Difference Between Cisco FTD and ASA (With Table)

Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) and Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) are both security appliances that offer different features and functionalities to enterprises. Both of them were launched in the market with a motive to protect the enterprises from cyber attacks.

Cisco FTD vs ASA

The main difference between Cisco FTD and ASA is that ASA provides accessibility to VPN, IDS, IPS, anti-malware, and anti-virus services which are not available in Cisco FTD. Whereas, if we compare both the two security appliances based on their performance, FTD easily replaces ASA.

Cisco FTD vs ASA

The Cisco FTD is a high-end firewall appliance that can be used to protect networks from intrusion. It is designed to provide an extra layer of security for the data center and the enterprise. It offers protection for networks of any size with its wide range of products and services.

The Cisco ASA is a network security appliance that provides firewall, VPN, and intrusion prevention services. A network security device can be an important part of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy because it helps to protect networks from external threats like hackers or cybercriminals who are looking to steal data or disrupt it.

Comparison Table Between Cisco FTD and ASA

Parameters of
Cisco FTDCisco ASA
VPN SupportNot AvailableAvailable
ConfigurationMore of a software-based firewallEither a Stateful Packet Inspection firewall or a Network Address Translation firewall
PerformanceTop-Notch PerformanceLow Quality Performance
Time ConsumptionLess Time ConsumingHigh Time Consuming

What is Cisco FTD?

Cisco Firepower Threat Defense is a next-generation threat defense platform that is designed to provide a unified security approach for the entire attack continuum, from prevention to detection to response.

It is an affordable means to manage the security of the organizations. Its key features are:

  1. It provides continuous visibility across the attack continuum with a single pane of glass.
  2. It also maintains the data integrity and confidentiality of the enterprise network with out-of-band network segmentation.
  3. It includes advanced threat prevention for malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other threats that exploit vulnerabilities in networks and applications.
  4. The technology is designed to be deployed in multiple zones and multitenant architectures.
  5. It protects networks from insider attacks using Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE). This security service helps organizations to understand who has access to the network at any given time.

The logic behind this is that if you know who should be accessing the network, you can detect any anomalies in user behavior like a spike in login attempts or an abnormal pattern of activity by a specific user.

If described in brief, Cisco FTD is a brand of cybersecurity products offered by Cisco Systems. This suite of products includes:

  1. A next-generation firewall that not only meets but exceeds industry standards.
  2. An endpoint detection and response (EDR) module that identifies known threats on endpoints while also predicting what’s coming soon.
  3. A Cloud web security that secures browsers, email, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, social media apps, and other Internet destinations.

What is Cisco ASA?

The Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) is a family of security appliances that provide firewall, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), antivirus, anti-spam, and other essential security features to users through an easy to use interface.

It also delivers extra security measures by applying advanced threat protection and behavioral analysis techniques. The ASA family is designed to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises.

It has the ability to detect threats in real-time and block them before they can cause any damage to the network. The Cisco ASA is an all-in-one device that offers security for both wired and wireless networks.

There are many benefits to using an Adaptive Security Appliance from Cisco. It has a very high throughput and low latency. This means that it can process large amounts of data very quickly without any delays in performance.

The Cisco ASA is also very reliable and has high availability, which means that it will not go down often or at all when compared to other products on the market. 

The ASA 5500 Series is the latest generation of Cisco’s flagship security appliance, providing next-generation firewall and VPN services for networks with 10 or more users.

Main Differences Between Cisco FTD and ASA

  1. Cisco FTD provides a top-notch performance whereas ASA ranks lower in it.
  2. ASA is quite expensive in comparison with Cisco FTD, which is highly affordable.
  3. Cisco FTD does not provide VPN support whereas Cisco ASA does.
  4. Cisco FTD consumes less time whereas ASA consumes more as it requires an ample amount of manual work.


Cisco Firepower Threat Defense and Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance are the two best security products that have been developed by the company.

The Cisco ASA is the industry’s first security platform that provides full visibility, protection, and control across physical, virtual, and cloud workloads.

Cisco ASA has veritably solid encryption and multi-factor authentication. The front-end configuration with Cisco ASA is frequently tough as well as time-consuming.

Cisco FTD offers unparalleled threat visibility and control to help organizations protect against data breaches. It also overcomes the challenge of time consumption which has led to an increase in operational efficiency.

Cisco has been in the cybersecurity industry for more than 25 years and has acquired over 30 companies in this field. In 2010, Cisco acquired Sourcefire, which was one of the leading vendors of intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and network firewalls for enterprise networks.

After integrating Sourcefire’s products into Cisco’s portfolio, it became clear that there was an opportunity to combine their strengths in order to provide customers with comprehensive cybersecurity.

Both the products developed by Cisco are in high demand and are readily available in the market. Consumers can choose any of them according to their needs.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Z3qkDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT29&dq=cisco+FTD&ots=RnPMJ2qK8S&sig=gIw9V255ebp01bOcGI2LUo64LCs
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Q0sfqUklbNIC&oi=fnd&pg=PT26&dq=cisco+ASA&ots=UM8fmBfU5k&sig=K8YDi7kR9vLMJpE1K2sNommqtIk