A key component of the Cisco Secure Borderless Network, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances deliver superior scalability, a broad span of technology and solutions, and effective, always-on security designed to meet the needs of a wide array of deployments. By integrating the world’s most proven firewall; a comprehensive, highly effective intrusion prevention system (IPS) with Cisco Global Correlation and guaranteed coverage; high- performance VPN and always-on remote access, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series helps organizations provide secure, high performance connectivity and protects critical assets for maximum productivity.
Figure 1. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series helps businesses increase effectiveness and efficiency in protecting their networks and applications while delivering exceptional investment protection through the following elements:
Market-proven security capabilities—The Cisco ASA 5500 Series integrates multiple full-featured, high- performance security services, including application-aware firewall, SSL and IPsec VPN, IPS with Global Correlation and guaranteed coverage, antivirus, antispam, antiphishing, and web filtering services. Combined with real-time reputation technology, these technologies deliver highly effective network- and application-layer security, user-based access control, worm mitigation, malware protection, improved employee productivity, instant messaging and peer-to-peer control, and secure remote user and site connectivity. The only IPS with market leading reputation technology, Cisco IPS with Global Correlation provides twice the efficacy of legacy IPS and includes guaranteed coverage for enhanced peace of mind. Offering seamless client and clientless access for a broad spectrum of desktop and mobile platforms, the Cisco ASA 5585-X delivers always-on secure mobility with integrated web security and IPS for policy enforcement and threat protection
Extensible integrated services architecture—The Cisco ASA 5500 Series offers businesses strong, adaptive protection from the fast-evolving threat environment through its unique combination of hardware and software extensibility and its powerful Modular Policy Framework (MPF). The innovative extensible multiprocessor design and software architecture of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series enables businesses to easily install additional high-performance security services through security services processors (SSPs), security services modules (SSMs) and security services cards (SSCs). This provides businesses with outstanding investment protection, while enabling them to expand the security services profile of their Cisco ASA 5500
Series as their security and performance needs grow. All these services are easily managed through the powerful Cisco Modular Policy Framework, which allows businesses to create highly customized security policies while making it simple to add new security and networking services into their existing policies.
Reduced deployment and operations costs—The Cisco ASA 5500 Series enables standardization on a single platform to reduce the overall operational cost of security. A common environment for configuration
simplifies management and reduces training costs for staff, while the common hardware platform of the series reduces sparing costs. Additional efficiencies are realized by deploying integrated capabilities, obviating the need for the complex designs required to connect standalone solutions.
Comprehensive management interfaces—The graphical Cisco Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM), a comprehensive command line interface (CLI), verbose syslog, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) support round out a rich complement of management options. Multi-unit deployments benefit greatly from Cisco Security Manager, a platform capable of managing distributed deployments of hundreds of devices.
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series includes the Cisco ASA 5505, 5510, 5520, 5540, 5550, 5580, and 5585-X Adaptive Security Appliances—purpose-built, high-performance security solutions that take advantage of Cisco’s expertise in developing industry-leading, award-winning security and VPN solutions. Through the Cisco MPF, the Cisco ASA
5500 Series brings a new level of security and policy control to applications and networks. MPF enables highly customizable, flow-specific security policies that have been tailored to application requirements. The performance and extensibility of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series is enhanced through user-installable SSMs. This adaptable architecture enables businesses to rapidly deploy security services when and where they are needed, such as tailoring inspection techniques to specific application and user needs or adding additional intrusion prevention and content security services such as those delivered by the Adaptive Inspection and Prevention (AIP) and Content Security and Control (CSC) SSMs. Furthermore, the modular hardware architecture of the Cisco ASA 5500 Series, along with the powerful MPF, provides the flexibility to meet future network and security requirements, extending the outstanding investment protection provided by the Cisco ASA 5500 Series and allowing businesses to adapt their network defenses to new threats as they arise.
All Cisco ASA 5500 Series appliances offer both IPsec and SSL/DTLS VPN solutions; Clientless and AnyConnect VPN features are licensed at various price points, on a per seat and per feature basis. By converging SSL and IPsec VPN services with comprehensive threat defense technologies, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series provides highly customizable, granular network access tailored to meet the requirements of diverse deployment environments, while providing advanced endpoint and network-level security.