Cisco Security Manager: Firewall management

Cisco Security Manager
Cisco Security Manager (CSM) is an application suite that consists of these client applications:
1. Configuration Manager
2. Event Viewer
3. Report Manager
4. Image Manager
5. Health and Performance Monitor (HPM)

The server web application is known as Cisco Security Manager Suite.

Cisco Security Manager applications.
Cisco Security Manager applications.

CSM is a management suite to manage Cisco Security devices, yeah… only Cisco’s security products, this include IOS firewall, Cisco IPS, Cisco ASA, Cisco PIX, VPN concentrator.

Management features
1. Cisco security inventory management.
2. Events management (syslog and SDEE)
3. Image inventory management (service contract needed)
4. Device performance and health monitoring.
5. Security policy management (vpn policy, firewall policy, ips policy)
6. Configuration management (use Configuration Manager to configure Cisco security devices)
7. Deployment management (This is useful when ticket and workflow are enabled.)

What it does not have is a centralized dashboard to correlate events together with system health and performance, there are too many applications that make CSM very difficult to use.

Version impact
I would recommend you purchase smartnet for CSM, smartnet for your Cisco security products only cover the appliances you bought it does not cover CSM support. You will regret if you do not purchase smartnet for CSM. CSM version support certain appliance model and certain image version, if you upgrade the latest image of your Cisco device it is quite likely your old version of CSM cannot manage it anymore.

An example I encountered, my Cisco ASA has upgraded the image from version 8.4 to 9.1, CSM version 4.3 cannot support, I would need to upgrade the CSM to version 4.4 in order to manage ASA version 9.1, this is really crap. :S

There are not many blogs that describe the use of CSM so I decided to record down the use of CSM with Cisco ASA on my following blogs.


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