Cisco Secure Email vs Microsoft Defender for Office 365 comparison

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9,348 views|6,215 comparisons
94% willing to recommend
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12,858 views|10,247 comparisons
97% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Sep 6, 2023

We compared Cisco Secure Email and Microsoft Defender for Office 365 across several parameters based on our users' reviews. After reading the collected data, you can find our conclusion below:

  • Features: Cisco Secure Email offers advanced protection against phishing attacks, reputation-based filtering, and robust tracking functionalities. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 stands out for its thorough email scanning, ease of use, and anti-phishing capabilities.

  • Room for Improvement: Cisco Secure Email should improve global malicious email defense, data loss prevention, and integration with third-party solutions. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 can improve integration with non-Microsoft solutions and offer better documentation for its advanced security features.

  • Service and Support: Cisco support is generally considered knowledgeable and helpful, but a few users reported slow response times and difficulty navigating the support process. Microsoft customer service has received mixed feedback. While some customers find it responsive and prompt, others believe it could be more advanced and attentive.

  • Ease of Deployment: Cisco Secure Email is generally straightforward and seamless to set up. It provides a modular and adaptable environment, but new users may need training. The setup for Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is generally considered effortless. Users appreciate its seamless integration with Office 365 and the minimal maintenance it requires.

  • Pricing: Opinions on the pricing of Cisco Secure Email are mixed. Some find it expensive but worth the investment, while others find it reasonably priced and competitive with other vendors. Some reviewers found Microsoft Defender for Office 365 to be reasonably priced, and others consider it expensive. Defender is typically sold in a bundle, so it’s challenging to compare the cost to other solutions.

  • ROI: Cisco Secure Email's return on investment is influenced by factors such as use case, organization size, and industry. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 helps users prevent ransomware and malware while enhancing email security and providing cost savings through its subscription-based service.

Comparison Results: Cisco Secure Email is highly regarded for its intelligence threat detection, reputation filtering, and robust tracking abilities. The solution’s areas for improvement include data loss prevention and third-party integration. Defender is praised for its thorough email scanning and integration into a single console. Defender users desire a more centralized interface and improved spam and malware detection.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Report (Updated: March 2024).
768,415 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:
"This solution provides some benefits, like comfortable access to TAC support. You get prompt support when working directly with Cisco.""The system enables end users to manage their own whitelists/blacklists.""The product's initial setup phase was easy.""It integrates with Active Directory and we can limit specific users to using specific applications.""I love the Advanced Malware Protection feature. It works very well... The appliance has more security such as SDF, DKIM, DMARC, and encryption.""The most valuable feature is the different content filters we are using, such as DKIM.""There is a huge return compared to if we didn't have a gateway appliance, as far as blocking malicious emails.""The advanced phishing protection and the integration with the awareness tool that Cisco has embedded into the solution to bring awareness to the customers about the dangers of phishing attacks and other things that come from email are the most valuable features."

More Cisco Secure Email Pros →

"Microsoft Defender for Office 365's most valuable feature is its performance.""Microsoft Defender for Office 365 has improved my organization's security. It makes it easier to manage the infrastructure without the help of third-party applications.""Microsoft Defender has a feature to protect each and every attachment. Even if it's an encrypted attachment, it will check for any potential threats.""The most valuable feature of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is the ease of use.""At the moment we are satisfied with this product. It's a stable, scalable, and resilient solution for us.""The solution is very easy to use. All you have to do is to assign the license to the end-user and it's done. The customer will only have the feature activated, and the solution will monitor the emails to determine if they are a threat or not.""It gives us visibility into threats and, for endpoints, it helps us to prioritize threats. We used to have a lack of visibility, but now our time to detect and respond has decreased.""The basic features are okay and I'm satisfied with the Defender."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Pros →

"Better dashboards and more interactive overviews would be nice, but the current functionality is sufficient.""The reporting functionality needs to be improved.""The area of license renewal should be improved. We normally renew our license every year. There is a feature called smart licensing, and I switched from the legacy mode to the smart licensing mode because of what I thought smart licensing does. I thought it would make licensing renewal seamless and very swift, but ever since I've switched to smart licensing, each time I want to renew my license, it is a whole lot of headache. The process is not smooth, and I had to keep calling Cisco TAC to see how the issue can be resolved. At one point, I wanted to revert back to the legacy mode, but I can't revert. Once you switch from the legacy mode to the smart licensing mode, you can't revert. They should improve on the visibility of the smart licensing mode so that it can indeed be smart and easier to use for the license renewal every year. That is one challenge.""The product's GUI for the dashboard needs improvement.""The Forged Email Detection feature needs improvement, particularly with domain. The sensors are not that good and the rules sets are unclear.""Scalability has certain shortcomings and needs to be improved because there are service providers who provide better scalability.v""It would be nice to have an easier way to check on the health of the system, how stressed these appliances are. Sure, you can do it, but it would be helpful to have an easier way to do it, maybe even at a glance.""There could be additional DLP functionality for it."

More Cisco Secure Email Cons →

"Microsoft Defender for Office 365 should be more proactive.""Microsoft Defender for Office 365 must improve the overall management style, including the GUI. It also needs to change the filters so that it is easy to whitelist and blacklist data.""We noticed that from time to time, Microsoft's stability does have problems. Sometimes the service goes up and down. Sometimes they change without prior notice.""Too many false positives and lacks an accurate capability to detect malicious SharePoint sites.""Microsoft sometimes has downtime, and we'll get several incidents coming in back to back. We have a huge backlog of notifications, many of which may be false positives. However, there might be serious alerts, so we can't risk dismissing all of them at once.""There is room for improvement in terms of reporting.""Microsoft wants its well-paying customers to finish testing some of its half-baked products, find bugs, and report bugs back to Microsoft's team, which is a little frustrating for those who have to manage it and roll it up to thousands of people across the organization.""We are always looking for others tools to increase automation on tasks. There can be better integration with other solutions, such as PowerPoint and email."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We do annual licensing for Cisco Secure Email Gatewayand SMA together, and possibly SmartNet support. Packaged together, the cost is just under $38,000."
  • "In addition to the standard licensing, there is a cost for SMARTnet as well."
  • "Pricing depends on your environment and which model you want to buy."
  • "Licensing costs depend on how many users there are. It could range between $5 and $7 per month, per user."
  • "The license was not per user, the license model was per feature. You could choose anti-virus, anti-spam, etc. It was feature-based and charged yearly."
  • "There were no other costs in addition to the standard licensing fees."
  • "We were using Proofpoint and then we switched to Cisco... reportability was one of the main reasons we switched, but the biggest one was cost. If you can get an equivalent functionality for a better price it's wise to do so. That's what our primary decision came down to: We could get equivalent functionality at a lower price point."
  • "It is not that costly. We pay for the solution through a contractor and pay an annual fee."
  • More Cisco Secure Email Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It's a user-base subscription."
  • "From the pricing point of view, like any other product in the market, there is scope for negotiation."
  • "Defender is a little bit more expensive as compared to others. We are in the manufacturing environment. So, we don't have a high budget for all of our endpoint devices. Its cost is a major concern for us."
  • "For licensing, it's usually a yearly package for customers who are subscribed to Office 365, but they can also pay on a monthly basis."
  • "Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is an add-on to the Office license. Many customers are purchasing this solution."
  • "Microsoft Defender for Office 365 comes with Microsoft Windows. It is free with the operating system."
  • "The solution saves money so we have seen a return on investment."
  • "Defender for 365 comes in various plans and licenses, along with other Microsoft security solutions. Purchasing this kind of package or security bundle gives good value for money, and that's what I recommend."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    768,415 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The product's initial setup phase was easy.
    Top Answer:The product's price falls on the higher side when compared to the other products on the market. Whether the product would be worth the money for a business is something that depends on what a company… more »
    Top Answer:There are some concerns in the way the architecture is set up, making it an area where improvements are required. When you set up the tool, the way you put your SMTP routes should be possible through… more »
    Top Answer:Threat Explorer is an invaluable tool for me, and it plays a crucial role in helping me discern the origins of various email campaigns, pinpointing where they emanate from, and identifying the… more »
    Top Answer:The product must provide better malware detection. The detection algorithms don't perform the way I hope they would.
    out of 107 in Email Security
    Average Words per Review
    out of 107 in Email Security
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    Cisco Email Security, IronPort, Cisco Email Security, ESA, Email Security Appliances
    MS Defender for Office 365
    Learn More

    Cisco Secure Email is an email security solution that provides advanced protection to safeguard inboxes. The solution includes comprehensive defense from the most damaging threats so your employees and organization can remain secure at all times. In addition, it includes advanced threat defense capabilities that detect, block, and remediate threats in incoming email faster. Simultaneously, it protects an organization’s brand, prevents data loss, and secures important information in transit with end-to-end encryption.

    Cisco Secure Email Features

    Cisco Secure Email has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Advanced threat analysis: Easily identify the malicious techniques used in attacks targeting your organization. Understand the specific business risks and categorize threats to gain insight into the parts of your organization that are most vulnerable to attack.
    • Robust, actionable threat data: The solution’s searchable threat analysis data provides critical contextual insight to the attack scope and breadth and expedites remediation.
    • Real-time URL analysis: With this feature, you can drop emails with risky links automatically or block access to newly infected sites with real-time URL analysis to protect against phishing.
    • Domain-based message authentication (DMARC): Users can prevent brand abuse from attackers using their organization’s domain to carry out phishing campaigns with automation of the domain-based message authentication (DMARC) process.
    • Data loss prevention (DLP): The solution enables users to protect sensitive content in outgoing emails.

    Cisco Secure Email Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Cisco Secure Email. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Optimize your defenses: The solution is designed to protect your organization from threats that can come from multiple sources, including phishing, malware, and ransomware. It can defend against all of them with industry-leading threat intelligence that empowers you to act quickly.
    • More efficient processes: You can use the solution’s orchestration feature to simplify workflows, reduce the burden on your team, and focus on more strategic initiatives.
    • Easy-to-manage tools: The solution is built with tools that are user-friendly and help you spend less time managing alerts. They allow users to quickly detect emerging threats and quarantine suspected threats to prevent their spread.
    • Flexible license options: Cisco Secure Email provides three different license choices: Secure Email Essentials, Secure Email Advantage, and Secure Email Premier.
    • Increase spam catch rates: Cisco Secure Email blocks unwanted emails using a multilayered scanning architecture.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco Secure Email is a solution that stands out when compared to many of its competitors. Some of its major advantages are that it has an intuitive interface, reputation filtering, few false positives, and great protection features.

    Enrique J., Owner at Jolly Security Inc., says, "It has an intuitive, clear graphical interface where you can deploy your policies and understand the overall flow. The most valuable feature is reputation filtering.”

    The solution has a “low rate of false positives, good support, and it integrates well with other Cisco security products,” explains Mark R., IT Admin / Manager at a retailer.

    PeerSpot user Charles N., Network Security Engineer at Galaxy Backbone Ltd., mentions, “It is doing its work. It is doing what it was actually designed to do. They have a lot of features such as Advanced Malware Protection, Email Protection, Advanced Phishing Protection, Antispam, Antivirus, and Outbreak Filters.”

    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is a comprehensive security solution designed to protect organizations against advanced threats in their email, collaboration, and productivity environments. It combines the power of Microsoft's threat intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to provide real-time protection against phishing, malware, ransomware, and other malicious attacks.

    With Microsoft Defender for Office 365, organizations can safeguard their email communication by detecting and blocking malicious links, attachments, and unsafe email content. It employs advanced anti-phishing capabilities to identify and prevent sophisticated phishing attacks that attempt to steal sensitive information or compromise user credentials.

    This solution also offers robust protection against malware and ransomware. It leverages machine learning algorithms to analyze email attachments and URLs in real-time, identifying and blocking malicious content before it reaches users' inboxes. Additionally, it provides advanced threat-hunting capabilities, allowing security teams to proactively investigate and respond to potential threats.

    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 goes beyond email protection and extends its security features to other collaboration tools like SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams. It scans files and documents stored in these platforms, ensuring that they are free from malware and other malicious content. It also provides visibility into user activities, helping organizations detect and mitigate insider threats.

    Furthermore, this solution offers rich reporting and analytics capabilities, providing organizations with insights into their security posture and threat landscape. It enables security administrators to monitor and manage security incidents, track trends, and take proactive measures to enhance their overall security posture.

    Sample Customers
    SUNY Old Westbury, CoxHealth, City of Fullerton, Indra
    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is trusted by companies such as Ithaca College.
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company20%
    Energy/Utilities Company10%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Educational Organization16%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Manufacturing Company16%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise37%
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise49%
    Small Business42%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise51%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Defender for Office 365
    March 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and other solutions. Updated: March 2024.
    768,415 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Secure Email is ranked 2nd in Email Security with 55 reviews while Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is ranked 1st in Email Security with 41 reviews. Cisco Secure Email is rated 8.4, while Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Cisco Secure Email writes "Has effortless spam control, improves security posture, and frees up our IT department's time". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 writes "Allows for easy reporting of problems, valuable anti-phishing, and anti-malware support". Cisco Secure Email is most compared with Trellix Collaboration Security, Fortinet FortiMail, Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP), Proofpoint Email Protection and Cisco Secure Email Threat Defense, whereas Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is most compared with Proofpoint Email Protection, Mimecast Email Security, Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP), Barracuda Email Security Gateway and Microsoft Defender for Business. See our Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 report.

    See our list of best Email Security vendors.

    We monitor all Email Security 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.