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Cisco Umbrella vs Zscaler Internet Access comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on April 28, 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: Cisco Umbrella reviewers do not mention ROI. Zscaler Internet Access reviewers 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.

Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
596,362 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"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.""It offers good visibility for the Administrator. The administrator has full visibility of what is blocked or has the knowledge of where users go when they are surfing the internet.""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.""The most valuable features of this solution are the Web Filtering and the APT.""Web proxy adds an effective layer for security.""We've found it to be stable and good for our customers.""Provides dependable DNS monitoring of external devices.""I like that it integrates with the infrastructure. I also like the kind of data and intelligence that's built-in. It helps create innovative reports for security."

More Cisco Umbrella Pros →

"The security is excellent.""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.""The solution is scalable and stable.""The VPN is valuable, as the whole technology is very different from a traditional VPN.""For our needs, the cloud-native proxy architecture is a very good solution. We are moving away from on-prem appliances and moving more toward cloud-based solutions. Zscaler is a good fit for our strategy. 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.""We don't have to buy equipment to use it. And when our engineers set it up on our side, we just configured a few settings and we were in.""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.""Zscaler Internet Access has helped us reduce the time that we spend managing security policies by about four hours a week. We can use this time to focus on other things, especially the IT team."

More Zscaler Internet Access Pros →

Cons
"Actually, we recently switched over to Zscaler because it has more features and it's more scalable than Cisco Umbrella.""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.""The reporting could be improved by way of the information that's displayed. For example, when you pull a report, it shows an internal employee going to many websites, but you can spin that right down by saying a lot of it is being cached.""The integration with Cisco could be better.""We would like to see the enhancements made to the EDR, as we see features that are running endpoint management.""User interface could be a little smoother and more intuitive.""Cisco Umbrella should introduce an on-premises device.""There are cheaper solutions in the market"

More Cisco Umbrella Cons →

"There are a few features that are not compatible with the Azure cloud.""I don't know whether it's Zscaler or not, however, sometimes I can't access my time management. I need to wait and try again a few hours later. Typically, if I let some time pass, I can access it again.""They could provide more time for the onboarding the training of an IT person.""The reporting functionality could be a bit easier to use. There is a reporting function, but it's quite hard to do any good reporting, from a user-management perspective. For example, if a department manager wants to know how his department is using the web, there is a way to get the data, but it's quite cumbersome to get it and show it well. And that's true for comparing between departments.""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.""I would like to see more training and video documentation.""One thing that they could improve is the ability to import rules from other platforms.""Sometimes, support isn't available."

More Zscaler Internet Access Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "I am not sure, I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think it's $1.00 or so per device/month."
  • "Cisco uses subscription models for the pricing and there are three subscription plans."
  • "The licensing part for Umbrella is really flexible."
  • "There are three models for licensing with different feature sets."
  • "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."
  • 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."
  • 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: 
    It is a good cloud-based solution for DNS security.
    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 product is a bit expensive. That said, that is not in our scope to worry about pricing.
    Ranking
    Views
    44,941
    Comparisons
    35,957
    Reviews
    27
    Average Words per Review
    467
    Rating
    8.3
    Views
    37,754
    Comparisons
    30,252
    Reviews
    8
    Average Words per Review
    991
    Rating
    8.9
    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 Firm15%
    Consumer Goods Company9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Educational Organization6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Computer Software Company25%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Media Company8%
    Computer Software Company8%
    Non Profit8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise35%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise62%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise9%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise70%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Umbrella vs. Zscaler Internet Access and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    596,362 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Umbrella is ranked 1st in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 32 reviews while Zscaler Internet Access is ranked 2nd in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 8 reviews. Cisco Umbrella is rated 8.4, while Zscaler Internet Access is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of Cisco Umbrella writes "Segmenting email and web proxy features stand out but missing pieces leave holes to be filled". 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, Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection, Palo Alto Networks DNS Security, Fortinet FortiGate SWG and Prisma SaaS by Palo Alto Networks, whereas Zscaler Internet Access is most compared with Netskope CASB, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Prisma SaaS by Palo Alto Networks, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Fortinet FortiGate. 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.