Likelihood to Recommend
When we are asked by local partners which security equipment we use we always recommend our Cisco security products. The Firepower firewall is no exception and we can easily recommend this to others who need a fast, secure, and well built system that integrates well with all your existing hardware and software.
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Any scenario where a dedicated firewall administrator is on staff and a secure firewall solution that requires high availability is needed will be a good solution for the McAfee Firewall Enterprise product. The McAfee Firewall Enterprise however comes with some of its own parlance that is different from other vendors and does require some comfort on the administrators side when it comes to working in the command line. Added knowledge of protocols and how they interact is a must for any firewall admin but particularly for the McAfee Firewall Enterprise product due to its flexible nature. If the environment is to be mostly hands off where a very limited rule set is to be configured and not likely to change often, I would defer to a different product
Read full review Pros Policy management in the GUI. I'm old-school, and still create ACLs in the CLI, but using the GUI for this is very nice. Event monitoring and reporting is great, and you can get very granular when it comes to what information you are viewing. I really like the troubleshooting features that are built in, especially the packet tracer and the ability to generate and download a troubleshooting package to review or send to TAC. Read full review Based on the SecureComputing Sidewinder firewalls, the McAfee Firewall Enterprise does similar backend containerization of each service which provides for added security in the unlikely event of failures or breeches. Tie in reporting services (if used by the admin) provide very granular details on rules accessed and the firewalls response to the requests. Configurable options are plentiful. Unbound DNS can be configured on each "burb" (SecureComputing/McAfee parlance for interface), similar options for sendmail while rulesets can be configured at the application level down to simple IP-filter making options for enhancing security as well as troubleshooting equally as useful. Full control over shell for scripting and/or scheduling (cron) purposes. Solid HA and patching architecture. Support was always helpful, knowledgeable and insightful (especially the staff that migrated from SecureComputing). Read full review Cons When deployed as Firepower Threat Defense, configurations cannot be made within the device itself. Troubleshooting can be difficult if the Cisco Firepower 4100 Series firewall is managed by the Cisco Firepower Management Center. There are two operating systems in Cisco Firepower 4100 Series, firmware upgrade process will take a long time. Read full review For an application-layer firewall the applications supported (at the time I managed them) were too few and would need to be expanded and the application ruleset needed to be expanded as well. The remote access VPN client configuration was overly complex for the average user and would need to be supplemented with a configuration file that had already been generated. Other solutions from CheckPoint or Cisco ASA are not as complex for end user remote access. Enhancing the GUI with a builtin "packet capture" feature would be useful for administrators not familiar with tcpdump. Read full review Alternatives Considered
As I mentioned before, the Fortigates have better failover. I think the Cisco interface is easier to use that that of the
. My only criticism would be that with multiple CLIs, it can get a bit confusing when you are trying to configure something or troubleshoot from the CLI.
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Compared to other firewalls I've managed (Palo Alto, Cisco ASA & CheckPoint) I would say that McAfee Firewall Enterprise was probably at the time not the leader in its field however it is a product that proved its reliability and flexibility over the other vendors. The addition of many new features usually comes as a detriment to some other area (restricted CLI, decreased logging etc.). In my experience this product gave the flexibility and options that the organization needed.
Read full review Return on Investment Positive impact would be our increased security network wide. Another positive would be the increased processing power, saving us time and [from] needing more equipment. A negative impact would be the increased need for having to learn a new interface. Read full review In its highly available configuration the impact on any business objective has been positive given the fact that any downtime of the firewall would negatively impact all business objectives. Read full review ScreenShots