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Cisco Security: Which Product is Right for My Small Business?

For the small-business owner, making sure that your sensitive information is protected is among the most critical things you do. Even though large data breaches grab the headlines, small businesses are more frequently hit by cyberattacks, to the tune of about 4,000 attacks per day. Conducting a risk assessment to identify possible threats and formulate a response plan is a good starting point. And, once you know your weaknesses, you also must be able to create a security system built on a solid, reliable foundation.

As one of the most comprehensive providers of IT security products, Cisco has a variety of options that allow you to create a security architecture you can depend on — and that means you’re not only protecting your business, but you’re protecting the information of everyone who does business with you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the great options Cisco has for providing superior protection and see which ones might be the best fit for your business needs.

Cisco Meraki

The Cisco Meraki line of products provides a completely cloud-managed IT service. It is designed to be easy to set up and offers best-in-class security features, such as automatic updates to provide complete confidence that all of your information is secure. Networks can be configured in a matter of minutes and can be managed from anywhere, whether you’re in another room or in another country.

Because it has a full suite of network services, such as SD-WAN capabilities, application-based firewalling and traffic shaping, content filtering, 4G cellular failover and more, the MX line eliminates the need for multiple appliances.

For small branch users, the Cisco Meraki MX64 can accommodate up to 50 users and makes distributed networks fast, secure and easy to manage. It’s a great security appliance with 200 Mbps stateful firewall throughput that has built-in 802.11ac and the Unified Threat Management (UTM) features mentioned above. Its one-year enterprise license includes software and 24/7 support. If you’re a smaller user who wants to make sure you’re investing in the best possible network reliability and security, the MX64 can check all of the boxes while reducing overall IT costs.

If you want to bump it up a bit, the Cisco Meraki MX67W has the same great security features and also is designed for small-business environments but has more than double the stateful firewall throughput, at 450 Mbps.

Mid-size users who need more than 50 users and require a bit more from their device can look at the Cisco Meraki MX84, which has a state-of-the-art set of features housed in an easily deployed device. It’s particularly useful for environments that require remote administration, and it requires very little pre-configuration, which makes it easy to deploy in new locations. It has two dedicated WAN uplinks and, with eight GbE RJ45 ports and two SFP ports, it is well equipped for a variety of enterprise environments.

Next-Generation Firewall Protection

Cisco’s ASA with FirePower was developed to allow users to consolidate multiple layers of security into a single platform. In doing so, you’re able to eliminate the cost of purchasing (and managing) multiple security solutions. The platform ensures that you don’t have such problems as gaps in your protection or the need to manually manage certain processes. And, at a time when the threat environment changes so quickly, that’s something you don’t want to take for granted.

This next-generation protection provides advanced malware protection and uses intelligent threat defense to stop attacks before they are able to enter your network. Through its Firepower Management Center, it allows you to track an infection and discover its root cause. This helps speed time to remediation and lets you keep your business operations running securely.

If you were already familiar with the Cisco ASA5505, the newer ASA5506-SEC-BUN-K9 is a great upgrade or replacement. It’s an excellent way to improve your firewall and is a solid-performing appliance for a small business. For the price, it delivers high availability, scalability and flexibility. It has a stateful inspection throughput of 300 Mbps, maximum VPN throughput of 100 Mbps and 4 GB of memory. Its slim profile makes it compact enough for the desktop.

If your business security needs require more than the 5506, the Cisco ASA5508-K9 with FirePower Services Security Firewall is a more robust appliance that can handle a little bit heavier lifting. It delivers all of the features of the ASA5506, but its stateful inspection throughput has been increased to 500 Mbps, with a maximum VPN throughput of 175 Mbps and 8 GB of memory. At the heavier end of the line, the Cisco ASA5516-FPWR-K9 with FirePower Services delivers superior performance for small- and medium-size businesses or for branch offices. With up to 1.2 Gbps stateful inspection throughput, 250 Mbps maximum VPN throughput and 8 GB of memory, it delivers enterprise-level security and rich features that ensure your business has the protection it needs in a rapidly-changing environment.

With its adaptive, threat-focused approach, combined with Cisco’s enterprise-class management tools, the company can help you reduce the cost and complexity of managing and maintaining your security architecture. Comprehensive visibility that lets you see the users, devices, threats and vulnerabilities within your network allows you to take action more quickly and even eliminate threats before they become a problem for you.

Don’t Take Security for Granted

Your company’s security is one of the most critical issues facing your business, and it’s too important to ignore. Just as you’d never dream of leaving a brick-and-mortar store unlocked (or with a window open) overnight, you should never leave your business’s virtual openings unprotected.

Finding the right appliances that can take the headache out of the hardware and keep your business safe so you can concentrate on other areas has never been easier. Cisco’s line of security devices gives you the defense of an enterprise system at a cost your small- or medium-sized business can afford.

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