Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs Cisco Umbrella comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) and Cisco Umbrella 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 Umbrella Report (Updated: September 2023).
744,865 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:
Pros
"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.""It's keeping our company safe from rogue devices connecting to our network. From a security standpoint, there's peace of mind knowing that every device that connects is a good one.""We found all the features of the product to be valuable.""I really enjoy the live log section. Sometimes, you will have someone who is having issues connecting to the network, and then you have to ask them the dreaded question of, "Did you type a password wrong?" They will probably tell you, "No," but the live log can help sort that out. It gives us that extra ability to assist the end user and make sure that we are making them happy.""For me, the TACACS feature is the most valuable. I have also used Cisco ISE with LDAP, not with Active Directory. That works for me because I prefer LDAP versus Active Directory.""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.""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.""SGTs are valuable because they make it easy to enforce policies, instead of pushing them across all the other platforms."

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"When it comes to hybrid work it's pretty effective. We've got the agents. We can protect people inside our building and, when they're using their laptops out in the field, they're still protected. It's working well.""It is a good cloud-based solution for DNS security.""The most valuable feature is the ability to filter malware sites that could infect clients or allow them to download infected files.""A single pane of glass saves time... This does have a lot of options available for us to see who's doing what, what trends, what errors. We can set up our alerting through it as well. It is definitely a great dashboard.""I was able to implement it myself. It was really easy to install. You could install it on a server locally if you want to. If you have the biggest site, you would do that, but for my site, it was just directing all the traffic out through the Cisco Umbrella DNS. It was really handy. When the owners of the company went overseas, I knew that they would be secure because even if they were not on the company network, they would still go through the Cisco Umbrella servers. It was a complete solution for protecting the company with outgoing data.""I also think that the dashboard view is really helpful. Whenever sites get blocked, we get the details and the users who are connecting to them.""It has excellent resilience in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity for my organization is very important because we are a banking organization. We need this security to protect the personal information of our clients. This is very important for our security.""I haven't needed to reboot the servers for years due to their excellent stability."

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Cons
"On the network services devices, when you click on filter, the filter comes up. However, when I type in a search and I want to click on something it defaults back to the main page. I keep having an issue with that, and I'm not doing anything wrong.""The initial setup process is complex since there are so many big components.""A lot of people tell you the hardware requirements for ISE are pretty substantial. If you're running a virtual environment, you're going to be dedicating quite a bit of resources to an ISE VM. That is something that could be worked on.""Automation [is an area for improvement]. It seems like everywhere I look, automation is super important. Automation and integrations. That's the area it could be improved...""ISE is a little clunky. The front-end feels like it is from the 1980s.""I would like for the next release to be easier to implement and to limit its dependencies around ISE, Windows, the network as a whole, etc.""With the recent release of the solution, we had a bunch of bugs and we had to delay our deployment. Other than that, the solution is good.""The admin interface is really slow. It's horrible."

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"I would like to see more integrations with more products. Some of the integrations need to be simpler as well. For example, the integration with Cisco Secure Firewall could be simpler. It would be good to make reporting simpler. For those who don't use SecureX, it would be good to make Umbrella really simple to use upfront. It's not a difficult product, but it can be daunting for someone who isn't exposed to it because there are so many options.""We would like them to add more features to Cisco Umbrella.""I feel that the application needs other characteristics that are available with other applications in the market.""In my experience with Umbrella support, sometimes the response times take a bit more time than we would like... sometimes, if you go through email, it can take quite a while to get a response.""I would like to see Cisco enable us to get objects from the internet. I would also like to be able to choose groups.""There is room for improvement in the dashboard. It could stand to be a bit more detailed. I would also like to be able to customize the dashboard to focus more on what is important for my company.""There are a couple of interface issues. I know that they say that there are feature enhancements that are noted. For example, we've got the Cisco Meraki security appliances, and there, we geofence our company to where we're allowed to send and receive traffic. So, in our case, by default, we only allow traffic to six different countries, which allows us to effectively prevent traffic for the majority of bad players in the world, but they don't give you an easy way to do that in Cisco Umbrella. With Cisco Meraki, I can specify or pick the countries. I can say that I want to only allow traffic from these six countries, and I'm done. With Cisco Umbrella, I have to rely on the fact that they're going to prevent traffic to other countries. They're going to decide if it's good or bad.""If a hardware platform were provided for Umbrella, that would definitely improve the market for it... Especially when we are addressing governmental customers, they hesitate to connect to the cloud. That is where we need a hardware platform so that the solution can be used on-premises as well."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "There is a license to use this solution and the price is reasonable."
  • "It costs around 50,000 baht in the first year, but I'm unsure about the second year."
  • "Standard licensing gives backup access and very few features, and then there's VM licensing - each VM we use needs to be licensed."
  • "The licensing is subscription-based and based on the user account."
  • "The price for Cisco ISE itself is very low, however, Cisco professional services are quite expensive. Subscription amount is dependent on number of users."
  • "Our customers pay for the license of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine). They have an annual subscription, rather than a monthly subscription."
  • "ISE has always been expensive compared to other products in terms of what it does on a user level."
  • "If you're not going through an agreement, it's very expensive."
  • More Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We were using the free version, and we implemented the paid version about two months ago. I'm paying a fair price, but everything is negotiable with Cisco. One of the benefits that I got by having Cisco Umbrella is the licensing of the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client."
  • "There are no hidden costs with Umbrella. Everything is included in the package."
  • "There is room for improvement when it comes to the cost."
  • "The pricing is pretty fair. It's good."
  • "We have a security Enterprise Agreement with Cisco, so the pricing is good."
  • "The pricing is great and very competitive with the rest of the market."
  • "As an educational partner, we get better licensing structures. We are very happy with that. It has been very nice that Cisco has partnered with the educational sector to bring that."
  • "Its value exceeds its pricing."
  • More Cisco Umbrella 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: Cisco Umbrella and Zscaler Internet Access are two broad-spectrum Internet security solutions that I have tried. Zscaler Internet Access is a good option for carrying out multiple security… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco Umbrella is an integral component of the Cisco SASE architecture. It integrates security in a single, cloud-native solution, unifying multiple features like DNS-layer security, threat… more »
    Top Answer:The interface is well organized, so you can easily find everything. Even if you don't have much experience with Cisco, you can easily navigate the solution and find your way around. Everything has… more »
    Ranking
    1st
    Views
    780
    Comparisons
    497
    Reviews
    81
    Average Words per Review
    739
    Rating
    8.4
    3rd
    Views
    455
    Comparisons
    431
    Reviews
    47
    Average Words per Review
    930
    Rating
    8.9
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco ISE
    OpenDNS
    Learn More
    Overview

    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.

    Support

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

    Licensing

    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 Umbrella offers flexible, cloud-delivered security according to users’ requirements Cisco Umbrella includes secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality all delivered from a single cloud security service. Cisco Umbrella’s protection is extended to devices, remote users, and distributed locations anywhere. As company employees work from many locations and devices, Cisco Umbrella is the easiest way to effectively protect users everywhere in minutes.

    Cisco Umbrella uses machine learning to search for, identify, and even predict malicious domains. By learning from internet activity patterns, this DNS-layer security solution can automatically identify attacker infrastructure being staged for the next threat. These domains are then proactively blocked, protecting networks from potential compromise. Cisco Umbrella analyzes terabytes of data in real time across all markets, geographies, and protocols.

    Cisco Umbrella works with leading IT companies to integrate its security enforcement and intelligence. Built with a bidirectional API, Cisco Umbrella makes it easy to extend protection from on-premises security appliances to cloud controlled devices and sites.

    Cisco Umbrella is suitable for small businesses without dedicated security professionals, as well as for multinational enterprises with complex environments.

    Why use Cisco Umbrella?

    • Simplify security management: Cisco Umbrella is the fastest and easiest way to protect all users within minutes and reduces the number of infections and alerts sent from other security products by stopping threats at the earliest point. With no hardware to install and no software to manually update, ongoing management is simple

    • Reliable reporting: Cisco Umbrella reports show activity for each device or network in the system. Users gain a more complete picture of the security risks facing their organization and can take action to remedy them.

    • Manage and control cloud apps: Umbrella provides visibility into sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud services in use across the enterprise. Users can uncover new services being used, see who is using them, identify potential risk, and block specific applications easily.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco Umbrella stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Some of the major ones are its DNS-based protection, ability to protect users no matter where they are located, stability, and high performance.

    Daniel B., a network specialist at Syswind Kft, writes, “We primarily use the solution as cloud security for our branches. It protects us from direct internet outbreaks. It makes for good flexibility. The solution is very easy to manage. We found the initial setup, for example, to be quite simple. Efficient protection on the DNS level and even higher. The sandboxing feature analyses and handles the complicated security risks.”

    Victor M., SOC & Security Services Director at BEST, notes, “It provides security for the remote workers and it helps to improve enterprise security in a very easy way. We mainly enjoy web software protection capabilities. It prevents the end-users from getting into bad sites or sites that potentially could have malware or could be phishing. It helps end-users avoid the wrong sites. The solution works very smoothly. The user interface is good.”

    OpenDNS is a part of Cisco providing a suite of consumer products aimed at making the internet faster, safer, and more reliable.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine)
    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    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
    Chart Industries, City of Aspen, Eastern Mountain Sports, FLEXcon, George Washington University, Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, Ohio Public Library Information Network, PTC, Richland Community College, Smart Motors, Tulane University, VeriClaim
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Government11%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Computer Software Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization22%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Educational Organization8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Educational Organization15%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise56%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise31%
    Large Enterprise53%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise39%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Umbrella
    September 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Umbrella and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
    744,865 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is ranked 1st in Cisco Security Portfolio with 82 reviews while Cisco Umbrella is ranked 3rd in Cisco Security Portfolio with 51 reviews. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is rated 8.4, while Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) writes "Offers rich contact sharing, many self-service features, and the ability to categorically list all the endpoints in the infrastructure". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Cisco Umbrella writes "We can see all of our locations in one place and only have to make changes once for all our locations". Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is most compared with Aruba ClearPass, Fortinet FortiNAC, Forescout Platform, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and Fortinet FortiAuthenticator, whereas Cisco Umbrella is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Palo Alto Networks DNS Security, Prisma Access by Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet FortiGate SWG. See our Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Cisco Umbrella 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.