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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls comparison

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Q&A Highlights
Question: What are the main differences between Palo Alto and Cisco firewalls ?
Answer: Palo Alto has more visibilities and control instead of Cisco Firewall.
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
607,332 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
"I have experience with URL filtering, and it is very good for URL filtering. You can filter URLs based on the categories, and it does a good job. It can also do deep packet inspection.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""There are no issues that we are aware of. It does its job silently in the background.""One of the most valuable features of Firepower 7.0 is the "live log" type feature called Unified Event Viewer. That view has been really good in helping me get to data faster, decreasing the amount of time it takes to find information, and allowing me to fix problems faster. I've found that to be incredibly valuable because it's a lot easier to get to some points of data now.""I like the firewall features, Snort, and the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).""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 feature set is fine and is rarely a problem.""Web filtering is a big improvement for us. The previous version we used, the AC520, did not have that feature included. It was not very easy for us, especially because the environment had to be isolated and we needed to get updates from outside, such as Windows patches. That feature has really helped us when we are going outside to pull those patches."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Pros →

"The App-ID feature is the coolest feature because you don't need to open a new port. Apps are directly linked to the port. It provides one of the best ways to lock down the additional port switch.""The most valuable feature is WildFire, which blocks sophisticated attacks and distinguishes it from other traditional firewall functions.""The stability of the product has been good over the years.""I love the Policy Optimizer feature. I am also completely happy with its stability.""We have found the DPI ability to understand web applications and build access rules on web application categories first to be a great feature.""GlobalProtect and App-ID features are very good.""The technology's very good. We have had a lot of good experience with this solution.""Identifying applications is very easy with this solution."

More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pros →

Cons
"An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization.""FirePOWER does a good job when it comes to providing us with visibility into threats, but I would like to see a more proactive stance to it.""This product is managed using the Firepower Management Center (FMC), but it would be better if it also supported the command-line interface (CLI).""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.""When you make any changes, irrespective of whether they are big or small, Firepower takes too much time. It is very time-consuming. Even for small changes, you have to wait for 60 seconds or maybe more, which is not good. Similarly, when you have many IPS rules and policies, it slows down, and there is an impact on its performance.""One issue with Firepower Management Center is deployment time. It takes seven to 10 minutes and that's a long time for deployment. In that amount of time, management or someone else can ask me to change something or to provide permissions, but during that time, doing so is not possible. It's a drawback with Cisco. Other vendors, like Palo Alto or Fortinet do not have this deployment time issue.""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.""Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall can be more secure."

More Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall Cons →

"Its stability can be better. Their technical response from the support side can also be better.""Having a better pricing model would make this product more competitive, and more affordable for our customers.""The VPN connectors should be better. We had some challenges in terms of the VPN with Palo Alto Networks NG Firewall, and that's one of the main reasons why we moved to Sophos. Its load handling can also be improved. There were challenges when traffic was high. During peak business hours, it did not function very well. There was a lot of slowness, and the users used to complain, especially when they were connecting from outside. We even reported this to the support team. Their support should also be improved. Technical support was a bit of a concern while using this solution. We didn't get very good support from the Palo Alto team.""The SD-WAN product is fairly new. They could probably improve that in terms of customizing it and making the configuration a little bit easier.""The user interface is probably not as slick as it could be.""They can work on the price. They are a little bit expensive, and not all customers are able to afford this solution. Taking into consideration that there is huge competition in the market and there are multiple firewall companies that are much cheaper than them and offer almost the same features, it would be good to improve the price.""Palo Alto keeps coming out with antivirus and malware updates. When we have to integrate those updates we face some problems with the cloud platform, not the on-prem setup. The device works fine, but sometimes the sync doesn't happen on time.""The machine learning in Palo Alto NG Firewalls for securing networks against threats that are able to evolve and morph rapidly is good, in general. But there have been some cases where we get false positives and Palo Alto has denied traffic when there have been new updates and signature releases. Valid traffic gets blocked. We have had some bad experiences with this. If there were an ability, before it denies traffic, to get some kind of notification that some traffic is going to be blocked, that would be good."

More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls 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 →

  • "The pricing is competitive in the market."
  • "This is an expensive product, which is why some of our customers don't adopt it."
  • "The product is expensive compared to competing products but uses a similar type of pricing model based on hardware, software and maintenance."
  • "It is a little bit expensive than other firewalls, but it is worth every penny. There are different licenses for the kinds of services you want to use. When we buy a new product, we go for a three-year subscription."
  • "It is a little bit expensive."
  • "The NG firewall is an expensive solution."
  • "This is an expensive product and there is a subscription cost."
  • "Its price can be better. Licensing is on a yearly basis."
  • More Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Fedayi Uzun
    reviewer1461459 - PeerSpot reviewerreviewer1461459 (Team Lead Network Infrastructure at a tech services company with 1-10 employees)
    Real User

    There are some major differentiators that make Palo Alto more preferable. First of all Palo Alto's Hardware is FPGA based, which has no parallel. Due to this capability it supports SP3 technology which provides single pass parallel processing architecture. This means PA processes traffic through all the engines i.e. application, IPS and others simultaneously. This improves resiliency and provides exactly the same throughput which committed in PA data sheet. PA has been in the leaders magic quadrant of Gartner for the 7th consecutive time in a row, which shows its block capability is above power. Moreover, it is very user friendly and easy for configure. Palo  Alto provides all routing features plus IPsec tunnels without any license - license subscriptions are only required for security bundles. Palo Alto has on-box (without any additional license or cost) reporting capability that no other firewall has at the moment.


    On the contrary, Cisco Firewall and its management center is not stable and lacks user friendly operations.

    Philippe Panardie - PeerSpot reviewerPhilippe Panardie
    Real User

    Well they are two leaders, one from US, another from Israel.


    Checkpoint is the first well known firm to launch firewalls.


    Palo Alto is certainly now the leader, but could be expensive in strong configurations. It supports virtualization very well and is number one for reporting.

    Checkpoint NGFW is strong but under competition for high volumes when compared referred to a comparable appliance (Fortinet for instance). It needs perhaps more technical knowledge to administrate, in spite of an amazing choice of blades in the NGFW offering.


    The reliability depends on your partner or integrator and a good definition of needs to have a proper sizing of your equipment.

    Virendra Vishnu - PeerSpot reviewerVirendra Vishnu
    Real User

    Ease of Use


    - GUI familiarities  and adoption level can differ from user to user.


    - Personally I found CISCO  ASA interface is hard to comprehend compare to Palo Alto


    - Command line interface is good, only challenge is past experience and correctness of commands to get error free results! 


    Performance of the Appliance


    - Palo Alto VS CISCO - Palo Alto is better performing appliance.


    Umesh Wadhwa - PeerSpot reviewerUmesh Wadhwa
    Real User

    Palo Alto is the market leader and a company with a very holistic approach to security. Firewalls are its mainstream business, whereas Cisco basically known as a networking company is trying to be one of the major players in providing security solutions. Things like advantages, disadvantages, usage and practices is a very vast topic. Generally companies already having Cisco infrastructure tend to choose Cisco firewalls from the integration point of view. Palo Alto firewalls could be more expensive. 

    SandeepKumar13 - PeerSpot reviewerSandeepKumar13
    Real User

    Pick a product model for both vendors: Cisco & Palo Alto (refer to technical data sheets and whitepapers --)  See the key differences on your target or specific needs).


    Practical evaluation by a person who has both products under the belt and can share their experiences... 


    Anyone inputs, please?

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: When you compare these firewalls you can identify them with different features, advantages, practices and usage at large. In my opinion, Fortinet would be the best option and l use… more »
    Top Answer: The Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is a very powerful and very complex piece of anti-viral software. When one considers that fact, it is all the more impressive that the setup is a fairly… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to integrate Cisco ASA with other Cisco products and also other NAC solutions. When you understand the Cisco ecosystem, it is very simple to handle. This solution has traffic inspection and… more »
    Top Answer:Azure Firewall Vs. Palo Alto Network NG Firewalls Both solutions provide stellar stability and security. Azure Firewall is easy to use and provides excellent support. Valuable features include… more »
    Top Answer:Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls have both great features and performance. I like that Palo Alto has regular threat signatures and updates. I also appreciate that I can just import addresses and URL… more »
    Top Answer:The solution is user-friendly. It's secure and easy to understand your network visibility, control the network, and prevent attacks.
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    44,892
    Comparisons
    30,405
    Reviews
    41
    Average Words per Review
    1,028
    Rating
    8.4
    7th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    26,864
    Comparisons
    20,574
    Reviews
    67
    Average Words per Review
    683
    Rating
    8.5
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    Palo Alto NGFW, Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall, Palo Alto Networks PA-Series
    Learn More
    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. "

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is a firewall solution designed for security teams that provides them with full visibility and control over all networks via powerful traffic identification, malware prevention, and threat intelligence technologies. In order to determine which applications, users, and content traversing the network are safe, the solution offers companies a variety of advanced security tools and strategies.

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Features

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Secure Application Enablement (App-ID, User-ID, Content-ID)
    • Malware Detection and Prevention (threat prevention service, buffer overflows and port scans, anti-malware capabilities, command-and-control protection, and WildFire)
    • DNS Security (URL filtering, predict and block malicious domains, signature-based protection, extensible cloud-based architecture)
    • Panorama Security Management (including graphical views and analytics, manage rules and dynamic updates, customizable application command center (ACC), log collection mode, physical or virtual appliance)
    • Threat Intelligence (high-fidelity threat intelligence, priority alerts, automatic extraction and sharing of prevention indicators, native integration with Palo Alto Networks products)

    Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Dedicated management interface for managing and initial configuration of the device
    • Regular threat signatures and updates
    • Import addresses and URL objects from the external server
    • Configure and manage with REST API integration
    • Great throughput and connection speed is fair even in high traffic load
    • Deep visibility into the network activity through Application and Command Control
    • Easy to manage and very user friendly

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls users.

    A Solutions Architect at a communications service provider says, “The product stability and level of security are second to none in the industry. We value the security of our client's infrastructure so these features are valuable to us. An example of a very valuable feature behind Palo Alto is the application-aware identifiers that help the firewall know what its users are trying to do. It can block specific activities instead of just blocking categories. For example, you can block an application, or all unknown applications.”

    PeerSpot user Gerry H., CyberSecurity Network Engineer at a university, mentions that the solution has a “Nice user interface, good support, is stable, and has extensive logging capabilities.” He also adds, “Wildfire has been a very good feature. This solution provides a unified platform that natively integrates all security capabilities, which is 100% important to us. This is a great feature.”

    Eric S., Network Analyst at a recreational facilities/services company, states, "With its single pane of glass, it makes monitoring and troubleshooting a bit more homogeneous. We are not looking at multiple platforms and monitoring management tools. It is more efficient from that perspective. It is more of a common monitoring and control system for multiple aspects of what used to be different systems. It provides efficiency and time savings."

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    SkiStar AB, Ada County, Global IT Services PSF, Southern Cross Hospitals, Verge Health, University of Portsmouth, Austrian Airlines, The Heinz Endowments
    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
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Government6%
    Energy/Utilities Company5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business37%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise33%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    607,332 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 47 reviews while Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is ranked 7th in Firewalls with 78 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2, while Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall writes "The ability to implement dynamic policies for dynamic environments is important, given the fluidity in the world of security". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls writes "The product stability and level of security are second to none in the industry". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Juniper SRX, whereas Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls is most compared with Azure Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Check Point NGFW, Meraki MX and OPNsense. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks NG Firewalls 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.