Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) vs Tenable Security Center comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) and Tenable Security Center based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, HPE Aruba Networking, Forescout and others in Network Access Control (NAC).
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Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"So far, we have had no issues with the stability.""In terms of features, I think they've done a lot of improvement on the graphical user interface — it looks really good right now.""The live logs and live sessions for troubleshooting are the most valuable features because they provide a detailed report of any issues.""Cisco ISE's profiling and posturing features ensure that all devices are compliant with regulatory authorities.""The return on investment we have seen is related to time in terms of troubleshooting. The logs, such as the security logs, inform us of the issues that people have had. ISE has been very instrumental in helping isolate those issues. We've seen a lot of cost savings because we don't have to pay an IT person to waste time doing something that should be instantaneous.""The most valuable feature is the integration with StealthWatch and DNA as one fabric.""The access policies, and all of the policies in Cisco ISE, are important to us.""In terms of scalability, you need to factor in your licenses. With a virtual platform, the scalability is more than sufficient. We have over one thousand users."

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"I like's analytics and reporting. You can also configure your on-prem network monitors to talk to your control panel.""The scans are the most valuable aspect of this solution.""I find Tenable SC to be a very scalable product.""I found the dashboard features very useful. It made it easy to track remediation progress. I could publish dashboards to remediation teams and track the progress on the dashboards.""Feature-wise, Tenable Security Center is a very fast tool with many dashboards and reports, and it covers all our systems.""The tool gives us fewer false positives. Compared to its competitors, the solution’s reports are more accurate."" is user-friendly.""The initial setup process is simple."

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"The solution is not so user-friendly.""Third-party integration is important, as well as the continuous adaptation feature which is the AIOps. It would be helpful to include the AIOps.""The customer server was great but it would have been better for me if they had support in other languages such as Spanish.""There are issues with respect to the posture assessment function. It's been observed that customers are not receiving total access to the network because the assessment agent is glitchy and malfunctions from time-to-time. I would like to see refining of the compliance assessment and adding more detailed compliance of endpoints on the user end.""There is room for improvement in CLI. Most things are done through the GUI, and there aren't many commands or troubleshooting options available compared to other Cisco products like switches and routers.""The intuitiveness of the user interface could be improved.""One of the issues that we used to have was with profiling because we're working with a service provider that uses a lot of bring your own devices.""Sometimes some of Cisco ISE's graphical interfaces could be a little bit smoother. However, with the different versions, the product is getting better and better."

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"Tenable SC could be improved with additional connectivity to external company postures and the capability of managing and sustaining agents in the systems directly without additional platforms in the middle.""There's a lot of information being streamed out of the reports. What would be nice, and maybe we just haven't found it, would be more of an executive-type view. We still expect it to collect all this information, but we would like a feature that would allow us to show it to an executive or a director or someone like that and give them some type of high-level overview but not get into the nitty-gritty.""Tenable has some problems with agents going offline during scanning and lag between agents and the security center.""The web application scanning area can be improved.""Its reporting can be improved. It is not easy to generate a scan report the way we want. The data is okay, but we can't easily change the template to make it look the way we want.""At times we have had the typical bugs.""Support could be faster.""The reporting needs a lot of work on the template."

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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 slightly more expensive than other solutions in the same sphere."
  • "We're able to save because we don't have to employ more staff members to help wit ht he scheduling of the scans, running the reports or sending them out to the systems owners. That alone is a big ROI for us."
  • "The licensing costs for this solution are approximately $100,000 US, and I think that covers everything."
  • "The pricing is more than Nexpose."
  • "Costing is pretty reasonable compared to the competition."
  • "We're a Fortune 500 company... our licensing costs [are] in the seven figures."
  • "We pay around 60,000 on a yearly basis."
  • "The price can start at €10,000 ($13,000 USD) for between 500 and 1,000 assets, and the price can climb into the millions as more assets are added."
  • More Tenable Security Center 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 tool's dashboard and reporting capabilities match our company's needs since we are able to modify the basic view to create a new dashboard, and it works out very well for our needs.
    Top Answer:I rate the solution's price as seven on a scale of one to ten, where one is cheap and ten is expensive. The tool is quite expensive.
    Top Answer:The tool's initial configuration is not so easy. The hardware requirements related to the tool need to be better because we need a lot of memory to achieve speed in the solution. If our company needs… more »
    Average Words per Review
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    Also Known As
    Cisco ISE, Tenable Unified Security, Tenable SecurityCenter
    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."

    Get a risk-based view of your IT, security and compliance posture so you can quickly identify, investigate and prioritize your most critical assets and vulnerabilities.

    Managed on-premises and powered by Nessus technology, the Tenable Security Center (formerly suite of products provides the industry’s most comprehensive vulnerability coverage with real-time continuous assessment of your network. It’s your complete end-to-end vulnerability management solution.

    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
    IBM, Sempra Energy, Microsoft, Apple, Adidas, Union Pacific
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Educational Organization23%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Financial Services Firm31%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Educational Organization17%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Company Size
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise52%
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise46%
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise54%
    Buyer's Guide
    Network Access Control (NAC)
    April 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, HPE Aruba Networking, Forescout and others in Network Access Control (NAC). Updated: April 2024.
    772,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is ranked 1st in Network Access Control (NAC) with 137 reviews while Tenable Security Center is ranked 1st in Risk-Based Vulnerability Management with 48 reviews. Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is rated 8.2, while Tenable Security Center 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 Tenable Security Center writes "A security solution for vulnerability assessment with automated scans". Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) is most compared with Aruba ClearPass, Fortinet FortiNAC, Forescout Platform, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager and Fortinet FortiAuthenticator, whereas Tenable Security Center is most compared with Tenable Vulnerability Management, Qualys VMDR, Tenable Nessus, Rapid7 InsightVM and

    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.