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Cisco Umbrella vs Zscaler Internet Access comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on July 12, 2022

We performed a comparison between Cisco Umbrella Zscaler Internet Access based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both solutions say that their initial setup is straightforward.
  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability, scalability, and ease of use. Cisco Umbrella users say it is robust, flexible, and has good reporting tools. Several Cisco Umbrella users note that they would like better integration options. Zscaler Internet Access users say that it is very secure and lightweight but its reporting features need improvement.
  • Pricing: Most Cisco Umbrella reviewers feel that it is an expensive product. In contrast, Zscaler Internet Access reviewers feel that its price is fair.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both solutions report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions report being very satisfied with the level of support they receive.

Comparison Results: Both solutions received high marks from reviewers. Zscaler Internet Access has a slight edge over Cisco Umbrella since it is the less expensive product.

To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access report (Updated: September 2022).
633,184 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:
Pros
"Cisco Umbrella is such a solution and can be implemented very fast and easy. All that we must do is redirect the DNS registers in their routers, or the active directory service of the enterprise that are going to use in Umbrella services. If you buy the service now, in two hours you are protected by the service because it's very fast to put in service.""Its simplicity is most valuable. I can install it and get it up and running, and it can be pervasive across my business within a business day. It is pretty simple and straightforward to install and configure. Its remit is reasonably clearly defined. When you look at solutions like Darktrace and Carbon Black, the mission objective isn't as clearly defined. Cisco Umbrella, Sophos Central, or some of the other solutions have a more standardized approach to antivirus, which includes enhanced response from the machine learning or deep learning perspective.""Umbrella, being one pane for managing, being all-encompassing, allows us to quickly go in, make a change, and it applies to either every location, if we want it to, or we can have policies in place that only apply to certain users or certain computers.""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.""You can manage and create policies based on a group of users. It can permit some URLs and block others.""The security and access control features.""The most valuable features of this solution are the Web Filtering and the APT.""It has excellent resilience in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity for my organization is very important because we are a banking organization. We need this security to protect the personal information of our clients. This is very important for our security."

More Cisco Umbrella Pros →

"The most valuable features of Zscaler Internet Access are it's on the cloud, high network performance, and the interception of users is very easy.""The cloud proxy and integration are some of the key features. Since there is cloud waste, we can quickly provision it and start working on the configuration. On top of that, they have added a few more features. They have integrated CASB, and file sandboxing is part of it.""Zscaler Internet Access protects using data loss prevention. If you have a CASB exposing your cloud out into the network, then Zscaler Internet Access will go ahead and control that unknown cloud application in the CASB, protecting it. There is also data detection with exact data match. This improves the data coming into your cloud so you are protecting it.""The most valuable features I found in Zscaler Internet Access are the restriction of users for a particular URL, the security feature related to stopping DDoS, and the VPN.""The solution is scalable and stable.""The data loss prevention feature is the most valuable. It stops our users from inadvertently leaking our customers' data to the Internet or anywhere else it shouldn't go.""Zscaler Internet Access's roaming user feature is most valuable and is much better compared to other secure web gateways.""The VPN is valuable, as the whole technology is very different from a traditional VPN."

More Zscaler Internet Access Pros →

Cons
"There are a couple of interface issues. I know that they say that there are feature enhancements that are noted. For example, we've got the Cisco Meraki security appliances, and there, we geofence our company to where we're allowed to send and receive traffic. So, in our case, by default, we only allow traffic to six different countries, which allows us to effectively prevent traffic for the majority of bad players in the world, but they don't give you an easy way to do that in Cisco Umbrella. With Cisco Meraki, I can specify or pick the countries. I can say that I want to only allow traffic from these six countries, and I'm done. With Cisco Umbrella, I have to rely on the fact that they're going to prevent traffic to other countries. They're going to decide if it's good or bad.""It's a very new product, so it's quite immature at the moment. It can be more user friendly.""We faced an issue regarding virtual appliances (VAs) during deployment. They could improve the quality and management of the virtual appliances offered right now. You can't see much because it is a Linux machine, and they have customized it. You don't have any route access to the machine, only seeing limited things in it. When we opened a ticket, they didn't know much about VAs themselves. So, that is where it is lacking right now. I know this will improve in the long run.""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.""It should have more integrations with multiple end user OEMs.""The only thing I can think of is that I'd like to see a little more flexibility in policy creation. The way that policy is currently structured is like a "first hit succeeds" kind of policy. It would be nice if it were more hierarchical.""It should have a real-time malware classification engine. It should check the malware on the website. It would be good if it had a real-time malware check for the websites because currently, it just compares the DNS queries of the blacklist. It should also have malware control over file execution and the types of files that the users are allowed to download.""The integration with Cisco could be better."

More Cisco Umbrella Cons →

"The main issue with Zscaler Internet Access is proxy IP detection, which sometimes makes sites inaccessible.""The performance needs improvement. Some areas create performance issues and, depending on the use cases, require reconfiguration to perform again.""Sometimes, support isn't available.""There are a few features that are not compatible with the Azure cloud.""Zscaler Internet Access could improve by adding a VPN feature.""I would like to see more training and video documentation.""They block Zscaler IPs when the traffic origin is from Zscaler IPs. They've been blocked by certain government organizations so the end users are not able to visit those websites unless we ask them to unblock those IP. This is a bit problematic.""An improvement would be if they could provide an out-of-the-box experience, like 20 to 30 features all ready to go. In comparison, LogRhythm offers out-of-the-box features. With Zscaler Internet Access, there is firewall IPS, multiple security services, filtering, DLP, and CASB browser isolation. These are things that all users are going to be using. However, when an administrator or architect would start building this, I would definitely need to engage professional services to help clients do it."

More Zscaler Internet Access Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "I think it's worth the money."
  • "The price of Cisco Umbrella is a little higher than similar solutions, like Gateway."
  • "The price should be slightly lower than the current price because if you look at the whole solution, it is simply a threat intelligence solution to block blacklisted things. The price should be lower looking at the features provided by the solution. The price isn't too high either, but it could be lower."
  • "There is a subscription cost."
  • "The price could be lower."
  • "The price is quite good."
  • "Pricing depends on the automation requirements of the organization."
  • "It has a reasonable price. It is certainly not as expensive as it used to be. It is in line with other offerings on the market. There are a number of different flavors of Umbrella. They could bring Umbrella SIG down a bit because its price is a little bit high for what it does, but I also understand why its price is high."
  • More Cisco Umbrella Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing is fair based on its competitive market."
  • "The price is competitive. It's not cheap and it's not expensive."
  • "The pricing for Zscaler Internet Access could be made cheaper."
  • "The price of Zscaler Internet Access should improve, it is expensive."
  • "We have found the solution to be expensive."
  • "Licenses are available on a per-host basis. Some features like sandboxing require an additional fee, but most standard features are included in the license."
  • "We pay around 6,500 INR per user per year, which is very expensive. I would rate Zscaler's pricing one out of five."
  • "Because it's a cloud solution, we pay on a yearly basis. It is affordable and includes tech support and all features."
  • More Zscaler Internet Access Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Netanya Carmi
    reviewer1535313 - PeerSpot reviewerreviewer1535313 (Executive at a computer software company with 11-50 employees)
    Reseller

    I would widen my options to include Netskope. 


    Tech support is far better should or if you require it, deployment is much faster, and integrations with API's is better than either of the other two.

    John Okunade - PeerSpot reviewerJohn Okunade
    Real User

    Fantastic points you have highlighted Leah. The DNS functionality of the Umbrella. 


    I think the functionality I love about Umbrella is that it's an enterprise solution providing web security for both on-prem and mobile users. Being a cloud solution centralized management of the solution is made easy. Thank you, Cisco.

    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 single-pane-of-glass management is really important. In today's era, administration costs and operational expenses will cost you a lot, and it reduces that as well. You don't need extra resources… more »
    Top Answer:We researched Netskope but ultimately chose Zscaler. Netskope is a cloud access security broker that helps identify and manage cloud applications, protecting your sensitive data from exfiltration.… more »
    Top Answer:The solution replaces multiple vendor technologies with one which makes it worth the cost.
    Top Answer:The solution replaces multiple vendor technologies with one which makes it worth the cost. It is a few pounds per user per month. Occasionally a customer will kick back because they believe it is too… more »
    Ranking
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    8.7
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    644
    Rating
    8.5
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    OpenDNS
    ZIA
    Learn More
    Overview

    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.”

    Zscaler Internet Access is a cloud-native security service edge (SSE) platform. Its main purpose is to provide AI-powered protection for all users, all applications, and all locations. The solution replaces other legacy network security solutions to stop advanced attacks and prevent data loss by using a comprehensive zero trust approach.

    Zscaler Internet Access Features

    Zscaler Internet Access has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Proxy (native SSL)
    • IPS and advanced protection
    • Cloud sandbox
    • DNS security
    • Cloud firewall
    • URL filtering
    • Bandwidth control
    • DNS filtering
    • Cloud DLP w/EDM and IDM
    • Cloud access security broker (CASB)
    • Cloud security posture management (CSPM)
    • CloudBrowser isolation
    • Cloud secure web gateway (SWG)
    • Zero trust network access (ZTNA)
    • Digital experience monitoring

    Zscaler Internet Access Benefits

    There are several benefits to implementing Zscaler Internet Access. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Fast access with zero infrastructure: Zscaler Internet Access creates a fast, seamless user experience because of its direct-to-cloud architecture. With no infrastructure, Zscaler Internet Access helps you eliminate backhauling, which improves performance and simplifies network administration.
    • Threat intelligence: By using threat intelligence, Zscaler Internet Access can stop ransomware, zero-day malware, and advanced attacks via Inline inspection of all internet traffic, including SSL decryption, and a suite of AI-powered cloud security services. 
    • Consistent security: With Zscaler Internet Access, your security policy goes everywhere your users go. When you move security to the cloud, all users, applications, devices, and locations remain protected and secure based on identity and context.
    • Hybrid workforce: Zscaler Internet Access enables secure access to all external and internal apps from anywhere, so remote work is not an issue. You can also enforce business policies that follow the user, making security identical regardless of location.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Zscaler Internet Access users.

    A Service Manager at a construction company says, "There are a bunch of different capabilities that are valuable within the platform. We use quite a lot of them, but not everything. The ones that are most important to us are the URL Filtering and the application control. For our needs, the cloud-native proxy architecture is a very good solution. This architecture helps with cyber threats because we inspect most of the traffic and we can see that a lot of threats are stopped directly in the secure web gateway."

    Owen N., Security Architect at Claro Enterprise Solutions, explains that the solution’s most valuable features include “The integration of the gateway that inspects all ports and protocols. So, there is threat prevention; The cloud sandbox; VNS security; Access control that will protect URL filtering and the cloud firewall; Data protection that will protect your gateway, like your CASB or your cloud DLP; The capabilities of this will point your traffic to Zscaler Cloud.”

    An Architecture Senior Manager at an insurance company mentions, "The data loss prevention feature is the most valuable. It stops our users from inadvertently leaking our customers' data to the Internet or anywhere else it shouldn't go." He also adds, “The solution provides quick access to cloud services, securing our data and allowing us to inspect all our traffic.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    Learn more about Zscaler Internet Access
    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
    Ulster-Greene ARC, BanRegio, HDFC, Ralcorp Holdings Inc., British American Tobacco, Med America Billing Services Inc., Lanco Group, Aquafil, Telefonica, Swisscom, Brigade Group
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Educational Organization9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Computer Software Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Pharma/Biotech Company10%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise8%
    Large Enterprise58%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: September 2022.
    633,184 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Umbrella is ranked 1st in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 46 reviews while Zscaler Internet Access is ranked 2nd in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 21 reviews. Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.8, while Zscaler Internet Access is rated 8.6. 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 Zscaler Internet Access writes " AI decision-making on quarantined documents reduces manual work". Cisco Umbrella is most compared with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Palo Alto Networks DNS Security, Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection, Fortinet FortiGate SWG and Prisma Access by Palo Alto Networks, whereas Zscaler Internet Access is most compared with Netskope CASB, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Prisma SaaS by Palo Alto Networks. See our Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access report.

    See our list of best Secure Web Gateways (SWG) vendors and best Internet Security vendors.

    We monitor all Secure Web Gateways (SWG) 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.