What is the Cisco ASA?


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CISCO09-11-17

ASA stands for Adaptive Security Appliance.

In brief, Cisco ASA is a security device that combines firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. It provides proactive threat defense that stops attacks before they spread through the network.

The Cisco ASA family of security devices protects corporate networks of all sizes. It provides users with highly secure access to data - anytime, anywhere, using any device. These devices represent more than 15 years of proven firewall and network security leadership, with more than 1 million security appliances deployed throughout the world.

The Cisco ASA 5500 series is Cisco's follow up of the Cisco PIX 500 series firewall. However, the ASA is not just a pure hardware firewall. In brief, the Cisco ASA is a security device that combines firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. It provides proactive threat defense that stops attacks before they spread through the network.

Features and Capabilities :

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software is the core operating system that powers the Cisco ASA family. It delivers enterprise-class firewall capabilities for ASA devices in an array of form factors - standalone appliances, blades, and virtual. ASA Software also integrates with other critical security technologies to deliver comprehensive solutions that meet continuously evolving security needs.

Among its benefits, Cisco ASA Software:

  • Offers integrated IPS, VPN, and Unified Communications capabilities
  • Helps organizations increase capacity and improve performance through clustering
  • Delivers high availability for high resiliency applications
  • Provides context awareness with Cisco TrustSec security group tags and Identity-Based Firewall
  • Facilitates dynamic routing and site-to-site VPN on a per-context basis

You can get even more security functionality with add-on modules which offer a variety of features. The Cisco ASA firewall has one of the biggest market shares in the hardware firewall appliance market, together with Juniper Netscreen, Checkpoint, SonicWall, WatchGuard etc.

Cisco ASA software supports next-generation encryption standards, including the Suite B set of cryptographic algorithms. It also integrates with Cisco Cloud Web Security to provide web-based threat protection.

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