Azure Firewall vs Cisco Secure Firewall comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Nov 23, 2022

We performed a comparison between Azure Firewall and Cisco Secure 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: Users of both solutions agree that their initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability.

    Azure Firewall users like its intrusion detection and prevention system and say it integrates well with other Azure products but that it lacks artificial intelligence and machine learning abilities.

    Cisco Secure users say it is high performing, secure, easy to manage, and has good filtering features but that it can be complicated to upgrade.

  • Pricing: Most Azure Firewall users feel that it is fairly priced. Cisco Secure received mixed reviews for its pricing. Some users feel that it is an expensive product.
  • 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. Cisco Secure users report being very satisfied with the level of support they receive.

Comparison Results: Cisco Secure is the clear winner in this comparison. It is powerful with a larger feature set than Azure Firewall. In addition, Cisco Secure also has excellent customer support and a significant ROI. Azure Firewall does have an edge in the pricing category, however.

To learn more, read our detailed Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Secure Firewall Report (Updated: January 2024).
757,198 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
"One of the nice things about FortiGate is that it can be deployed on the cloud or on-premises. You can actually do both. That's the biggest reason why I stick with this solution as opposed to something like Cisco Meraki. Another nice thing is that I can log directly into a FortiGate or get to it through their FortiCloud access products. They're pretty reliable and consistent. One of the reasons why I started using the product was their single pane of management. I can deploy their line of firewalls in conjunction with their switching and access points, and I can manage the entire network from one interface. I don't have to log into one interface for the firewall, another one for the access points, and another one for the switches. These firewalls have access point controller functionality built right into the system, so I don't even have to purchase additional devices to manage them.""The interface is very good.""The next-generation firewall is great.""The SD-WAN is the most valuable feature.""Fortinet FortiGate's reliability is valuable.""The most valuable feature is the VDOM, which allows the customer to have multiple firewalls in a single campus.""Its performance in fulfilling our requirements has been satisfactory.""Fortinet FortiGate's most valuable features are ease of use, flexibility, and most of the configuration we can be done using the GUI. When we compare Fortinet FortiGate with other solutions the firewall policy are very easy to understand."

More Fortinet FortiGate Pros →

"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.""It's helped us improve our security posture.""Azure's cost-effectiveness is its major advantage.""The solution is stable.""Among the most valuable features are the DDoS protection that protects your virtual machines, the threat intelligence, and traffic filtering.""I can easily configure it.""The solution can autoscale."

More Azure Firewall Pros →

"Cisco's engineer helped us with a lot of scripting to see what existed. Previously, we didn't have a proper policy. In fact, we didn't have any policy because we didn't have any firewall for the data center, so generating a policy was a big challenge. Cisco's engineer helped us to do some scripting and find out what kind of policy we can have and organize those policies. That was nice.""The firepower sensors have been great; they do a good job of dropping unwanted traffic.""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.""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.""The greatest benefit that this has provided to our organization is that we've been able to adjust the time that it takes to implement firewall changes. It's gone from a week to less than half a day to implement a change, which means that our DevOps team can be much more agile, and there is much less overhead on the firewall team.""The dashboard is the most important thing. It provides good visibility and makes management easy. Firepower also provides us with good application visibility and control.""It is extremely stable I would say — at least after you deploy it.""The features I have found most valuable are the ASA firewalls. I like to have features like most integrated systems in ACI."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

Cons
"One area for improvement is the performance on bandwidth demands for smaller devices, as well as better web filtering.""FortiOS is not simple.""Pricing for it is a bit high. It could be cheaper.""The initial setup is complex.""There are SD-WAN network monitoring, SD-WAN features, Industrial Databases, Internet of Things, Detection, etc., however, we do have not licenses for those features. We thought that if you bought a product, you should have all of the features it offers. Why should you need to make so many extra purchases to enable features? They should have one price for the entire offering.""The support structure needs to be improved because every time we contact them, there is a delay in the response.""The product does need better support in the cloud environment. It's not exactly cloud-native right now.""While FortiGate is cheaper than most other solutions, we're seeing increased license renewal costs. Most of our clients are asking for more significant discounts because the price is going up."

More Fortinet FortiGate Cons →

"This solution is not mature when it comes to handling perimeter traffic like internet browsing.""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.""The development area and QA area could be improved. With those improvements, we can improve projects and take even less time to implement them.""There is room for further integration of AI into the system.""For larger enterprises, they need to adjust the scalability.""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.""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.""The product could be made more customizable."

More Azure Firewall Cons →

"The graphical interface should be improved to make the configuration easier, to do things with a single click.""I think the ASA layer is thin. It's always Layer 3 or Layer 4 source controller and doesn't control the Layer 7 traffic. It's important, and you'll need an additional firewall.""I would like it if they made the newer generation a bit simpler. You can do ASA code and FXOS. It is just a bit confusing with the newer generational equipment on what it can do.""It will be nice if they had what you traditionally would use a web application scanner for. If the solution could take a deeper look into HTTP and HTTPS traffic, that would be nice.""The initial setup was complex.""The reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""We are looking for software taxi capabilities.""Intrusion prevention, we currently need to apply deep bracket inspection manually to use web filtering."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Fortinet has one or two license types, and the VPN numbers are only limited by the hardware chassis make."
  • "These boxes are not that expensive compared to what they can do, their functionality, and the reporting you receive. Fortinet licensing is straightforward and less confusing compared to Cisco."
  • "Go for long term pricing negotiated at the time of purchase."
  • "Work through partners for the best pricing."
  • "The value is the capability of having multiple services with one unique license, not having the limitation per user licensing schema, like other vendors."
  • "Easy to understand licensing requirements."
  • "​We saved a bundle by not needing all the past appliances from an NGFW.​"
  • "The cost is too high... They have to focus on more features with less cost for the customer. If you see the market, where it's going, there are a lot of players offering more features for less cost."
  • More Fortinet FortiGate Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Azure Firewall is more expensive. If Microsoft can make Azure Firewall cheaper, I can see that all clients will think of using it. One client used FortiGate because it is much cheaper. Some clients ask me for Cisco, but in the cloud estimate, I found its cost is the same as Azure Firewall."
  • "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."
  • More Azure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Always plan ahead for three years. In other words, do not buy a firewall on what your needs are today, but try to predict where you will be three years from now in terms of bandwidth, security requirements, and changes in organizational design."
  • "I have to admit that the price is high. But I think it's worth it if the stability of your solution counts for you."
  • "It has a great performance-to-price value, compared to competitive solutions."
  • "Spec the right hardware model and choose the right license for your needs."
  • "Everything with Cisco is expensive. My advice is that there are a lot better options out in the market now."
  • "To discuss with Cisco Systems or their partners to gain the optimal price and to not consider, without verifying, the false information that Cisco ASA is very expensive."
  • "Cisco devices are for sure costly and budget could be an important constrain on selecting them as our security solution."
  • "​Price point is too high for features and throughput available.​"
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    FortiGate 60b, FortiGate 60c, FortiGate 80c, FortiGate 50b, FortiGate 200b, FortiGate 110c, FortiGate
    Cisco ASA Firewall, Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv, Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn More
    Fortinet
    Video Not Available
    Microsoft
    Video Not Available
    Cisco
    Video Not Available
    Overview

    Fortinet FortiGate is an innovative line of firewalls that aim to protect organizations from all types of web-based network threats. They come in a wide variety of product types. Fortinet FortiGate’s solutions are available in a large range of sizes and form factors and are key components of the Fortinet Security Fabric, which enables immediate, intelligent defense against known and new threats throughout the entire network.

    Fortinet FortiGate provides users with next-generation firewall solutions that provide proven protection with unmatched performance across the network, from internal segments to data centers to cloud environments. You can protect every part of your network without exception. Additionally, your protections can be managed from a single central location. This ensures that the task of protecting your network is infinitely easier to accomplish.

    Benefits of Fortinet FortiGate

    Some of the benefits of using Fortinet FortiGate include:

    • The ability to manage your firewalls from a centralized automated control console. Fortinet FortiGate’s FortiManager enables administrators to exercise control of their firewalls in a streamlined manner. Administrators have full visibility and control over their system from a single location. It utilizes automation that collects information in real time, which greatly simplifies and reduces the cost of running various types of workflows. Administrators can free up resources by automating the most basic tasks.
    • The ability to produce uniform, appropriate, and coordinated responses to threats across networks. Fortinet FortiGate’s FortiGuard feature generates system protections in near real time. This allows administrators to address threats to the system with custom-made solutions that can be uniformly enforced.
    • The ability to scale up your security to fit your changing security needs. Fortinet FortiGate’s design allows users to accelerate the transfer of data between users and escalate the number of users that are covered without compromising security of performance. This means that users can grow their networks and continue to collaborate without worrying about the system slowing down or coming under attack.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Fortinet FortiGate’s firewall solutions are cutting edge. They stand out from competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are the robustness and power of their firewalls. Fortinet FortiGate’s firewall provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with the solution. These firewalls enable users to use a single piece of software to accomplish tasks that often require the use of multiple pieces of software.

    PeerSpot user Eric S., a Solutions Engineer and Consultant at a tech-services company, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "One of the nice things about FortiGate is that it can be deployed on the cloud or on-premises. You can actually do both. That's the biggest reason why I stick with this solution as opposed to something like Cisco Meraki. Another nice thing is that I can log directly into a FortiGate or get to it through their FortiCloud access products. They're pretty reliable and consistent. One of the reasons why I started using the product was their single pane of management. I can deploy their line of firewalls in conjunction with their switching and access points, and I can manage the entire network from one interface.”

    PeerSpot user Jim M., a network admin at Penobscot Valley Hospital, notes the power of Fortinet FortiGate’s security software when he writes, "It does a lot for you for intrusion protection and as an antivirus. The threat management bundle is worth the money. You don't need another company to monitor your web traffic for you. You can do everything yourself on the firewall. You restrict your own black list for people on the firewall.”

    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 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 Secure Firewall stands as a robust and adaptable security solution, catering to organizations of all sizes. It's designed to shield networks from a diverse array of cyber threats, such as ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. Beyond mere protection, it also offers secure access to corporate resources, beneficial for employees, partners, and customers alike. One of its key functions includes network segmentation, which serves to isolate critical assets and minimize the risk of lateral movement within the network.

    The core features of Cisco Secure Firewall are multifaceted:

    • Advanced threat protection is achieved through a combination of intrusion prevention, malware detection, and URL filtering technologies.
    • For secure access, the firewall presents multiple options, including VPN, remote access, and single sign-on.
    • Its network segmentation capability is vital in creating barriers within the network to safeguard critical assets.
    • The firewall is scalable, effectively serving small businesses to large enterprises.
    • Management is streamlined through Cisco DNA Center, a central management system.

    The benefits of deploying Cisco Secure Firewall are substantial. It significantly reduces the risk of cyberattacks, thereby enhancing the security posture of an organization. This security also translates into increased productivity, as secure access means uninterrupted work. Compliance with industry regulations is another advantage, as secure access and network segmentation align with many regulatory standards. Additionally, it helps in reducing IT costs by automating security tasks and simplifying management processes.

    In practical scenarios, Cisco Secure Firewall finds diverse applications. It's instrumental in protecting branch offices from cyberattacks, securing remote access for various stakeholders, safeguarding cloud workloads, and segmenting networks to isolate sensitive areas.

    User reviews from PeerSpot reflect an overall positive experience with the Cisco Secure Firewall. Users appreciate its ease of configuration, good management capabilities, robust protection, user-friendly interface, and scalability. However, some areas for improvement include better integration capabilities with other vendors, maturity, control over bandwidth for end-users, and addressing software bugs.

    In summary, Cisco Secure Firewall is a comprehensive, versatile, and reliable security solution that effectively meets the security needs of various organizations. It offers a balance of advanced protection, user-friendly management, and scalability, making it a valuable asset in the realm of network security.

    Sample Customers
    Pittsburgh Steelers, LUSH Cosmetics, NASDAQ, Verizon, Arizona State University, Levi Strauss & Co. Whitepaper and case studies here
    Information Not Available
    There are more than one million Adaptive Security Appliances deployed globally. Top customers include First American Financial Corp., Genzyme, Frankfurt Airport, Hansgrohe SE, Rio Olympics, The French Laundry, Rackspace, and City of Tomorrow.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization20%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company29%
    Financial Services Firm24%
    Government12%
    Manufacturing Company12%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization19%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Government6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business48%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise30%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise41%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise49%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise46%
    Buyer's Guide
    Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Secure Firewall
    January 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Secure Firewall and other solutions. Updated: January 2024.
    757,198 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Azure Firewall is ranked 17th in Firewalls with 11 reviews while Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 110 reviews. Azure Firewall is rated 7.2, while Cisco Secure Firewall is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Azure Firewall writes "Made our solution safer, more scalable, but manual configuration for deployment could be better". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco Secure Firewall writes "Includes multiple tools that help manage and troubleshoot, but needs SD-WAN for load balancing". Azure Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate-VM, Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls, Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, Microsoft Defender for Cloud and Azure Front Door, whereas Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Netgate pfSense, Meraki MX, Sophos XG and OPNsense. See our Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Secure 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.