Tech Corner

Firepower Vs. FortiGate – Building an Integrated Security Solution

For over the last thirty years, the firewall has been the foundation of an organization’s network security strategy. It was designed based on the concept that internal traffic and users were inherently trustworthy, and outside traffic was not, thus building a trust boundary – or perimeter – between networks. This leaves us with the question, "Which OEM has the better boundary to be configured more trustworthy?" Today, we go back to a comparison of industry leaders, Fortinet and Cisco. We dive deeper into the specifics of how each can impact your security ecosystem.

Conventional firewalls have been around for decades and are a regular security product in use by most organizations. But as the threat landscape has developed, so too has firewall technology. As a result, a next-generation firewall (NGFW) goes beyond a traditional firewall’s port/protocol inspection and blocking techniques to add complete application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and threat intelligence from sources outside the firewall.

This article will review the Fortinet Fortigate and Cisco Firepower firewall to show you why they are top of their class and worthy of being called next-generation.

A Highly Integrated Solution

The Cisco NGFW portfolio is optimized for today’s threat landscape, delivering world-class security controls supported by industry-leading threat intelligence, with consistent security policies and visibility. Cisco’s NGFW portfolio gives that flexible approach, enabling organizations to provide continuous visibility and control to their data centers, branch offices, cloud environments, and everything in between.

Feeding this container is Cisco Talos, an industry-leading threat intelligence research and analysis organization. Talos protects Cisco customers by finding new malware domains, malicious URLs, and unknown or undisclosed vulnerabilities and writing rules to help mitigate them.

Furthermore, integration with additional Cisco solutions gives you a comprehensive portfolio of security products, all working mutually to correlate earlier disconnected events, eliminate noise, and stop threats faster.

Here is a comparison chart of various Cisco Firepower models ranging from the 1000 Series to the 9300 Series:

Cisco Firepower firewall series type and feature sets

Cisco Firepower Firewall Key Benefits

Cisco Firepower firewall includes the below key features to secure any organization:

  • Stop More Threats: Including known and unknown malware with the leading Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and sandboxing. 
  • Prioritize Threats: Get better visibility into your environment with Cisco Firepower’s next-generation intrusion prevention system (NGIPS). Automatic risk rankings and impact flags identify priorities for your team. 
  • Detect Earlier, Act Faster: The Cisco Talos is an industry-leading threat intelligence research and analysis organization that powers the Cisco NGFW portfolio. Talos protects Cisco customers by discovering new malicious URLs, malware domains, and unknown or undisclosed vulnerabilities and rewriting rules to help mitigate them. These rules are also combined into the integrated SNORT IPS of Cisco NGFW to provide enhanced security against even the most advanced threats and help comply with regulatory requirements. As a result, obtain granular visibility of your infrastructure and immediately recognize and remediate vulnerabilities.
  • Maintain Consistent Policies: With the Cisco NGFW, you get a more robust security posture, furnished with future-ready, flexible management and administration. In addition, Cisco allows a variety of management options tailored to match your environment and business requirements, including Firepower Device Manager (FDM), Cisco Firepower Management Center (FMC), and Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO).
  • Reduce Complexity: Get automated threat correlation over tightly unified security functions, including application firewalling, advanced malware protection (AMP), and next-gen intrusion prevention systems (NGIPS). 


Hardware Options For You

It's important to compare firewalls like the Firepower and FortiGate devices. Here at PivIT, we know the importance doesn't stop with the device itself. It stretches to what is available today, financing options, and more. We make it easy for you to find the hardware to build your network on your terms.

Explore Hardware Options



A Scalable Performance Solution

Fortinet delivers the FortiGate series of enterprise next-generation firewalls for the data center and the branch to meet today’s requirements. The FortiGate series gives multiple options for scalable performance to address various use cases powered by FortiOS (operating system). It also provides the most advanced threat intelligence, which quickly evolves your security posture to address the latest threats and trends.

FortiGate is designed for the most demanding levels of performance, purpose-built security processors which also give superior performance and match the needs of the new data center without compromising latency for security. Available with 100 Gbps interfaces and throughput of more than 1 Tbps, the FortiGate also gives a fully redundant architecture to reduce any single point of failure.

FortiGate firewall can handle inspecting the vast amounts of east/west traffic passing between systems without affecting application performance. In addition, the security processors give the power required to address SSL key exchange, IPS signature matching, and Suite B cryptography without a performance penalty.

Fortinet FortiGate Firewall Key Benefits

The FortiGate next-generation firewall is a high-performance network security appliance that combines SSL inspection, intrusion prevention, application and user visibility, and unknown threat detection to the conventional firewall. Below are a few key features of FortiGate: 

  • Application Control: Fortinet owns one of the most prominent application databases to safeguard your business from risky applications and allows you visibility and control of applications running on your network. 
  • Intrusion Prevention: Prevent unwanted attempts to access your network that target vulnerabilities and configuration gaps. It blocks over 10 million intrusion attempts per minute.
  • Advanced Threats: Stop malicious files and payloads flowing into your network with FortiGuard’s leading advanced malware, antivirus, and sandboxing capabilities. It stops over 35,000 malicious files per minute.
  • High Performance: High performance is a critical attribute of network security, especially in the era of hyperscale and hyperconnected environments, where conventional network security systems will no longer be able to keep pace, no longer be able to give secure connectivity, and no longer be able to provide user experience needs. Security performance is the standard for organizations operating at the cutting edge of digital innovation; even a millisecond slowdown can have adverse results at this scale.
  • Threat Intelligence: Complicated, targeted attacks represent a significant challenge to securing networks. The best network security solutions will pull in up-to-date threat intelligence to safeguard against exploits, vulnerabilities, zero-days, and known and previously unknown attacks.
  • Visibility: Visibility is one of the single most significant challenges in network security; you cannot manage or control what you cannot see. As digital infrastructure becomes more distributed and companies include combinations of on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure, there is much more potential for blind network security spots. Fortinet firewalls give the most advance and complete visibility of your traffic.
  • Simplicity: Network complexity is not just difficult to manage; it is also a security risk. Complex networks have multiple entryways and more chances to be affected. In addition, the entire attack surface expands to distributed infrastructure and macro-trends such as bringing your own device (BYOD) and Internet of Things (IoT) that create many millions of more links to business networks every year. FortiGate gives centralized network management, using a single-pane-of-glass management console, even for highly distributed environments with many different tools employed. 

Firewall Management Options

Cisco has multiple management and administrative options. Cisco FDM is an on-box management solution for locally managing small-scale deployments. Cisco FMC is an on-premises solution for large deployments to centrally manage security events and policies with rich reporting and local logging. Finally, Cisco CDO is a cloud-based security manager that streamlines security policies and device management across your extended network.

FortiGate can manage via its on-box management options for small deployment. FortiManager is the central management option for FortiGate. Centrally manage thousands of FortiGates, policies, and objects. Both physical and virtual options are available for FortiManager.

Protect Your Network, Make the Switch

Cisco Firepower uses the most advanced Talos threat intelligence for protecting organizations from known or unknown threats and malware. Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) is the unified image that includes NG-IPS, AMP, CTR, SSL/ TLS decryption to make a robust security appliance. FortiGate also has SSL Inspection, IPS, VPN, ATP capability to secure any enterprise. But Cisco Talos has more visibility than FortiGate LAB.

Protect Your Security Hardware With OneCall and EXTEND

With an extensive list of models and several providers, PivIT has a comprehensive portfolio of security hardware solutions—for an average of 65% savings to create CapEx by reducing OpEx.

PivIT also offers OneCall, which gives you top-to-bottom, all-inclusive support of new and legacy firewalls. And with PivIT’s EXTEND, you have certified pros at your disposal for everything from installation to troubleshooting and beyond.

With an extensive network of OEMs, PivIT has many security hardware solutions—both new and legacy—for virtually any situation. PivIT provides firewalls to a wide swath of internet giants, household names, and much of the unseen infrastructure that makes people’s lives easier.

Our team is dedicated to meeting your security needs from external threats to VPN support, network monitoring to IP mapping, and putting various firewalls from separate OEMs next to each other for a direct comparison. So when it comes down to the perfect mix of your budget, network security requirements, intrusion prevention, enhanced visibility, and access to hands-off support, PivIT is here so you can reach your goals and your data safe.

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