Are you interested in the Web filtering, Malware/File filtering, and IDS (Intrusion Detection System) that comes with the new ASA Firepower firewalls?  Cisco’s new FirePOWER ASA’s (ASA 5506-X, ASA 5512-X, ASA 5515-X, etc.) have all of this capability of web filtering through layer 7; which is the “Next Generation” Firewalls (See

The content filtering (Malware/Web/IDS) for certain models (like the ASA 5506-X) can be configured through the ASDM (Adaptive Security Device Manager). However most of the other units require either a hardware appliance or a software appliance running as a Virtual Machine or VM, called FireSIGHT, to manage the filtering on the Firewalls. Plus the limited ASDM management doesn’t include all of the fantastic reporting capabilities that the VM (or hardware appliance) provides.

Some of the features included in the Cisco ASA FirePOWER filtering:

  • The Web/URL filtering is quite advanced.  You can configure filtering by Active Directory user or group and filter 280 million URL’s by 80+ categories, by risk, and by business relevance.
  • You can configure application filtering for 1200+ applications by name, risk, or business relevance for software/websites such as Facebook, Pandora, etc.
  • You can configure Malware filtering to block viruses coming from websites or downloads.
  • You can configure file type blocking to block certain extensions from entering your network (such as .exe’s or .mp3’s).
  • You can configure Intrusion Prevention on access to your network to block malicious intents to compromise your systems.

These capabilities are very impressive.  And not only can you do the above filtering, the reporting is very extensive allowing you to do reporting on sites/users/malware/IDS – even reporting site by site what a user visits on the web.

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