitely have to be trained first to get proper knowledge. Definitely, IOS security is well-documented, and it's pretty reliable. I'd advise just to make sure that they have adequate knowledge. The learning curve is slightly longer…
Learn what your peers think about Cisco IOS Security. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
523,372 professionals have used our research since 2012.
OM
Field Solutions Engineer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Top 5
IPsec technology allows our clients to be more agile in their connectivity, but the technical support response times should be better

What is our primary use case?

We are a reseller and Cisco IOS Security is one of the network security products that we offer to our clients. The primary use case is securing connectivity between sites. Examples of this are between a site and a data center, or a site and a cloud provider.

Pros and Cons

  • "What I have used the most and received the most benefit from is the IPsec technology."
  • "With respect to user-friendliness, it is a command-line interface and those with such experience will get along just fine, whereas others may struggle."

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this product is to ensure that they don't overlook the technical overhead that is required to get it set up and keep it running. From an SD-WAN perspective, there are more user-friendly options out there, so they are going to have their own shortcomings. However, if you're going down the route of a Cisco command-line-based solution then make sure that you're prepared to have the staff on hand to manage it or instead, have a trusted partner that you work with and has the expertise to manage it. From a feature-set perspective, as long as Cisco continues…
Pete Fotopoulos
Vice President - Network and Infrastructure at NJA LLC
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
It covers everything but is especially effective when a lot of the traffic is in layer 7

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use is just as a firewall. That is pretty much it.

Pros and Cons

  • "We are able to filter a lot of traffic especially when a lot of the traffic is in layer 7."
  • "It covers everything we need it to without looking to secondary solutions."
  • "The user interface needs to be improved."
  • "Signatures and other critical definitions need to be updated more frequently."

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to others looking into implementing this product is that I think they need to do their benchmarking. They should do due diligence beforehand in terms of their traffic. On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate this product overall as about an eight-out-of-ten. I do not know how they could realistically improve on that much. You never keep up with the hackers, they are always a step ahead of us when it comes to security.
MV
Managing Director at a tech company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
A mature product with good integration capabilities, however, it needs to be more affordable

Pros and Cons

  • "Cisco has always been a premium product. There's a lot of other entry-level solutions. This is more robust."
  • "The company needs to make its solution more affordable to make it more accessible to larger markets. Otherwise, it's seen as an enterprise-level solution that small or medium-sized organizations can't afford and therefore they won't even look at it."

What other advice do I have?

We use a few different Cisco solutions. We're a Cisco partner. We have a business relationship with the company. We're dealing with the latest version of this particular solution. I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. The value for money it should be there. Which means good features, good functioning things are there, but they need to make it more affordable for big market. If they were able to price the solution to make it more affordable for more clients that may not be enterprise-level, they've have a bigger footprint.
ME
Technical Lead at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, easy to set up, and offers excellent technical support

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a VPN concentrator. It's the main VPN concentrator for all remote connections.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very user-friendly and easy to deal with."
  • "It would be ideal if the solution had more capacity."

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and end-user. We don't have a business relationship with Cisco. We're using the latest version of the solution in our organization right now. We use both cloud and on-premises deployments, however, currently, we tend to use more on-premises deployments. I would recommend the solution. Overall, I would rate it at an eight out of ten.
RH
Director Network Engineer at Therap Services
Real User
Offers good security and is easy to use

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is internet security at the edge.

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability of this solution is excellent."

    What other advice do I have?

    My rating for this solution is a ten out of ten because it does everything I need and it is easy enough to use. My advice to others is to definitely have it on their list of vendors to take a look at. I really recommend this solution.
    Salim Almusalhi
    Network Engineer at PART
    Real User
    Top 20
    Has good routing features and is easy to use

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Cisco IOS for security prevention. It enables us to check the network.

    Pros and Cons

    • "I've found their network routing to be very good."
    • "I wish it would be more like the next generation firewall technology. There should be more selection between the application and filtering."

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice is to take this firewall. It is really good. I would rate Cisco IOS as eight out of ten. The next-generation firewalls, like UTM, have paper-thin single boxes. They should follow the same projects, like the next-generation firewall. They have everything like 40GBs in a single box, along with filtering applications, like VPN and SSN. They also have reporting features.
    See 5 more Cisco IOS Security Reviews
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco IOS Security Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.