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Azure Firewall vs Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on August 31, 2022

We performed a comparison between Azure Firewall and Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Azure Firewall users report that the initial setup is straightforward. Some Cisco Firepower users say that the setup is straightforward, but others feel that it is complex.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability.

    Azure Firewall users like its reporting and network filtering features and say it integrates well with other Azure products but that it needs better threat intelligence tools.

    Cisco Firepower reviewers say it is reliable and like its UI and dynamic access policies but note that there is limited data storage on their appliances.

  • Pricing: Most users of both solutions feel that they are fairly priced.
  • ROI: Users of both solutions report being satisfied with the ROI.
  • Service and Support: Some Azure Firewall feel that the support response times should be faster. Most Cisco Firepower users report being satisfied with the level of support they receive.

Comparison Results: Cisco Firepower is the winner in this comparison. It is feature-rich and user friendly. It also received higher marks in the support category. Azure Firewall did come out on top in the Deployment category, however.

To learn more, read our detailed Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall report (Updated: August 2022).
635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"I like its order management feature. It doesn't have the kind of threat intelligence that Palo Alto has, but the order management makes it much simpler to know the difference.""It's auto-scalable, which is a great feature.""Microsoft's technical support is very good. They're quite knowledgable and responsive.""The solution is stable.""All its features are good. That's why we recommend it.""It is easy for me to protect certain ports or even the IP addresses, as well as do whitelisting, blacklisting, and the FQDN when we want virtual machines connected and to protect certain websites.""Azure Firewall's feature that I have found most valuable is its scalability.""I can easily configure it."

More Azure Firewall Pros →

"The most valuable feature is the access control list (ACL).""The Adversity Malware Protection (AMP) feature is the most valuable. It is also very easy to use. Every technical user can operate this solution without any difficulty. The dashboard of Cisco Firepower has every tool that a security operator needs. You can find every resource that you need to operate through this dashboard.""The content filtering is good.""The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""The solution offers very easy configurations.""You can also put everything into a nice, neat, little package, as far as configuration goes. I was formerly a command-line guy with the ASA, and I was a little nervous about dealing with a GUI interface versus a command line, but after I did my first deployment, I got a lot more comfortable with doing it GUI based.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

Cons
"It would be nice to be able to create groupings for servers and offer groups of IP addresses.""The threat intelligence part could be better. I don't see why our customers have to get an additional solution with Azure Firewall. It would be great if they made it on par with Palo Alto.""You have to have a defined IP range within your network to associate it with your network. The problem is you have to plan ahead of time if you expect to use the firewall in the future so that you don't have to reconfigure your subnets or that specific IP range. Other than that, I don't any issues. I use it for basic configuration for a single application, so I really don't try to leverage it for multiple applications where I might find some complexity or challenges.""Right now, with Azure Firewall, we cannot have a normal inbound traffic flow. For inbound, Microsoft suggests using application gateways, so the options are very limited. I cannot use this firewall as an intermediate firewall because of the limitations, and I cannot point routing to another firewall. So if I want to use back-to-back firewall architecture in my environment, I cannot use Azure Firewall for that type of configuration either.""Azure Firewall has limited visibility for IDPS, no TLS inspection, no app ID, no user ID, no content ID, no device ID. There is no antivirus or anti-spyware. Azure Firewall doesn't scan traffic for malware unless it triggers an IDPS signature. There is no sandbox or machine learning functionality, meaning we are not protected from Zero-day threats. There is no DNS security and limited web categories.""The development area and QA area could be improved. With those improvements, we can improve projects and take even less time to implement them.""Azure Firewall definitely needs a broader feature base. It should be able to go all the way up to layer 7 when looking at applications and things like that.""For large organizations, a third-party firewall would be an added advantage, because it would have more advanced features, things that are not in Azure Firewall."

More Azure Firewall Cons →

"Licensing is complex, and I'd like it to be simplified. This is an area for improvement.""It's mainly the UI and the management parts that need improvement. The most impactful feature when you're using it is the user interface and the user experience.""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.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""The change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""The maturity needs to be better.""The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website.""I think they need to review their whole UI because it feels like it was created by a whole bunch of different teams of developers who didn't fully talk to each other. The net policy screen is just a mess. It should look like the firewall policy screen, and they should both act the same, but they don't. I feel like it's two different buildings or programming, who don't talk to each other, and that really annoys me."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Azure Firewall is quite an expensive product."
  • "The licensing module is good."
  • "The total cost of ownership is much less than Palo Alto, Cisco, or any other brand."
  • "It is pay-as-you-go. So, you pay based on the usage. If I remember it well, there is a basic fee, and there is a traffic fee. It is not per month. It is per hour or something like that. It is not so expensive."
  • "Azure Firewalls operate on a pay-as-you-go model, similar to cloud services."
  • "The solution is cheaper than other brands. My company has an enterprise contract and we finally got a good price with Azure."
  • "Azure Firewall comes with Azure native services. We did not buy any kind of license for it. Whether you have a free subscription or a pay-as-you-go model, you can deploy the Azure Firewall service... The amount that you use will determine how much you pay."
  • "It is expensive, especially with the premium functions. For one of the clients, it was very expensive. You have to use it more at an enterprise level, and there, it was not at an enterprise level. So, it was very costly, but security-wise, it was a very wise decision to use it that way."
  • More Azure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "This product is expensive."
  • "For me, personally, as an individual, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is expensive."
  • "The price of Firepower is not bad compared to other products."
  • "The solution was chosen because of its price compared to other similar solutions."
  • "The price is comparable."
  • "It definitely competes with the other vendors in the market."
  • More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Azure Firewall Vs. Palo Alto Network NG Firewalls Both solutions provide stellar stability and security. Azure Firewall is easy to use and provides excellent support. Valuable features include… more »
    Top Answer:Both products are very stable and easily scalable. The setup of Azure Firewall is easy and very user-friendly and the overall cost is reasonable. Azure Firewall offers a solid threat awareness, can… more »
    Top Answer:Both of these solutions are excellent options that provide flexible scalability and solid security. Fortinet Fortigate VM integrates well and has excellent centralized reporting. It is very easy to… more »
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at large. In my opinion, Fortinet would be the best option and l use… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers that fact, it is all the more impressive that the setup is a fairly… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. This solution has traffic inspection and… more »
    Ranking
    17th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    26,020
    Comparisons
    21,294
    Reviews
    15
    Average Words per Review
    690
    Rating
    6.8
    7th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    46,795
    Comparisons
    30,130
    Reviews
    48
    Average Words per Review
    947
    Rating
    8.2
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Learn More
    Overview

    Azure Firewall is a user-friendly, intuitive, cloud-native firewall security solution that provides top-of-the-industry threat protection for all your Azure Virtual Network resources. Azure Firewall is constantly and thoroughly analyzing all traffic and data packets, making it a very valuable and secure fully stateful firewall as a service with built-in high availability and unrestricted cloud scalability. Azure Firewall allows users to create virtual IP addresses and provides for secure DDoS protection for the virtual machines on your network. It also provides fast and efficient east-west and north-south traffic security.

    Azure Firewall is a managed, cloud-based network security service built to protect your Azure Virtual Network resources. It is a fully stateful firewall as a service with built-in high availability and unrestricted cloud scalability.

    Azure Firewall has two significant offerings, Standard and Premium.

    Azure Firewall Standard works directly with Microsoft Cyber Security and supplies excellent L3-L7 filtering and threat awareness. The proactive real-time threat awareness will quickly alert you and immediately deny all traffic to and from any known problematic or suspicious domains or IP addresses. Microsoft Cyber Security is updated continually to protect against all new and known potential threats at all times. To learn more about Azure Firewall Standard, click here.

    Azure Firewall Premium provides everything the standard version does, and additionally adds extra levels of data encryption, network intrusion detection, extended URL filtering, and Web category filters. To learn more about the added features of Azure Firewall Premium, click here.

    Key Benefits and Features of Azure Firewall:

    • High availability - You do not need load balancers with Azure Firewall; it's already built in and ready to go.
    • Self-scalability - Azure Firewall is intuitive and will auto-scale as needed based on traffic flow to be ready for peak traffic times.
    • Threat awareness - Using Microsoft Cyber Security to filter traffic, Azure Firewall will deny any known problematic threats to keep your network safe.
    • Additional IP addresses - You can securely add up to 250 public IP addresses with Azure Firewall
    • Improved web category filtering - You can set up specific protocols to allow or deny categories within websites that are deemed inappropriate for use within your network. You have the ability to organize categories based on a defined set of descriptions.

    What our real users have to say:

    Many IT CEntral Station (soon to be Peerspot) users found Azure Firewall to be very user-friendly and easy to use. They liked that it offers seamless integration to the cloud and were especially pleased with the threat filtering options.

    Regarding integration and threat intelligence, our users wrote:

    “The most valuable feature is the integration into the overall cloud platform.”

    The most valuable feature is threat intelligence. It is based on filtering and can identify multiple threats.”

    I think that one of the best features is definitely the premium version, along with the IDPs in terms of the intrusion detection and prevention system.”



    Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is a firewall that provides capabilities beyond those of a standard firewall and delivers comprehensive, unified policy management of firewall functions, application control, threat prevention, and advanced malware protection from the network to the endpoint.

    Cisco NGFW Firewalls include advanced threat defense capabilities to meet diverse needs, from small offices to high-performance data centers and service providers, and are deployed in leading private and public clouds. Available in a wide range of models, Cisco NGFW can be deployed as a physical or virtual appliance. Cisco NGFW firewalls are also available with clustering for increased performance, high availability configurations, and more.

    Key Features of Cisco NGFW Firewalls

    • Breach prevention and advanced security: Prevent attacks before they get inside. Cisco provides its firewalls with the latest intelligence to stop emerging threats and employs filtering to enforce policies on hundreds of millions of URLs. Cisco NGFW offers built-in sandboxing and advanced malware protection that continuously analyzes file behavior to quickly detect and eliminate threats.

    • Comprehensive network visibility: Constantly monitor your network so you can rapidly spot and stop bad behavior. Cisco NGFW provides a holistic view of all activity and provides a clear picture of threat activity across users, hosts, networks, and devices, as well as information on threats and website, application, and VM activities.

    • Flexible management and deployment options: Centrally deploy, customize, and manage all your appliances.

    • Fast detection: Detect threats in seconds and detect the presence of a successful breach within hours or minutes. Cisco NGFW allows you to deploy consistent policy that's easy to maintain, with automatic enforcement across all the different parts of your organization.

    • Automation and product integrations: Seamlessly integrate with Cisco tools and automatically share threat information, event data, policy, and contextual information with email, web, endpoint, and network security tools. Cisco NGFW automates security tasks like impact assessment, policy management and tuning, and user identification.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco NGFW stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its extensive discovery abilities that enable you to constantly see what is happening on your network and take action when necessary, and the high level of protection it provides.

    Mike B., a director of IT security at a wellness & fitness company, writes, "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."

    Zhulien K., the lead network security engineer at TechnoCore LTD, notes, " The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy. Again, with that being said, I cannot shy away from giving kudos to all of the other features such as AVC (Application Visibility and Control), SSL Decryption, Identity policy, Correlation policy, REST API, and more. All of the features that are incorporated in the Cisco Firepower NGFW are awesome and easy to configure if you know what you are doing. Things almost always work, unless you hit a bug, which is fixed with a simple software update. "

    Offer
    Learn more about Azure Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Sample Customers
    Information Not Available
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm31%
    Government15%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Computer Software Company15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company23%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise58%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Buyer's Guide
    Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    August 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall and other solutions. Updated: August 2022.
    635,162 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Azure Firewall is ranked 17th in Firewalls with 17 reviews while Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 53 reviews. Azure Firewall is rated 6.8, while Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Azure Firewall writes "Good value for your money, good URL filtering, supports intrusion prevention, and is stable". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall writes "The ability to implement dynamic policies for dynamic environments is important, given the fluidity in the world of security". Azure Firewall is most compared with Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Fortinet FortiGate-VM, Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, Check Point NGFW and Fortinet FortiGate, whereas Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Sophos XG. See our Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall report.

    See our list of best Firewalls vendors.

    We monitor all Firewalls reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.