Applications and remote environments give rise to the need for flexible and agile security. A virtual firewall is a network security solution designed for cloud environments or where deploying hardware firewalls is either difficult or costly, or both. This can include delivering firewall security to public and private cloud architectures or software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN).
Virtual firewalls allow or deny network access to traffic flows between trusted and untrusted zones like traditional hardware firewalls. However, since they are deployed via software, virtual firewalls are perfect for securing virtual environments such as hybrid and multicloud architectures. Their agility and ease of deployment make virtual firewalls a critical foundation to any IT security strategy, as increasing numbers of remote workers require secure access to corporate resources including enforcing Layer 7 application policies. However, not all security platforms properly address the distributed nature and complexity of hybrid and multicloud environments. To implement a successful security strategy, it is essential to achieve end-to-end policy control and visibility from an organization’s core location to the edge.
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Cisco and Equinix bring consistent firewall security from the core to the edge
Cisco and Equinix have joined forces to deliver end-to-end firewall security from the digital core to the digital edge via Network Edge services in 24+ Equinix global locations. Network Edge is optimized for the instant deployment and interconnection of virtual networking functions (VNF) devices, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), firewalls, and routers, in addition to accessing private and public clouds through the Equinix Fabric™ portal.
Customers gain new security capabilities when they run Cisco virtual firewalls on Equinix Network Edge. Together, Equinix and Cisco are delivering security for the enterprise hybrid, multicloud and unified communication infrastructures that global businesses need via two Cisco Secure Firewall solutions running on Network Edge from Equinix:
- Secure Firewall ASA Virtual (Formerly ASAv) – Established firewall protection at Layers 3 and 4 with scalable options for remote and site-to-site VPN capabilities.
- Secure Firewall Threat Defense Virtual (Formerly FTDv) – Cisco’s next-generation firewall with consistent policy and visibility to simplify security enforcement across hybrid and multicloud environments. It offers stateful firewall inspection, application visibility and control, IPS, URL filtering and malware defense.
Benefits of Securing at the Cloud Edge
According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 5, digital leaders are expanding both digital core and edge locations to deploy modern digital infrastructure. Today’s core deployments include corporate network, multicloud and regional back-end data infrastructure locations.
An organization’s data is processed at the network’s periphery (or edge), as close to the originating source and cloud services as possible for performance and data protection and privacy compliance. The edge allows you to immediately respond to real-time data, which doesn’t happen in a traditional corporate environment that backhauls data to a centralized data center. Increased latency creates lag time, preventing immediate data analysis, proving that the right location for data and its security matters. Firewall security at the edge can stop cyberattacks from getting deep into an enterprise’s core network and systems.
Hybrid and multicloud architecture is driving virtual firewall adoption
Localizing cybersecurity, data sovereignty and latency-sensitive digital workloads in locations proximate to employees, partners, customers and intelligent business operations delivers the greatest application and data performance and security. Virtualization also allows organizations to consume security services in an “on demand” fashion. Instead of firewalls comprised of boxes and rack and stack configurations, running virtual Cisco Secure Firewalls on Network Edge will enable you to speed up security deployments across strategic locations.
The following common use cases demonstrate how customers would use Cisco Secure Firewall on Network Edge to expedite more agile policy-based security control and management:
- Case 1: Protecting the network perimeter (north-south)
- Case 2: Protecting lateral movement (east-west)
- Case 3: Securing a hybrid and remote workforce (multicloud connectivity with centralized security model)
- Case 4: Securing hybrid and multicloud environments (multicloud connectivity)
Cisco Secure Firewall on Network Edge delivers multiple security advantages
There are several advantages to having Cisco Secure Firewall on Network Edge to protect your enterprise, which include:
- Near real-time deployment in 24+ edge locations, globally, via the Equinix Fabric portal or automation via Equinix APIs.
- Locally protecting your hybrid and multicloud environments with a central security policy model by:
- Simplifying security management with the convenience of consistent security policies and flexible deployment across private and public cloud environments globally on Platform Equinix®.
- Harmonizing network security, application visibility and control across hybrid and multicloud environments
- Better threat defense through intrusion prevention system (IPS), and malware protection with greater agility and speed.
- Securing work from anywhere by:
- Connecting with Network Edge to rapidly deploy Cisco Secure Firewall VPN services around the globe.
- Spinning up Cisco Secure Firewall on Network Edge across multiple environments (core and edge), with the flexibility to add bandwidth as needed for increasing traffic patterns.
- Maintaining visibility at Layer 7 for cloud flows.
Cisco and Equinix understand customer environments are unique. To make sure, your deployment requirements are met, you have the option to customize Cisco Secure Firewall deployments on Equinix Metal™.
Learn more about Network Edge and Cisco Secure Firewall.
You may also be interested to read:
Cisco Blog: Simplify Security at the Virtual Edge with Cisco Secure Firewall and Equinix