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Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs Portnox CORE comparison

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Buyer's Guide
Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Portnox CORE
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Portnox CORE and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The integration with Active Directory is the most valuable feature for us.""Stable network administration solution that can be installed easily, and comes with fast technical support.""Typically, the installation is pretty simple.""The best features are the scalability and the license structure.""We were originally a Cisco shop and Cisco ISE integrated well with our other Cisco switches and networks.""The most valuable feature is 801.1x and another very good feature is the TACACS.""So far, we have had no issues with the stability.""Technical support is okay."

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"For the information security team, the security level was improved because it helped to manage and prevent rogue devices from connecting to the corporate network. The reporting was granular, and reports we scheduled for delivery on Portnox were useful during investigations and audits, especially in cases where the IP address changed.""It's a stable product.""It's so easy to set up, you don't need outside assistance.""There is an add-on feature for application control to kill unwanted applications when launched on a user's device.""Technical support was very helpful when we needed them.""The most important feature is that this solution is agentless. So, you don't have to install any agents on endpoints."

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"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 price could be better. I would like to see more integration with third-party solutions in the next release. This is because many of my clients don't have Cisco.""An issue with the product is it tends to have a lot of bugs whenever they release a new release.""The initial setup was a little bit complex. It's not that simple because it requires a lot of prerequisites for the solution to get a hold on.""The licensing documentation needs to be better.""Whenever we see the authentication logs, we can't see what device we're logging into... We can see who logged in, but we can't see the IP address of the device... I'm sure that's available. We just haven't figured out how to properly deploy it.""The pricing is fair.""It is too complex. It should be easy to use. We are not such a big team. We only have three engineers to work with this, and we don't use all of the functionality of the product. Its range of functionality is too wide for us, and this is the reason why we are thinking of switching to a more simple product. We have shortlisted a Microsoft solution. We have a big footprint for Microsoft products, especially in security. As a global strategy, we try to leverage to the maximum what is possible around Microsoft."

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"Portnox CORE can improve on support for unmanaged switches (or hubs) and other brands of network devices. These kinds of devices are still in use in organisations, especially SMEs who cannot afford to buy a managed switch.""The integration between Portnox CORE and Portnox CLEAR can be better. These are two different systems, and there is no unique console for both devices. Portnox CORE is agentless, whereas Portnox CLEAR is not agentless.""Now, the way security is viewed, maybe including something like AI, to automate some of the things that are required to be done would be great.""The solution did have some stability issues, however, all I had to do was restart it.""One of the things for the on-premise is that sometimes you click on it and it takes a while for it to respond."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "I think licensing costs roughly $2,000 a year. ISE is more expensive than Network Access Control."
  • "I think the price is okay."
  • "Its price is probably good if you use all of its features and functionalities to protect your environment. If you use only a part of the functionality, its price is too high. It is just a question of value and the functionality you use."
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  • "The vendor price is fair."
  • "The licensing module should be reviewed to count the number of devices instead of port numbers of total switches. There is a case for this where not all ports for a switch are used by devices. Unused ports are calculated in the license, then the customer pays for license for those unused ports."
  • "The users are not very happy with the new licensing option where there is only a subscription license. There is no perpetual license."
  • More Portnox CORE Pricing and Cost Advice →

    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Network Access Control (NAC) solutions are best for your needs.
    610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    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… 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:It is inexpensive compared to what I have used before.
    Top Answer:Portnox has actually moved to the cloud. We do not utilize the cloud environment much where I work, however, moving there is the plan. We are trying to work on that. It may end up being faster. One of… more »
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    Also Known As
    Cisco ISE
    Access Layers Portnox
    Learn More

    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."

    Portnox CORE provides 100% actionable visibility of all devices that are connected to your network. As the first software-based NAC platform, Portnox CORE's patented solution allows you to manage the security and compliance challenges your organization faces in a smart and simple way.

    Learn more about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine)
    Learn more about Portnox CORE
    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
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Comms Service Provider27%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Comms Service Provider28%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Company Size
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise47%
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise65%
    Small Business44%
    Midsize Enterprise44%
    Large Enterprise11%
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise24%
    Large Enterprise50%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Portnox CORE
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Portnox CORE and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    610,190 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is ranked 1st in Network Access Control (NAC) with 60 reviews while Portnox CORE is ranked 7th in Network Access Control (NAC) with 5 reviews. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is rated 8.0, while Portnox CORE is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) writes "Secures devices and has good support, but needs a better interface". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Portnox CORE writes "Great dashboards, easy to set up, and very scalable". Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is most compared with Aruba ClearPass, Forescout Platform, Fortinet FortiNAC, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and Symantec Privileged Access Manager, whereas Portnox CORE is most compared with Fortinet FortiNAC, Aruba ClearPass, Forescout Platform, Portnox Clear and Sophos Network Access Control. See our Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs. Portnox CORE report.

    See our list of best Network Access Control (NAC) vendors.

    We monitor all Network Access Control (NAC) 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.