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Cisco ASA Firewall vs Palo Alto Networks WildFire comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on April 3, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Asa Firewall vs Palo Alto Network Wildfire based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Some Cisco Asa Firewall users say that the configuration is complex because it consists of too many steps for inexperienced users. For users with experience with Cisco, the initial setup is straightforward and takes between 20 to 25 minutes. Palo Alto users say installation and configuration is challenging.

  • Features: Some valuable features mentioned by Cisco Asa users include the URL filtering, its visibility, the traffic inspection, and the Firepower engine. Other valuable features include a VPN and ACL features. Users would like to see an increase in encryption and improvement of the management console.

    Palo Alto Wildfire users say the most valuable features are the VPN and the adaptability of the solution to new threats. Other valuable features include URL and DNS filtering, threat protection, antivirus, and the complete integration with other Palo Alto products. Users would like to see better scalability.
  • Pricing: Cisco users say that the solution is expensive since it has an annual cost and a support cost. Palo Alto users also consider the solution to be expensive, especially for smaller organizations.
  • Service and Support: Cisco users are generally happy with the level of support because it is offered 24/7. Reviews of Palo Alto Wildfire support are mixed: for some users the technical support is strong, but others have difficulty getting a timely response, depending on their region.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, with all other factors being more or less equal, Cisco Asa Firewall comes in a bit ahead of Palo Alto simply because of their stronger support.



To learn more, read our detailed Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks WildFire report (Updated: June 2022).
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Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The most important feature is the intensive way you can troubleshoot Cisco Firepower Firewalls. You can go to the bit level to see why traffic is not handled in the correct way, and the majority of the time it's a networking issue and not a firewall issue. You can solve any problem without Cisco TAC help, because you can go very deeply under the hood to find out how traffic is flowing and whether it is not flowing as expected. That is something I have never seen with other brands.""If configured, Firepower provides us with application visibility and control.""IPS and Snort are very important because they also differentiate Cisco from other vendors and competitors.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""The most valuable feature is the Intrusion Prevention System.""The most valuable feature would be ASDM. The ability to go in, visualize and see the world base in a clear and consistent manner is very powerful.""Another benefit has been user integration. We try to integrate our policies so that we can create policies based on active users. We can create policies based on who is accessing a resource instead of just IP addresses and ports.""When it comes to the integration among Cisco tools, we find it easy. It's a very practical integration with other components as well."

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"I like the IPS feature, it is the most valuable.""The user interface, the UI, is excellent on the solution.""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.""The most valuable feature is the anti-malware protection. It protects the endpoints on my network.""The interface is user-friendly.""I have found the stability of this solution really good. This is why I use it.""The ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) which is the graphical user interface, works out, and Cisco keeps it current.""Simple to deploy, stable."

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"The most valuable feature is the cloud-based protection against zero-day malware attacks.""The most valuable features of this solution are sandbox capabilities.""The scalability is acceptable.""You have better control because you define apps. You just don't define ports. You define apps, and the apps are monitored in the traffic. It is more specific than the Cisco firewall when it comes to our needs.""The backup is the best feature.""The most valuable feature is the improved security that it offers.""Intuitive threat prevention and analysis solution, with a machine learning feature. Scalable, stable, and protects against zero-day threats.""The solution is easy to use and the Panorama feature is good. The software management or the malware blocking and some authentication management system are good."

More Palo Alto Networks WildFire Pros →

Cons
"I would like it to have faster deployment times. A typical deployment could take two to three minutes. Sometimes, it depends on the situation. It is better than it was in the past, but it could always use improvement.""We only have an issue with time sync with Cisco ASA and NTP. If the time is out of sync, it will be a disaster for the failover.""Report generation is an area that should be improved.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""The reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""One of the few things that are brought up is that for the overall management, it would be great to have a cloud instance of that. And not only just a cloud instance, but one of the areas that we've looked at is using an HA type of cloud. To have the ability to have a device file within a cloud. If we had an issue with one, the other one would pick up automatically.""The solution could offer better control that would allow the ability to restrictions certain features from a website."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"The stability is not the best.""Cisco is still catching up with its Firepower Next-Generation firewalls.""It is hard to collaborate with our filtered environment.""I would like it if there was a centralized way to manage policies, then sticking with the network functions on the actual devices. That is probably the thing that frustrates me the most. I want a way that you can manage multiple policies at several different locations, all at one site. You then don't have to worry about the connectivity piece, in case you are troubleshooting because connectivity is down.""I would say that in inexperienced hands, the interface can be kind of overwhelming. There are just a lot of options. Too much, if you don't know what you are looking for or trying to do.""The graphical interface could be improved. From what I have seen, Fortinet, for example, has a nicer GUI.""We wanted to integrate Firepower with our solution, but it didn't have the capability to accommodate our bandwidth since they only had two 10 gig interfaces on the box. We run way more than that through our network because we are a service provider, providing Internet to our customers.""The one thing that the ASAs don't have is a central management point. We have a lot of our environments on FTD right now. So, we are using a Firewall Management Center (FMC) to manage all those. The ASAs don't really have that, but they are easy to use if you physically go into them and manage them."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Cons →

"The only problem with this solution is the cost. It's expensive.""The cost of the solution is excessively high.""The threat intelligence that we receiving in the reporting was not as expected. We were expecting more. Additionally, we should be able to whitelist a specific file based on a variety of attributes.""The deployment model could be better.""In the future, I would like to see more automation in the reporting.""The configuration should be made a little bit easier. I understand why it is as it is, but there should be a way to make it easier from the user side.""The cost of this solution could still be improved, in particular, giving product discounts for charitable causes.""The only complaint that we receive from our customers is in regards to the price."

More Palo Alto Networks WildFire Cons →

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 →

  • "Always consider what you might need to reduce your wasted time and invest it in other solutions."
  • "Cisco is considered to be an expensive solution."
  • "It's very competitive with other products."
  • "We pay about $200 yearly and we have two firewalls."
  • "I'd say it's probably well-priced."
  • "The product cost is a little high. It is a little bit on the high side, and it should be a little bit cost-friendly."
  • "We pay about €2,000 ($2,400 USD) per year for licensing."
  • "If we compare it with FortiGate and the co-existing ASA, FortiGate is better in price."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "This solution is very pricey and it depends on the package that you implement."
  • "I think they should lower the price of this solution"
  • "The pricing is highly expensive."
  • "This is an expensive product and the market for Palo Alto in Poland could be much bigger if the pricing was comparable to Fortinet."
  • "The price is a bit higher than the other products such as TrendMicro, or FireEye."
  • "Pricing could be improved."
  • "We are on an annual subscription. When we purchased the firewall, we had activated this solutions license for a minimum of one year. The price of the solution is fair."
  • "It depends on the features. Additional features cost additional money as well."
  • More Palo Alto Networks WildFire Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco… more »
    Top Answer:One of our favorite things about Fortinet Fortigate is that you can deploy on the cloud or on premises. Fortinet… more »
    Top Answer: Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software is the operating software for the Cisco ASA suite. It supports… more »
    Top Answer:When looking to change our ASA Firewall, we looked into Palo Alto’s WildFire. It works especially in preventing advanced… more »
    Top Answer:FortiGate has a lot going for it and I consider it to be the best, most user-friendly firewall out there. What I like… more »
    Top Answer:I love the idea of Palo Alto Networks WildFire. It's more geared toward preventing malware. If someone's laptop or phone… more »
    Top Answer:It's comparable to what the competition is. It is probably a little lesser than what the competition is because, as a… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall, Cisco ASA NGFW, Cisco ASA, Adaptive Security Appliance, ASA, Cisco Sourcefire Firewalls, Cisco ASAv
    Learn More
    Cisco
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    Overview

    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. "

    Cisco ASA Firewall is a security device that combines firewall, intrusion prevention, virtual private network (VPN), and antivirus capabilities. Its main purpose is to provide proactive threat defense to stop attacks before they spread through the network.

    Cisco ASA Firewall Features

    Cisco ASA Firewall has many valuable key features, including:

    • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): Cisco ASA Firewall’s IPS provides contextual awareness.
    • Advanced threat protection: Gain protection against zero day threats (based on using global threat intelligence) .
    • Rapid threat containment: With Cisco ASA Firewall, you can proactively mitigate risks. If a threat is detected, additional security policies are applied to other network devices for increased protection.
    • High availability: Cisco ASA Firewall offers high availability for high resiliency applications
    • Integrated IPS, VPN, and unified communications capabilities
    • Multi-node clustering
    • Multi-site
    • High performance

    Cisco ASA Firewall Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Cisco ASA Firewall include:

    • Superior protection from threats through CSC, IPS, and the like.
    • Better pricing means that TCO is reduced. 
    • High performance levels that can be scaled to achieve 10+ Gbps.
    • You can deploy new applications easily over secured layers.
    • Identity-based access helps you access business resources.
    • Identity-based access can be integrated with other services, such as LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory.
    • By implementing Cisco ASA Firewall, IT resources are freed up.
    • Because Cisco ASA Firewall offers effective prevention, your spyware cleanup costs decrease.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Cisco ASA Firewall users.

    A Cisco Security Specialist at a tech services company says, “All the features are very valuable. Among them is the integration for remote users, with AnyConnect, to the infrastructure. All the security through that is wonderful and it's very easy. You connect and you are inside your company network via VPN. Everything is encrypted and it's a very good solution.” He goes on to add, “The intrusion prevention system, the intrusion detection, is perfect. But you can also integrate Cisco with an IPS solution from another vendor, and just use the ASA with AnyConnect and as a firewall. Cisco ASA also provides application control. You can block or prevent people from going to certain applications or certain content.”

    Jonathan M., Head of Information Communication Technology at National Building Society, comments, "The benefits we see from the ASA are connected to teleworking as well as, of course, having the basic functionality of a firewall in place and the prevention of attacks. The standard reports allow us to constantly monitor our environment and take corrective steps.

    Eric H., CEO at NPI Technology Management, explains, “The command-line interface is really useful for us. We script basic installations and modifications through the command-line, which is considered sort of old school, and yet it allows us to fully document the changes that we're making due to the fact that we can save the exact script that was applied and say, "Here are the changes that we made."

    WildFire™ cloud-based threat analysis service is the industry’s most advanced analysis and prevention engine for highly evasive zero-day exploits and malware. The cloud-based service employs a unique multi-technique approach combining dynamic and static analysis, innovative machine learning techniques, and a groundbreaking bare metal analysis environment to detect and prevent even the most evasive threats.
    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks WildFire
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    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.
    Novamedia, Nexon Asia Pacific, Lenovo, Samsonite, IOOF, Sinogrid, SanDisk Corporation
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Computer Software Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company21%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government5%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Government18%
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Computer Software Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business49%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise58%
    Buyer's Guide
    Firewalls
    June 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Fortinet, Check Point, Netgate and others in Firewalls. Updated: June 2022.
    608,010 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 71 reviews while Palo Alto Networks WildFire is ranked 1st in Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) with 22 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.2, while Palo Alto Networks WildFire is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Packet inspection with ASDM works well, but upgrading requires notable planning and effort". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks WildFire writes "Intuitive, stable, and scalable zero-day threat prevention solution with a machine learning feature". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Meraki MX, pfSense, Juniper SRX and Sophos XG, whereas Palo Alto Networks WildFire is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Proofpoint Email Protection, Juniper SRX, Zscaler Internet Access and Cloudflare.

    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.