Face-off: Cisco vs. Fortinet for enterprise firewalls

Firewalls have been on the front lines of network security for 25 years. Over time they’ve evolved beyond simple packet filtering to take on a wider and deeper variety of tasks to block modern threats. Today, two of the top enterprise firewalls are Cisco’s Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) and Fortinet’s Fortigate, according to reviews by users in the IT Central Station community.

One reviewer, a manager of engineering at a retailer, says Cisco’s ASA is “a solid, stable and consistent firewall platform,” but there’s room for improvement when the enterprise needs to manage multiple firewalls from a central point. “Cisco’s answer is Cisco Security Manager (CSM). Unfortunately, this is a suite of applications that is in much need of an overhaul. It is riddled with bugs and lacks the intuitive experience found in competing vendor offerings.”

Users of the Fortinet product say they like the fact that they can create multiple virtual domains – and they like the price. However, they want to see various bug fixes, and better documentation for the command-line interface.

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