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Fortinet vs Cisco - What’s the Difference?

The cornerstone of every organization's network security is a firewall. The function of a firewall is to establish a secure barrier between networks and to inspect all traffic, internal and external. Among security companies, Cisco and Fortinet are the two most dominant. Here is all the information you require regarding Fortinet vs Cisco.

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Through application security, network access control, internal use management, and other factors, network security is growing more and more crucial every day. Since your firewalls are the first point of entry between your internal and external networks, you must have the best infrastructure possible.

Every organization's network security is built on a firewall. A firewall's duties include establishing a secure barrier between networks and inspecting all traffic, internal and external.

Among security companies, Cisco and Fortinet are the two most dominant. Both companies sell goods with various qualities. They both have a lot of the same qualities and are well-known but to different degrees. To determine which choice is ideal for you, we'll consider these personality variations.

Table of Content - Fortinet vs Cisco

What is Fortinet FortiGate?

➤ Features of Fortinet FortiGate

➤ What is Cisco Firepower?

➤ Features of Cisco Firepower

➤ Pros and Cons of Fortinet FortiGate vs Cisco Firepower

➤ Fortinet vs Cisco- Comparison

➤ FAQs 

What is Fortinet FortiGate?

Most people think of firewalls when they think of Fortinet. Security is how Fortinet made its name in the IT sector. But Fortinet is much more than just a firewall. A security ecosystem is Fortinet. 

Although Fortinet sells each of its products separately, they want to show how well-integrated an ecosystem its security solutions provider is. The fact that Fortinet's next-generation firewall debuted nearly at the same time as its wireless solutions is not a coincidence.

The leading provider of IT cybersecurity, Fortinet, offers organizations of all sizes the best threat defense with its next-generation firewall, FortiGate. A FortiGate firewall offers unrivaled performance and protection while streamlining your network thanks to purpose-built security processors and threat intelligence from FortiGuard.

What is Fortinet FortiGate

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Features of Fortinet FortiGate

The fact that FortiGate may be utilized both on-premises and in the cloud is one of its strongest features. It's a platform that is incredibly stable, consistent, and reliable. The entire network can be managed from a single interface. As a result, you won't need to move between them as frequently as with some other alternatives. 

Firewalls built with FortiGate already have access point controller capabilities built in. As a result, no additional equipment is needed. The built-in web filtering features of FortiGate are superb, and the VPN is a very helpful addition. A site-to-site VPN is similarly easy to set up.

FortiGate is a great option for remote workers, to sum up. Furthermore, the FortiGate system's overall dependability and stability are aided by the antivirus and IPS intrusion prevention systems.

What is Cisco Firepower?

The majority of next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) place little emphasis on threat defense capabilities and instead concentrate substantially on allowing application control. Some NGFWs attempt to make up for this by adding a number of non-integrated add-on solutions to their first-generation intrusion protection.

This strategy, however, provides little to safeguard your company from the dangers posed by knowledgeable attackers and cutting-edge malware. Furthermore, if you do contract an illness, they provide little support for swiftly diagnosing, containing, and curing it.

An integrated, threat-focused next-generation firewall is what you require. One that offers strong security against the risks posed by evasive and sophisticated malware attacks in addition to granular application management.

The first fully integrated, threat-focused NGFW in the market is the Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall. From the network to the endpoint, it provides complete, unified policy management of firewall features,  threat prevention, application control, and advanced malware protection.

It can be used to deploy an optimized NGFW security platform for other high-performance scenarios and Internet edge on Cisco Firepower 1000 Series, 2100 Series, 4100 Series, and 9300 appliances.

What is Cisco FirePower

Features of Cisco Firepower

The fact that FortiGate may be utilized both on-premises and in the cloud is one of its strongest features. It's a platform that is incredibly stable, consistent, and reliable. The entire network can be managed from a single interface. As a result, you won't need to move between them as frequently as with some other alternatives.

Firewalls built with FortiGate already have access point controller capabilities built in. As a result, no additional equipment is needed. The built-in web filtering on FortiGate is amazing, and the VPN is a really practical function. A site-to-site VPN is similarly easy to set up.

FortiGate is a great option for remote workers, to sum up. Furthermore, the FortiGate system's overall dependability and stability are aided by the antivirus and IPS intrusion prevention systems.

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Pros and Cons of Fortinet FortiGate vs Cisco Firepower

  • Pros and Cons of Fortinet FortiGate

Pros:

  1. We take joy in the solution's simplicity of setup.
  2. You don't have to customize them if you don't want to because there are excellent templates available. Although you do have the opportunity to custom construct some folders and reports, you really don't need to because they already provide you with a tonne of predefined views of reports and other things.
  3. Web and URL filtering on FortiGate is unique compared to other firewalls 

Due to the fact that everything is encrypted and firewalls are unable to circumvent the encryption protocol, URL filtering capabilities in those solutions is troublesome. Since Fortinet uses an SSL proxy, the packet is already encrypted before it leaves FortiGate. Undoubtedly one of the most useful tools is the URL filter.

Cons:

  1. The major "gotcha" is that it's more difficult to manage if you have more than one firewall if the client purchases what they refer to as the UTM shared bundle, which features unified threat management on both.
  2. Reporting and monitoring could be improved.
Related Article: Fortinet Interview Questions & Answers
  • Pros and Cons of  Cisco Firepower

Pros:

  1. Unified Event Viewer, a feature that functions like a "live log," is one of Firepower 7.0's most useful features.
  2. Talos, the largest intelligence security intelligence group outside of the government, provides us with the Security Intelligence Feeds, which are updated hourly.
  3. The ability to thoroughly diagnose Cisco Firepower Firewalls is the most crucial feature. When traffic is not handled properly, you can examine it at the bit level to determine why, and most of the time the problem is with the networking rather than the firewall. Without Cisco TAC assistance, you can solve any issue because you can look very closely beneath the hood to see how traffic is moving and whether it is moving as it should be. I have never observed that with other brands.
  4. In the field of security technology, it is one of the quickest solutions, if not the quickest. This provides us peace of mind since we know that as soon as a new attack goes online, we will quickly be protected. From that angle, Firepower is now the best by a wide margin and is extremely important to us in terms of a forthcoming new assault prevention strategy.
  5. The intrusion prevention engine and the visibility and management of the application are the most crucial elements. Additionally useful is Firepower's Snort function.

Cons:

  1. The time it takes to deploy a change can always be shortened. It's longer than some of its rivals even at 50 seconds.
  2. For capabilities that Firepower does not yet natively integrate, FlexConfig serves as a bridge. Until the development team can incorporate them into Firepower's core functionality, it gives you the flexibility to configure things that would otherwise be impossible. Around FlexConfig, there is still more work to be done. FlexConfig still needs to handle a lot of sophisticated tasks, such as policy-based routing, and it isn't always reliable. There are occasionally some errors. You should use Cisco TAC to configure FlexConfig policies. It would be beneficial if Cisco accelerated the platform's adoption of some of the configurations that are currently only possible in FlexConfig.
  3. Some obsolete ASA firewall codes are missing from the Firepower FTD code. It's a little matter. But critical components are no longer lacking from Firepower software.
  4. The equipment itself only has a little amount of data storage. Therefore, in order for you to store it, you must ship it to another location. The only thing to take into account is basically the appliance's and machine's limited storage. In order to acquire better controls and manipulation over the data to produce more metrics and visibility, think about logging it somewhere else or pushing it out to a SIEM.
  5. The Firepower VPN component might be improved. VPNs need to be watched over more. It's not that good right now. A VPN can be set up with Firepower, but it cannot be watched over.

Fortinet vs Cisco- Comparison

The main distinction between Fortinet and Cisco Firepower is that Next-generation firewalls from Fortinet offer scalable performance and can handle current trends and threats. Cisco Firepower offers consistent security policies, visibility, and a customizable approach. Here are a few of the key distinctions between Fortinet and Cisco Firepower, according to various criteria:

  Cisco Firepower Fortinet FortiGate
Features The most valuable aspects of Cisco firepower are AMP and next-generation technologies like intrusion defense and application awareness. One of the most important advantages of Fortinet is its simplicity of integration into bigger networks and support for advanced routing protocols including PBR, RIP, OSPF, and BGP.
Pros Both inactive and active users are tracked using a straightforward user interface. It offers excellent visibility and makes networked device communication easier. Virtual firewalls, the capacity to recognize zero-day vulnerabilities, SSL-VPNs, and VDOMs are all part of it (Virtual Domains)
Cons Performance and recovery can be improved because it has a significant impact on the CPU and lengthy downtime. Field processing is used for content validation, which causes a network delay. There is no Zero Trust solution or CASB, and the user interface is confusing and difficult to understand.

Conclusion

The two most well-known and commonly used security companies in the world are Cisco and Fortinet. Both businesses provide a wide range of techniques, features, and solutions in their products. The majority of custom rules are supported by Fortinet, which is more advanced and user-friendly, in contrast to Cisco Firepower, which accepts custom rules but is not user-friendly. Keep in mind that there are two excellent choices here, each with unique benefits. The phrase "Fortinet against Cisco" refers to a comparison rather than a matchup. Depending on your actual needs, you should select your choice.

FAQs Regarding the Difference Between Fortinet and Cisco

1. Is Fortinet better than Cisco?

Ans: The winner is Fortinet Fortigate. It is a more desired option than Cisco ASA Firewall due to its simplicity of deployment, strong feature set, and good service and support ratings.

2. Why is Fortinet so good?

Ans: For end-to-end protection across the corporate network, FortiGate's next-generation firewalls offer excellent performance, comprehensive security, and deep visibility. Its security processors (SPUs) are specifically designed to provide scalable performance and minimal latency.

3. What makes Fortinet unique?

Ans: The only business that can excel at each crucial level of network security is Fortinet. Although almost every security company claims to be able to identify risks, fewer than 50 have created technology that can effectively provide prevention and correction.

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Last updated: 18 November 2022
About Author
Madhuri Yerukala

Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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