Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps vs Qualys VM comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on May 29, 2022

We performed a comparison betweenMicrosoft Defender for Cloud Apps (MDA) and Qualys VM 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 and scalability. Microsoft Defender users say that it integrates well with other applications and has good monitoring features but they would like to see better alerting capabilities. Qualys VM users say it is a reliable and solid product that is easy to use but they would like better integration options.

  • Pricing: Most reviewers of both products feel that their prices are high.

  • ROI: Reviewers of both solutions report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Some Microsoft Defender reviewers report being satisfied with the support but others feel there is room for improvement. Most Qualys VM report being satisfied with the support.

Comparison Results: Qualys VM has a slight edge in this comparison because it received higher marks than Microsoft Defender in the support category.

To learn more, read our detailed Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) Report (Updated: November 2022).
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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 is a good cloud-based solution for DNS security.""I think recently with many people working from home, Cisco Umbrella has been very useful. For example, we can manage the device and the network when the employee is not working on the local host. Cisco Umbrella is very valuable for this kind of infrastructure.""I like the original functionality, which allows for providing secure DNS services.""The most valuable feature is the ability to block users from reaching places that they should not even try to reach has been a boon.""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.""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.""I like the DNS layer security."

More Cisco Umbrella Pros →

"It's very easy to install and it includes the Intune portal from Microsoft where I can control all the devices from one place.""On-demand scanning is the most valuable feature. In addition, it's a fairly fluid product. It syncs back to the cloud and provides metrics. It's pretty intelligent.""Better logging allows us to find problems and take appropriate steps to lock them out.""We have become more aware of what services our users are using, how often they are using them, and what data is being sent out of the organization and to which services. So, it is really a lot about visibility and helping us make decisions based on that. It drives some of our policy decisions for adding extra security controls.""I like the web GUI/the management interface. I also like the security of Microsoft. As compared to other manufacturers, it's less complex and easy to understand and work with.""Everything from Microsoft is integrated. You receive regular reports on them all. You can push your reports, logs, and security alerts, which are all integrated. It is crucial that these solutions work natively together to deliver coordinated detection and response across our environment.""I like the alert policies because they are quite robust. It has some built-in templates that we can easily pick up. One of them is the alert for mass downloads, when a particular user is running a massive download on your SharePoint site.""If your business requirements are relatively simple, it can get the job done."

More Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps Pros →

"Intuitive and easy to use.""The reporting functionality is great.""Qualys VM had a recent upgrade and the newer version is supporting the cloud.""Qualys VM has allowed us to know the vulnerabilities we need to prioritize based on the threat levels and the possible impact if there's an intrusion.""The initial setup is straightforward.""The vulnerability management feature is what I used the most. It is a good SaaS product. It is easy to use. It has a nice UI where you can see all the assets and vulnerabilities.""There are many features. Its reliability, ease of installation, ease of use, and the richness of the information provided are the most valuable features.""Qualys VM's best features are vulnerability management and customizable scoring."

More Qualys VM Pros →

Cons
"I think it's a very basic solution, and because of that, Cisco Umbrella would not be a suitable solution for large companies.""There are some situations where we would like to block things for specific user groups. I know that Umbrella does that, but it's not that easy.... when you want a specific task for specific rules and policies for user groups, you have to go three levels down in the menu, and it's hard to find where you do that task.""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'd like to see this solution more closely integrate with other products Cisco has in its portfolio.""The integration with Cisco could be better.""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.""In my experience with Umbrella support, sometimes the response times take a bit more time than we would like... sometimes, if you go through email, it can take quite a while to get a response.""We would like to see the enhancements made to the EDR, as we see features that are running endpoint management."

More Cisco Umbrella Cons →

"We would like to get more information from the endpoint. I don't get enough detailed information right now on why something failed. There is not enough visibility.""I would like to see them include more features in the older licenses. There are some features that are not available, such as preventing or analyzing cloud attacks.""It takes some time to scan and apply the policies when there is some sensitive information. After it applies the policies, it works, but there is a delay. This is something for which we are working with Microsoft.""This service would be better if it had a separate license, only for this service, that could be used to track usage.""They need to improve the attack surface reduction (ASR) rules. In the latest version, you can implement ASR rules, which are quite useful, but you have to enable those because if they're not enabled, they flag false positives. In the Defender portal, it logs a block for WMI processes and PowerShell. Apparently, it's because ASR rules are not configured. So, you generally have to enable them to exclude, for example, WMI queries or PowerShell because they have a habit of blocking your security scanners. It's a bit weird that they have to be enabled to be configured, and it's not the other way around.""Sometimes, we'll get false positive alarms. For example, when a SharePoint path has no file sharing, but there is an external user, it will trigger an alarm that the file has been shared with an external user... the alerting mechanism should be more precise when giving you an alert about what activity has been done with the file...""Currently, reporting is not very straightforward and it needs to be enhanced. Specific reports are not included and you need to run a query, drill down, and then export it and share it. I would love to have reports with more fine-tuning or granularity, and more predefined reports.""I want them to enhance in-session policy."

More Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps Cons →

"Qualys VM could improve by having more skilled support personnel.""They're still evolving their platform in terms of reporting capabilities.""The reporting and dashboards could improve in Qualys VM. However, they have improved since the previous versions.""The solution is a bit expensive if you do not have access to discounts.""Its integration with ServiceNow and other similar products is complicated and can be improved. It should also have virtual batching. They should support more standards and compliance requirements and more customizations. For policy compliance, they can add the standards required by the countries in the Middle East. Each country generates its own standards and frameworks, and those frameworks should be there in all products, not only in Qualys. The market here is huge, especially in the cybersecurity field. Qatar has a framework for Qatar 2022, and each and every company in the public or private sector has to follow the Qatar 2022 framework.""Qualys could be improved in its overall performance compared to other vulnerability management or scanning tools.""Certain integration factors between different options could be improved.""The IoT scan is not great."

More Qualys VM Cons →

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 →

  • "Our clients normally use the Microsoft E1 licensing, which is renewed yearly."
  • "The pricing is a little bit high but right now, we are okay with it because of the compatibility with Office 365, Teams, and Azure AD."
  • "I'm not totally involved in the pricing part, but I think its pricing is quite aggressive, and its price is quite similar to Netskope. Netskope has separate licensing fees or additional charges if you want to monitor certain SaaS services, whereas, with MCAS, you get 5,000 applications with their Office 365. It is all bundled, and there's no cost for using that. You only have the operational costs. In the country I am in, it is a bit difficult to get people with the required skill sets."
  • "Its pricing is on the higher side. Its price is definitely very high for a small-scale company. As an enterprise client, we do get benefits from Microsoft. We get a discounted price because of the number of users we have in our company. We have a premier package, and with that, we do get a lot of discounts. There are no additional costs. It only comes in the top-tier packages. Generally, the top-tier license is the best license that you can get for your organization. If you want, you can buy it separately, but that's not a good idea."
  • "The price could be better and should be reconsidered."
  • "It is a little bit expensive. When you want to have the complete package with Office 365, Defender, and everything else, it is expensive."
  • "We are an MST and we do not pay for the solution. However, the price of the solution could be better."
  • "The cost could be improved when you need to pay for anything. For example, refreshing files takes time to load, though it may be my Internet. To improve the refresh time, Microsoft says that we need to pay for a Premium license, and I don't like paying for things that help make a solution better."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is different for every company, but for us, it's every three years."
  • "Qualys is cheaper and more affordable than other solutions."
  • "The pricing and licensing for Qualys could be improved."
  • "We do see over $100,000 in terms of price, for mid-size programs. You likely will pay more than $100,000 without any discount. It is a bit pricey."
  • "I used to work there, so I never paid for the product. As an employee, we get a lifetime license for personal use, and that's what I'm using. It is a comprehensive platform, so there is a lot more to it. There could be other solutions that are probably a little bit cheaper, but it depends on what people need. Different people have different needs. It offers many things on the same platform. If you add all the things up, it should be cheaper, but I have not done any analysis specifically."
  • "There is a license for the use of this solution. We pay annually instead of monthly to receive a better discount on the price."
  • "Qualys VM is better suited for medium to large companies because the price can be too much for smaller customers."
  • "There are no additional fees in addition to the standard licensing fees."
  • More Qualys VM 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.… 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:In Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, there is an option to enable files. Once you enable that, it will give you all the… more »
    Top Answer:The E5 license offers everything bundled. People are moving to Microsoft because you buy one license and it gives you… more »
    Top Answer:The visibility it provides is quite good. You get all the logs for investigation purposes. But there should be more… more »
    Top Answer:We use this solution to scan the servers on the network. It is used predominantly by our information security team.
    Top Answer:The thing I like most about Tenable Nessus is its ease of use. I also like that it has highly customizable scans… more »
    Top Answer:Hi Yao, The two products are totally different solutions. Pentera is an Automated Penetration Testing platform… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    OpenDNS
    MS Cloud App Security, Microsoft Cloud App Security
    QualysGuard VM
    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.”

    Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps is a cloud access security broker (CASB) that provides multifunction visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics. With Microsoft Cloud App Security, you can: 

    - Manage, control, and audit apps to streamline cloud access security

    - Mange your access to resources to discover shadow IT and understand your digital information estate

    - Use real-time controls to enable threat protection on all the access points that touch your environment

    To learn more about our solution, ask questions, and share feedback, join our Microsoft Security, Compliance and Identity Community.

    Qualys VM is a vulnerability management tool that is cloud-based and gives you immediate, global visibility into where your IT systems might be vulnerable to the latest internet threats and how to protect them. The solution uses real-time threat intelligence, advanced correlation, and powerful machine learning models to automatically prioritize the riskiest vulnerabilities on your most critical assets – reducing potentially thousands of discovered vulnerabilities. Qualys VM frees you from the substantial cost, resource, and deployment issues associated with traditional software products.

    Qualys VM Features

    Qualys VM has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Agent-based detection: Qualys VM works with Qualys Cloud Agents, extending its network coverage to assets that can’t be scanned. With this feature, vulnerabilities are found faster and network impact is minimal.
    • Constant monitoring and alerts: Teams are proactively alerted about potential threats so problems can be tackled before turning into breaches. You can tailor alerts and be notified about general changes or specific circumstances.
    • Comprehensive coverage and visibility: Qualys VM scans and identifies vulnerabilities continuously in order to protect your IT assets on premises, in the cloud, and mobile endpoints. In addition, its executive dashboard displays an overview of your security posture and access to remediation details. The solution also generates custom role-based reports for multiple stakeholders, including automatic security documentation for compliance auditors.

    Qualys VM Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Qualys VM. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Lower and more predictable TCO: The solution doesn’t require any capital expenditures, extra human resources, or infrastructure or software to deploy and manage.
    • Full clarity: Qualys VM gives you full clarity into your data center assets, identifies their vulnerabilities, prioritizes remediation, and assesses IT compliance.
    • Accurate, prioritized results: The solution features a powerful data analysis, correlation, and reporting engine.
    • Advanced protection: Because Qualys VM constantly monitors your environment, it can flag traffic anomalies and alert you of any compromising indicators.
    • Scan for vulnerabilities everywhere: You can scan systems anywhere from the same console, including your perimeter, your internal network, and cloud environments. Since Qualys separates scanning from reporting, you can create custom reports showing each audience just the level of detail it needs to see.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Qualys VM is a solution that stands out when compared to many of its competitors. Some of its major advantages are that it offers good continuous monitoring, reporting functionality, and other valuable features like a priority mechanism.

    A Senior Security Consultant at a tech services company says, “Continuous Monitoring is excellent because it is entirely dependent on the agent, and the Agent Scan, is also quite good. I also like the asset tagging, asset grouping features, and the dashboard, because we can customize and create our own dashboard.”

    Another reviewer, an Information Security Manager at an outsourcing company comments, “The reporting functionality is great. It's more accurate and effective to get a picture of what the vulnerabilities are in a more distributed workforce.”

    Additionally, a Cyber Security Director at a manufacturing company mentions, “The prioritization mechanism is the most valuable aspect of the solution.” And also adds, “The initial setup is straightforward and technical support is great.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Umbrella
    Learn more about Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps
    Learn more about Qualys VM
    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
    Customers for Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps include Accenture, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Ansell, and Nakilat.
    Agrokor Group, American Specialty Health, American State Bank, Arval, Life:), Axway, Bank of the West, Blueport Commerce, BSkyB, Brinks, CaixaBank, Cartagena, Catholic Health System, CEC Bank, Cegedim, CIGNA, Clickability, Colby-Sawyer College, Commercial Bank of Dubai, University of Utah, eBay Inc., ING Singapore, National Theatre, OTP Bank, Sodexo, WebEx
    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
    Educational Organization38%
    Government13%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Engineering Company13%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm22%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Healthcare Company9%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Government7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise26%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise32%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise63%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Buyer's Guide
    Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB)
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Microsoft, Netskope and others in Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB). Updated: November 2022.
    655,774 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps is ranked 2nd in Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) with 18 reviews while Qualys VM is ranked 3rd in Vulnerability Management with 28 reviews. Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps is rated 8.4, while Qualys VM is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps writes "Integrates well and helps us in protecting sensitive information, but takes time to scan and apply the policies and cannot detect everything we need". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Qualys VM writes "Excellent continuous monitoring, helpful technical support, easy to scale, and simple to install". Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps is most compared with Zscaler Internet Access, Netskope CASB, Prisma SaaS by Palo Alto Networks, Skyhigh Security and Infoblox Advanced DNS Protection, whereas Qualys VM is most compared with Tenable Nessus, Tenable.sc, Rapid7 InsightVM, Tenable.io Vulnerability Management and Darktrace.

    We monitor all Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) 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.