IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

Cisco Web Security Appliance OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Web Security Appliance is #9 ranked solution in top Web Security Gateways. PeerSpot users give Cisco Web Security Appliance an average rating of 8 out of 10. Cisco Web Security Appliance is most commonly compared to Cisco Umbrella: Cisco Web Security Appliance vs Cisco Umbrella. Cisco Web Security Appliance is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 69% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 36% of all views.
Cisco Web Security Appliance Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Web Security Appliance Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2022

What is Cisco Web Security Appliance?

For security, your network needs malware protection, application visibility and control, acceptable use policy controls, insightful reporting and secure mobility. Cisco offers this protection, all on a single platform: the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA).

Cisco Web Security Appliance was previously known as Cisco WSA, Cisco Web Security.

Cisco Web Security Appliance Customers

New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Caixa Seguradora

Cisco Web Security Appliance Video

Cisco Web Security Appliance Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Cisco Web Security Appliance pricing:
  • "The solution's cost depends on how many users you purchase. It was maybe $3 or $5 per user, which is a bit expensive."
  • "Cisco Web Security Appliance is not the cheapest solution on the market, but it's well worth it."
  • "This is an expensive solution."
  • Cisco Web Security Appliance Reviews

    Filter by:
    Filter Reviews
    Industry
    Loading...
    Filter Unavailable
    Company Size
    Loading...
    Filter Unavailable
    Job Level
    Loading...
    Filter Unavailable
    Rating
    Loading...
    Filter Unavailable
    Considered
    Loading...
    Filter Unavailable
    Order by:
    Loading...
    • Date
    • Highest Rating
    • Lowest Rating
    • Review Length
    Search:
    Showingreviews based on the current filters. Reset all filters
    Atdhe Zyhranaj - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Security Consultant at NSCON Network Services & Consulting GmbH
    Real User
    Top 20
    Easy to set up with scalable virtual machines and good reliability
    Pros and Cons
    • "It also allows you to decrypt SSL traffic, and that's a really important feature as well, which is something I also configured."
    • "WSA is lacking firewall features."

    What is our primary use case?

    We were configuring the computers, using it as a proxy. What I did was I configured the different URL categories and custom categories, and assigned them to a specific group of people through their Active Directory group. It was working in conjunction with Active Directory.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We didn't use WSA, it was used only in our customers premises 

    What is most valuable?

    It works really well. It operates beautifully once everything is configured.  It also allows you to decrypt SSL traffic, and that's a really important feature as well, which is something I also configured. The solution is easy to set up. The virtual machine is quite scalable. It's stable. 

    What needs improvement?

    I didn't use the full potential of WSA, so I cannot really say what features may be lacking or missing.  The WSA should have a Firewall like feature built in, that would allow for more control with different ports other than 80, 443 or HTTP and HTTPS.
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Web Security Appliance
    June 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco Web Security Appliance. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for three years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The customer prior to where I configured the physical appliance, never complained about it not working. It's been three years or so and it's still operating as smoothly as it operated on the first day. There weren't any breakdowns or lags or anything like that.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I'm not really sure about the scalability. If I could compare, cloud solutions like Umbrella and Zscaler are far better than WSA. Maybe the virtual machine of WSA is more scalable than the physical appliance as the physical appliance is bound to the specification that it has. Whereas you can scale the virtual machine as much as you can and allows you your underlying hypervisor.  We have about 1,500 people using the solution.

    How are customer service and support?

    I've never had to use technical support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The implementation was very straightforward. The interface is really intuitive. I don't know about the new one, however. They released an interface, however, it wasn't fully released. It was a demo. Those interfaces were really good. Getting up and running from start to finish takes about eight hours.  The setup was pretty fast as the features that I used were pretty straightforward and all I had to do was handle custom URLs. It wasn't too complex a configuration.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The solution's cost depends on how many users you purchase. It was maybe $3 or $5 per user, which is a bit expensive. Other solutions are expensive, especially the cloud ones. It's still on par with the others, however, lowering the expenses would be also a great thing. It's absolutely worth the cost.

    What other advice do I have?

    The last version of the solution we used was on a virtual machine. Prior to that, I worked on a physical appliance. It was WSA S190. The company decided to go with WSA mainly due to the fact that, in one case, financial institutions usually prefer on-prem deployments over the cloud. I also had a good experience with WSA and the customer was okay to have it on on-prem.  If you're a customer with a lot of sites, then an on-prem solution like WSA is not a good option. For a big customer, you have to purchase one for each site and that's expensive. Going for a cloud solution where you have centralized management of all your policies is the better option. It's also less expensive than an on-prem Solution As for a small customer with two or three sites in a small region, it would be okay to have one WSA centralized. This was the case with my last customer, which has 1,500 users. Their sites are all close to each other so that wouldn't be a problem. There wouldn't be a problem using one centralized WSA in one site as it wouldn't cause latency or stuff like that. If the sites are scattered all around, I wouldn't recommend WSA as it becomes too expensive. A cloud solution like Umbrella or Zscaler is preferred in this case. I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. It operates well, however, the on-remises version is limited in terms of scaling.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    Flag as inappropriate
    Vusa Ndlovu - PeerSpot reviewer
    Security Solution Architect at Nexio South Africa
    Real User
    Top 10
    Great filtering, excellent features, and helpful technical support
    Pros and Cons
    • "It's a scalable product."
    • "I would like more automation."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution for security and controlled internet access. We just finished deploying one for one of our clients that actually bought both devices. That was just before COVID that we implemented it, so we just finished it now.

    What is most valuable?

    There are different types of groups with different types of access depending on the policies for those departments or users. We've got the administrator, the normal users, and then the management. We allow certain users to have access to all of the sites as they do research as well as marketing. We also use those features to actually define the policies so that they can have access to those sites for advertising as well.

    Most of the features are great. They've got great filtering. That's what the client was looking at in terms of users when they go out to the internet, to make sure that when they access, they access the sites that actually have been filtered by Cisco to make sure that those sites are secure and they don't have malware that they can download from those sites.

    The stability is good.

    It's a scalable product.

    Technical support has been helpful.

    The pricing is reasonable.

    What needs improvement?

    We just deployed it. I would just like to have more filters. However, I need more time to give a report to see what limitations may exist. 

    During the setup, we had issues with updating the rules.

    I would like more automation. When it's on a failover, everyone will think that they'll filter nicely.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using the solution for almost four years now.  

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've been running the latest solution for eight months now and it is totally stable. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. The clients that we have sold a few of those boxes to, did find integrating with AV software a bit expensive. However, it is possible to expand it.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is great. They're always on par. They're fine. So far, from what we've seen, they've always managed to respond.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It's a bit on the expensive side, I must say, however, when you look at the trends of the market, if you look where other services are going, the pricing is very close.

    While the first assumption from clients is "Oh, Cisco devices are expensive," when you compare it with other devices, it's almost a tie. In general, the pricing of Cisco devices is not that bad.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are a Cisco partner and a reseller.

    We're integrating with the Cisco ISE as well. We bought the licenses for malware as well and then integrated them with the AD. That's been the new authentication for the users when they go into the internet with a specified group. 

    I’d recommend the solution. The support from Cisco is excellent. Through my years working with Cisco, I would always recommend Cisco, any product that they provide, thanks to my years of experience.

    I have, for the past six or seven years, deployed different types of deployments and I would say Cisco support is excellent. I have met a lot of good, skilled people in terms of support along the way. Especially on ISE as that's one of the more difficult products.

    It works very well for what the client actually wants to achieve. You have put the policies in place according to the client’s needs. ISE helps ensure the policies are in place and working. We have logs, we have evidence.

    As long as you put ISE in, it's going to tell you all the issues that you're having with your AD. If it's not configured properly, even if you’ve been running it for 15 years, you'll know. We can show how things may not be configured properly and how to fix them.

    I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Flag as inappropriate
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Web Security Appliance
    June 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Cisco Web Security Appliance. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Muhammad Hussain - PeerSpot reviewer
    Unit Head System Administration & Automation at MCB Islamic Bank Ltd
    Real User
    Easy to use with good pre-defined categories and good reliability
    Pros and Cons
    • "The product is stable."
    • "It should have a user-based quota, per-user quota, that can be defined on the appliance."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are just using the solution for internal purposes. When we need to browse the internet, our staff will either be allowed or refused access to the internet. All of the internet is accessed via the server.

    What is most valuable?

    The bandwidth limit is useful. The categories are pre-defined by Cisco. 

    It's a very user-friendly product and is easy to set up.

    The product is stable.

    It's a scalable product.

    What needs improvement?

    It should have a user-based quota, per-user quota, that can be defined on the appliance. That way, if a user reaches their quota individually, they should be blocked for the next day. 

    One major feature that is still not in this product and that should be implemented by Cisco is that it should have a live graph. We'd like to see, for example: What is the user consumption at the right now? What is the bandwidth, when bandwidth is used by the user? There is no current graph of it and I would recommend it should be in the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for five years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is stable. I have not seen any issues in five years. We have not had any unintentional reboots or downtime. It is very reliable and is a stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We haven't had any issues with scalability.

    In my first company, there were 2,000 people on the solution. In my latest organization, we have 15,000 people on it. 

    How are customer service and support?

    We've reached out to support for day-to-day challenges. They've been very helpful and responsive and we have been happy with their level of service. 

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution is very easy to set up. It's user-friendly. The process isn't difficult. It took us about a day to set up.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    You do need to pay for a license. It's not cheap or expensive. It's mid-level in terms of price. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did look at other solutions. We conducted a comparison of options and did a POC. In the end, we found this product very helpful. We looked at, for example, Fortigate, among others. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We're a customer and end-user.

    I'd advise users to give the solution a try. It's a very easy-to-use product and everything is working without any issue with the appliance. I would recommend others to use it.

    I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Network Support Engineer at a government with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Easy to deploy with good scalability but the stability could be more reliable
    Pros and Cons
    • "The deployment process is very simple."
    • "The solution needs to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution to verify the identity of users that are connecting to the network. It's used to check the compliance of their systems before they are able to connect.

    What is most valuable?

    There isn't that much to it. It's not overly complex.

    The scalability is good.

    The deployment process is very simple.

    Technical support is okay.

    What needs improvement?

    The stability could be better. 

    The solution needs to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate. It's not so easy right now. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for five years at this point. I've used it for a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is lacking and is something that should be looked at. We don't find it to be very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution offers good scalability. If a company need sot expand it, it can do so. It's not a problem.

    We have about 50,000 users on the solution currently.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We've contacted technical support in the past and they have been fine. Cisco has relatively good technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not previously use a different solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution is very easy to implement. It's not overly complex or too difficult. Our deployment took about six months.

    We have five team members that can handle setups and maintenance tasks. They are engineers.

    What about the implementation team?

    While we did do some of the initial setup ourselves, we did also have a consultant come in to assist in certain areas from time to time. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    There is a one-time licensing fee that needs to be paid. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We are using the latest version of the solution, however, I cannot speak to the exact version number.

    I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten. It's an okay solution that needs better stability.

    I would recommend the solution to other companies and organizations. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Enrique Diaz Jolly - PeerSpot reviewer
    Owner at Jolly Security Inc
    Real User
    Top 5
    An all-in-one highly secure web gateway
    Pros and Cons
    • "It integrates well with Cisco Email Security Appliance."
    • "Sometimes reporting is a little bit short."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Cisco Web Security Appliance as a security proxy when using the web.

    What is most valuable?

    It integrates well with Cisco Email Security Appliance. This way, even if a customer clicks on a link that is malicious, thanks to Cisco Web Security Appliance, you have a second chance to protect your website.

    Integration-wise, browser-security-wise (for users browsing the internet), it's one of the greatest tools.

    This appliance is quite accurate when it comes to categorial filtering. However, It's not as sophisticated as Blue Coat, which features malware blue, malware red, and malware yellow filters. Sometimes I feel that Blue Coat actually has too many categories, which can be confusing — the granularity is good, but the quantity is too much.

    What needs improvement?

    Sometimes reporting is a little bit short. Cisco has always put more emphasis on developing big products that are very robust security-wise, rather than focusing on developing solutions with a lot of bells and whistles. In other words, it's not beautiful, but it gets the job done.

    Reporting is not so beautiful compared to other solutions, it's not so cute and colorful; however, it does a very good job in the areas that it supports — because it detects malware and malicious code. There is a ton of intelligence behind it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution since it was first released.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Cisco Web Security Appliance is not the cheapest solution on the market, but it's well worth it.

    What other advice do I have?

    Implementation has to be done right, it's very important. It's not enough just to connect it — that won't make the traffic go through. 

    You have to really think about how you want to route the traffic. It's for HTTP and HTTPS. Speaking of HTTPS, you have to consider the well-done proxying, otherwise, you will be breaking internet security because you'll have issues with the certificates, et cetera. So you have to do a very well-planned integration.

    Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight. Security-wise, it's a great product.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Sokhna DIOKH - PeerSpot reviewer
    Integrating engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    A stable part of our overall security solution
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is security."
    • "The GUI is not user-friendly, so it needs to improve or be simplified."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are system integrators and deploy solutions in our client's environment. The primary use case is to allow or deny access to sites or special networks.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is security.

    What needs improvement?

    The GUI is not user-friendly, so it needs to improve or be simplified.

    The initial setup is complex, it could be easier.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with the Cisco Web Security Appliance for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution itself is stable, but it all depends on the infrastructure of the end-user, and how to integrate the product to the end-user.

    It really depends on the complexity of the infrastructure and the design.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's a scalable product.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using the Fortinet FortiGate Cloud a year ago. Fortinet is easier to use than Cisco.

    We also use Cisco Firepower, ASA, the WSA, and ESA for email.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is a bit complex.

    It can take two to three days to deploy.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We are evaluating the Fortinet FortiGate Cloud.

    What other advice do I have?

    In the future, we plan to use it in the cloud when there is a Cisco solution available, depending on the market and the purchasing power of the customers.

    I would rate this solution an eight out ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    Information Security Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Simple but unnecessary
    Pros and Cons
    • "I would recommend this solution to others."
    • "This solution could be more secure."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this solution to restrict prohibited websites and applications. It's a good solution.

    Within our organization, there are roughly 400 people using this solution.

    We plan to continue using this solution. 

    What needs improvement?

    This solution could be more secure.

    Purpose-wise, I don't necessarily see the point of this solution. Users can gain access to restricted content easily with a simple VPN. It just seems like a waste of money to me.

    In my opinion, this kind of technology should be available in a bundle. If internet security and web security were bundled together, that would be great.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Cisco Web Security Appliance for two years. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Sometimes support takes a while to respond to us. Honestly, I have had better support from other vendors in the past. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Deployment and maintenance require two to three technicians. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    We typically purchase either a one-year, three-year, or five-year license.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this solution to others. Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of six. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    IT Network Engineer at a maritime company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Efficient solution used as a web security gateway that is simple to setup.

    What is our primary use case?

    We use this solution as our web security gateway and as an additional proxy.

    What needs improvement?

    The support for the solution could be improved as there are issues with SMARTnet support.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used this solution for three years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have 500 users using this solution. 

    How are customer service and support?

    The support for this solution could be improved. We have experienced issues with their SMARTnet support system. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    This is an expensive solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    We have compared other solutions for security such as Forcepoint, Barracuda Networks, Symantec as we are considering moving away from using this solution. 

    I would rate this solution a seven out of ten. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco Web Security Appliance Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: June 2022
    Product Categories
    Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Cisco Web Security Appliance Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.