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Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs Palo Alto Networks VM-Series comparison

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Q&A Highlights
Question: Which product do you recommend and why: Palo Alto Networks VM-Series vs Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual (FTDv)?
Answer: hello. Capability is on par between the two vendors. Your best bet is to think about integration and how the FW will work with other tools/processes in your environment. Thanks
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 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.""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 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 features of this solution are the integrations and IPS throughput.""A good intrusion prevention system and filtering.""The main thing that I love the most is its policy and objects. Whenever I try to give access to a user, I can create an object via group creation in the object fields. This way, I am not able to enter a user in the policy repeatedly.""The Adversity Malware Protection (AMP) feature is the most valuable. It is also very easy to use. Every technical user can operate this solution without any difficulty. The dashboard of Cisco Firepower has every tool that a security operator needs. You can find every resource that you need to operate through this dashboard.""Its Snort 3 IPS has better flexibility as far as being able to write rules. This gives me better granularity."

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"In Palo Alto the most important feature is the App-ID.""The most valuable feature is the Posture Assessment.""The initial setup was straightforward.""With the improved visibility we now have, the traffic is being properly monitored, which means that we are better able to manage it. These are improvements that we saw very quickly.""It has excellent scalability.""Using Palo Alto Networks Panorama, we were able to deploy a single point of management and visualization of the firewall infrastructure in cloud, on-premise and integrated with Azure to automate scale up. Its security features, i.e. anti-malware, threat prevention, URL Filtering, VPN, and antivirus are the most valuable. The ID-User integrated with AD and 2FA features are also very useful to provide secure access to servers and some users in the company. ""The VM series has an advantage over the physical version because we are able to change the sources that the machine has, such as the amount of available RAM.""The Palo Alto VM-Series is nice because I can move the firewalls easily."

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Cons
"The ability to better integrate with other tools would be an improvement.""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.""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.""The visibility for VPN is one big part. The policy administration could be improved in terms of customizations and flexibility for changing it to our needs.""It would be great if some of the load times were faster.""The initial setup was a bit complex. It wasn't a major challenge, but due to our requirements and network, it was not very straightforward but still easy enough.""My team tells me that other solutions such as Fortinet and Palo Alto are easier to implement.""An area of improvement for this solution is the console visualization."

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"Its web interface is a bit outdated, and it needs to be updated. They can also improve the NAT functionality. We have had issues with the NAT setup.""Integrative capabilities with other solutions should be addressed.""It would be helpful if we had a direct number for the support manager or the supporting engineer. That would be better than having to email every time because there would be less wait.""It'll help if Palo Alto Networks provided better documentation.""The implementation should be simplified.""They made only a halfhearted attempt to put in DLP (Data Loss Prevention).""It would be good if the common features work consistently in physical and virtual environments. There was an integration issue in the virtual deployment where it didn't report the interface counters, and we had to upgrade to the latest version, whereas the same thing has been working in the physical deployment for ages now. It seems that it was because of Azure. We were using VMware before, and we didn't have any such issues. We do see such small issues where we expect things to work, but they don't because of some incompatibilities. There also seems to be a limitation on how to do high availability in a virtualized environment. All features should be consistently available in physical and virtual environments. It is not always easy to integrate Palo Alto in the network management system. We would like to be able to compare two network management systems. They can maybe allow monitoring an interface through the GUI to create a reference or do a baseline check about whether your network monitoring system is actually giving you the correct traffic figures. You need traffic figures to be able to recognize the trends and plan the capacity.""Palo Alto is that it is really bad when it comes to technical support."

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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 →

  • "Palo Alto can be as much as two times the price of competing products that have twice the capabilities."
  • "The cost of this product varies from customer to customer and the relationship with IBM, including how many offerings from IBM are already being used."
  • "Because I work for a university and the URL is for the institution, it's a free license for us."
  • "It is not the cheapest on the market. The total cost for two firewall instances is $75,000. This includes licenses, deployment fees, and support for two years."
  • "The VM series is licensed annually."
  • "Palo Alto definitely needs to be more competitive compared to other products. The problem that I have faced is that the price of licensing is very high and not very competitive."
  • "Initially, pricing was high. Later on, we were able to negotiate the pricing and get something that fits our budget."
  • More Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    M Mari
    Aws Al-Dabbagh - PeerSpot reviewerAws Al-Dabbagh
    Real User

    I can't say for Palo Alto as I haven't tried them myself, but I'd advise against FTDs and Firepower Management Center.


    * Firepower systems take about 4 minutes on average to make config changes (it's referred to as "Deployment", can take 1-6 minutes depending type of change you're making). which makes troubleshooting a nightmare.


    * it is overall very buggy, we had to open at least 2-3 tickets per year with Cisco to fix issues with our system that has only 2 firewalls working in HA. some that required upgrading software. some cases required involvement from R&D to diagnose and fix, and took more than a week. I don't want to imagine the administration overhead of having several bugs in several different sites (I'd think "10K+ employees" operate in more than one site) and having to troubleshoot each with the Cisco TAC (Cisco TAC is good compared to other vendors, but it's not their fault the software is buggy).


    * I'm not sure this is the case for FTDv, but I don't think that would be different.


    I suggest you implement test sites using both solutions through a POC if possible before migrating such a large environment.

    Dale Jackaman - PeerSpot reviewerDale Jackaman
    User

    Neither.  


    I'd pick Fortinet's products for a variety of reasons, but the #1 reason being they are easier to use and maintain.  And they are better for TSCM work which is something we specialize in (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures - and within networks).

    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:Both products are very stable and easily scalable. The setup of Azure Firewall is easy and very user-friendly and the overall cost is reasonable. Azure Firewall offers a solid threat awareness, can… more »
    Top Answer:Palo Alto’s Panorama centralized management system simplifies our security posture based on our requirements. Instead of manually pulling logs, then generating them into readable formats, it gives us… more »
    Top Answer:Initially, pricing was high. Later on, we were able to negotiate the pricing and get something that fits our budget. The solution provides protection and there wasn't an additional cost involved, in… more »
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    44,892
    Comparisons
    30,405
    Reviews
    41
    Average Words per Review
    1,028
    Rating
    8.4
    10th
    out of 48 in Firewalls
    Views
    10,353
    Comparisons
    7,158
    Reviews
    13
    Average Words per Review
    719
    Rating
    8.5
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Firepower NGFW, Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall, FirePOWER, Cisco NGFWv
    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. "

    The VM-Series is a virtualized form factor of our next-generation firewall that can be deployed in a range of private and public cloud computing environments based on technologies from VMware, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Citrix and KVM.

    The VM-Series natively analyzes all traffic in a single pass to determine the application identity, the content within, and the user identity. These core elements of your business can then be used as integral components of your security policy, enabling you to improve your security efficacy through a positive control model and reduce your incident response time though complete visibility into applications across all ports.

    In both private and public cloud environments, the VM-Series can be deployed as a perimeter gateway, an IPsec VPN termination point, and a segmentation gateway, protecting your workloads with application enablement and threat prevention policies.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
    Sample Customers
    Rackspace, The French Laundry, Downer Group, Lewisville School District, Shawnee Mission School District, Lower Austria Firefighters Administration, Oxford Hospital, SugarCreek, Westfield
    Warren Rogers Associates
    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 Firm23%
    Government15%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company28%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise30%
    Large Enterprise33%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is ranked 4th in Firewalls with 47 reviews while Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is ranked 10th in Firewalls with 14 reviews. Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is rated 8.2, while Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is rated 8.4. 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 VM-Series writes "An excellent solution for the right situations and businesses". Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall is most compared with Fortinet FortiGate, Cisco ASA Firewall, Meraki MX, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Huawei NGFW, whereas Palo Alto Networks VM-Series is most compared with Azure Firewall, Cisco ASA Firewall, Fortinet FortiGate, Juniper SRX and Check Point NGFW. See our Cisco Firepower NGFW Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks VM-Series report.

    See our list of best Firewalls vendors.

    We monitor all Firewalls reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.