Anonymous UserSenior Solutions Consultant at a comms service provider
Anonymous UserInformation security officer at a tech services company
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"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 IPS, as well as the malware features, are the two things that we use the most and they're very valuable."
"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"
"We can easily track unauthorized users and see where traffic is going."
"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."
"They wanted to leverage something which is equivalent that can give them the next gen features like application awareness and intrusion protection. So that is a major reason they were looking forward to this. The original ASA firewall did not have these features. This was the major reason the customer moved on to Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD). Now they can go ahead and leverage those functionalities."
"The Firepower+ISE+AMP for endpoint integration is something that really stands it out with other vendor solutions. They have something called pxGrid and i think it is already endorsed by IETF. This allows all devices on the network to communicate."
"Being able to determine our active users vs inactive users has led us to increased productivity through visibility. Also, if an issue was happening with our throughput, then we wouldn't know without research. Now, notifications are more proactively happening."
"Auto-scaling and zero touch are valuable features."
"What's most valuable to me is that it's a contiguous solution that aligns well with the components that we've relied on and trusted from a traditional hardware, firewall, and unified threat management system. My engineers and analysts don't have to learn another platform. We have already entrusted our security controls to Check Point for perimeter and physical security, and now we can do so at the virtual layer as well, which is key to us."
"We have found the overall functionality of the product to be exactly similar to the physical product. The one good advantage is that it is cloud-based and can be deployed either as a part of a scale set or one can shut down the virtual machine and adjust the physical parameters of the virtual machine easily and bring it right back up."
"I find it really useful that CloudGuard supports all the main players on the Public Clouds market including AWS, GCP, and Azure, as well as some exotic ones like Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud."
"The visibility, the one-pane-of-glass which allows me to see all of my edge protection through one window and one log, is great. Monitoring everything through that one pane of glass is extremely valuable."
"The main benefit of the Check Point Virtual Systems solution is its ability to split up the hardware appliances that we have into several logical, virtual devices with separate traffic handling policies, as well as the switching and routing."
"The features of the solution which I have found most valuable are its flexibility and agility. It's a fully scalable solution, from our perspective. We can define scaling groups and, based on the load, it will create new instances. It's truly a product which is oriented toward the cloud mindset, cloud agility, and this is a great feature."
"The most valuable feature is that we can use the same manager server that we use on our own Check Point firewalls. We integrated CloudGuard on that manager and we can use the same kind of protections that we use on the on-prem firewalls, like the IPS and antivirus policy. We can have the same kind of protection on the Cloud environment that we have on-premise."
"It has been stable so far."
"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."
"For the new line of FTDs, the performance could be improved. We sometimes have issues with the 41 series, depending what we activate. If we activate too many intrusion policies, it affects the CPU."
"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."
"We would like to see improvement in recovery. If there is an issue that forces us to do recovery, we have to restart or reboot. In addition, sometimes we have downtime during the maintenance windows. If Cisco could enhance this, so that upgrades would not necessarily require downtime, that would be helpful."
"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."
"I was just trying to learn how this product actually operates and one thing that I see from internal processing is it does fire-walling and then sends it to the IPS model and any other model that needs to be performed. For example, content checking or filtering will be done in a field processing manner. That is something that causes delays in the network, from a security perspective. That is something that can be improved upon. Palo Alto already has implemented this as a pilot passed processing. So they put the same stream of data across multiple modules at the same time and see if it is giving a positive result by using an XR function. So, something similar can be done in the Cisco Firepower. Instead of single processing or in a sequential manner, they can do something similar to pile processing. Internal function that is something that they can improve upon."
"The product line does not address the SMB market as it is supposed to do. Cisco already has an on-premises sandbox solution."
"The central management tool is not comfortable to use. You need to have a specific skill set. This is an important improvement for management because I would like to log into Firepower, see the dashboard, and generate a real-time report, then I question my team."
"Zero touch removes any independence for configuring."
"It's meeting our needs at this time. If I could make it better, it would be by making it more standalone. That would be beneficial to us. I say that because our current platform for virtualization is VMware. The issue isn't any fault of Check Point, it's more how the virtualization platform partners allow for that partnership and integration. There has to be close ties and partnerships between the vendors to ensure interoperability and sup-portability. There is only so far that Check Point, or any security vendor technology can go without the partnership and enablement of the virtualization platform vendor as it relies on "Service Insertion" to maintain optimal performance."
"I think they have pretty much mastered what can be done. There are some nuances like when you fail over from one cluster member to the other, the external IP address takes about two minutes to fail over."
"I hope that Check Point continues to improve its technical documentation regarding the Check Point CloudGuard IaaS gateway and management system."
"The biggest room for improvement is that, for a long time now, they've moved everything over to R80 but they still maintain some of the stuff in the old dashboard. They need to "buy in" and move everything to the modern dashboard so that you don't have to go to one place and to another place, at times, to configure the environment. It's time they just finish what they started and put everything in the new, modern dashboard."
"As an administrator, I can say that among all of the Check Point products I have been working with so far, the Virtual Systems solution is one of the most difficult."
"The convergence time between cluster members is still not perfect. It's far away from what we get in traditional appliances. If a company wants to move mission-critical applications for an environment to the cloud, it somehow has to accept that it could have downtime of up to 40 seconds, until cluster members switch virtual IP addresses between themselves and start accepting the traffic. That is a little bit too high in my opinion. It's not fully Check Point's fault, because it's a hybrid mechanism with AWS. The blame is 50/50."
"CloudGuard functions just like any other firewall. It functions very well. The only thing that could maybe be improved would be to integrate some tools that are not integrated with the SmartConsole, like the SmartView Monitor that we need to open on a different application to access."
"They have a very good technical support team, but I think there are some communication issues due to language differences."
"Our subscription costs, just for the firewalls, is between $400,000 and $500,000 a year."
"Cisco's pricing is high, at times, for what they provide."
"The one-time cost is affordable, but the maintenance cost and the Smart Net costs need to be reduced. They're too high."
"We normally license on a yearly basis. The hardware procurement cost should be considered. If you're virtual maybe that cost is eradicated and just the licensing cost is applied. If you have hardware the cost must be covered by you. All the shipping charges will be paid by you also. I don't thing there are any other hidden charges though."
"Cisco pricing is premium. However, they gave us a 50 to 60 percent discount."
"There are additional implementation and validation costs."
"Cisco, as we all know, is expensive, but for the money you are paying, you know that you are also getting top-notch documentation as well as support if needed."
"This product requires licenses for advanced features including Snort, IPS, and malware detection."
"Licensing is simply by the number of hosts that you are looking to protect within your environment. It makes it much easier to ensure that you are covering your environment."
"There is flexibility in the different licensing models that are offered."
"The pricing is pretty high, not just for your capital, for what you have to pay upfront, but for what you pay for your annual software renewals as well, compared to a lot of other vendors. Check Point is near the top, as far as how much it's going to cost you."
"Pricing of CloudGuard is pretty fair when you have a single account. It's comparable with other cloud providers. But for our use case, it got really pricey when we had to deploy multiple CloudGuards on multiple accounts in different regions, because you can't have CloudGuard protecting multiple regions. That's the big thing."
"The pricing and licensing have been good. We just had to do a license increase for our portion of it. We had that done within a couple of days. Given the fact that it's purely a software-based license, it ends up being even quicker than doing it for an on-prem firewall."
"It is not expensive, but it is a little bit above the middle range. There are other solutions that are a little more expensive than this, but they also have some interesting features."
"The price could be better."
"You get charged only for what resources you choose and how much traffic actually passes through the firewall, which in turn saves a lot of money."
"We got a much cheaper price than that provided by Fortinet right now."
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.
Check Point CloudGuard provides unified cloud native security for all your assets and workloads, giving you the confidence to automate security, prevent threats, and manage posture – everywhere – across your multi-cloud environment.
Hillstone’s T-Series intelligent Next-Generation Firewall (iNGFW) uses three key technologies to detect advanced attacks and provide continuous threat defense for today’s networks. First, it uses statistical clustering to detect unknown malware, leveraging the patented Hillstone Advanced Threat Detection engine (ATD). Second, it uses behavioral analytics to detect anomalous network behavior, which is based on the Hillstone Abnormal Behavior Detection engine (ABD). Finally, it leverages the Hillstone threat correlation analysis engine to correlate threat events detected by disparate engines – including ATD, ABD, Sandbox and other traditional signature-based threat detection technologies – along with context information to identify advanced threats.
Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 23 reviews while Hillstone T-Series is ranked 32nd in Firewalls with 1 review. Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is rated 8.6, while Hillstone T-Series is rated 5.0. The top reviewer of Check Point CloudGuard Network Security writes "Unified Security Management has enabled us to combine our on-prem appliances and cloud environments". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Hillstone T-Series writes "Is stable but needs to improve communication issues with technical support". Check Point CloudGuard Network Security is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Cisco ASA Firewall, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and pfSense, whereas Hillstone T-Series is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Hillstone E-Series, Cisco ASA Firewall and Palo Alto Networks WildFire.
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