Cisco Secure Firewall vs. Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco Secure Firewall
Score 7.0 out of 10
N/A
Cisco Secure Firewall (formerly Cisco Firepower NGFW) is a firewall product that integrates with other Cisco security offerings. It provides Advanced Malware protection, including sandboxing environments and DDoS mitigation. Cisco also offers a Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System, which provides security across cloud environments using techniques like internal network segmentation. The firewall can be managed locally, remotely, and via the cloud. The product is scalable to the scope of…N/A
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Score 9.2 out of 10
N/A
Palo Alto next-generation firewalls classify all traffic, including encrypted and internal traffic, based on application, application function, user and content. Users can create security policies to enable only authorized users to run sanctioned applications.N/A
Pricing
Cisco Secure FirewallPalo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco Secure FirewallNext-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Cisco Secure FirewallPalo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Considered Both Products
Cisco Secure Firewall
Chose Cisco Secure Firewall
We use both vendors in our environment, I believe it's positive to go with multi vendor approach. As previously mentioned, the PA has the global find option, which is a big asset when troubleshooting. On the other hand, I feel the FTD's CLI is more intuitive and can help you …
Chose Cisco Secure Firewall
I believe Cisco firewalls are definitely on par with Palo Alto but the latest AI feature releasing in 2024 will certainly surpass all expectations. Fortinet is going to struggle after this and I can say that with certainty given we have removed all our FortiGate firewalls.
Chose Cisco Secure Firewall
Cisco offers a great troubleshooting UI this makes things easier to fix an issue, you can capture traffic from CLI as you did with ASA and through the GUI and read the captures. Easy to deploy and integrate in any architecture.

URL filtering is very rich, you can find multiple …
Chose Cisco Secure Firewall
We found that Cisco compares very favorably to the Palo Alto firewalls, especially with their latest release in the Secure Firewall line. The performance has been phenomenal compared to the earlier Firepower models, which was one of the few advantages I felt Palo Alto still …
Chose Cisco Secure Firewall
Palo Alto has better architecture with their multi cpu concept that increases throughoutput.
Cisco has better features and mostly better integrations outside of their eco system.
Overall the products and features of cisco are slightly better but if cisco would implement the …
Chose Cisco Secure Firewall
Cisco Firepower NGFW is much more user friendly than its competitors and their customer service is top notch. It was a no brainer in choosing a company that has the backing to help provide a great product and service to its customers. Cisco Firepower NGFW is easy to use, easy …
Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Chose Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Palo Alto beats all other current UTM/NGFW at this point in time. Palo Alto has a complete vision and is less buggy/requires less management overhead than other NGFW/UTMs on the market. They are currently developing a lot of products and I can see in the next 5 years, other …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Cisco Secure FirewallPalo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Firewall
Comparison of Firewall features of Product A and Product B
Cisco Secure Firewall
6.2
63 Ratings
31% below category average
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
9.4
21 Ratings
10% above category average
Identification Technologies6.955 Ratings9.921 Ratings
Visualization Tools6.157 Ratings9.021 Ratings
Content Inspection7.357 Ratings9.921 Ratings
Policy-based Controls6.660 Ratings10.021 Ratings
Active Directory and LDAP7.052 Ratings9.920 Ratings
Firewall Management Console5.460 Ratings10.021 Ratings
Reporting and Logging5.661 Ratings7.621 Ratings
VPN6.653 Ratings8.421 Ratings
High Availability5.658 Ratings10.020 Ratings
Stateful Inspection6.557 Ratings10.020 Ratings
Proxy Server4.735 Ratings8.810 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Cisco Secure FirewallPalo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Small Businesses
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Sophos XG Firewall
Sophos XG Firewall
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Firepower 4100 Series
Cisco Firepower 4100 Series
Score 9.2 out of 10
Cisco Firepower 4100 Series
Cisco Firepower 4100 Series
Score 9.2 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco Secure FirewallPalo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Likelihood to Recommend
6.3
(63 ratings)
9.5
(37 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
6.0
(2 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(2 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Availability
9.1
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
5.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
7.0
(20 ratings)
8.4
(9 ratings)
Implementation Rating
7.3
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
5.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco Secure FirewallPalo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls - PA Series
Likelihood to Recommend
Cisco
Sometimes it is really hard to handle. There are so many bugs especially when it comes to ACL or HA creation. Sometimes the Cisco Secure Firewall just needs a restart in order to work but that shouldn't be like that in our environment the Cisco Secure Firewall is the heart of the network and if the Cisco Secure Firewall is down the whole branch is down, for that we need a more reliable product.
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Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto firewall only affords by Large level infrastructure having a budget for Security Prospect. I will recommend it for the Card information industry & Confidential data solutions. Because it provides a bucket of security features that are not easily vulnerable.
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Pros
Cisco
  • How the firewall works well is normally the firewall is protecting the secure network for the internal network to prevent the attack from external network. normally for the ISP customer, we usually filter the firewall polices only for the server farm, server farm because normally in ISP is the customer doesn't want to be filtered. So only for the server farm, they need the firewall for the enterprise like banking and for the DDoS attack, like the malware attack, something like that. And then sometimes it's some customer in ISPalso, they got the many DDoS attack and then they are using the public ip. When there are using the public ip, they need to protect their ip. So they need to use the firewall. So the firewall is essentially needed. many attackers and many, many things, terrible things have been to the network which has large impact..
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Palo Alto Networks
  • The PA handles VPN connectivity without missing a beat. We have multiple VPN tunnels in use for redundancy to cloud-based services.
  • The PA has great functionality in supporting failover internet connections, again with the ability to have multiple paths out to our cloud-based services.
  • The PA is updated on the regular with various security updates, we are not concerned with the firewall's ability to see what packets are really flowing across the network. Being able to see beyond just IP and port requests lets you know things are locked down better than traditional firewalls.
  • It is a great overall kit, with URL filtering and other services that fill in the gaps between other solutions without breaking the bank.
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Cons
Cisco
  • The UI in Cisco Firepower formerly Sourcefire) is complicated and entirely redundant. A lot of these features are not useful, and therefore, it can be removed from the main window.
  • The interface is very slow, with each operation taking a lot of time. Searching through the logs takes too much time.
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Palo Alto Networks
  • Our specific model is a bit slow and outdated and takes up to 10 minutes to commit a configuration change.
  • Nested security rules would be helpful instead of a linear approach. But rule creation in general is very simple.
  • Documentation gives a very straight forward answer to some items but is very vague in others.
  • Support could be a little better. An issue we had a tech was insistent it was the "other guy" and it ended up being the very latest PAN OS upgrade.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
It works really well. We can do most anything we want or need to with it, and you don’t have to have a doctorate or multiple certs to necessarily figure it out. The thing that would probably have to happen to make us switch would be if we just got priced out - Cisco’s more powerful and higher bandwidth models cost a pretty penny.
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Palo Alto Networks
The PA5220s have far exceeded what we have expected out of them. It was a bit of a learning curve coming from another vendor, but everything falls into place now with ease. The capabilities of the solution still surprise us, allowing us to remove other costly hardware and providing a single point of management needed
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Usability
Cisco
Solution is highly effective, offers a lot of features with constant improvements and additions of new features over time. It's relatively easy to get familiar with the system, especially if transitioning from adaptive security appliances. If this is not the case, as for learnability there's a learning curve but once learned it is relatively easy to remember the details about the system even after a period of non-use
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Palo Alto Networks
In my opinion, the Palo Alto Firewall is the simplest firewall in terms of management interfaces; though it has more advanced options that apply to more advanced use cases. Configuring basic features on the firewall is nearly self-explanatory; configuring more advanced features can be met with very thorough vendor documentation.
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Reliability and Availability
Cisco
We have had really good success with Cisco Secure Firewall when it comes to availability. Even when we’ve had temporary issues with one appliance or the other, or with the Firewall Management Center, it has stayed up and defended our network diligently. We even had an issue where the licensing got disabled for multiple days, and it kept spinning like a top
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Palo Alto Networks
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Cisco
Customer service has been great. TAC has been mostly able to identify and fix problems that we may have and have been very responsive. If for some reason something isn't fixed right away, they have been adamant on staying with us and working the issues out before things get escalated up the chain.
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Palo Alto Networks
We've run into a couple undocumented bugs, but that seems to happen with every brand and technology. Any time we've had to engage Palo Alto support they've always been professional, knowledgeable and prompt. In almost all cases we've been able to resolve our issues without having to escalate our tickets.
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Implementation Rating
Cisco
In the beginning transition from Adaptive Security Appliance to Cisco Secure Firewall did not look like the best choice. Solution was new, there were a lot of bugs and unsupported features and the actual execution in the form of configuration via Firepower Management Center was extremely slow. Compare configuring a feature via CLI on ASA in a manner of seconds (copy/paste) to deployment via FMC to Secure Firewall which took approx. 10 mins (no exaggeration). Today, situation is a bit different, overall solution looks much more stable and faster then it was but there's still room for improvement.
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Palo Alto Networks
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Cisco
We use the FMC as a virtual machine, it combines administration, monitoring and can be used perfectly for error analysis. There are restrictions due to administration without the FMC, so we decided on the FMC as the central administration.
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Palo Alto Networks
No one can say any other companies in this time is better than Palo Alto Networks Next-Generatoin Firewalls. Palo Alto offers very advanced features which protect you[r] organization. Advanced malware protection, anti spam, lots of other threats.
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Return on Investment
Cisco
  • Cisco Secure Firewall has provided a single management interface for all of our devices.
  • We have had issues implementing 1010 in HA where a site was using a dynamic IP previously.
  • Lack of DHCP options has slowed deployment to our smaller sites.
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Palo Alto Networks
  • Overall, even though the device is very expensive (both hardware and licensing), the product does produce a decent ROI, given that one (or HA pair) of devices can do so many things, such as anti-virus, anti-malware, URL filtering, SSL decryption, SSL VPN, routing, etc.
  • There will definitely be sticker shock when you're renewal comes up annually (or after 3 years), so be sure to look very carefully at the recurring costs of this product, with respect to licensing and hardware/software maintenance.
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