Cisco Web Security Appliance vs Symantec Secure Web Gateway comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Cisco Web Security Appliance and Symantec Secure Web Gateway based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Secure Web Gateways (SWG) solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Cisco Web Security Appliance vs. Symantec Secure Web Gateway Report (Updated: November 2022).
656,474 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
"It enables us to go granular in the customization of blocking some categories on the DNS.""Any time someone went off the network, the AnyConnect client had the Umbrella agent built in, and it would realize when their computer connected that they were not on the corporate network. It would monitor and they would have pretty close to the same rules that they had to follow when they were in the office, regarding what kind of website browsing they could do.""The single-pane-of-glass management is very important. We have a very small team. We can't spend a lot of time going from product to product to product to either investigate or set up policy. We need to have one place that we can go to and set everything up.""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.""It is user-friendly. It is easy to manage the solution.""I like the DNS layer security.""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.""If it didn't have a single pane of glass, we would not be using it. The single pane of glass gives you a one-stop shop. It's like going to Home Depot. You find all your stuff there. You can see all your threats and your endpoints. It's a very important feature and makes things very simple."

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"The initial setup is straightforward.""The product is stable.""The best feature of Cisco Web Security Appliance is its policy framing. It also has a good UI and it can handle traffic well. Cisco Web Security Appliance is a good product.""It also allows you to decrypt SSL traffic, and that's a really important feature as well, which is something I also configured.""It's a scalable product.""I would recommend this solution to others.""The deployment process is very simple.""Great for assisting with connections to networks or apps."

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"It is easy to manage. The graphical user interface is quite easy to navigate, and we don't have any difficulty in using it. It is a good solution.""It offers an easy initial setup.""It is a stable solution."

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Cons
"The design of the screens could be improved. Sometimes you're trying to look for information, for what you think is critical that should be on that first screen of the dashboard so that you can quickly take screenshots to have people help out, but you have to hop between screens to find little pieces of evidence.""There are cheaper solutions in the market""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 could be improved by having a local data center and caching, which can provide protection support. I would like to be able to channel my intel and my network traffic to their clouds, and this feature is not available. Advanced protection or any malware file support, which might be required, is not available.""Their support should be improved. It is necessary that the support is efficient. It is not really easy to get a resolution for an issue from Cisco support. They should be faster and more efficient.""I feel that the application needs other characteristics that are available with other applications in the market.""I would like to see more integrability with other products.""It's a very new product, so it's quite immature at the moment. It can be more user friendly."

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"I would like more automation.""Sometimes reporting is a little bit short.""As Cisco Web Security Appliance is eight years old, though it's simple to access its UI, the UI needs a little bit of updating. If it could be more interactive similar to the latest gen solutions, that would improve the product. Adding a few more integrations would also make Cisco Web Security Appliance better.""WSA is lacking firewall features.""This solution could be more secure.""Customer support is good but could be improved.""The solution needs to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate.""It should have a user-based quota, per-user quota, that can be defined on the appliance."

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"The reports could be better.""The major challenge is their support. The support from Broadcom is quite poor. It takes forever for them to get back to you, and when they get back to you, they ask you for so much information, which makes it more difficult. That's the only problem I have with Broadcom. This is one of the reasons why we are switching to another solution. Another reason for switching is that we have a plan to adopt solutions in the cloud so that we can offload the administration efforts to the vendor. In future releases, they can improve its reporting and the process for rules creation. They can also improve Broadcom on things such as security information and event management so that from my same platform, I can carry out functions and probably block websites. Such a feature would be nice. Currently, Broadcom is integrated with McAfee to block access to certain sites automatically. It would be nice if they can expand their integration to IBM Resilient Security Orchestration and Automation Response.""It's not user-friendly, and we end up making too many phone calls to get things fixed."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "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."
  • More Cisco Umbrella Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Cisco Web Security Appliance is not the cheapest solution on the market, but it's well worth it."
  • "This is an expensive solution."
  • "The solution's cost depends on how many users you purchase. It was maybe $3 or $5 per user, which is a bit expensive."
  • "At the time, licensing fees were paid on an annual basis."
  • "The licensing options begin with 100 users and this is a high threshold for smaller networks."
  • More Cisco Web Security Appliance Pricing and Cost Advice →

    Information Not Available
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    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Secure Web Gateways (SWG) solutions are best for your needs.
    656,474 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: Cisco Umbrella and Zscaler Internet Access are two broad-spectrum Internet security solutions that I have tried.… more »
    Top Answer:Cisco Umbrella is an integral component of the Cisco SASE architecture. It integrates security in a single, cloud-native… more »
    Top Answer:The single-pane-of-glass management is really important. In today's era, administration costs and operational expenses… more »
    Top Answer:It integrates well with Cisco Email Security Appliance.
    Top Answer:Cisco Web Security Appliance is not the cheapest solution on the market, but it's well worth it.
    Top Answer:Sometimes reporting is a little bit short. Cisco has always put more emphasis on developing big products that are very… more »
    Top Answer:It is easy to manage. The graphical user interface is quite easy to navigate, and we don't have any difficulty in using… more »
    Top Answer:There is an additional charge for advanced security features.
    Top Answer:The major challenge is their support. The support from Broadcom is quite poor. It takes forever for them to get back to… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    OpenDNS
    Cisco WSA, Cisco Web Security
    Symantec Complete Website Security
    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.”

    For security, your network needs malware protection, application visibility and control, acceptable use policy controls, insightful reporting and secure mobility. Cisco offers this protection, all on a single platform: the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA).

    Complete Website Security goes far beyond encryption to deliver protection for websites, data and applications—with 24/7 control that helps to mitigate risk and helps to ensure uninterrupted performance for every website. Multi-layered security and controls make our certificate issuance and authentication processes one of the most rigorous in the industry. Automated management pinpoints certificate and website weaknesses due to unexpected expirations, flawed installations, deprecation and critical vulnerabilities in the event of attacks. Meanwhile, Symantec’s unified security identifies worldwide security vulnerabilities, delivers real-time analytics and helps our customers to protect against damage 24/7. It's why we've become the name people trust.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    Learn more about Cisco Web Security Appliance
    Learn more about Symantec Secure Web Gateway
    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
    New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Caixa Seguradora
    Information Not Available
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Educational Organization9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Consumer Goods Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm38%
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Government13%
    Maritime Company13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Government8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Government8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise36%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise33%
    Large Enterprise28%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise63%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise44%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise64%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cisco Web Security Appliance vs. Symantec Secure Web Gateway
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Web Security Appliance vs. Symantec Secure Web Gateway and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    656,474 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Cisco Web Security Appliance is ranked 9th in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 11 reviews while Symantec Secure Web Gateway is ranked 19th in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 3 reviews. Cisco Web Security Appliance is rated 7.8, while Symantec Secure Web Gateway is rated 7.0. The top reviewer of Cisco Web Security Appliance writes "Flexible, robust, easy to install, and the technical support is helpful". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Symantec Secure Web Gateway writes "Stable and easy to use and manage, but needs better support and reporting". Cisco Web Security Appliance is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, McAfee Web Protection, Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway, Symantec Proxy and Fortinet FortiGate SWG, whereas Symantec Secure Web Gateway is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Symantec Proxy, iboss, Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway and Fortinet FortiGate SWG. See our Cisco Web Security Appliance vs. Symantec Secure Web Gateway report.

    See our list of best Secure Web Gateways (SWG) 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.