Career / Career Progression

Cisco Firepower Learning Track

by Karin Klinger
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Published on November 29, 2005

Cisco's Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) is a next-generation firewall solution that is a critical technology for IT pros developing their networking, cybersecurity, and/or sysadmin skills. This Learning Track is designed to help you navigate through CBT Nuggets Cisco Firepower learning content in a way that sets you up for optimal success, whether you're building your skills, pursuing Cisco certification, or both.

Cisco Firepower Learning Track

Skill 1: Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) Overview

CBT Nuggets trainer Keith Barker introduces you to Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD). Learn about the history of firewall technologies and the benefits of today's next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). Gain an understanding of the Firepower Management Center (FMC), the Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) managed device, as well as the zones and deployment options on an FTD.

Total Viewing Time: 22 minutes

WATCH: Key Concepts of Firewall Tech

WATCH: FTD Features and Components

WATCH: Zones and Deployment Options

Supplemental Learning Opportunities

Get Hands-on Practice: Develop a lab environment where you can practice all that you learn throughout your Cisco Firepower training experience.

Purchase a book (or two) to supplement your CBT Nuggets video training.

"Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success." Napoleon Hill

Skill 2: Firepower Initial Configuration

Sign into CBT Nuggets to continue this Learning Track and develop the skills you need to configure Cisco Firepower.

Explore the initial setup of a Firepower Management Center (FMC) appliance and a Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) appliance. Learn how to register an FTD to be used for centralized management and how to configure, save, and deploy changes to an FTD from an FMC. Gain an understanding of the licensing requirements of an FMC and the IP addresses and zones used for FTDs.

Total Viewing Time: 31 minutes

WATCH: FMC Initial Plan and Setup

WATCH: FTD Initial Plan and Setup

WATCH: Licensing

WATCH: Adding the FTD to the FMC for Mgmt

WATCH: Planning for FTD Interfaces and Routing

WATCH: Configuring FTD Interfaces and Routing

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." Vince Lombardi

Skill 3: Firepower Routing and NAT

Your Cisco Firepower Learning Track continues at CBT Nuggets!

Sign in to continue your learning! Learn how to configure and verify routing and network address translation (NAT) on a Firepower appliance. And discover Firepower layer 3 packet forwarding, interface statuses, static routes, DHCP server options, Auto NAT, and manual NAT.

Total Viewing Time: 36 minutes

WATCH: Forwarding IP Packets

WATCH: Confirming Interfaces and Routing

WATCH: NAT Basics and Terminology

WATCH: Planning for Auto NAT

WATCH: Implementing Auto NAT

WATCH: Implementing Manual NAT

"Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in." William Eardley IV

Skill 4: Firepower Discovery

Keep learning Cisco Firepower when you log into CBT Nuggets!

Learn how to implement discovery policies in Firepower, view data in the dynamically created discovery host profiles, and use NMAP scans to enhance the host profile information that Firepower collects.

Total Viewing Time: 17 minutes

WATCH: Firepower Discovery Overview

WATCH: Implementing a Discovery Policy

WATCH: Viewing Discovery Host Profiles

WATCH: Using NMAP Scans with Host Profiles

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin

Skill 5: Firepower Access Control Policies

Log in to CBT Nuggets to continue learning Cisco Firepower!

Learn how to implement access control rules, use URL filtering and categories to filter websites, and create an IPS policy that integrates into an access control policy. Develop your understanding of malware policy, file policy, SSL/TLS decryption, and more.

Total Viewing Time: 45 minutes

WATCH: Access Control Policy Overview

WATCH: Access Control Policy Rule Actions Concepts

WATCH: Access Control Policy Rule Actions Demonstration

WATCH: URL Filtering

WATCH: Malware and File Inspections

WATCH: SSL/TLS Decryption

WATCH: IPS Inspection

"Continuous, unflagging effort, persistence and determination will win. Let not the man be discouraged who has these." James Whitcomb Riley

Skill 6: Firepower Security Intelligence

Your Cisco Firepower journey continues when you sign into CBT Nuggets!

Explore the Security Intelligence (SI) feature in Firepower. Learn how to use lists and feeds, blacklist IP addresses and URLs, and implement Security Intelligence (SI) as part of an access control policy in Firepower.

Total Viewing Time: 19 minutes

WATCH: Security Intelligence Overview

WATCH: Security Intelligence Objects

WATCH: Security Intelligence Dynamic Blocking

WATCH: Implementing Security Intelligence

"It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment." Carl Friedrich Gauss

Skill 7: Cisco Firepower High Availability

Wrap up your Cisco Firepower learning experience by logging into CBT Nuggets! Master how to implement high availability on a Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) appliance. Learn about the requirements of Active/Passive failover pairs such as the number and types of interfaces, the active IP address and standby IP address, and more.

Total Viewing Time: 15 minutes

WATCH: Firepower HA Concepts

WATCH: Components and Requirements of HA

WATCH: Planning for HA

WATCH: Demonstrating Firepower HA

"No one succeeds without effort. Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance." Ramana Maharshi

Supplemental Training Resources

Prerequisite Skills and/or Certifications

Most learners seeking to learn more about Cisco Firepower have extensive experience in networking and network security. The following skills will equip learners for the greatest success as they engage with the CBT Nuggets Cisco Firepower collection of learning content:

  • Install, troubleshoot, configure, and operate medium-sized routing and switching networks;

  • Verify and implement network connections to remote sites within a WAN;

  • Wireless networking terminology and concepts;

  • Mitigation of security vulnerabilities and threats;

  • Thorough understanding of protocols including Serial-Line Interface Protocol Frame Relay, IP, EIGRP, Ethernet, ACLs, RIPv2, and more.

Generally speaking, learners seeking to work with Cisco Firepower should have 2-5 years of experience in networking and/or network security.

Cisco Firepower is addressed in the CCNP Security certification, specifically in the 300-210 SITCS exam, one of four exams required for the certification. In order to be eligible for the CCNP Security certification, learners must first earn the CCNA Security certification.

Who Needs Cisco Firepower Skills

IT pros who have experience in networking and/or network security are best equipped to take on Cisco Firepower. The intermediate-level skills necessary for effectively operating Firepower have most likely been developed by security architects, security engineers, security consultants/specialists, security administrators, systems administrators, or network administrators. Due to the nature of the Cisco Firepower appliance, it is likely that IT pros will encounter this technology in medium-to-large enterprise business environments.

For learners pursuing CCNP Security certification, it is important to be aware that the certification is recognized by DoD 8570 and CNSS 4013, making them eligible for contract and permanent, full-time employment with various US government agencies.

Certification Exam Details

Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) (per exam)

Number of questions: 55-75 (per exam)

Passing score: Cisco does not publish the passing score for its exams

Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer; Drag and drop; Fill-in-the-blank; Simulation; Testlet; Simlet (per exam)

Exam registration: Pearson VUE

Exam cost: $300 (USD) (per exam)

Roadmap to Success: CCNP Security

Learn more about the CCNP Security certification from the CBT Nuggets blog. The Roadmap to Success: CCNP Security is part of a series of blog posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

Effective Learning Strategies

  • Proceed through all CBT Nuggets video training on double-speed to develop a strong overview of the material; Then proceed through all the training for a second time, taking good notes and focusing on deeper learning.


  • Proceed through all CBT Nuggets video training, taking good notes and focusing on deep learning on the first pass; Then proceed back through all training a second time, using double-speed when appropriate.

  • Supplement all video training with book study and practical application of knowledge.

  • Develop a test or lab environment where new skills can be practiced.

What's Next?

Once you have mastered Cisco Firepower, what should you work to learn next? Skills For those learners working to grow their cybersecurity skillset, a thorough understanding of ethical hacking, penetration testing, and programming skills will be valuable next steps.

For those interested in further expanding their networking skillset, developing a deep understanding of wireless networking and cloud computing and network design will set you up for future success.

And for those seeking to develop their sysadmin skillset, building a strong understanding of server infrastructure, cloud platform, and Linux skills will equip you well for future opportunities.


For learners interested in pursuing the next certification steps, consider the following options:




  • Microsoft MCSE: Core Infrastructure (recommended elective exam: 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016)

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate (AZ-103) or Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert (AZ-300 and AZ-301)

  • Linux Professional Institute Certified Linux Engineer (LPIC-2)

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