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Posted May 7, 2006
Must have, easy to grab book
I recently read the book titled ¿Cisco ASA and PIX Firewall Handbook¿ by David Hucaby. ISBN: 1587051583. I¿ve been working with Cisco PIX firewall¿s for several years and while they are fairly straight forward to configure the basic function of the system, some of the more robust features of the product can be complex in concept. This is certainly the case when considering all of the new features of the PIX 7.0 code. This title does an outstanding job at bridging the information gap for the old crusties that have used PIX for years. Each section is laid out to explain and contrast how each feature is configured for the Cisco PIX, the new Adaptive Security Appliance, and the Firewall Switch Module and for the IOS Firewall code. It has everything you should and need to know to administer the equipment effectively. There is little fluff or filler in these pages. Mostly straight to the point configuration examples that allow the readers to maximize their time getting work done. I was really excited when I saw that Cisco Press was coming out with a title that covers the new Cisco ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance). My excitement quickly turned to confusion when I started reading through the title. Aside from the great documentation on the PIX, FWSM and FW IOS, it¿s very difficult to identify what information pertains to the Adaptive Security Appliance. I¿m still not clear why this book claims to include information on the ASA. It¿s either ignorance on my part or there is not enough content in the book to justify the title. This observation in no way takes away from the book rich information regarding the FWSM 2.x, PIX 6.x and PIX 7.x. Since the title was published not long after the PIX 7.0 code was released, I wonder if it was too soon to cover a topic so new in a book. The author however, covers the main features of 7.0 very well and it¿s extremely helpful to have this handbook for those transitioning to the new PIX 7.0 code. I think this title is best suited for any person that administers Cisco security devices like the Cisco PIX, the FWSM or running Cisco Firewall IOS in their environment. The title covers more detail that what the Cisco on-line (CCO) has to offer in most cases. The title picks up where the product command reference and configuration examples leave off. Certainly a must have title for any security administrator to have in order to ensure that the equipment is leveraged to it¿s maximum potential and to minimize mis-configurations that may contribute to increased exposure or unintended security risks. There aren¿t many diagrams in the book however there are diagrams where they serve best. Most of the book in centered on the CLI configuration of the equipment. Administrators that rely or use the web interface to configure these devices won¿t see much supporting information on the web interface. In my opinion, that¿s a good thing, because administrators should know what¿s going on under the covers of any GUI interface for independency and security reasons. Some of the sections that I found the most beneficial where the sections that cover the new features like Transparent Firewall Mode, Active-Active Failover and Using Security Contexts to Make Virtual Firewalls. These are all new features that have a lot a benefit. When learning something new, it¿s always good to get as much information about the subject as possible. It helps to formulate a solid understanding of the new topic. All-in-All this is a great title worthy of the Cisco Press legacy. The author has done a great job covering all the essentials in one easy to grab title.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2009
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