We performed a comparison between Cisco Web Security Appliance and Zscaler Internet Access 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.
"The documentation is good, and we have been able to resolve any issues ourselves."
"One of the great advantages of Umbrella DNS is that it's really simple to deploy. It's easy to install, the users do not notice that it's there, and it doesn't interfere with your work. The simplicity and transparency are great advantages of Cisco Umbrella."
"I was able to implement it myself. It was really easy to install. You could install it on a server locally if you want to. If you have the biggest site, you would do that, but for my site, it was just directing all the traffic out through the Cisco Umbrella DNS. It was really handy. When the owners of the company went overseas, I knew that they would be secure because even if they were not on the company network, they would still go through the Cisco Umbrella servers. It was a complete solution for protecting the company with outgoing data."
"One valuable feature is definitely its simplicity in terms of deployment. It is very easy to integrate it into the environment without any heavy lifting. Users didn't notice that we implemented it. You can start with a very low monitoring mode and start observing what Cisco Umbrella sees."
"Cisco Umbrella's integration with other solutions has been a great feature in terms of ease of administration. Administration and troubleshooting are faster. The single pane of glass is great as well. Another great feature of Cisco Umbrella is remote browser isolation. With this feature, you open a virtual browser, and it's seamless to the user. If the user ends up going to a bad website that's passed a policy and something bad tries to download, it will not download into the machine because it is a virtual window somewhere in the cloud. You are protected by this feature."
"The most valuable feature is the ability to filter malware sites that could infect clients or allow them to download infected files."
"When we have laptops that leave the building, they could connect to public WiFi before they establish a VPN connection back into the company. For that duration or that period of time when they're not docked in the network or on a VPN, they effectively don't have that full layer of security that I provide inside the building. This tool stands in during that period of time, and we extend the security settings through their basic firewall or their cloud-based firewall at that time. So, we do content filtering and control access, but they also are looking at new domains, IP addresses, and bad requests. They're blocking them on my behalf when a laptop is not sitting behind our security appliances."
"For me, it's important that I get a connection to my corporate network in a secure and fast way. This product just runs in the background and doesn't need any attention. For me, as a user, it's perfect."
"The tool has good Umbrella DNS security."
"What we liked best about it was the ability to apply policy to either a user ID or an IP-based network."
"The initial setup is straightforward."
"Cisco Web Security Appliance can integrate with Active Directory, enabling us to manage all the end-users within AD. It's helpful for setting rules based on individual users and groups. For example, you can configure policies for inbound and outbound traffic."
"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."
"The product is stable."
"The most valuable feature of Cisco Web Security Appliance is the provided anti-malware functionality and URL categorization. I can block access to malicious websites. 99 percent of the cases are related to a malicious website. If I cannot browse those malicious websites, then we are 99 percent protected."
"The solution provides good web reputation and anti-malware protection."
"The solution is scalable and stable."
"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 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."
"It is easy to set up the solution."
"The most valuable feature is the ability to drop packets."
"The protection is most valuable."
"The URL filtering has been the most valuable feature."
"Zscaler covers all the features needed to replace a VPN or proxy solution. They are good. They've been on the market for 15 years now, so they are mature enough."
"It had the ability to do a lot of app control. So, every single app that went through that portal was registered, but there is a general issue with the whole app control. As soon as you add a mobile phone to your network, all of the apps get registered through the system, and you can approve, reject, or just let them go through. When I looked at it, it was impossible to manage app control. There was just so much data. I didn't apply that service because I just didn't have the time to manage it. It would be good if there was a way to categorize applications."
"If a hardware platform were provided for Umbrella, that would definitely improve the market for it... Especially when we are addressing governmental customers, they hesitate to connect to the cloud. That is where we need a hardware platform so that the solution can be used on-premises as well."
"We would like them to add more features to Cisco Umbrella."
"Having ready-to-go templates with best practices is definitely something that would be an improvement. Deployment, from day one, is something that definitely needs to be improved for Cisco customers."
"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."
"Network connectivity was a bit of a challenge at the beginning, but we were able to get the right help from Cisco."
"One of the issues with Umbrella is as you get into endpoint detection and response, such as EDR point solutions, some of them will not integrate well with Umbrella. Sometimes when you want to use technology, such as Always On VPN, it will not work. There are some looming issues as one type of technology starts to crossover with Umbrella. That is the challenge and Umbrella should find a way to be more compatible with some of the endpoint response solutions that are coming out on the market."
"The integration with Cisco could be better."
"WSA is lacking firewall features."
"The transparent proxy is quite difficult to enforce on smartphones and tablets."
"Customer support is good but could be improved."
"The reporting needs improvement."
"It should have a user-based quota, per-user quota, that can be defined on the appliance."
"The support for this solution could be improved. We have experienced issues with their SMARTnet support system."
"Setting up Cisco Web Security Appliance is highly complex and it takes about a week. We have to connect it to the Active Directory and configure all the policies for end users. It takes a long time to configure rules for our company data like port forwarding and separating the public and local components."
"The tool needs to provide logs. They need to improve firewall threat defense."
"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."
"Zscaler Internet Access can improve by adding traffic filtering based on the DNS."
"They should enhance the audit reporting feature."
"I would like to see more training and video documentation."
"The main issue with Zscaler Internet Access is proxy IP detection, which sometimes makes sites inaccessible."
"The solution can be improved by advancing some of the newer technologies such as the DLP feature, and adding email security."
"What could be improved in Zscaler Internet Access is its price. It could be cheaper."
"Technical support could be better."
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?
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).
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:
Zscaler Internet Access Benefits
There are several benefits to implementing Zscaler Internet Access. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:
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.”
Cisco Web Security Appliance is ranked 9th in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 12 reviews while Zscaler Internet Access is ranked 3rd in Secure Web Gateways (SWG) with 28 reviews. Cisco Web Security Appliance is rated 8.2, while Zscaler Internet Access is rated 8.4. 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 Zscaler Internet Access writes " AI decision-making on quarantined documents reduces manual work". Cisco Web Security Appliance is most compared with Fortinet FortiProxy, Skyhigh Security, Symantec Proxy, Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway and Fortinet FortiGate SWG, whereas Zscaler Internet Access is most compared with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Netskope , Forcepoint Secure Web Gateway, Palo Alto Networks WildFire and Skyhigh Security. See our Cisco Web Security Appliance vs. Zscaler Internet Access report.
See our list of best Secure Web Gateways (SWG) vendors.
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