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Cisco Defense Orchestrator

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS) for ASA Devices

About Cisco Security Analytics and Logging for the ASA

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS) allows you to capture all syslog events and Netflow Secure Event Logging (NSEL) from your ASA and view them in one place in Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO). 

The events are stored in the Cisco cloud and viewable from the Event Logging page in CDO where you can filter and review them to gain a clear understanding of what security rules are triggering in your network. The Logging and Troubleshooting package gives you these capabilities.

With the Logging Analytics and Detection package (formerly Firewall Analytics and Logging package), the system can apply Stealthwatch Cloud dynamic entity modeling to your FTD events, and use behavioral modeling analytics to generate Stealthwatch Cloud observations and alerts. If you obtain a Total Network Analytics and Monitoring package, the system applies dynamic entity modeling to both your FTD events and your network traffic, and generates observations and alerts. You can cross-launch from CDO to a SWC portal provisioned for you, using Cisco Single Sign-On.

How ASA Events are Displayed on the CDO Events Viewer  

Syslog events and NSEL events are generated when logging is enabled on the ASA, and network traffic matches access control rule criteria. After the events are stored in the Cisco cloud, you can view them in CDO.

You can install multiple Secure Event Connectors (SECs) and send events generated by a rule, on any device, to any of the SECs as if it were a syslog server. The SEC then forwards the event to the Cisco cloud. Do not forward the same events to all of your SECs. You will be duplicating the events sent to the Cisco cloud and needlessly inflate your daily ingest rate.

How Syslog and NSEL Events are Sent from an ASA to the Cisco Cloud by way of the Secure Event Connector 

With the basic Logging and Troubleshooting license, this is how an ASA event reaches the Cisco cloud:

  1. You onboard your ASA to CDO using username and password.  
  2. You configure the ASA to forward syslog and NSEL events to any one of your SECs as if they were syslog servers and enable logging on the device.
  3. The SEC forwards the events to the Cisco cloud where the events are stored.
  4. CDO displays events from the Cisco cloud in its Events Viewer based on the filters you set. 

With the Logging Analytics and Detection or Total Network Analytics and Monitoring license, the following also occur:

  1. Stealthwatch Cloud applies analytics to the ASA syslog events stored in the Cisco cloud.
  2. Generated observations and alerts are accessible from the Stealthwatch Cloud portal associated with your CDO portal.
  3. From the CDO portal, you can cross-launch your Stealthwatch Cloud portal to review these observations and alerts.

Components in the Solution

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS) uses these components to deliver events to CDO:

Secure Device Connector (SDC) - The SDC is the proxy between CDO and your ASA devices. The login credentials for the ASA are also stored on the SDC. The SDC can be installed "in the cloud" by CDO support, or it can be installed by you "on-premises" on a virtual machine you manage within your enterprise. 

Secure Event Connector (SEC)-The SEC is an application that receives events from your ASAs and forwards them to the Cisco cloud. Once in the Cisco cloud, you can view the events on CDO's Event Logging page or analyze them with Stealthwatch Cloud. You may have one or more SECs associated with your tenant.

Whether your SDC is a "cloud SDC" or an "on-premises" SDC, you install the Secure Event Connector on an on-premises Secure Device Connector virtual machine you manage within your enterprise. 

Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA)-The Cisco ASA provides advanced stateful firewall and VPN concentrator functionality as well as integrated services with add-on modules. The ASA includes many advanced features, such as multiple security contexts (similar to virtualized firewalls), clustering (combining multiple firewalls into a single firewall), transparent (Layer 2) firewall or routed (Layer 3) firewall operation, advanced inspection engines, IPsec VPN, SSL VPN, and clientless SSL VPN support, and many more features.

Stealthwatch Cloud (SWC)-SWC applies dynamic entity modeling to ASA events, generating detections based on this information. This provides a deeper analysis of telemetry gathered from your network, allowing you to identify trends and examine anomalous behavior in your network traffic. You would make use of this service if you have a Logging Analytics and Detection or Total Network Analytics and Monitoring license.

Licensing

To configure this solution you need the following accounts and licenses:

  • Cisco Defense Orchestrator. You must have a CDO tenant. Your CDO tenant must connected to ASA devices through an on-premises Secure Device Connector. 
  • Secure Device Connector. There is no separate license for a Secure Device Connector.
  • Secure Event Connector. There is no separate license for a Secure Event Connector.
  • Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS). See the Security Analytics and Logging License table
  • Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). Base license or higher. 

Security Analytics and Logging Licensing

In order to benefit from Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS), you need to purchase one of these licenses:

License Name Provided Functionality Available License Durations Functionality Prerequisites
Logging and Troubleshooting
  • View ASA events and event detail within CDO, both as a live feed and as a historical view
  • 1 year
  • 3 years
  • 5 years
  • CDO
  • An on-premises ASA deployment running version 9.6 or greater
  • Deployment of one or more SECs to pass ASA events to the Cisco cloud. 
Logging Analytics and Detection (formerly Firewall Analytics and Monitoring)

Logging and Troubleshooting functionality, plus:

  • Apply dynamic entity modeling and behavioral analytics to your ASA events
  • Open alerts in Stealthwatch Cloud based on ASA event data, cross-launching from the CDO event viewer
  • 1 year
  • 3 years
  • 5 years
  • CDO
  • An on-premises ASA deployment running firmware version 9.6 or greater
  • Deployment of one or more SECs to pass ASA events to the Cisco cloud. 
  • A Stealthwatch Cloud portal
    • You can associate an existing Stealthwatch Cloud portal, or later provision a new Stealthwatch Cloud portal
Total Network Analytics and Monitoring

Logging Analytics and Detection, plus:

  • Apply dynamic entity modeling and behavioral analytics to ASA events, on-premises network traffic, and cloud-based network traffic
  • Open alerts in Stealthwatch Cloud based on the combination of ASA event data, on-premises network traffic flow data collected by Stealthwatch Cloud sensors, and cloud-based network traffic passed to Stealthwatch Cloud, cross-launching from the CDO event viewer
  • 1 year
  • 3 years
  • 5 years
  • CDO
  • An on-premises ASA deployment running firmware version 9.6 or greater
  • Deployment of one or more SECs to pass ASA events to the Cisco cloud. 
  • Deployment of at least one Stealthwatch Cloud sensor version 4.1 or greater to pass network traffic flow data to the cloud OR integrating Stealthwatch Cloud with a cloud-based deployment, to pass network traffic flow data to Stealthwatch Cloud
  • A Stealthwatch Cloud portal
    • You can associate an existing Stealthwatch Cloud portal, or later provision a new Stealthwatch Cloud portal

Data Plans

You need to buy a data plan that reflects the number of events the Cisco cloud receives from your on-boarded ASAs on a daily basis. This is called your "daily ingest rate." You can use the Logging Volume Estimator Tool to estimate your daily ingest rate and as that rate changes you can update your data plan. 

Data plans are available in 1 GB daily volumes increments, and in 1, 3 or 5 year terms. See the Cisco Security Analytics and Logging Ordering Guide for information about data plans.

Note: If you have a Security Analytics and Logging license and data plan, then obtain a different license at a later date, that alone does not require you to obtain a different data plan. If your network traffic throughput changes and you obtain a different data plan, that alone does not require you to obtain a different Security Analytics and Logging license.

30-day Free Trial

You can request a 30-day risk-free trial by logging in to CDO and navigating Monitoring > Event Logging tab. On completion of the 30-day trial, you can order the desired event data volume to continue the service from Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW), by following the instructions in the Cisco Security Analytics and Logging ordering guide.