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Cisco ASA Firewall vs Sophos UTM comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos UTM
March 2020
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos UTM and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
620,600 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The solution offers very easy configurations.""If you compare the ASA and the FirePOWER, the best feature with FirePOWER is easy to use GUI. It has most of the same functionality in the Next-Generation FirePOWER, such as IPS, IPS policies, security intelligence, and integration and identification of all the devices or hardware you have in your network. Additionally, this solution is user-friendly.""Feature-wise, we mostly use IPS because it is a security requirement to protect against attacks from outside and inside. This is where IPS helps us out a bunch.""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.""Firepower NGFW has improved my organization in several ways. Before, we were trying to stamp out security threats and issues, it was a one-off type of way to attack it. I spent a lot of manpower trying to track down the individual issues or flare-ups that we would see. With Cisco's Firepower Management, we're able to have that push up to basically one monitor and one UI and be able to track that and stop threats immediately. It also gives us a little more granularity on what those threats might be.""Firepower has been used for quite a few enterprise clients. Most of our clients are Fortune 500 and Firepower is used to improve their end to end firewall functionality.""The most valuable feature that Cisco Firepower NGFW provides for us is the Intrusion policy.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background."

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"It just works for us.""The technical support is excellent. I would rate it as 10 out of 10. When there has been an issue, we have had a good response from them.""It is very stable compared to other firewall products.""I have found the stability of this solution really good. This is why I use it.""I think Cisco ASA Firewall is the most stable firewall solution.""Cisco tech is always good and helpful. I would rate them as 10 out of 10.""It is pretty stable. I haven't seen many issues during the past four years.""The product is quite robust and durable."

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"The most valuable feature is the price. I've been requesting prices all over these years between different solutions like Fortinet, Palo Alto, and Check Point and Sophos has been the cheapest and the best of all of them that I have tried. I have been working with Fortinet, it's a fact that the price is surprisingly better.""Sophos is a unified solution. We have anti-virus protection, firewall rules, knotting, and DACC all in one box.""The stability, overall, is excellent. I haven't had a problem in the last two years.""So far, the solution has been problem-free.""The solution is scalable.""The most valuable feature is ransomware protection.""Sophos UTM provides security for our network here and access through a VPN connection for our remote users. It also offers the flexibility to create different tools for accessibility.""With Sophos, we have not had any incidents this year. The security provided has been good. It has proven to be okay for our needs."

More Sophos UTM Pros →

Cons
"One of my colleagues is using the firewall as an IPS, but he is worried about Firepower's performance... With the 10 Gb devices, when it gets to 5 Gbps, the CPU usage goes up a lot and he cannot manage the IPS.""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 reporting and other features are nice, but there is an issue with applying the configuration. That part needs some improvement.""It would be great if some of the load times were faster.""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.""The price and SD-WAN capabilities are the areas that need improvement.""We're getting support but there's a big delay until we get a response from their technical team. They're in the USA and we're in Africa, so that's the difficulty. When they're in the office, they respond.""They need a VTI. I know it's going to be available in the next software version, which is the 6.7 version. However, the problem with that is that the 6.7 is going to deprecate all the older IKEv1 deployment tunnels. Therefore, the problem is that we have a lot of customers which are using older encryptions. If I do that, update it, it's not going to work for me."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"Recently, we have been having an issue with the ASA firewall. We haven't found the root cause yet and are still working on it. We failed over the firewall from active to passive and suddenly that resolved the issue. We are now working to find the root cause.""The only improvement that we could make is maybe [regarding] the roadmap, to have better visibility as to what we are targeting ahead in the next few quarters.""It can probably provide a holistic view of different appliances because many customers do not have only one brand, besides the traditional SNMP protocols, to cover all their devices. There are some specific requirements in terms of configurations or actions that sometimes have to be done in a very manual way because of the different versions or brands in a customer's infrastructure. It could also have some additional analytics capabilities. It has some very interesting ways to monitor the traffic and identify false positives from the architecture and the environment. It would be good if there is a way to patch with some other industry-specific solutions and synchronize some of the information, such as what other customers experience in their operations and probably share some additional information that could be leveraged or shared among the industry. Such information would be something interesting to see. It could have AI capabilities related to how the appliances could benefit from learning the current environment and different exposures.""The user interface is a little clunky and difficult to work with. Some things aren't as easy as they should be.""The access layer of this solution could be improved in terms of the way the devices interconnect with our network. We need to be able to analyze the traffic between the different interconnection in these areas.""I would like to see the inclusion of a protocol that can be used to protect databases.""The annual subscription cost is a bit high. They should try to make it comparable to other offerings. We have a number of Chinese products here in Pakistan, which are already, very cheap and have less annual maintenance costs compared to Cisco.""The ASAs are being replaced with the new Firepowers and they have a different type of structure in the configuration to be able to migrate from one to the other."

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"There's an issue that when we deploy UTM on fiber, it automatically upgrades to the latest version without giving an option to stay on the current one.""The interface configuration could be improved.""In Sophos UTM there is always a problem with the routing tables. If you want to see the routing table, you have to use the UI. You can't do it via a web browser. The routing table is better in Fortinet.""We'd like to see them offer their services on mobile devices like tablets. I'm not sure if that's an option or not.""Sophos customer support could use some improvement.""Flexibility in pricing could be improved. It's more rigid in its pricing compared to its competitor: Kaspersky.""I would like to see Sophos UTM add support for all the new threat-detection technologies and the ability to respond to novel security threats that come along every day.""Sophos UTM's firewall is a bit weak, and some of its features lack depth compared to other products like F5."

More Sophos UTM 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 →

  • "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."
  • "They seem to be at the top end in terms of pricing, but they are worth the price. They are probably a little bit lower than Palo Alto. If the customers are relying on Cisco products and they are thinking more in terms of scaling to another layer in a year, it is pretty much in a good price range."
  • More Cisco ASA Firewall Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is the cheapest product available. It's good if you have a low budget."
  • "We pay for the service on a yearly basis. The last time we paid was in June, for a year. At the time, it was about $20,000."
  • "Our licensing fees are paid on a monthly basis."
  • "It's reasonably priced."
  • "This product is free for home users. The more expensive products have better performance."
  • "I think the pricing of Sophos is very fair."
  • "It is necessary to pay for a licence to use the solution, but it is not very expensive."
  • "The appliance should be purchased and there is a fee for the license."
  • More Sophos UTM 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:As a solution, Sophos UTM offers a lot of functionality, it scales well, and the stability and performance are quite… more »
    Top Answer:Sophos UTM is no longer being developed, according to our reseller. All the development effort is going into XG. So XG… more »
    Top Answer:Sophos UTM's best feature is SIM in the cloud, which combines the gateway solution and endpoint solution to send… 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
    Astaro
    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."

    Sophos UTM is a unified threat management platform designed to protect your businesses from known and emerging malware including viruses, rootkits and spyware. The solution provides a complete network security package with everything your organization needs in a single modular appliance.

    Sophos UTM Features

    Sophos UTM has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Web and Email Filtering
    • General Management
    • Network Protection
    • Network Routing and Services
    • Advanced Threat Protection
    • Authentication
    • Email Encryption and DLP
    • Web Policy
    • End-User Portal
    • VPN IPsec Client, VPN SSL Client, and Clientless VPN
    • Web Application Firewall Protection
    • UTM Endpoint Protection and Management
    • SEC Endpoint Integration
    • Logging and Reporting

    Sophos UTM Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Sophos UTM. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Simplifies your IT security without the complexity of multiple point solutions
    • Intuitive interface to help you quickly create policies to control security risks
    • Provides clear, detailed reports to give you the insight you need to improve your network performance and protection
    • Complete control to block, allow, shape and prioritize applications
    • Two-factor authentication with one-time password (OTP)
    • Integrated wireless controller
    • Allows you to connect remote offices with easy VPN and Wi-Fi

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the Sophos UTM solution.

    PeerSpot user Dana B., Network Administrator at a manufacturing company, says “The web and email filtering are the two biggest and most valuable aspects of the solution for us. The solution overall has just been a good, cost-effective solution for us. The solution offers a lot of functionality. The solution scales well. We've found the technical support to be helpful. The stability and performance are quite good.”

    A Technical Director at a security firm mentions, "Sophos SG UTM had all the basic functionality that you needed. It is user-friendly and easy to manage for any integrator."

    Marek M., Senior Network Engineer at a computer software company, comments, “Sophos UTM is the simplest of these products to set up. If you follow the instructions using the wizard, which is just a few steps, then you will have a firewall to protect you and your customer.”

    A Software Sales Manager at a tech services company explains, “The overall visibility of the console is what I find most valuable, plus it's very user-friendly. It can be integrated with other solutions such as SOAR, SIEM, etc., even when you have an existing firewall. I really like that the console can be integrated. You'll see everything on the same window, and the single window feature of the machine is so good. These are the features I really like.”

    James D., IT Manager at Manual Workers Union, states, “The fact that it's on the cloud means we don't have to administer it on our network or deal with a physical machine, which saves us money. The solution has many great features. From the console, we can start different scannings on different machines. We enjoy the centralized reporting part of it. The initial setup is simple. We enjoy its general stability. The solution can scale. So far, the solution has been problem-free.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about Sophos UTM
    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.
    One Housing Group
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider29%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Government7%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    Insurance Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government8%
    Retailer4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise42%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business62%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise18%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise49%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos UTM
    March 2020
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos UTM and other solutions. Updated: March 2020.
    620,600 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 90 reviews while Sophos UTM is ranked 1st in Unified Threat Management (UTM) with 34 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.4, while Sophos UTM is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco ASA Firewall writes "Includes multiple tools that help manage and troubleshoot, but needs SD-WAN for load balancing". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Sophos UTM writes "Great web and email filtering with reasonable pricing". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, pfSense and Palo Alto Networks VM-Series, whereas Sophos UTM is most compared with pfSense, Fortinet FortiGate, Untangle NG Firewall, Sophos XG and Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos UTM report.

    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.