Rifat HyseniDirector of Information Technology at a government
Craig ButlerCentral Services Engineer at Liberty Technology
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"I like the way Firepower presents the data. It gives you two classifications for the evidence, something based on the priority of the evidence and another classification based on the impact of the evidence in your environment. This makes it very easy to spot the evidence that is most impactful to my environment. Instead of having to go through all the evidence based on that priority, I can focus on the evidence that has the most impact on my environment."
"The most valuable feature of the Firepower solution is FireSIGHT, which can be easily managed and is user-friendly."
"Once you add Firepower onto to it and you start enabling some of its features, you get some IDS/IPS involved with it and you can even do web filtering."
"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."
"The most valuable feature is that we are protected against zero-day threats."
"The best feature is the ability to increase the capacity of the solution by exactly what you add, not losing anything for High Availability."
"The rules are very easy to deploy and can be optimized pretty quickly."
"SmartCenter and SmartLog are the best platforms to manage firewall rules. SandBlast Zero-Day is very useful when encountering any security leaks."
"With the new SmartTask offered in R80.40, we will be happy to configure some automatic control-functions."
"Check Point is very administrator-friendly and the SmartDashboard is easy to use."
"The most valuable feature is the Stateful Inspection, which was developed by Check Point."
"The most valuable features are application control, regulation, and threat prevention."
"I like the automatic firmware updates. We use the Active Directory to authenticate VPN users."
"The most valuable feature is that we didn't have any problems with Meraki MX."
"We've had no issues with the scalability or the stability of this solution"
"It has the most advanced security features, for example, layer 3 and layer 7 firewall capabilities and the end team and IPS protection. It also has IPS, and it has very good functioning of cloning services. You don't actually have to touch the device. If you have multiple companies in different countries, you don't really require this device to be touched. You can get it delivered directly to any office of a country, and then you can simply put your configuration over the cloud. It's very simplified and easy to manage. It gives a very good granular visibility about your network. Earlier, a lot of things were lacking in the network. We were unable to identify where the problem was, but after implementing Meraki MX, we are able to dig down and identify where is the problem. We can easily and quickly identify the sources and the root causes of the issues."
"Point-to-point VPNs can dynamically follow IP changes with no need for static IPs."
"Dual WAN connections are greatly simplified and point-to-point VPNs automatically connect regardless of what WAN connection is active."
"It has very good features; it's easy to use, configure, set up, and deploy."
"It is very easy to use and manage. It is also very easy to scale."
"Also, they have a Firepower source file that I can work on the ASA device and on Firepower devices. A problem here lies in the way that you manage these devices. Some devices do not support the FMC, and some devices have to be managed through ASDM, and others have to be managed through FMC."
"I would like to see the inclusion of more advanced antivirus features in the next release of this solution."
"In Firepower, there is an ability to search and dig into a search, which is nice. However, I'm not a super fan of the way it scrolls. If you want to look at something live, it's a lot different. You're almost waiting. With the ASDM, where it just flows, you can really see it. The second someone clicks something or does something, you'll see it. The refresh rate on the events in Firepower is not as smooth."
"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."
"Reporting has to be improved."
"One of the biggest disappointments is the GUI."
"One of the main features that need improvement is the rule filter export."
"Check Point needs to work on hardware problems also."
"The Check Point support needs a lot of improvement."
"The SmartUpdate interface is a little bit crowded if your company has a lot of software items."
"No product is perfect and there is always room for improvement."
"Compliance and centralized management can be improved."
"Expensive licensing and firewall stops immediately working if the license is not renewed at expiration date."
"Management can be improved in Meraki MX."
"The security is not as strong as it could be"
"From the improvement perspective, we need more monitoring capabilities. We want to have full-based access visibility, such as, what is happening when something is trying to reach and it is denying. We cannot see some parts of it. The integration of active directory with this product is not very fruitful. It has some bugs or lacks in the functionality of active directory integration. We are unable to identify where exactly and whether it has really applied our policy."
"Meraki tech support staff have a lot more visibility into your network than you do, which is frustrating at times. I understand the approach is to keep the dashboard easier to understand. This will frustrate more advanced users at times."
"In the next release, because the security is pretty basic, I think they could include additional security features."
"In general, the SD-WAN feature needs to be improved. The load sharing and load balancing of the traffic should be improved. I have had some problems with these features in the past."
"As far as what needs to be improved — nothing really comes to mind. It does what we need it to do."
"The price of this solution is not good or bad."
"The Firepower series of appliances is not cheap. I just got a quote recently for six firewalls that was in the range of over half-a-million dollars. That's what could push us to look to other vendors..."
"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."
"Maybe the pricing is a bit high but you get the durability and the duration."
"Licensing issues may be confusing at times."
"It is quite an expensive product, although security is a top priority."
"This product is not cheap and there are additional costs that depend on what model or package that you buy."
"Palo Alto is somehow not as good as Check Point, budget-wise and performance-wise. Palo Alto is more costly than Check Point."
"Comparatively, Check Point pricing is a little high. However, if you have that budget, I would recommend anybody to go with Check Point."
"The pricing and licensing are expensive. If you compare it with Fortinet, then it is cheaper on a yearly basis. However, Check Point is the most expensive firewall right now in terms of licenses and its appliance. My recommendation is if you want a long-term investment, then you should use an open server. If you use an open server, then the latency is really low. If you pay for a full appliance, it's more expensive."
"Use the basic sizing tool to do the correct sizing so you don't waste too much money, because it's not a very cheap solution when compared to other vendors."
"The price varies depending on the hardware platform as well as the type of license and whether you're adding security or not."
"The license cost depends on the box. We acquired a different product line. We are dealing with MX appliance now, that is, MX6, MX54, MX100, MX250, MX450. Every box has got an identity, and it has got its own specification. Every box has got a different license fee. We deployed Meraki MX in UAE when it was not a mature product. We took a risk, but we were successful. We saved a huge amount of money after implementing and removing all the MPLS and leased lines. We got a broadband connection because Meraki MX could work on a broadband connection. We have drastically saved a very good amount of money, which was one of the successful things apart from the successful solution."
"Other content filtering solutions that I have used had more bells and whistles, but given the cost, complexity, and management overhead, I am very pleased with Meraki’s solution."
"The price is slightly increased, but reasonable."
"It is a good global solution in terms of the price and features, but because we sell this solution in dollars, sometimes we don't get to sell this solution in Brazil because the dollar is very expensive. The price of every project is different. It varies depending upon the project, scenario, and client."
"The pricing could always be improved — especially with the shape the economy is in at the moment."
"Meraki is the best option — based on the price and the features available."
"Its licensing cost could be better."
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.
Offered via the Check Point Infinity architecture, Check Point’s NGFW includes 23 Firewall models optimized for running all threat prevention technologies simultaneously, including full SSL traffic inspection, without compromising on security or performance. Learn More about Next Generation Firewall and What is Firewall?
Check Point NGFW is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 90 reviews while Meraki MX is ranked 1st in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 17 reviews. Check Point NGFW is rated 8.8, while Meraki MX is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Check Point NGFW writes "Central architecture means we can see an end-to-end picture of attacks". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Meraki MX writes "Makes it easy to stay on top of everything for security". Check Point NGFW is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Azure Firewall, Juniper SRX, OPNsense and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, whereas Meraki MX is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Sophos XG, SonicWall NSa and Azure Firewall. See our Check Point NGFW vs. Meraki MX report.
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