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 2023).
672,411 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
"Azure's cost-effectiveness is its major advantage.""Azure Firewall's feature that I have found most valuable is its scalability.""It's auto-scalable, which is a great feature.""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.""All its features are good. That's why we recommend it.""The initial setup is straightforward; Azure Firewall does not have a complex implementation process. It is very simple; you just need to enable the service within Azure. It does not require any maintenance because it is managed by Microsoft, that is, it is a fully managed service.""The firewall policy control, URL content control, and antivirus are all the most valuable aspects. Threat prevention is as well quite good.""Network filtering is valuable. The scalability capability from the cloud-native service helps us a lot because it simplifies our day-to-day maintenance activity."

More Azure Firewall Pros →

"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.""So far, it has been very stable.""The configuration was kind of straightforward from the command line and also from the ASDM. It was very easy to manage by using their software in Java.""I like that Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is reliable. Support is also good.""I like the ASDM for the firewall because it is visual. With the command line, it is harder to visualize what is going on. A picture is worth a thousand words.""All the rules are secure and we haven't had a significant malware attack in the five years that we've been using ASA Firewall. It has been a tremendous improvement for our network. However, I can't quantify the benefits in monetary terms.""The main thing that I love the most is its policy and objects. Whenever I try to give access to a user, I can create an object via group creation in the object fields. This way, I am not able to enter a user in the policy repeatedly.""We find all of its features very useful. Its main features are policies and access lists. We use both of them, and we also use routing."

More Cisco Secure Firewall Pros →

Cons
"An Azure firewall is not a real firewall.""It needs a lot of improvement, especially on intruder detection. They are working hard on that.""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.""Azure Firewall should have a free trial version for new users so that they can evaluate it before deploying it.""The reporting, logging, and monitoring features, as well as the flexibility of the policies, need to be improved.""For larger enterprises, they need to adjust the scalability.""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.""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."

More Azure Firewall Cons →

"When comparing the graphical interface of this solution to other vendors it is more difficult to configure. There is a higher learning curve for administrators in this solution.""The configuration in Firepower Management Center is very slow. Deployment takes two to three minutes. You spend a lot of time on modifications. Whereas, in FortiGate, you press a button, and it takes one second.""I would like to see improvement when you create policies on Snort 3 IPS on Cisco Firepower. On Snort 2, it was more like a UI page where you had some multiple choices where you could tweak your config. On Snort 3, the idea is more to build some rules on the text file or JSON file, then push it. So, I would like to see a lot of improvements here.""Licensing is complex, and I'd like it to be simplified. This is an area for improvement.""Cisco ASA Firewall could improve by adding more advanced features such as web filtering, which is available in the next-generation firewalls. However, the Cisco ASA Firewall I am using could be old and these features have been updated.""FlexConfig is there as a bridge for features that are not yet natively integrated into Firepower. It is a way of allowing you to be able to configure things that wouldn't otherwise be possible until the development team can add them into Firepower's native capability. There is still some work that needs to be done around FlexConfig. There are still quite a few complex things, like policy-based routing, that have to be done in FlexConfig, and it doesn't always work perfectly. Sometimes, there are some glitches. It is recommended that you configure FlexConfig policies with Cisco TAC. It would be good to see Cisco accelerate some of those configurations that you can only do in FlexConfig into the platform, so that they are there natively.""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.""The solution is overcomplicated in some senses. Simplifying it would be an improvement."

More Cisco Secure 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 →

  • "The price for Firepower is more expensive than FortiGate. The licensing is very complex. We usually ask for help from Solutel because of its complexity. I have a Cisco account where I can download the VPN client, then connect. Instead, I create an issue with Solutel, then Solutel solves the case."
  • "I know that licensing for some of the advanced solutions, like Intrusion Prevention and Secure Malware Analytics, are nominal costs."
  • "It is affordable. The hardware is not that expensive anymore. It is a matter of licensing these days."
  • "Cisco is not for a small mom-and-pop shop because of the cost, but if you're in a regulated industry where a breach could cost you a million dollars, it's a bargain."
  • "I like the Smart Licensing, because it is more dynamic and easier to keep track of where you are at. If we have a high availability firewall pair and they are deployed in active/standby rather than active/active, I would expect that we would only pay for one set of licenses because you are using only one firewall at any one time. The other is there just for resiliency. The licensing, from a Firepower perspective, still requires you to have two licenses, even if the firewalls are in active/standby, which means that you pay for the two licenses, even though you might only be using one firewall any one time. This is probably not the best way to do it and doesn't represent the best value for money. This could be looked at to see if it could be done in a fairer way."
  • "We are happy with its price. Licensing is on a yearly basis for technical support. There is one license for technical support. There is another license for IP Version 2 VPN and IPS."
  • "I am happy with the product in general, including the pricing."
  • "Their pricing is very aggressive and good. Even a small company can afford it. I am happy with its pricing. Its licensing is on a yearly basis."
  • More Cisco Secure Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    Ranking
    14th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    27,910
    Comparisons
    22,619
    Reviews
    15
    Average Words per Review
    697
    Rating
    7.1
    2nd
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    96,842
    Comparisons
    63,474
    Reviews
    90
    Average Words per Review
    860
    Rating
    8.3
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    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
    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 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.”



    The Cisco Secure Firewall portfolio delivers greater protections for your network against an increasingly evolving and complex set of threats. With Cisco, you’re investing in a foundation for security that is both agile and integrated- leading to the strongest security posture available today and tomorrow.

      From your data center, branch offices, cloud environments, and everywhere in between, you can leverage the power of Cisco to turn your existing network infrastructure into an extension of your firewall solution, resulting in world class security controls everywhere you need them.

      Investing in a Secure Firewall appliance today gives you robust protections against even the most sophisticated threats without compromising performance when inspecting encrypted traffic. Further, integrations with other Cisco and 3rd party solutions provides you with a broad and deep portfolio of security products, all working together to correlate previously disconnected events, eliminate noise, and stop threats faster.

      Offer
      Learn more about Azure Firewall
      Learn more about Cisco Secure Firewall
      Sample Customers
      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
      Financial Services Firm29%
      Government14%
      Manufacturing Company14%
      Computer Software Company14%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company22%
      Comms Service Provider10%
      Financial Services Firm8%
      Government7%
      REVIEWERS
      Financial Services Firm16%
      Comms Service Provider13%
      Computer Software Company9%
      Government8%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Computer Software Company20%
      Comms Service Provider17%
      Government8%
      Educational Organization5%
      Company Size
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business18%
      Midsize Enterprise29%
      Large Enterprise54%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business23%
      Midsize Enterprise17%
      Large Enterprise60%
      REVIEWERS
      Small Business35%
      Midsize Enterprise25%
      Large Enterprise40%
      VISITORS READING REVIEWS
      Small Business28%
      Midsize Enterprise18%
      Large Enterprise53%
      Buyer's Guide
      Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Secure Firewall
      January 2023
      Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Firewall vs. Cisco Secure Firewall and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
      672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

      Azure Firewall is ranked 14th in Firewalls with 17 reviews while Cisco Secure Firewall is ranked 2nd in Firewalls with 91 reviews. Azure Firewall is rated 7.0, while Cisco Secure 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 Secure 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 pfSense, whereas Cisco Secure Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, pfSense and Sophos UTM. 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.