30th May 05

Cisco Unveils New Multi-Function Appliance Family for Adaptive Threat Defense

New ASA 5500 Series delivers converged market-proven security technologies to help protect organizations of all sizes

New Delhi, May 30, 2005 - Cisco, today announced the availability of the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5500 Series, an innovative family of multi-function security appliances that help stop attacks before they spread through the network.

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series controls network and application traffic, delivers flexible Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity, and reduces the overall deployment, operations costs and complexity that would otherwise be associated with this level of comprehensive security. A key component of the recently announced Adaptive Threat Defense phase of the Cisco Self-Defending Network (SDN) security strategy, the Cisco ASA 5500 Series includes the Cisco ASA 5510, Cisco ASA 5520, and Cisco ASA 5540 products. This appliance family is designed to span from small and medium sized businesses to large enterprises, and is purpose built for concurrent services scalability and unified management. This enables high-performance and simultaneous operation of multiple security services without added operational complexity.

These new solutions build upon the depth and breadth of security features found in the market-leading PIX Security Appliance, IPS 4200 Series, and VPN 3000 Concentrator product families. The ASA 5500 Series also offers a powerful set of VPN services that offer remote access IPSec and SSL VPN capabilities as well as Quality of Service (QoS) enabled site-to-site IPSec services. These products are also rich in IP integration, and are designed to deliver QoS, routing, IPv6, and multicast support thus allowing insertion into the network without disrupting legitimate traffic and applications.

"The traditional deployment of security services results in product "silos" and forces organizations to trade-off between operational efficiency and holistic security," said Joel Conover, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Infrastructure at Current Analysis."The integration of multiple technologies in the ASA 5500 solves the problem of multi-device security management, and makes it operationally and economically feasible to deploy comprehensive security services to more network locations."

Cisco ASA 5500 Series Delivers on Adaptive Threat Defense

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series delivers advanced adaptive threat defense services including Anti-X defenses, Application security, and Network containment and control that are designed to provide unified and thorough protection of business-critical resources. It provides customers with network-based Anti-X defenses for worm and virus mitigation, spyware/adware protection, network traffic micro-inspection, hacker and intrusion prevention, and Denial of Service (DoS) prevention, all with on-device security event correlation.

The Application security services available on the Cisco ASA 5500 series provide advanced application inspection and control for dynamic and reliable protection of networked business applications. These services include control of bandwidth-intensive peer-to-peer services (P2P) such as Kazaa and Instant Messaging (IM), Web URL access controls, protection and integrity validation of core business applications like database services, and numerous application-specific protections for Voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia services.

The Cisco ASA 5500 Series also offers Network containment and control services that provide precise control and segmentation of users, application access and network traffic flows. These include Layer 2-4 stateful inspection firewall capabilities let customers track the state of all network communications and help prevent unauthorized network access. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series also includes virtualization services that enable network segmentation and services scalability.

Advanced VPN Access Protection
The ASA 5500 Series provides a rich set of VPN IPSec and SSL services that integrate with the adaptive threat defense technologies detailed above to help ensure the VPN connection does not become a conduit for threats such as worms, viruses and hackers. The convergence of IPSec and SSL-VPN within the Cisco ASA 5500 Series makes it highly adaptable to any VPN deployment scenario including site-to-site, managed desktop, full or limited corporate network access, and partner or extranet access. Customers can extend highly secure remote access to any user from any location from a single device and management infrastructure. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series also integrates with existing Cisco VPN3000 concentrator clusters which enable customers to utilize their existing VPN investments while deploying the most advanced VPN and security services available.

Unified Platform Extends Functionality and Delivers Significant Cost Savings
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series delivers many economic and operational efficiencies to customers security deployments. These include services extensibility delivered through software and hardware modules, platform standardization across multiple locations, simplified operations through a common management and monitoring service across many security services and simplified troubleshooting and fault isolation. Its services profile enables site and function-specific customization, which enables customers to standardize on the Cisco ASA 5500 Series for many security uses within their network that would typically require multiple disparate platforms and management frameworks. This adaptive "single device, many services" approach reduces the number of platforms that must be deployed and managed while offering a common operating and management environment across all those deployments. This approach simplifies configuration, monitoring, troubleshooting, and security staff training.

Many of the unified management services available on the Cisco ASA 5500 are delivered through the Adaptive Security Device Manager which offers single device management and Cisco Security Management Suite for multi-device management.The Adaptive Security Device Manager is an integrated, web-based device manager offering configuration to all security and VPN device services. It also provides integrated device status and service monitoring and reporting and is suitable for smaller deployments of up to 10 devices.

The Cisco Management Security Suite is geared towards larger deployments and offers sophisticated policy-based multi-service, multi-function, and multi-site management. It supports hybrid platform environments that may have a mixture of appliances, routers and switches, and also offers multi-user or department update control and auditing capabilities. Together these management capabilities offer customers a sophisticated set of administrative tools for single and multi-device management of converged security services.

Comprehensive Lifecycle Security Services
Customers choosing the Cisco ASA 5500 Series, as well as any Cisco security product offering, can take advantage of the Cisco Incident Readiness and Response Services which assess the current state of threat preparedness, and design processes and procedures to detect, contain and minimize network attacks. Cisco is also announcing MySDN, a free web resource that is scheduled to be available in late May, that will provide intelligence on vulnerabilities, breaking threats, signatures and mitigation strategies. As part of the Cisco lifecycle portfolio of security services, these new services, in conjunction with Cisco's portfolio of security products, provide a system-level approach to securing the network.

Pricing and availability
The Cisco ASA 5500 Series, including the ASA 5510, ASA 5520, and ASA 5540 are all scheduled to be available in May at the following list prices:

Model Concurrent Performance List Price Availability
Cisco ASA 5510 Up to 300Mbps Starting at $3495 May 2005
Cisco ASA 5520 Up to 450Mbps Starting at $7995 May 2005
Cisco ASA 5540 Up to 650Mbps Starting at $16,995 May 2005

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, this year celebrates 20 years of commitment to technology innovation, industry leadership, and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

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