Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs Cisco Secure Network Analytics comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) and Cisco Secure Network Analytics based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Cisco Security Portfolio solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Secure Network Analytics Report (Updated: May 2024).
772,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"Profiling is one of the most valuable features. We have a lot of different devices between cameras, access points, and laptops that get plugged in.""We were originally a Cisco shop and Cisco ISE integrated well with our other Cisco switches and networks.""The best feature of the Cisco ISE platform is that it is compatible with Microsoft products.""They have recently made a lot of improvements. My clients don't have much to complain about.""A lot of customers use a third party to manage their guest Wi-Fi. Cisco ISE presents the ability to bring that in-house so that customers can have full control over it, change the branding, and get extra telemetry from it and the user data. It works really well for our customers.""The interconnection with the ecosystem and the ability to force rules all over the network are the most important features.""For customers, it's great. It has a GUI, so the customers themselves can edit ACLs or even modify the policies. It's also an all-in-one solution with RADIUS and TACACS.""For device administration, all devices have multifactor authentication in collaboration with IT, so it secures access to all of our devices. For guest and wireless access, it's a matter of a lowly manager who we give access to the portal and he can assign access to the guests, so it's a very simple process now. It keeps the IT focusing on their work, and gives the business people the right access."

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"It's easy to set up. The deployment takes one or two days. You need to collect the data from a device and then direct it to the portal.""The solution has increased our threat detection rate. Cisco Stealthwatch has not reduced our incident response times. It has not reduced the amount of time it takes us to detect immediate threats. It has reduced false positives.""It has improved our internal knowledge of what's going on with the network, and that's helpful.""The solution allowed us to not only get gain insight but also start collaborating with other tools.""Overall, the implementation is very good.""The most valuable feature of this solution is the way the net flow is being merged together in a single pane. That's been extremely useful for us, because can see what's going on with traffic in one single place.""StealthWatch lets me see the ports running in and out and the country. It has excellent reporting, telemetry, and artificial intelligence features. With the telemetry, I can set thresholds to detect sudden changes and the alarms go through the PLC parts. I can see all the ports running on that trunk.""It's a dependable product that is able to pinpoint where we have vulnerabilities if they occur."

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"The user interface could be more user-friendly.""The installation is not straightforward, it took us approximately one month.""The solution could be more secure.""The admin interface is really slow. It's horrible.""I'm working from China currently and the only real issue is that, within the country, there's some concern around Cisco and its ability to offer the solution for the long term. As the United States has banned the Huawei version in their country, we feel there may be retaliation in ours and Cisco will get banned as a countermeasure from the government. The future of Cisco in China is in question. Our local partners are worried about the situation.""It does a good job of establishing trust for every access request. We have had a little bit of a challenge with profiling, but we are probably about 80% there.""The licensing documentation needs to be better.""The software is a little bit complicated to understand in the beginning, meaning the implementation. It needs proper documentation so that we can understand the options more easily."

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"I would like Cisco to make it easier for the administrators to use it.""I would like to see more expansion in artificial intelligence and machine learning features.""Stealthwatch needs improvement when it comes to speed.""Cisco Stealthwatch needs more integration with device discovery. We have to do a lot of hard work to figure out what things are. Better service integration is required.""It hasn't really improved our direct detection rate but it has definitely reduced our incident response time as we wouldn't have been able to detect threats or immediate risks without this solution.""The reporting of day-to-day metrics still has room for improvement.""The overall visibility into the actual device itself would be helpful. I don't just want support-specific data, but also to be able to see information such as CPU and other internal components or usage of the devices.""Many of these tools require extensive on-premises hardware to run."

More Cisco Secure Network Analytics Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "There are three levels of pricing: basic, plus, and apex. Basic satisfied our needs."
  • "If you go directly with Cisco for the implementation it's very, very expensive."
  • "The SMARTnet technical support is available at an additional cost."
  • "For the Avast virus scan, we pay around USD $95 per machine for five years which includes all updates and technical support."
  • "The price for Cisco ISE is high."
  • "The price can be lower, especially for subscriptions. It should be a lot cheaper to have a wide range of customers. The price should be comparable to competitive products like Forescout or Fortinet FortiNAC. Forescout is cheaper for customers looking for a cloud solution."
  • "There are other cheaper options available."
  • "The price is okay."
  • More Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is worth the cost."
  • "Licensing is done by flows per second, not including outside>in traffic."
  • "Pricing is much higher compared to other solutions."
  • "​Licensing is done by flows per second, not including outside (in traffic)."
  • "Today, we are part of the big Cisco ELA, and it is a la carte. We can get orders for whatever we want. At the end of the day, we have to pay for it in one big expense, but that is fine. We are okay with that."
  • "NetFlow is very expensive."
  • "One of the things which bugs me about Lancope is the licensing. We understand how licensing works. Our problem is when we bought and purchased most of these Lancope devices, we did so with our sister company. Somewhere within the purchase and distribution, licensing got mixed up. That is all on Cisco, and it is their responsibility. They allotted some of our sister company's equipment to us, and some of our equipment to them. To date, they have never been able to fix it."
  • "The licensing costs are outrageous."
  • More Cisco Secure Network Analytics Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: Aruba ClearPass is a Network Access Control tool that gives secure network access to multiple device types. You can adapt the policies to VPN access, wired, or wireless access. You can securely… more »
    Top Answer:OK, so Cisco ISE uses 802.1X to secure switchports against unauthorized access. The drawback of this is that ISE cannot secure the port if a device does not support 802.1x. Cameras, badge readers… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco ISE uses AI endpoint analytics to identify new devices based on their behavior. It will also notify you if someone plugs in with a device that is not allowed and will block it. The user… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of Cisco Secure Network Analytics is the Threat Intelligence integration.
    Top Answer:I would rate Cisco SNA as a nine out of ten in terms of costliness.
    Top Answer:Initially, I felt Cisco Secure Network Analytics lacked integration with Splunk. However, with Cisco's recent acquisition of Splunk, it seems this gap will be addressed. If this integration happens… more »
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    Also Known As
    Cisco ISE
    Cisco Stealthwatch, Cisco Stealthwatch Enterprise, Lancope StealthWatch
    Learn More
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    Cisco ISE is an all-in-one solution that streamlines security policy management and reduces operating costs. Cisco ISE delivers visibility and access control over users and devices across wired, wireless, and VPN connections.

    Identity Services Engine enables enterprises to deliver secure network access to users and devices. It shares contextual data, such as threats and vulnerabilities, with integrated solutions from Cisco technology partners. You can see what is happening in your network, which applications are running, and more.

    Features of Cisco ISE

    • Centralized management helps administrators configure and manage user profile characteristics - a single pane of glass for integrated management services.
    • Contextual identity and business policy: The rule-based attribute is a driven policy model. The goal is to provide flexible access control policies.
    • Wide range of access control options, including Virtual LAN (VLAN) URL redirections, and access control lists.
    • Supplicant-less network access: You can roll out secure network access by deriving authentication from login information across application layers.
    • Guest lifecycle management streamlines the experience for implementing and customizing network access for guests.
    • Built-in AAA services: The platform uses standard RADIUS protocol for authentication, authorization, and accounting.
    • Device auditing, administration, and access control provide users with access on a need-to-know and need-to-act basis. It keeps audit trails for every change in the network.
    • Device profiling: ISE features predefined device templates for different types of endpoints.
    • Internal certificate authority: Qn easy-to-deploy single console to manage endpoints and certificates.

    Benefits of Cisco ISE

    Cisco’s holistic approach to network access security has several advantages:

    • Context-based access based on your company policies. ISE creates a complete contextual identity, including attributes such as user, time, location, threat, access type, and vulnerability. This contextual identity is used to enforce a secure access policy. Administrators can apply strict control over how and when endpoints are allowed in the network.
    • Better network visibility via an easy-to-use, simple console. In addition, visibility is improved by storing a detailed attribute history of all endpoints connected to the network.
    • Comprehensive policy enforcement. ISE sets easy and flexible access rules. These rules are controlled from a central console that enforces them across the network and security infrastructure. You can define policies that differentiate between registered users and guests. The system uses group tags that enable access control on business rules instead of IP addresses.
    • Self-service device onboarding enables the enterprise to implement a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy securely. Users can manage their devices according to the policies defined by IT administrators. (IT remains in charge of provisioning and posturing to comply with security policies.)
    • Consistent guest experiences: You can provide guests with different levels of access from different connections. You can customize guest portals via a cloud-delivered portal editor with dynamic visual tools.


    You can get ISE as a physical or virtual appliance. Both deployments can create ISE clusters that create scale, redundancy, and requirements.


    Cisco ISE has four primary licences. Evaluation for up to 100 endpoints with full platform functionality. The higher tiers are Partner, Advantage and Essential.

    Reviews from Real Users

    "The user experience of the solution is great. It's a very transparent system. according to a PeerSpot user in Cyber Security at a manufacturing company.

    Omar Z., Network & Security Engineer at an engineering company, feels that "The RADIUS Server holds the most value."

    “Whether I deploy in China, the US, South Africa, or wherever, I can get all the capabilities. It allows me to directly integrate with 365, and from a communications point of view, that is a good capability," says Rammohan M., Senior Consultant at a tech services company.

    Hassan A.,Technology Manager at Advanced Integrated Systems, says that "The most valuable feature is the integration with StealthWatch and DNA as one fabric."

    Cisco Secure Network Analytics is a highly effective network traffic analysis (NTA) solution that enables users to find threats in their network traffic even if those threats are encrypted. It turns an organization’s network telemetry into a tool that creates a complete field of vision for the organization’s administrators. Users can find threats that may have infiltrated their systems and stop them before they can do irreparable harm.

    Cisco Secure Network Analytics Benefits

    A few ways that organizations can benefit by choosing to deploy Cisco Secure Network Analytics include:

    • Security scaling. Secure Network Analytics makes it easy for organizations to scale up their level of network protection to match the growth that their business is experiencing. It can be deployed on whatever type of system is necessary. Users will have their growth needs met at every stage of their business journey because the solution offers users the ability to use it on-premises or in the cloud and it can be consumed as a SaaS-based or license-based solution. Whenever any kind of device is added, Secure Network Analytics can automatically classify that device so that it is seamlessly integrated into its network protection system.
    • Detects threats as they appear. Users gain the ability to scan their network traffic for even the most advanced threats at all times. Secure Network Analytics easily identifies the early warning signs that are typically initiated before attacks are conducted by bad actors. Once these signs are found, users are warned so that they can take steps to prevent those threats from escalating. This also enables users to determine the source of the threat and whether it might have spread further than initially thought.
    • Eliminate blind spots. Organizations that use Secure Network Analytics can view their network traffic across both private networks and public cloud environments. The scanning power of the solution allows users to gain complete visibility with a fewer number of sensors than their competitors require to achieve a similar level of protection.

    Cisco Secure Network Analytics Features

    Some of the many features that Cisco Secure Network Analytics offers include:

    • Centralized security management. Secure Network Analytics’ Identity Services Engine feature enables users to control their network from a single graphical user interface. Administrators can simplify their jobs by controlling profiler, posture, guest, authentication, and authorization services from a single pane of glass.
    • Machine learning tools. Secure Network Analytics uses machine learning to generate alerts when malicious or suspicious activity is detected. It also analyzes the threat so that users gain insight into the nature of the dangers that confront them. Additionally, it examines the threats to determine whether they are actual threats or false alarms. This significantly reduces the number of false alarms that administrators have to spend time attempting to resolve.
    • Automation. Users can automate routine tasks that users would otherwise have to handle manually. This automation feature frees administrators and employees to handle other more critical tasks.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco Secure Network Analytics is a solution that stands out even when compared to many other comparable products. Two major advantages that it offers are the way that it enables users to define the threshold at which the solution will issue a warning to administrators and the predefined alerts that it offers straight out of the box.

    Gerald J., the information technology operations supervisor at Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., writes, “StealthWatch lets me see the ports running in and out and the country. It has excellent reporting, telemetry, and artificial intelligence features. With the telemetry, I can set thresholds to detect sudden changes and the alarms go through the PLC parts. I can see all the ports running on that trunk.”

    A senior security engineer at a tech services company, says, “Cisco Stealthwatch has predefined alerts for different types of security issues that might happen in the network. Whether it's PCs or servers that are used for botnets or Bitcoin mining we receive the alerts automatically. This functionality is what we receive from the solution out of the box.”

    Sample Customers
    Aegean Motorway, BC Hydro, Beachbody, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Cisco IT, Derby City Council, Global Banking Customer, Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha, Houston Methodist, Linz AG, London Hydro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Molina Healthcare, MST Systems, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Reykjavik University, Wildau University
    Edge Web Hosting, Telenor Norway, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Webster Financial Corporation, Westinghouse Electric, VMware, TIAA-CREF
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Educational Organization23%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Healthcare Company23%
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Computer Software Company28%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Manufacturing Company5%
    Company Size
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise9%
    Large Enterprise76%
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise10%
    Large Enterprise73%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Secure Network Analytics
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Secure Network Analytics and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    772,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is ranked 1st in Cisco Security Portfolio with 137 reviews while Cisco Secure Network Analytics is ranked 3rd in Cisco Security Portfolio with 57 reviews. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is rated 8.2, while Cisco Secure Network Analytics is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) writes "Gives us that extra ability to assist the end user and make sure that we are making them happy". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco Secure Network Analytics writes "Increased the visibility of what is happening in our network". Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is most compared with Aruba ClearPass, Fortinet FortiNAC, Forescout Platform, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and Fortinet FortiAuthenticator, whereas Cisco Secure Network Analytics is most compared with Darktrace, Cisco Secure Cloud Analytics, ThousandEyes, Vectra AI and Arista NDR. See our Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Secure Network Analytics report.

    See our list of best Cisco Security Portfolio vendors.

    We monitor all Cisco Security Portfolio reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.