Home > Articles > Certification > Cisco Certification > CCNP Security / CCSP

CCNP Security Firewall 642-618 Quick Reference: Basic Connectivity and Device Management

This section starts to examine the configuration of the Cisco ASA and covers the fundamentals for providing basic connectivity and device management. This section covers basic command-line interface (CLI) configuration, but mainly focuses on configuring the ASA through the graphical Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM).
This chapter is from the book

This section starts to examine the configuration of the Cisco ASA and covers the fundamentals for providing basic connectivity and device management. This section covers basic command-line interface (CLI) configuration, but mainly focuses on configuring the ASA through the graphical Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM).

CLI and ASDM Connection

You can configure a Cisco ASA in two ways: through the CLI or through the ASDM.

Both the CLI and ASDM offer benefits for configuration, and people disagree as to the best method. The CLI versus GUI configuration argument has been around since the days of UNIX versus Windows. The CLI is fast, after you have mastered it, but the GUI is intuitive and easier to configure, especially with the wizard quick-configuration options now available.

Proponents of the ASDM point to the various configuration wizards that exist within the ASDM that are not available via the CLI alone. The logging and monitoring functionality that the ASDM provides cannot be replicated within the CLI. Today, only a very few commands must be performed from the CLI. The ASDM can be used for all other configurations.

Command-Line Interface

The CLI is the historic way in which all Cisco devices were configured. This is a command-based interface similar to a UNIX- or DOS-based operating system. For many Cisco devices, the CLI must be used to initially “bootstrap” the device for inclusion into the exiting network infrastructure.

Commands are typed through a terminal connection to the ASA, and these are then written to the configuration. The CLI is powerful and fast, but learning how to use the CLI is like learning another language.

You can either connect to the CLI through the console port using a console cable or by using Telnet or Secure Shell (SSH). A Cisco console cable is provided with every ASA because this is the normal initial method to connect to the device for the initial configuration.

Using a console cable is an out-of-band connection, and using Telnet or SSH is an in-band connection.

When you first purchase an ASA, you need to configure the ASA through the CLI to configure the initial network settings that enable you to connect to the device using ASDM, which is provided through a web interface, so basic IP settings need to be initially configured.

When you initially connect to an ASA, you are greeted with the following prompt:


This is an unprivileged mode (or user mode) and is represented by the > after the hostname.

Entering enable at this prompt places you in privileged EXEC mode, and you see the following prompt:


From privileged EXEC mode, you can then enter the configuration mode to enter configuration commands into the ASA. The show and debug commands to monitor and troubleshoot the ASA are also entered in privileged EXEC mode. This is similar to the EXEC modes found within IOS on a Cisco router or switch. Note that Cisco is taking great pains to try and standardize the operating systems behaviors and commands across all of their different network devices.


ASDM is an acronym for the ASA Security Device Manager (ASDM), which it is the main graphical way to configure, manage, and monitor your ASA firewall.

You access the ASDM through a web browser. ASDM is a Java-based application, so any modern browser that supports Java will suffice (for instance, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer). The connection to ASDM is over SSL, so the configuration is always encrypted between the client and the ASA through the web browser.

Because you have to connect to ASDM through a browser interface, you must configure an IP address on the inside interface to enable you to connect your browser to it. The next section covers interface configuration in more depth.

In addition to setting the IP address, you must enter some other basic configuration commands via the CLI to the ASA to configure the initial connection to the ASDM.

Let’s now run through the necessary commands on an ASA that has a default blank configuration. The commands shown are the bare minimum to enable a connection to the ASDM and are as far as you need to take the CLI in most cases. Because this is an ASA with a blank configuration, the only way to connect is via the CLI using a serial connection.

The first step is to assign an IP address to the inside interface of the ASA. The inside interface is the interface on the inside or trusted part of your network. The outside interface is the interface on the outside or untrusted part of your network.

To enter these configuration commands, you need to be in configuration mode on the ASA. From this point forward, you should be in configuration mode; the prompt shows which configuration mode is required:

ciscoasa# configuration terminal
ciscoasa(config)# interface vlan 1
ciscoasa(config-if)# ip address

Because this VLAN is going to be the inside network, you now need to name the VLAN interface as the inside interface:

Ciscoasa(config-if)# nameif inside
INFO: Security level for "inside" set to 100 by default.

When the nameif command is entered, because the value is inside, the default security level of 100 is attributed to the VLAN interface. In contrast to this, the default security level of 0 will be applied to the interface if you name the interface outside. Security levels are reviewed later in this Quick Reference.

VLAN1 is now configured as the inside interface with the IP address of By default, all ports are in VLAN1, so you now need to tell the ASA 5505 which physical Ethernet port is the inside connection. In this example, you use Ethernet0/1 as the inside interface. So, enter the following commands to bring up Ethernet0/1 because, by default, all ports are in an administrative shutdown mode:

ciscoasa(config)# interface ethernet0/1
ciscoasa(config-if)# no shutdown

Running a show interface for Ethernet0/1 now displays the following:

ciscoasa# show interface ethernet0/1
Interface Ethernet0/1 "", is up, line protocol is up
  Hardware is 88E6095, BW 100 Mbps, DLY 100 usec
        Auto-Duplex(Full-duplex), Auto-Speed(100 Mbps)
        Available but not configured via nameif
        MAC address 001b.53a0.4e91, MTU not set
        IP address unassigned
        16423 packets input, 1256399 bytes, 0 no buffer
        Received 896 broadcasts, 0 runts, 0 giants
        0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored, 0 abort
        0 L2 decode drops
        0 switch ingress policy drops
        6518 packets output, 5096677 bytes, 0 underruns
        0 output errors, 0 collisions, 0 interface resets
        0 babbles, 0 late collisions, 0 deferred
        0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier
        0 rate limit drops
        0 switch egress policy drops

You can see that the interface is up. You can now ping the inside interface of the ASA 5505 from a workstation connected to the network and ping workstations on the network from the ASA 5505.

The next step is to configure a secure password on the ASA. You can provide access to the web-based administration interface of the ASA, so ensure that it is protected and locked down with authentication.

By default, no password is set on the ASA, and anybody can connect to it via the console connection if they have physical access to the device.

Set an enable password on the ASA:

ciscoasa(config)# enable password securepassword

The preceding line creates the enable password securepassword. Obviously, you want to replace this with a secure, strong password in line with your corporate password policy.

At this point, the interface is up and has a valid IP address configured. However, you must complete a couple more steps to facilitate a connection to the ASDM. Running a browser to at this point returns with a Page Not Found error message.

The ASA has a built-in web server. This is what serves the ASDM to users requesting it through their browsers. By default, this web server is not enabled.

You can enable the internal web server in the ASA with the following command:

ciscoasa(config)# http server enable

This enables the HTTP server on the ASA, but if you try a connection to the ASDM, you still cannot connect. This failure to connect results because the ASA operates in a closed policy, unlike the HTTPS server on a router.

On the ASA, all connections to the HTTP server are denied by default, and you must enter a configuration command to specify the IP addresses that are allowed to access the ASDM. On a router, by default all IP addresses can connect to the HTTP server, and you must create an access list to restrict this access.

In this example, you want to allow the entire inside network access to the ASDM:

ciscoasa(config)# http inside

The preceding command enables all hosts on the network, which is located on the inside interface, access to the ASDM. In the real world, it is recommended that administrative access be locked down to specific management hosts, by using explicit host IP address entries.

Connecting now with a web browser to displays the initial ASDM connection screen, as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7

Figure 7. ASDM Connection Screen

You can either run the ASDM or the Startup Wizard to take you through the initial setup of the ASA. Click the Run ASDM button to launch ASDM.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020