Cisco Umbrella vs Palo Alto Networks DNS Security comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco Umbrella and Palo Alto Networks DNS Security based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, TitanHQ, Infoblox and others in Domain Name System (DNS) Security.
To learn more, read our detailed Domain Name System (DNS) Security Report (Updated: April 2023).
706,775 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:
"By using Cisco Umbrella, you are sure of inspecting all the traffic. Whenever the user machine is connected to your network, it is inspected. That's the best thing. It means you are sure that nothing is being exported or imported without your choice. That is the best feature.""Application performance has greatly improved and there are less operational issues. Productivity has been going up because we have less operational issues. Also, we have happy customers.""I like the original functionality, which allows for providing secure DNS services.""There is much differentiation within the licensing so if anyone wants DNS security from the DNS security log, we are there already, and if anyone wants to go to a secure internet gateway, that is also available. We can get the integrated cloud DLP license keys. That is a good benefit with Cisco Umbrella. You can get a complete solution in a single licensing.""It has improved our organization from a security posture perspective. We feel more confident now knowing that we can block phishing attempts or any type of malware that is DNS-related. This is a very nice feature that provides peace of mind.""We are very new users of the solution and are still in the exploration stages, but we are happy with the product thus far.""The Global Block List is one of the most valuable features because it's really easy to block domain names as well as URLs. Sometimes you don't want to block the whole site, you just want to block one URL. The Global Block and Allow Lists are the best features for us.""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."

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"We now have insight into our DNS requests and we can actively see how many thousands of malicious requests have gotten knocked down in the last day or week that we didn't have before. There's more insight for both security and more insight."

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"The pricing changes too fast. We get the license and we need to relicense it because they already made changes to it. We always need to be on top of the licenses because they're always changing.""Client delivery and client updates should be improved. Client delivery was not as easy as expected. Another area for improvement is the integration of escalation procedures for security issues.""The price could be better. The price is definitely a bit high, but we have to pay a premium for Cisco products.""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.""Its price could be better.""Its on-prem rollout is quite challenging. It needs better coordination with the Internet Service Provider. It is a cloud-based solution, and any endpoint that connects to it has to go through all the gateway ISPs, but some of the ISPs block HTTPS-based DNS. That's where the challenge occurs with Umbrella.""It would be better if there was a little bit of flexibility for organizations that don't have SD One in their environment. Because of the complexity of the environment, it's not easy to actually turn on the feature of the secure internet gateway for our users. We have not been able to explore that option yet.""I would like to see more integrability with other products."

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"I'm not really sure what needs improvement. The only hiccup I've really seen is a couple of the DNS requests get flagged as the Sophos traffic instead of DNS traffic, but that's more of their app detection in the DNS Security. I haven't really seen any issues with the DNS security."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Cisco Umbrella is expensive and could be cheaper."
  • "When talking about Cisco solutions in general there pricing model is horrible. For example, you can sell a Meraki-based solution, but if the customer starts shopping around, someone is going to have access to the pricing at a level that you cannot compete because they do not have uniform pricing. Not everybody gets fair pricing. Unless you are one of the real major corporations selling the solution your ability to compete is impossible. Cisco will acknowledge the situation and assure you next time it will be in your favor but it never becomes favorable for you. Cisco is not very good in this regard. However, Umbrella is good."
  • "The licensing fee is paid on a yearly basis."
  • "In the region I'm from, that of EMAR, Europe, the Middle East, Eastern Asia and Africa, our organizations do not have many liquid cash assets, so the price could be better."
  • "The price depends on the use case, and it's a bit linear. But it depends on the customer's strategy and how Cisco plans to optimize the costs."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Umbrella Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    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 reports and notifications are the most useful part of the platform. As soon as you deploy the security layers, the reporting is very comprehensive. It helps you to have, at a glance, a clear view… more »
    Top Answer:We now have insight into our DNS requests and we can actively see how many thousands of malicious requests have gotten knocked down in the last day or week that we didn't have before. There's more… more »
    Top Answer:I'm not really sure what needs improvement. The only hiccup I've really seen is a couple of the DNS requests get flagged as the Sophos traffic instead of DNS traffic, but that's more of their app… more »
    Top Answer:Our primary use case is for preventing malware and malicious requests.
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    Palo Alto Networks
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    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.”

    Palo Alto Networks DNS Security is a solution that can stop attackers from abusing DNS for malicious activities like data theft, command and control, phishing, and ransomware. The solution offers organizations automated protections, prevents attackers from bypassing security measures, and eliminates the need for independent tools.

    Palo Alto Networks DNS Security Features

    Palo Alto Networks DNS Security has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Full protection: Palo Alto Networks DNS Security uses deep learning algorithms that predict and identify new and advanced threats to offer protection against sophisticated DNS-based attacks.
    • Comprehensive visibility: With the solution, you gain complete visibility into your organization’s blind spots to prevent attacks from exploiting your network and stealing your data.
    • Real-time prevention: The solution includes real-time analysis and can identify millions of malicious domains before an attack even happens.
    • Native integration with your NGFW (Next Generation Firewall): You don’t have to reroute your DNS traffic or work through lengthy change management processes to deploy the solution.
    • Category-based action: The solution allows you to create policies specific to DNS traffic types. All DNS queries are checked against Palo Alto’s scalable cloud database to determine appropriate enforcement actions.
    • SaaS Security: Palo Alto Networks DNS Security delivers integrated SaaS security that lets you see and secure new SaaS applications, protect data, and prevent zero-day threats at the lowest TCO.

    Palo Alto Networks DNS Security Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Palo Alto Networks DNS Security. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Saves time and money: The solution helps you reduce costs and extend your NGFW investment by saving time in operations with a single coordinated network security stack for all alerts, policies, rule violations, IDPS, web security, malware analysis, and DNS.
    • Uninterrupted security innovations: Palo Alto Networks DNS Security seamlessly adds new detection, prevention, and analytics capabilities without requiring reconfiguration.
    • Optimized security posture: The solution’s Security Analytics dashboard ensures protection for NGFWs with significant DNS traffic.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Palo Alto Networks DNS Security is a solution that stands out when compared to many of its competitors. Some of its major advantages are that it has remarkable anti-hacking features, excellent stability, provides valuable insights, and has good DNS filtering.

    A Senior Technical Project Manager at a university explains why he likes the solution: “They have anti-hacking features which are quite useful. They have virus protection within the firewall. The stability is excellent and the product is very mature.”

    Others express how the solution has been valuable in providing insights. A Network Engineer at an educational organization says, “We can actively see how many thousands of malicious requests have gotten knocked down in the last day or week that we didn't know about before.”

    “The solution has good DNS filtering, is scalable, and highly-integrated,” mentions a Group Network Specialist at a financial services firm.

    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    Learn more about Palo Alto Networks DNS Security
    Sample Customers
    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
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    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Educational Organization9%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Educational Organization9%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Educational Organization7%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    Small Business37%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise40%
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Domain Name System (DNS) Security
    April 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, TitanHQ, Infoblox and others in Domain Name System (DNS) Security. Updated: April 2023.
    706,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Umbrella is ranked 1st in Domain Name System (DNS) Security with 48 reviews while Palo Alto Networks DNS Security is ranked 6th in Domain Name System (DNS) Security with 1 review. Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.8, while Palo Alto Networks DNS Security is rated 10.0. 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". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Palo Alto Networks DNS Security writes "We can actively see how many thousands of malicious requests have gotten knocked down in the last day or week that we didn't know before". Cisco Umbrella is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Fortinet FortiGate SWG, Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection and Prisma Access by Palo Alto Networks, whereas Palo Alto Networks DNS Security is most compared with Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection, EfficientIP DNS Firewall, Infoblox BloxOne Threat Defense, DNSFilter and F5 BIG-IP DNS.

    See our list of best Domain Name System (DNS) Security vendors.

    We monitor all Domain Name System (DNS) 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.