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Technical Analysis of a Threat

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1. Introduction The Cisco 5540 Adaptive Security Appliance ASA is a best-of-breed product that provides perimeter security and remote access to users through VPN. This paper will discuss the firewall and VPN classifications and protocols of the Cisco 5540 ASA. The paper will discuss the strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness of the appliance and its architecture. 2. Cisco 5540 Adaptive Security Appliance ASA The Cisco 5540 ASA is a good blend of proven network security and network availability. The Cisco 5540 Adaptive Security Appliance ASA is a combined firewall and VPN solutions. The appliance is rated for small to medium size businesses and is designed for installation on the Internet edge (Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, n.d.). The appliance has optional modules that perform anti-virus and intrusion prevention services. 3. Technical Classifications and Specifications Firewall The Cisco 5540 ASA is classified as a transparent firewall. The ASA combines the best of packet filtering, screened host, dual-homed host and screened subnet firewalls into one product. The Cisco 5540 ASA has two firewall modes of operation (PIX/ASA Security Appliance FAQ, n.d.). Routed mode performs packet inspection and forwarding based on layer 3 or Network header information (PIX/ASA Security Appliance FAQ, n.d.). The preferred operational mode of the firewall is transparent mode in which the firewall operates as a layer 2 or data link bridge (PIX/ASA Security Appliance FAQ, n.d.). In transparent mode, the firewall can use an IP access lists and it can inspect IP activity at any layer (PIX/ASA Security Appliance FAQ, n.d.). The Cisco 5540 ASA allows network managers to segment traffic into security zones, i... ... middle of paper ... ...p://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/vpndevc/ps6032/ps6094/ps6120/prod_brochure0900aecd80402ef4.html Cisco Intrusion Prevention System - Products & Services - Cisco Systems. (n.d.). Cisco Systems, Inc. Retrieved April 18, 2011, from http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/secursw/ps2113/index.html Dotson, J. (2007). The Self-Defending Network | BizTech.BizTech Magazine: Small Business Technology Solutions. Retrieved April 17, 2011, from http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article/2008/01/self-defending-network Snyder, J. (2006). Cisco hits on firewall/VPN, misses on ease of use. Network World. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from http://www.networkworld.com/reviews/2006/050106-cisco-test-asa.html Snider, J. (2007). Cisco ASA5540 with SSM-20 IPS module. Network World. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from http://www.networkworld.com/reviews/2007/111207-utm-firewall-test-cisco.html
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