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Cisco Community November 2020 Spotlight Award Winners

What's New for Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO)



Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO) is a cloud-based, multi-device manager that manages security products like Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA), Firepower Threat Defense next-generation firewall, and Meraki devices, to name a few. 

We make improvements to CDO every week and when we have some big news to share, we're going to tell you about it here. Here are the latest features that we have deployed on CDO.

If you're not already a CDO customer, you can get a demo account by contacting

January 21, 2021

This is the feature and improvement to CDO made this week.

Firepower Management Center Object Reading

Now when you onboard an FMC to CDO, CDO imports the objects from the FMC-managed FTD devices. Once imported to CDO, the objects are read-only. Though the FMC objects are read-only, CDO allows you to apply a copy of the objects to other devices on your tenant that are not managed by the FMC. The copy is disassociated from the original object so you can edit the copy without changing the value of the object that was imported from the FMC. FMC objects can be used on any device you manage that support that object type. See FMC Objects for more information. 

January 14, 2021

Exporting CLI Command Results

You can export the results of CLI commands issued to a standalone device, or several devices, to a comma separated value (.csv) file so you can filter and sort the information in it however you like. You can export the CLI results of a single device, or many devices at once. See Export CLI Command Results for more information.

Configuring Cloud Services for your FTD Devices

Connecting to the Cisco Success Network and configuring which events are sent to the Cisco cloud are features that can be configured on FTD devices running software version 6.6 or higher.

Cisco Success Network

By enabling Cisco Success Network, you are providing usage information and statistics to Cisco to improve the FTD and to make you aware of unused or additional features that will help you maximize the value of Cisco products in your network. When you enable the Cisco Success Network, your device establishes a secure connection to the Cisco Cloud and maintains this secure connection at all times. See Connecting to the Cisco Success Network for more information.

Send Events Directly to Cisco Cloud

You can now specify which types of events you send from your FTD directly to the Cisco cloud. Once stored in the Cisco cloud, you can use cloud applications, such as Cisco Threat Response, to analyze the events and to evaluate threats that the device might have encountered. See "Sending Events to the Cisco Cloud" in FTD Settings for more information.

Web Analytics

Enabling web analytics provides anonymous product usage information to Cisco based on page hits. The information includes pages viewed, the time spent on a page, browser versions, product version, device hostname, and so forth. This information can help Cisco determine feature usage patterns and improve the product. All usage data is anonymous and no sensitive data is transmitted. See "Enabling or Disabling Web Analytics"  in FTD Settings for more information. You can use CDO to configure this feature on all versions of FTD.


January 7, 2021

This is the new feature and improvement CDO released this week. 

FTD HA Pair Onboarding

CDO has enhanced the process of onboarding an FTD HA pair. Once you onboard one of the HA peers with either the registration token method or the login credentials method, CDO automatically detects that the corresponding peer is not onboarded yet and prompts you to take action. The improvement minimizes the effort required to onboard both devices, shortens how long it takes to onboard the peer device, and reuses any registration keys or smart license tokens you may have used to onboard the first device. See Onboard an FTD HA Pair with a Registration Key or Onboard an FTD HA Pair using Username, Password, and IP Address respectively for more information. 

You can onboard either the active or the standby device, and once synced, CDO will always detect that the device is part of an HA pair. 

NoteWe strongly recommend onboarding your FTD devices with the registration token method. 


December 17, 2020 - CDO Public API


CDO has published its public API and provided you with documentation, examples, and a playground to try things out. The goal of our public API is to provide you with a simple and effective way to perform a lot of what you would normally be able to do in the CDO UI, but in code.

To use this API, you will need to know GraphQL. It is very easy to learn, and their official guide ( provides a thorough, light read. We chose GraphQL because it is flexible, strongly typed, and auto-documenting.

To find the full schema documentation, simply go to the GraphQL Playground, and click the docs tab on the right side of the page.

You can launch the CDO Public API by selecting it from the user menu.


December 10, 2020

Export FTD Configuration 

You can now export the complete configuration of an FTD device as a CDO-readable JSON file. You can import this file as an FTD model (FTD template) on any CDO tenant that you manage. For more information, see Export FTD Configuration.

Adding Comments to FTD Rules 

You can now add comments to rules in FTD policies and rulesets. Rule comments are are only visible in CDO; they are not written to the FTD nor are they visible in FDM. See Adding Comments to Rules in FTD Policies and Rulesets  for more information.


November 13, 2020

Low Touch Provisioning and Serial Number Onboarding

Low touch provisioning is a feature that allows a new factory-shipped or re-imaged Firepower 1000 or 2100 series device, running FTD software version 6.7 or later, to be plugged in to your network, onboarded to CDO automatically, and then configured remotely. This eliminates many of the manual tasks involved with onboarding the device to CDO. The low touch provisioning process minimizes the need to log in to a physical device. It's intended for remote offices or other locations where your employees are less experienced working with networking devices.

Firepower 1000 and 2100 series devices with factory-installed FTD 6.7 images are expected to be orderable from Cisco at the end of calendar year 2020 or the beginning of calendar year 2021.

It is also possible to onboard a configured Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) version 6.7+ device to FTD 6.7, to CDO using the device's serial number.

See these articles for more information:

Assigning Firepower Threat Defense Interfaces to Security Zones

You can now assign an FTD interface to a security zone to further classify and manage traffic. See Assign a Firepower Interface to a Security Zone for more information.

November 6, 2020

CDO now supports Firepower Threat Defense (FTD), versions 6.6.1 and 6.7. You can onboard a new FTD device running FTD 6.6.1 or 6.7, or use CDO to upgrade to those versions. CDO continues to support existing FTD features and these new FTD 6.7 features:

See Managing FTD with Cisco Defense Orchestrator for more information about the FTD features CDO currently supports. 

October 15, 2020

New User Roles

CDO now provides two additional user roles that divide the responsibilities of editing policies and deploying policies. The new Edit-Only role allows users to make configuration changes to devices, but they are not allowed to deploy those changes. The new Deploy-Only role allows users to deploy pending configuration changes, but they are not allowed to make configuration changes. For the full list of capabilities and limitations of these new roles, see User Roles

October 2, 2020

FTD API Support

CDO now provides the API tool interface to execute the Representational State Transfer (REST) Application Programming Interface (API) requests for performing advanced actions on an FTD device. Additionally, this interface provides the following features:

  • Records a history of already executed API commands.
  • Provides system-defined API macros that can be reused.
  • Allows creating user-defined API macros using the standard API macros, from a command you have already executed, or another user-defined macro.

For more information about the FTD API tool, see Using FTD API Tool.

September 25, 2020

Multi-Tenant Portal Support

CDO now introduces a Multi-Tenant Portal that provides a consolidated view of devices from tenants across various regions. This view helps you glean information from your tenants in a single-window. You can have the CDO support team create one or more portals based on your requirements.

  • Provides the Device Details view that provides the following information:
    • Shows device location, software version, onboarding method, and many more details for each device.
    • Allows you to manage the device on the CDO tenant page that owns that device.
    • Provides a link to sign in to the CDO tenant in a different region and manage that device.
  • Exports the portal's information to a comma-separated value (.csv) file to analyze or send it to someone who doesn't have access.
  • Allows seamless addition of a new tenant using its API token.
  • Allows switching between the portals without signing out from CDO.

For more information, see Manage Multi-Tenant Portal.

Secure Event Connector Support for Cloud-based Secure Device Connectors

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS) customers can now install Secure Event Connectors when their Secure Device Connector is installed in the Cisco cloud. They no longer need to switch to an on-premises Secure Device Connector to configure Cisco Security Analytics and Logging.

See these topics for more information:

September 17, 2020

Support for Multiple Secure Event Connectors

The Secure Event Connector (SEC) forwards events from ASAs and FTDs to the Cisco cloud so that you can view them in the Event Logging page and investigate them with Stealthwatch Cloud, depending on your Cisco Security Analytics and Logging licensing. Having more than one SEC allows you to install them in different locations and distribute the work of sending events to the Cisco cloud.


See these articles to learn how to install additional SECs on your tenant:

Learn more about Cisco Security Analytics and Logging.

August 20, 2020

These are the new features and improvements CDO released this week.  

Firepower Management Center Support



CDO can now onboard an Firepower Management Center (FMC) running Version 6.4 or later and all of its managed devices. FMC support is limited to onboarding an FMC, viewing the devices it manages, and cross-launching to the FMC UI.


Customizable Event Filters

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS) customers can create and save customized event filters on the Event Logging page for repeated use. See Customizable Event Filters for more information. custom_filter_wn.jpg

Improved Search Capabilities in the Event Logging Page

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging (SaaS) customers will now benefit from these improvements to the search capability on the Event Logging page:

  • Click an element attribute to add it to the search field.
  • Drag and drop columns on the Event Logging page to view your event information the way you want to.
  • New AND NOT and OR NOT search operators in the Event Logging page provide more granular event search capability.

See Searching for and Filtering Events in the Event Logging Page for more information.

August 13, 2020

These are the new features we are releasing this week.

Custom Conflict Detected Polling Interval

You can now configure custom polling intervals by device, regardless of the device type or any previously configured polling intervals. This includes detection for device state or any detected out of band changes.

See Schedule Polling for Device Changes for more information.


Custom FTD Templates

You can now create a custom FTD template by selecting one or more parts (Access Rules, NAT Rules, Settings, Interfaces, and Objects) of an onboarded FTD device's configuration. Applying a custom template to other FTDs will retain, update, or remove the existing configuration based on the included parts. However, CDO still allows you to select all parts to create a complete template and apply it to other FTDs.  

See FTD Templates for more information.

custom template.jpg

July 30, 2020

These are the new features we are releasing this week.

Object Overrides

CDO introduces “Object Overrides” that allow you to provide an alternate value for a shared network object, which the system uses for the devices that you specify. It enables you to create a smaller set of shared policies for use across devices without giving up the ability to alter policies when needed for individual devices. Object override makes it possible to create an object that can be overridden on some or all devices that use it in a shared policy or ruleset.

To override an object, see Object Overrides.

Improved Network Group Wizard

The Network Group editing wizard has been improved to create new network objects instantly and modify the existing ones. It also allows you to add device-specific additional values to devices on which the shared network group is defined.

For more information about the improvements made to Network Group Wizard, see Create or Edit a Firepower Network Object or Network Group and Create or Edit ASA Network Objects and Network Groups.

July 9, 2020

These are the features and improvements deployed today!

Customize the RA VPN and Events Views

You can now customize the tables generated for Remote Access Virtual Private Network (RA VPN), as well as both live and historical event views. Organize and save the tables in the manner that best suits your needs and what is crucial to your portfolio. To customize the RA VPN view, see Monitor ASA and FTD Remote Access VPN. To customize the Events view, see Viewing Live and Historical Events in CDO.


July 2, 2020

These are the features and improvements deployed today!


You can now incorporate CDO into SecureX, which provides a summarization of devices, policy, and applied objects per tenant to strengthen your visibility and automation across your security portfolio. See SecureX for more about how to incorporate CDO and SecureX.

For more information about SecureX capabilities, see Cisco's SecureX product page. To log into your SecureX account, click here.

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging Event Downloads

After filtering ASA and FTD events on the Event Logging page, you can now download your results in a compressed .CSV file.

  • The events you add to a downloadable .CSV file are defined by a time range.
  • A single .CSV file can accommodate up to approximately 50 GB of compressed information.
  • Generation of downloadable files can be done in parallel.
  • Once created, the .CSV files are stored in Cisco cloud and downloaded directly from there. These files do not consume any CDO/SWC server resources.
  • Completed downloadable .CSV files are stored for 7 days and then deleted.

See Downloading Events for more information.

June 18, 2020

These are the new features we are releasing this week.

Firepower Threat Defense Executive Summary Report

You can now generate a custom Executive Summary Report on any or all of your onboarded Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) devices. The report displays a collection of operational statistics such as encrypted traffic, intercepted threats, detected web categories, and more. Read FTD Executive Summary Report for more information about what the report offers and how you can use it to improve your network infrastructure. To create and manage your reports, see Managing Reports.

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging Improvements

ASA Syslog and NSEL Events Support

Cisco Security Analytics and Logging has been greatly expanded to support logging events from ASAs!

  • ASA logging: Security Analytics and Logging (SAL) now supports logging from any Cisco ASA Firewall, regardless of how it is managed. Users can choose to send ASA logs in syslog format, NetFlow Security Event Logs (NSEL) format, or both. Customers that want to enable logging analytics will be required to enable NSEL logs to provide the necessary telemetry for the higher-tier SAL licenses.

In addition to existing FTD logging, this makes CDO the first product in Cisco’s Security portfolio to truly aggregate and unify logging for Cisco’s entire firewall fleet.

See Cisco Security Analytics and Logging for ASA Devices and Implementing Cisco Security Analytics and Logging for ASA Devices for more information.

  • Longer-term Storage and Download: Users can now opt-in to store logs for 1, 2, or 3 years when initially ordering SAL, or as an add-on later. Note that the default retention period of firewall logging remains 90 days. See Security Analytics and Logging Event Storage.
  • Traffic Analysis: Both FTD connection-level logs and ASA (NSEL) logs can be run through SAL’s traffic analysis, and observations and alerts can be reviewed by cross-launching to Stealthwatch Cloud using SecureX Sign-On. ASA customers only logging syslog must switch to NSEL logs to enable traffic analytics. Customers acquiring Logging Analytics and Detection and Total Network Analytics and Detection licenses can provision and use a Stealthwatch Cloud portal for analysis at no extra charge. Stealthwatch Cloud detections include observations and alerts specifically enabled using firewall logging data, in addition to the other detections available to SAL users as part of Stealthwatch Cloud’s core capability. Existing Logging and Troubleshooting license holders can test the detection capabilities of higher licenses with no commitment for 30 days.
  • Free Trials: You can start a no-commitment 30-day SAL trial for all licenses by filling out this form. This low-touch trial requires only a minimal set of on-prem connectors for exporting data to the cloud. You can use this trial to evaluate SAL capabilities, and estimate the data volume required to support production environments, as a precursor to purchasing the appropriate daily volume for SAL licenses. To this end, the SAL trial will not throttle data for most user volumes. In addition, an estimator tool helps you estimate SAL daily volume.

Improved Event Monitoring for Security Analytics and Logging

  • The Event Logging page in CDO now provides filtering of ASA events by type. You can see all your syslog events or NSEL events separately or together. 
  • Many ASA syslog events are parsed, providing greater detail about the event. That detail can be used to analyze the event in SWC.
  • You can customize your view of the Event Logging page by showing only the columns of information you want to see and by hiding the rest.
  • See Filtering Events in the Event Logging Page for more information.

June 4, 2020

Take a look at the new features and offers we are highlighting this week.

Monitor and Terminate Remote Access VPN Sessions

You can now use CDO to monitor live AnyConnect Remote Access VPN sessions across all Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) and Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) VPN head-ends in your tenant. It gathers information on the total number of active VPN sessions, currently connected users and sessions, the volume of data received and transferred.

You can view the performance of each RA VPN head-end in your tenant, filter sessions by head-ends, and select the session properties that you want to view in the VPN monitoring table. Also, you can export the RA VPN sessions of one or more devices to a comma-separated value (.csv) file. See Export RA VPN Sessions to a CSV File for more information.

You can terminate all the active RA VPN sessions of a single user on an ASA, and terminate all active RA VPN sessions of all users on an ASA. See Disconnect Active RA VPN Sessions on ASA and Disconnect Active RA VPN Sessions on FTD for more information.

Open the Remote Access VPN Monitoring screen from the navigation bar by clicking VPN > Remote Access VPN Monitoring. See Monitoring Remote Access VPN Sessions for more information.



AWS Virtual Private Cloud Management - Free Trial

Try managing your AWS VPC from CDO for free for 90 days. Open the Devices & Services page in CDO and onboard your AWS VPC to get started. See Onboard an AWS VPC for more information.

What's New Tile

The CDO landing page now has a What's New tile to showcase the latest features and when CDO implemented those features. If there is a feature that interests you, click the title of the feature to read the documentation about that specific feature.

May 20, 2020 - New API Only User

CDO now allows a Super Admin to create an “API Only User” that can be used to generate an API token for authenticating to CDO when making CDO REST API calls. This user account and the corresponding API token continues to function even after the original Super Admin departs your organization. See Create API Only Users for more information.

May 7, 2020 - Backup Firepower Threat Defense Devices Using CDO

manage_backups.jpgYou can now use CDO to back up a Firepower Threat Defense's (FTD's) system configuration. With CDO you can:

  • Backup devices on demand.
  • Schedule recurring backups on a cadence from every day to every month, at the time you choose.
  • Download backups and use Firepower Device Manager (FDM) to restore them.

See Backing Up FTDs for more information.

April 16, 2020

These are the features that we released this week:

CDO Support for Devices Running Firepower Threat Defense 6.6.0

CDO now manages FTD 6.6.0 devices. These are the new aspects of support CDO provides:

For more information about the FTD features CDO supports, review Managing Firepower Threat Defense with Cisco Defense Orchestrator. See Firepower Threat Defense Support Specifics for a complete list of supported device types. 

April 9, 2020 - Firepower Threat Defense Command Line Interface

You can now issue CLI requests to your FTD devices directly from CDO. See FTD Command Line Interface Documentation and Using the CDO Command Line Interface for more information.

April 2, 2020 - Improved License Management for Firepower Threat Defense Devices

Viewing FTD device license information, enabling and disabling licenses, and refreshing licenses is now all managed from a single button in the Device Actions pane on the Devices & Services page.







March 2020

These are the highlights of the features that we deployed in March 2020.

FTD Security Database Updates 

CDO allows you to immediately update and, simultaneously, schedule future updates for security databases when you onboard you FTD device. This feature updates the SRU, security intelligence (SI), vulnerability (VDB), and geolocation databases. Note that you can only schedule future updates as part of the onboarding process. See Update FTD Security Databases for more information. 

Support for Port Ranges in FTD Service Objects

CDO now supports creating service objects (also referred to as port objects in FTD) that contain a range of port numbers. See Create a Firepower Service Object for more information.

Cisco Secure Sign-on Domain Migration

On Tuesday March 24, 2020, at 5pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time, the official domain for Cisco Security Single Sign-on solution was moved from to

We recommend that you update any saved links and update any password managers, so they are referencing the new URL.

If you experience any issues please contact Cisco TAC, who can provide you with technical support.

FTD Rulesets

CDO introduces Rulesets for Firepower Threat Defense devices. A ruleset is a collection of access control rules that can be shared by multiple FTD devices. Any change made to the rules of a ruleset affects the other FTD devices that use the ruleset. An FTD policy can have both device-specific (local) and shared (rulesets) rules. You can also create rulesets from existing rules in an FTD device. 

This feature is currently available for devices running Firepower Threat Defense 6.5 and later releases. 

See FTD Rulesets for more information. 

Copy or Move rules within an FTD Policy or to Another FTD Policy

It’s now possible to copy or move rules from the policy on one FTD to the policy on another FTD. We have also made it easier to move rules within an FTD policy so you can fine-tune the order in which rules evaluate network traffic.See Copy FTD Access Control Rules and Move FTD Access Control Rules for more information.

AnyConnect Software Package Upload to FTD Version 6.5+

You can now use CDO's Remote Access VPN wizard to upload AnyConnect packages from a remote server to a Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) device running FTD 6.5 or later. Ensure that the remote server supports HTTP or HTTPS protocol.See Upload AnyConnect Software Packages to an FTD Device Running FTD Version 6.5 or Later for more information.

Terminology Update in CDO's Interface

In order to manage a device, Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO) must have a copy of the device's configuration stored in its own database. When CDO "reads" a configuration, it makes a copy of the configuration stored on the device and saves it to CDO's database. We have renamed some interface options to better describe what you are doing when you perform a read action. This is the new terminology:

  • Check for Changes. If a device's configuration status is Synced, the Check for Changes link is available. Clicking Check for Changes directs CDO to compare its copy of the device's configuration with the device's copy of the device's configuration. If there is a difference CDO immediately overwrites its copy of the device's configuration with the copy stored on the device. 
  • Discard Changes. If a device's configuration is Not Synced, clicking Discard Changes deletes any changes CDO made to its copy of the device configuration and also overwrites it with a copy of the configuration found on the device. 
  • Accept Without Review. This action overwrites CDO's copy of a device's configuration with the copy of the configuration stored on the device. CDO does not prompt you to confirm the action. 

See Reading, Discarding, Checking for, and Deploying Configuration Changes for more information.


Would be nice to have the following features implemented for FTD Devices:

- EVERYTHING that's available for the ASA devices. 


Definitely underwhelmed when I got this up for my firepower devices. 


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