Difference Between Cisco Firepower and Fortinet (With Table)

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A firewall is the basis of the network security of any organization. The job of any firewall is to build a security boundary between the networks and analyze the internal and external traffic. The two dominant companies in the security domain are Cisco and Fortinet. Both the companies offer different features in their products.

Cisco Firepower vs Fortinet

The main difference between Cisco Firepower and Fortinet is that Cisco Firepower offers consistent security policies and visibility and has a flexible approach while Fortinet offers scalable performance in next-generation firewalls and can address the latest threats and trends.

Cisco firepower provides a good connection in Site-to-Site VPN. It provides a detailed track of all the active and inactive users on the site and helps in understanding the traffic of the site by the analysts. It has higher pricing.

On the other hand, Fortinet is available with a 100+ Gbps interface and over 1 Tbps. It has an affordable pricing rate and is cost-effective. Fortinet has a FortiGate series and can meet the requirements of the present threats. It can address IPS signature matching, SSL key exchange, and Suite B cryptography without any penalty in performance. It has the potential to stop around 35,000 malicious files per minute.

Comparison Table Between Cisco Firepower and Fortinet

Parameters of ComparisonCisco FirepowerFortinet
Founder Martin RoeschKen Xie and Michael Xie
Year of establishment In the year 2001 In the year 2000
FeaturesThe most valuable features in Cisco firepower are AMP, and next-gen features like intrusion protection and application awareness The most valuable features in Fortinet are advanced routings like RIP, PBR, BGP, and OSPF, and easy integration into larger networks
AdvantagesSimple user interface gives detailed track of active as well as inactive users. It has high visibility and easy communication among the connected devices in the networkIt has virtual firewalls, can detect zero-day vulnerabilities, has SSL-VPN and VDOMs (Virtual Domains)
DisadvantagesPerformance and recovery can be improved as it affects the CPU, and the downtime is long. The content checking is done in a field processing manner and that causes a delay in the network Improvement on the restriction of users with allocated quota, the user interface is complex and confusing and it does not have CASB and Zero trust solution

What is Cisco Firepower?

Cisco firepower firewalls have superior protection from threats as it has CSC and IPS. The performance of Cisco firepower is high and can even be scaled to 10+ Gbps. Cisco firepower has easy integration and other new applications can be deployed easily over the layers which are secured. Cisco firepower is user-friendly as the user interface is clean and simple.

The most appreciated features of Cisco firepower are IPS and the malware features. Security features like URL filtering, IPS feature, and inspection is valuable in Cisco firepower firewalls. It acts as a robust firewall in most of the sites. Cisco firepower gives a detailed analysis of unauthorized users. This analysis is useful in tracking and understanding the traffic on the site.

Any piece of hardware can be easily replaced with Cisco firepower without the need of having a network outage. Therefore, the replacement of any equipment and deployment of the configuration can be easily processed. Cisco firepower also has next-gen features like intrusion protection and application awareness, which were not present in the original ASA firewall.

Cisco firepower has powerful integration of ISE and AMP. This helps the devices connected in the network to communicate among themselves. Cisco firepower is reliable and provides efficient protection against all malicious activities, viruses, and websites. The drawback of Cisco firepower is that it affects the CPU and the management tools can be tricky to operate.

What is Fortinet?

Fortinet is an American MNC (Multinational Corporation). The headquarters of the company is in Sunnyvale, California. The main product of Fortinet is FortiGate. The job is to build products and solutions for cybersecurity. The various products of Fortinet are firewalls, anti-virus protection software, messaging security, wireless access points, endpoint security components, sandboxing, and intrusion prevention systems.

Fortinet was founded in the year 2000. The founder of Fortinet is Ken Xie and Michael Xie. There are over 10,000 employees in Fortinet. The first product of Fortinet was a physical firewall. The company has raised over $90 million in funds and it went public in the year 2009. The IPO (Initial Public Offering) of the company was raised around $156 million. The company had raised around $13 million from private funding in the initial years of 2000.

The recent product, Security Fabric Architecture was launched in 2016 which had integration and automation of other security devices and third-party vendors. Fortinet was named Appligation Inc when it was found in the year 2000. Later it was named to ApSecure in December of the same year. And later the company was renamed Fortinet, which was derived from the phrase “Fortified Networks”.

According to market researches, Fortinet holds over 15% of the market if unified threat management. By the end of 2010, the company had over $324 million annual revenues. The FortiGate product is user-friendly and has a good UI. The Fortinet FortiGate firewalls have security processors with a purpose-built and have SSC-encrypted traffic. These features provide the best protection and security against threats.

Main Differences Between Cisco Firepower and Fortinet

  1. Cisco firepower provides advanced routing techniques like IPS, CTR, AMP, SSL/TLS while Fortinet has advanced routing techniques like VPN, ATP, RIP, BGP, OSPF, and PBR.
  2. Cisco firepower provides a clear picture of active as well as inactive users while Fortinet does not have provision for details of users who are active and inactive.
  3. Cisco firepower has a simple and easy user interface while the user interface of Fortinet seems confusing and complex to many users.
  4. Cisco firepower needs improvement in scalability while Fortinet is highly scalable.
  5. Cisco firepower does not support blackhole routes while Fortinet supports blackhole routes through null-interface.

Conclusion

The two most popular and common companies in the security section of any organization are Cisco and Fortinet. Both the companies have series of approaches and features in their products and provide different solutions. Like Cisco firepower supports custom rules but is not user-friendly while Fortinet is advanced, supports most custom rules, and is user-friendly.

The IPv6 is new in Cisco firepower while in Fortinet, it has been enabled for over six years now. Cisco firepower does not allow the entry of duplicates while Fortinet does not provide any warning or restriction on the installation of duplicates. Every product has a different application.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohammed-Faizan-4/publication/333516658_Comparison_between_Cisco_ASA_and_Fortinet_FortiGate/links/5cf1431fa6fdcc8475fb709f/Comparison-between-Cisco-ASA-and-Fortinet-FortiGate.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=Z3qkDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT29&dq=cisco+firepower&ots=RnOKJYpI7V&sig=BE3zD_hND7ZbdUhKsIxtX6pIs70
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