Cisco Secure Email vs Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Sep 6, 2023

We compared Cisco Secure Email and Microsoft Exchange Online Protection 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 Exchange Online Protection offers seamless integration with Windows, a central alert console, and real-time monitoring of suspicious URLs.

  • Room for Improvement: Cisco Secure Email should improve global malicious email defense, data loss prevention, and integration with third-party solutions. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection could offer more training and enhance its security features. Users also requested better encryption, gray email management, and integration with non-Microsoft platforms.

  • 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. While some users found Microsoft support to be helpful and responsive, others experienced slower response times.

  • 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. Users had varied experiences setting up Microsoft Exchange Online Protection, ranging from easy to difficult. It may necessitate dedicated personnel for maintenance. 

  • 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 users said Microsoft Exchange Online Protection is expensive, but others considered it reasonable.

  • ROI: Cisco Secure Email's return on investment is influenced by factors such as use case, organization size, and industry. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection has proven to be a profitable investment.

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. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection is praised for its seamless integration with Windows and useful features like URL holding and threat management. At the same time, users say it could improve in areas such as pricing, documentation, and security features.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) 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:
"There are several features that I consider valuable.""Defender for Office 365 has helped eliminate having to look at multiple dashboards and that is the aspect I like most about it. It is simpler, effective, and convenient. The users like the process efficiency.""The deployment capability is a great feature.""I would say that 90% of the spam and phishing attack emails get blocked right off the bat.""The most valuable feature is the integration. It's a single console, so we don't have to switch around between multiple products. Another valuable feature is the ease of operations and maintenance.""Safe attachments, safe links, policies, and the ability to protect from zero-day threats are the most valuable features.""The most valuable feature is protection against malicious links, fishing, and impersonation. You can train people to be aware of these threats, but they're not always careful. When they're using their phones between meetings, they click on a link, and it's game over.""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."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Pros →

"Cisco Secure Email is part of Cisco's extensive efforts and investments in technology, especially in the realm of cyber security. The product is one among many security solutions offered by Cisco.""The malicious URL scanning, as well as the anti-malware features, have been really useful for us in our environment.""The most valuable features are Advanced Malware Protection, URL filtering, and of course Reputation Filtering.""The tool has a DLP solution which we can implement. Its database is updated regularly.""ATP has been the most valuable in improving our email security posture.""I can customize the configuration and policies.""This solution provides some benefits, like comfortable access to TAC support. You get prompt support when working directly with Cisco.""The solution works well."

More Cisco Secure Email Pros →

"It's definitely scalable.""You can use the product to create special accounts.""It is easy to configure, easy to use, easy to add exclusions, easy to track, and easy to add anything else if you want.""It is an easy solution.""The most valuable feature of Microsoft Exchange Online Protection is the accidental release of information protection capabilities. Additionally, the solution is easy to use.""The initial setup of Microsoft Exchange Online Protection was easy.""We use the solution to receive emails. We do not use the calendar function as our clients are slow adaptors to the latest features.""We can migrate seamlessly without any disruptions to our operations."

More Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) Pros →

"The visibility for the weaknesses in the system and unauthorized access can be improved.""Microsoft security solutions work as expected. They are constantly updating the solutions to make them better. At the same time, the changes can impact a customer's environment, and we need to adjust settings. Sometimes we aren't aware of the changes, and nothing is pushed from the backend automatically.""In one of the reports I can get the exact place where a vulnerable file resides. But for that, I need to explicitly go into the device and check. If they could include that file part in the report, without my having to go to the device itself, that would help.""One area for improvement is integration. For example, when it comes to external SaaS platforms, we were not able to get a lot of information on integrations with such apps for security and authentication.""Several simulation options are available within 365, and the phishing simulation could be better.""The only thing they should improve is the licensing model. They should stop changing it. A year ago, the five features I mentioned were included in one product. Now, three of them are bundled into one product, and you have to pay extra for the other two. I don't mind paying extra, but I don't want them to change it every year or every six months. I need to know what I'm looking at and not worry about it next year.""Microsoft Defender for Office 365 should be more proactive.""There needs to be an improvement in integrating the product to work across multiple operating systems, and to have better support for non-Microsoft file types."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Cons →

"In future releases, I would like to see two main improvements come to mind. First, the current solution requires maintaining two separate operating systems for FTD, which can be cumbersome. I'd love to see a single operating system for the FTD box.""We have occasionally had hardware problems because we are using an appliance-based solution, but that might change. We may consider going to virtual systems.""The user interface needs some improvement to become more user-friendly. The graphics could be better. It's designed more for a technical user rather than a business user.""The Forged Email Detection feature needs improvement, particularly with domain. The sensors are not that good and the rules sets are unclear.""The graphical user interface is not user-friendly like other vendors. I find it very difficult at times to find some options on the UI.""The tool's pricing can be improved.""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.""The pricing needs to be reconsidered or enhanced."

More Cisco Secure Email Cons →

"If a company wants to put in line back-to-back anti-spam solutions, they need to work on that part because Microsoft recommends either you use EOP as a front line or you don't use it.""I would like to get reports about vulnerable connections from our clients with information about domains, public IPs, etc. That would be highly useful.""The solution lacks to elaborate on its spam policies.""Some features, like encryption, are not available.""The product could be more stable. Microsoft products could be more stable because sometimes, even though they are updating some things, we cannot find those updates.""Microsoft 365 Defender and EOP policies are stable with the proper license. However, with the basic policy, it's hard to say it's stable due to configuration limitations.""The tool's classification for bulk email is cumbersome.""We would like the solution to have more in-built intelligence in the way that it reviews potential security risks, rather than our team constantly having to update the policies."

More Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) Cons →

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 →

  • "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 →

  • "The price could be lower."
  • "The solution is priced high and could be less expensive compared to other solutions."
  • "The solution is expensive but is backed by Microsoft's reputation."
  • "The price of Microsoft Exchange Online Protection is reasonable."
  • "It is a low-price solution."
  • "Apart from the license fee for the solution, there are no additional costs."
  • "Online Protection is fairly expensive."
  • "The tool's pricing is excellent."
  • More Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Threat Explorer is an invaluable tool for me, and it plays a crucial role in helping me discern the origins of various… more »
    Top Answer:The product must provide better malware detection. The detection algorithms don't perform the way I hope they would.
    Top Answer:Cisco Secure Email is a budget-friendly solution.
    Top Answer:The product's price falls on the higher side when compared to the other products on the market. Whether the product… more »
    Top Answer:I am not satisfied with the solution's reporting and logging.
    Top Answer:The initial setup was easy. The configuration process is very straightforward.
    Top Answer:We face challenges with reporting features and the lack of a proper dashboard in Microsoft's portal. There's no… more »
    Top Answer:The main use case is to block suspicious links in emails. However, some functionalities like SIPP attachment are not… more »
    Also Known As
    MS Defender for Office 365
    Cisco Email Security, IronPort, Cisco Email Security, ESA, Email Security Appliances
    Microsoft EOP, MS Exchange Online Protection
    Learn More

    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.

    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 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a comprehensive email filtering and security service designed to protect organizations from spam, malware, and other email-based threats. It provides advanced threat protection, anti-malware and anti-spam filtering, and data loss prevention capabilities.

    With EOP, organizations can ensure the security and integrity of their email communications. It uses multiple layers of filtering and scanning to detect and block malicious content, including phishing attempts, viruses, and ransomware. EOP also leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to continuously improve its threat detection capabilities.

    In addition to its robust security features, EOP offers advanced anti-spam filtering to reduce unwanted and unsolicited emails. It uses a combination of reputation-based filtering, content filtering, and sender authentication techniques to identify and block spam messages.

    EOP also includes data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities to prevent sensitive information from being leaked or shared inappropriately. It allows organizations to define policies to detect and prevent the transmission of sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or social security numbers, via email.

    Furthermore, EOP integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Exchange Online and other Office 365 services, providing a unified and integrated email security solution. It can be easily managed through the Exchange admin center, allowing administrators to configure and monitor security settings, review reports, and manage quarantined emails.

    Sample Customers
    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is trusted by companies such as Ithaca College.
    SUNY Old Westbury, CoxHealth, City of Fullerton, Indra
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company17%
    Manufacturing Company17%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Energy/Utilities Company10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Educational Organization17%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Computer Software Company25%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    Small Business45%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise40%
    Small Business30%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise51%
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise37%
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise48%
    Small Business64%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise21%
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise54%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP)
    May 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and other solutions. Updated: May 2024.
    772,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Secure Email is ranked 2nd in Email Security with 56 reviews while Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is ranked 3rd in Email Security with 34 reviews. Cisco Secure Email is rated 8.4, while Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is rated 8.2. 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 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) writes "An effective email security solution that provides DLP, Safe Attachment, and Safe Links". Cisco Secure Email is most compared with Trellix Collaboration Security, Fortinet FortiMail, Proofpoint Email Protection, Cisco Secure Email Threat Defense and Trend Micro Email Security, whereas Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is most compared with Proofpoint Email Protection, Fortinet FortiMail, Mimecast Email Security, Barracuda Email Security Gateway and Trend Micro Email Security. See our Cisco Secure Email vs. Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) 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.