Cisco Firewalls: Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition for the Enterprise

Threats to today's networks continue to grow, with attacks coming from both outside and within corporate networks. These threats can have devastating effects, ranging from business disruption due to a network outage, financial risk resulting from information loss, or liability issues stemming from information tampering. Meanwhile, businesses are striving to improve their profitability and competitiveness through continued business process optimisation and automation, leading to increased connectivity with their business partners and customers. These applications offer many benefits, but can also introduce a variety of risks, if not secured properly. Using the world-class Cisco firewalls, Cisco system security and networking services provided by the Cisco® ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition, businesses can securely deploy mission-critical applications and networks in a highly reliable manner, while benefiting from the significant investment protection and lower operational costs offered by this unique, modular solution.

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The information assets and applications traveling on today's networks are the lifeblood of the modern enterprise. As businesses continue to optimise their processes and streamline their operations for improved profitability and competitiveness, their networks become increasingly more complex and interconnected. Now, as businesses depend on these networks as mission-critical infrastructure, the security and reliability challenges businesses face continue to grow.

Examples of threats to today's business networks include:

Solution - Cisco Firewalls

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition enables businesses to securely deploy mission-critical applications and networks in a highly reliable manner, while providing significant investment protection and lower operational costs through its unique, modular design. Businesses can protect their networks from unauthorized access using the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition's robust policy enforcement services. These services combine with market-leading VPN services to enable businesses to securely extend their networks across low-cost Internet connections to business partners, remote sites, and mobile workers. This flexible solution can adapt as an organization's needs evolve along with the ever-changing security threat landscape, giving businesses the ability to easily integrate market-leading intrusion prevention, antivirus, antispam, antispyware, URL filtering, and other advanced content security services for additional layers of protection. Combined with Cisco management and monitoring application solutions, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition provides world-class security with lower operational costs.

Capabilities of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition include:

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Cisco Systems: Business Benefits

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition provides the security and connectivity services that helps your business with:

cisco connect Controlled access to corporate resources-Prevents unauthorized access to applications or information assets by providing businesses with fine-grain identity- or network-based access control. Integrates with popular user authentication services such as Microsoft Active Directory, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Kerberos, and RSA SecurID.

cisco firewalls Secure deployment of new applications-Enables businesses to safely deploy new applications by providing advanced application-layer security services for a wide range of popular applications, including Web-based applications, e-mail, voice over IP (VoIP), video, and multimedia applications. Hides corporate network addresses from the Internet for an additional layer of protection from attack.

cisco systems Secure remote access to corporate network-Provides both SSL- and IPSec-based methods of threat-protected VPN connectivity to remote sites, business partners, and mobile workers.

cisco firewalls Business resiliency-Prevents disruption of mission-critical applications and services due to security breaches by implementing world-class firewall, VPN, and networking technologies.

Cisco Firewalls: Architecture

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition is the focal point of a complete solution for secure network access. Tight integration with Cisco management and monitoring systems enables organizations to deploy and maintain a security solution that protects mission-critical applications and information assets (Figure 1).

Cisco Systems: Primary Components

Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition Provides a wide range of security and networking services at locations across the enterprise.

Cisco Firewall Management

Cisco Security Manager provides an enterprise-grade management infrastructure for large-scale deployments of Cisco security technologies.

Cisco Connect Monitoring

Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis, and Response System (Cisco Security MARS) provides real-time monitoring and incident response capabilities, enabling businesses to get the most value from the security and networking services of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition.

Figure 1. Solution Architecture

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Cisco Firewalls: Complementary Solutions

The Cisco® ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance is a modular platform that provides the next generation of security and VPN services for small and medium-sized business and enterprise applications. The comprehensive portfolio of services within the Cisco ASA 5500 Series enables customization for location-specific needs through its four tailored package product editions: the Firewall, VPN, IPS, and Content Security Editions.

These packages enable superior protection by providing the right services for the right location. At the same time, they enable standardization on the Cisco ASA 5500 Series platform to reduce costs in management, training, and sparing. Finally, each Edition simplifies design and deployment by providing pre-packaged location-specific security solutions.

Figure 2. Complementary Solutions

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