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Cisco ASA Firewall vs Sophos XG comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos XG
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
607,178 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
"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.""The integration of network and workload micro-segmentation helps a lot to provide unified segmentation policies across east-west and north-south traffic. One concrete example is with Cisco ACI for the data center. Not only are we doing what is called a service graph on the ACI to make sure that we can filter traffic east-west between two endpoints in the same network, but when we go north-south or east-west, we can then leverage what we have on the network with SGTs on Cisco ISE. Once you build your matrix, it is very easy to filter in and out on east-west or north-south traffic.""The most valuable feature is the Intrusion Prevention System.""One of the nice things about Firepower is that you can set it to discover the environment. If that is happening, then Firepower is learning about every device, software operating system, and application running inside or across your environment. Then, you can leverage the discovery intelligence to get Firepower to select the most appropriate intrusion prevention rules to use for your environment rather than picking one of the base policies that might have 50,000 IPS rules in it, which can put a lot of overhead on your firewall. If you choose the recommendations, as long as you update them regularly, you might be able to get your rule set down to only 1,000 or 1,500, which is a significant reduction in a base rule set. This means that the firewall will give you better performance because there are less rules being checked unnecessarily. That is really useful.""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.""The most valuable feature is stability.""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.""I have integrated it for incidence response. If there is a security event, the Cisco firewall will automatically block the traffic, which is valuable."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The most valuable feature is the ability to block almost all of the ports.""Cisco ASA works very nicely from an administration perspective. The management of the device is very nice. The ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager) is the software that we use and it is very easy to configure using the GUI.""One of the best features is the ease of use. It's also easy to teach new engineers to use the ASA CLI.""The TAC is always very helpful. We pay for Tier 1 support, so we get whatever we need from them. They always give us a solution. If they can't give us an answer that day, they get back to us within at least 24 hours with a solution or fix. I have never had a problem with the TAC. I would rate them as 10 out of 10.""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.""This product is pretty stable.""I have found the most valuable feature to be the access control and IPsec VPN.""Cisco offers a great educational series to train users on their devices."

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"It is very easy to use. You can configure and monitor everything from one unique dashboard.""The initial setup is straightforward.""The stability of Sophos XG is good, it has good performance.""In my experience, the solution was easy to use, has lots of features, and is easy to configure.""As a security solution, it's a very good security solution.""I've tried out Sophos XG a little. It has a good interface that's very user-friendly, but I haven't used all of its functions because I'm only configuring and running the system.""Web filtering is easy enough to deploy, manage, or make exceptions to.""Orchestration of the firewall is the most valuable feature. It is a fast and agile solution. It is good with protection. It is also very easy to deploy and manage, and its user interface is easy to use."

More Sophos XG Pros →

Cons
"The change-deployment time can always be improved. Even at 50 seconds, it's longer than some of its competitors. I would challenge Cisco to continue to improve in that area.""A major area of improvement would be to have more functionality in public clouds, especially in terms of simplifying it. The high availability doesn't work right now because of the limitations in the cloud.""The maturity needs to be better.""Most of the features don't work well, and some features are missing as well.""Its interface is sometimes is a little bit slow, and it can be improved. When you need to put your appliance in failover mode, it is a little difficult to do it remotely because you need to turn off the appliance in Cisco mode. In terms of new features, it would be good to have AnyConnect VPN with Firepower. I am not sure if it is available at the moment.""It's mainly the UI and the management parts that need improvement. The most impactful feature when you're using it is the user interface and the user experience.""Implementations require the use of a console. It would help if the console was embedded.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"It can be improved when it comes to monitoring. Today, the logs from the firewalls could be improved a bit more without integrating with other devices.""Nowadays, nobody is in the office, so I need to figure out how to put the firewall outside. If I could have a centralized firewall that also receives information from external locations, like peoples' home offices, that would help us consolidate everything into one appliance.""The solution needs to have better logging features.""The content filtering on an application level is not as good as other solutions such as Palo Alto.""I have worked with the new FTD models and they have more features than the ASA line.""Technical support takes a long time to respond.""We don't have any serious problems. The firewall models that we have are quite legacy, and they have slower performance. We are currently investigating the possibility of migrating to next-generation firewalls.""Cisco ASA is not a next-generation firewall product."

More Cisco ASA Firewall Cons →

"The MTR feature needs enhancing.""The user interface could be improved and more bandwidth management would be helpful.""The pricing has gotten much higher.""I would prefer if Sophos XG were cheaper. A lower price would benefit me as a system provider for the end customer. The cost of the license and renewal for all the software and devices is somewhat high.""Could have a more simplified functionality for users.""I would want the level of integration to have another device on your network that is also reliable.""The main problem with Sophos XG today is that it doesn't have a feature where you actually know the quality of an international link, which would allow us to we know if the link is operational or not. We need more information. It's losing packets on the network. It's high latency. So, we need more information to know if the link is really bad or really good, and today, we will only know if it's working and this just isn't enough.""Lacking network access control, user profiling and analytics dashboards."

More Sophos XG 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 →

  • "The price is cheaper than that of some competing vendors."
  • "The pricing is flexible. Sophos looks at a country's economy and offers flexible pricing. This is how they have managed to penetrate the market."
  • "It's approximately $6,000 for each device."
  • "It is not expensive, it's a reasonable price,"
  • "The issue of a recurring license is a hassle because every year, we have to subscribe."
  • "It is not very expensive."
  • "We prepaid in advance to get the max discount."
  • "Sophos XG isn't expensive compared to Check Point."
  • More Sophos XG 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:Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls have both great features and performance. I like that Palo Alto has regular threat… more »
    Top Answer:Hi Arvind P ,  The Sophos XG firewall has a number of models right from XG86 to XG135w under the 1U Desktop Form… 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 »
    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."

    Sophos XG Firewall is a complete firewall solution that provides all the real-time security and insights you need to protect your network from ransomware and advanced threats. Sophos XG Firewall provides visibility into suspicious users, unknown and unwanted apps, encrypted traffic, and other threats. With its advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, Sophos XG Firewall immediately identifies potential risks and intrusions on web servers and networks.

    Sophos XG Firewall Features

    Sophos XG Firewall offers a wide range of security features, including:

    • Application control: Prevent widespread infections with XG’s Security Heartbeat. XG Firewall automatically identifies the source of an infection on a network and automatically prevents it from accessing other network resources.

    • Synchronized user ID: Eliminate the need for client or server authentication agents by sharing user identification between the endpoint and the firewall through Security Heartbeat.

    • Centralized management: Easily manage all activities with Sophos Central. The XG cloud management platform allows users to easily set up, manage, and monitor XG firewalls along with other Sophos products. Some of Sophos Central’s features include alerting, backup management, one-click firmware updates, and rapid deployments of new firewalls.

    • Lateral movement protection: Automatically isolate compromised systems at every point in the network to stop attacks dead in their tracks.

    • Network protection: Protect networks from attacks and threats while providing secure network access.

    • Web protection: Gain clear visibility and control over all users’ web and application activity.

    • Web server protection: Solidify web servers and applications against hacking attacks while providing secure web access.

    • Email protection: Consolidate email protection with anti-spam, DLP, and encryption. XG’s Live Anti-Spam provides protection from the most recent spam campaigns, phishing attacks, and malicious attachments. Data Loss Prevention automatically triggers encryption on sensitive data in outgoing emails.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Sophos XG Firewall stands out among its competitors, among other reasons, for its intrusion detection capabilities, its user-friendly management platform, and in general, for being a complete and robust firewall solution.

    Niranjan P., a network & system support engineer, writes, “Sophos is a comprehensive solution which allows me to configure all the attendant products, such as Sophos's firewall, endpoint, and encryption features. A nice feature of Sophos is that it offers in sync and heartbeat security. When my clients have a perimeter involving Sophos firewall and endpoints with Sophos Endpoint, they can communicate with each other.”

    Antonio D., sales manager at INFOSEC, notes, “The product has a console that is based in the cloud for all their products. In this console, they have email security, firewall security, endpoint security, et cetera. All of the products on offer in the console are very useful for us. The solution is stable. The solution works well for enterprises and large-scale organizations.”

    Antony M., ICT/HMIS supervisor at a healthcare company, writes, “The VPN feature is the most valuable. It has come in handy during this period when people are working from home. The filtering feature is also valuable because you can easily filter the sites that you don't want to visit. You can also set timely surfing quotas”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Cisco ASA Firewall
    Learn more about Sophos XG
    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.
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Government13%
    Manufacturing 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
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider35%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company3%
    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 Business62%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise44%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos XG
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos XG and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    607,178 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ASA Firewall is ranked 6th in Firewalls with 66 reviews while Sophos XG is ranked 5th in Firewalls with 144 reviews. Cisco ASA Firewall is rated 8.0, while Sophos XG is rated 8.0. 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 Sophos XG writes "Light and stable with excellent real-time control ". Cisco ASA Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Palo Alto Networks WildFire, Meraki MX, pfSense and SonicWall TZ, whereas Sophos XG is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, pfSense, OPNsense, Meraki MX and Azure Firewall. See our Cisco ASA Firewall vs. Sophos XG report.

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    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.