ASIC-based network firewalls use hardware circuits specifically built to perform security enforcement. As a result, ASIC-based network firewalls are often much faster than their software-only counterparts. Problems can arise, however, if the vendor's application-specific integrated circuit is not easily upgradeable or flexible enough to handle new network traffic or protocols. In the case of a rapidly changing customer environment, care should be taken when choosing which technology is the best fit.
This was first published in November 2007