The information assets and applications traveling on today’s networks are the lifeblood of the modern enterprise. As businesses continue to optimize 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:
- Unauthorized network or information access-As businesses increase internal network connectivity and collaboration with new customers and business partners, they need to effectively maintain control of their vital assets to preserve their competitive edge and limit corporate liability. New applications can increase business automation and collaboration, but can also open dangerous security holes, if not secured properly.
- Decreased employee productivity and wasted bandwidth-Businesses need to effectively control the use of applications, such as peer-to-peer file sharing and instant messaging, which plague many unsuspecting businesses, to improve employee productivity and reduce the costs associated with Internet connectivity.
- Unplanned network downtime-Businesses need highly reliable networks that help ensure continuous operations for maximum productivity, including support for planned and unplanned maintenance upgrades. These networks must be able to defend against threats such as Internet-based denial of service attacks or internal sabotage from disgruntled employees or contractors.
Capabilities of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition include:
- Most trusted and deployed firewall technology-Building upon the market-proven capabilities of the Cisco PIX® Family of security appliances, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series provides a wide range of services to secure modern network environments. Flexible policy capabilities prevent unauthorized access to network resources or vital corporate information. Advanced application control capabilities help businesses effectively control the use of peer-to-peer file sharing, instant messaging, and other non-corporate applications-thus improving employee productivity and reducing wasted Internet bandwidth.
- Threat-protected VPN-Building upon the market-proven VPN capabilities of the Cisco VPN 3000 Series Concentrator, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition provides secure site-to-site and remote-user access to corporate networks and services. This solution offers businesses maximum flexibility for secure connectivity by combining support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and IP Security (IPsec) VPN capabilities into a single, best-in-class solution. Using the services offered by the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition, businesses can enforce identity-based security and networking policies to all network traffic, thus enabling businesses to tailor-fit access privileges for every group of employees, contractors, and business partners.
- Adaptive design provides superior investment protection and extensibility to address future threats-The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition can adapt as businesses needs change through its unique, modular design. Businesses can easily expand the number of security services offered by adding a high-performance, purpose-built Cisco ASA 5500 Series security services module, such as the Advanced Inspection and Prevention Security Services Module (AIP SSM) for advanced intrusion prevention services, or the Content Security and Control Security Services Module (CSC SSM) for advanced antivirus, antispam, and other content security services.
- Intelligent network integration and enterprise-class resiliency-Building on more than 20 years of Cisco networking leadership and innovation, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition delivers a wide range of intelligent networking services for seamless integration into today’s diverse network environments. Businesses can maximize network uptime and throughput by taking advantage of the many resiliency and scalability services this solution has to offer, such Active/Active high availability, “zero-downtime software upgrades,” and integrated VPN clustering and load balancing.
- Easy deployment and management-The Cisco management and monitoring suite enables large-scale deployment and operation of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Firewall Edition. Cisco provides a complete solution, covering management and monitoring. Also included with the solution is Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), which provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use browser-based management and monitoring interface for individual security appliances.