Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs Symantec Messaging Gateway comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and Symantec Messaging Gateway based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Email Security solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: Which product do you prefer: Symantec Messaging Gateway or Microsoft Defender?
Answer: By far Defender for the Win! It integrates, no MX record, etc, nonsense like other products. It offers training simulations as well for end users who are the primary target of bad actors and the most vulnerable of part of any organization. The nice feature is that with Microsoft 365 premium products, its included in the package. Otherwise, for basic and standard users, the Defender for Office 365 is a great add-on with lots of features!
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The filtering is definitely better at catching both spam and malicious messages, and there's a lot of extremely granular ability for setting up rules. You can do it the way you want to. The Microsoft solution tends to be pretty limited in how it allows some of that to be done.""The added value of it is that every migration to a new version is initiated by the Cisco version itself, so that is a bunch of work that you don't have to do on the Cisco ESA system on-premise. As it becomes a safe platform, you don't need to invest anything in your own data center or in your upgrade path.""Cisco Secure Email Cloud Gateway has allowed our users to be able to concentrate on the emails that they do receive. Previously, our users had to deal with nine million additional emails across the organization, which is nearly 1,000 emails per user to have to deal with a month. That's a massive amount for our staff to deal with and probably several hours of their time. We have a lot of clinical staff, being a hospital. We want to make our staff as productive as possible. By removing a lot of that spam and phishing type emails, this allows them to do their job.""It has an intuitive, clear graphical interface where you can deploy your policies and understand the overall flow. There are a lot of things that you cannot handle on the graphic interface, like message filters. For this, you need to go to a lower level where you have more power, like command line interface. So, this solution has the best of both worlds. There are not a lot of bells and whistles. It is more practical with access to most features that you can configure.""Anti-Spam and Advanced Malware Protection are the most valuable features... and we also have the option to block Zero-day attacks.""The malicious URL scanning, as well as the anti-malware features, have been really useful for us in our environment.""I love the Advanced Malware Protection feature. It works very well... The appliance has more security such as SDF, DKIM, DMARC, and encryption.""It is doing its work. It is doing what it was actually designed to do. It has ensured we don't have business email compromises, and it has also ensured that our brand Galaxy is unique all year round."

More Cisco Secure Email Pros →

"I would say that 90% of the spam and phishing attack emails get blocked right off the bat.""Safe attachments, safe links, policies, and the ability to protect from zero-day threats are the most valuable features.""The basic features are okay and I'm satisfied with the Defender.""The most valuable feature of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is the ease of use.""Microsoft Defender has a feature to protect each and every attachment. Even if it's an encrypted attachment, it will check for any potential threats.""Does a thorough job of examining email and URLs for malicious content.""It also gives me good visibility because, with Defender, I'm using a Microsoft product to defend Microsoft products. The integration was really seamless and I have wide visibility because it picks up almost everything. Literally, I can see almost every activity that happens, from the e-mail to the workstation itself.""The solution is very easy to use. All you have to do is to assign the license to the end-user and it's done. The customer will only have the feature activated, and the solution will monitor the emails to determine if they are a threat or not."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Pros →

"The solution is stable and the performance is good.""Messaging Gateway is stable.""I like that it's simple and easy to configure, deploy, and manage. The reporting function has all the features we're looking for, and we are fine with that.""It has very good capabilities for managing malware.""What I like most about Symantec Messaging Gateway is its usability. I also find its interface very friendly. The solution has a very good interface.""The most valuable feature of the solution is the content filtering policies because the solution offers huge options for configuration, such as hardware manipulation, et cetera, and the dictionaries make the work easier.""The most valuable features of Symantec Messaging Gateway are advanced content filtering, malware, and antivirus defense.""Symantec Messaging Gateway is stable and scalable. Installation is easy, and the deployment and maintenance can be done by one administrative person."

More Symantec Messaging Gateway Pros →

Cons
"The interface is dated. It has looked pretty much the same for 15 years or so. It would be helpful to be able to do everything from one spot. The centralized quarantine and reporting are completely separate from policy administration.""The configuration UI should be made more intuitive. Currently, it takes a while to understand how to do the basic configurations.""We have Microsoft and we have the E5 licenses, they have more EDR responses on certain emails. That's something that Cisco ESA on the cloud doesn't have. They don't do anything about MITRE attacks. They only detect if there is a malicious email or a threat and they remove it.""We have been struggling in the last month with Cisco encryption and with the S/MIME encryption. I don't know if it is an issue on our side or if these features of the solution are not working very well.""The Forged Email Detection feature needs improvement, particularly with domain. The sensors are not that good and the rules sets are unclear.""I would like more functionality and how to use it for Level 2 type staff. The biggest issue is it needs to be easier to use and navigate.""The UI is definitely one area of improvement because it doesn't match other interfaces and the navigation can be a little clunky.""They can do it better with web links, with the URLs. They have a technology called Outbreak but it doesn't work as well as we would like."

More Cisco Secure Email Cons →

"We are always looking for others tools to increase automation on tasks. There can be better integration with other solutions, such as PowerPoint and email.""They can improve their security in a way where a customer can know if all their attachments are safe or not to open through a report. The solution does its job perfectly, but it never reports to the customer whether those attachments have been stopped before or not.""In one of the reports I can get the exact place where a vulnerable file resides. But for that, I need to explicitly go into the device and check. If they could include that file part in the report, without my having to go to the device itself, that would help.""Configuration requires going to a lot of places rather than just accessing one tab.""There needs to be an improvement in integrating the product to work across multiple operating systems, and to have better support for non-Microsoft file types.""In some situations, it has not been able to pick impersonated emails having no attachments. Technical support definitely has a scope for improvement.""I'd like some additional features any product can give me to protect our environment in a better way.""Microsoft Defender for Office 365 could improve by giving customers information on techniques to prevent threats. For example, information about best practices on how to protect their own devices against hackers and scammers, such as educational information or training. This would help others have a better understanding of cyber security. Additionally, there can be more security features added."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Cons →

"The solution interface is from 2003 and is outdated. Symantec Messaging Gateway needs to update the interface.""What's lacking when you compare it with Proofpoint and other threat protection solutions is that it does the basic stuff, but we need more advanced threat handling.""It is a nice product but is not user friendly in terms of the graphical interface. It is poor and is not rich in terms of the human interface.""They really need to create a good package that competes with Microsoft.""What needs to be improved in Symantec Messaging Gateway is its local partner support, as it's not as technical. The support my company gets from the partner isn't good. Vendor support is good, but local partner support isn't. I'm happy with Symantec Messaging Gateway as a solution, but the problem is with its partner support. To me, Symantec Messaging Gateway is a complete solution, but it can be very difficult to search the web for resolutions to issues or problems you experience from it. If this could be improved or resolved in the next release of Symantec Messaging Gateway, then that would be good.""Messaging Gateway's advanced malware detection could be improved.""Symantec Messaging Gateway can improve detection because most of them are false negatives or false positives that we are trying to troubleshoot. Additionally, we are having routing problems and they are somehow connected to DNS issues.""The biggest problem is it's an on-prem product and we're trying to get out of having equipment in data centers."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Compared to Cisco's on-prem service, the cost is the same, but you don't have to pay for the hardware and you don't have to maintain the system, as far as upgrades and hardware failures are concerned. It is cheaper to operate on their cloud service than it is to operate with their on-prem service."
  • "Cisco Secure Email and the support are priced well. It's not cheap, but there are other solutions that offer less and cost so much. For example, Microsoft is more expensive than Cisco."
  • "There are additional fees for adding features."
  • "At times, we feel the pricing is a bit too high, but then, there is also room for discounts. We enjoy a lot of discounts, and that is why we are still with them. There are no costs in addition to the standard licensing fees."
  • "In my previous organization, avoiding four instances of CryptoLocker within an estimated six month period is approximately $600,000 in lost time and effort. Our five year cost was about a million dollars, and the four outages that we had equated to 65 percent of that five year cost."
  • "It is a super big router that costs a few hundred thousand dollars."
  • More Cisco Secure Email Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "From the pricing point of view, like any other product in the market, there is scope for negotiation."
  • "Defender is a little bit more expensive as compared to others. We are in the manufacturing environment. So, we don't have a high budget for all of our endpoint devices. Its cost is a major concern for us."
  • "For licensing, it's usually a yearly package for customers who are subscribed to Office 365, but they can also pay on a monthly basis."
  • "Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is an add-on to the Office license. Many customers are purchasing this solution."
  • "Microsoft Defender for Office 365 comes with Microsoft Windows. It is free with the operating system."
  • "The solution saves money so we have seen a return on investment."
  • "Defender for 365 comes in various plans and licenses, along with other Microsoft security solutions. Purchasing this kind of package or security bundle gives good value for money, and that's what I recommend."
  • "The pricing is normal. Considering its popularity, it's not overpriced."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The cost of Symantec Messaging Gateway is too expensive in general. However, the appliance also includes the price of the license in the same bundle."
  • "They're a little costly compared to Microsoft."
  • More Symantec Messaging Gateway Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It has an intuitive, clear graphical interface where you can deploy your policies and understand the overall flow. There… more »
    Top Answer:It is a super big router that costs a few hundred thousand dollars.
    Top Answer:You can consolidate on SMA if you want to spam or threats quarantined for multiple devices. It is not advisable for a… more »
    Top Answer:Microsoft Defender has a feature to protect each and every attachment. Even if it's an encrypted attachment, it will… more »
    Top Answer:The pricing is normal. Considering its popularity, it's not overpriced.
    Top Answer:The advanced threat protection requires awareness and knowledge from administrators. Microsoft should provide more… more »
    Top Answer:Symantec Messaging Gateway is stable and scalable. Installation is easy, and the deployment and maintenance can be… more »
    Top Answer:The cost of Symantec Messaging Gateway is too expensive in general. However, the appliance also includes the price of… more »
    Top Answer:What I like most about Symantec Messaging Gateway is its usability. I also find its interface very friendly. The… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco Email Security, IronPort, Cisco Email Security, ESA, Email Security Appliances
    MS Defender for Office 365
    Symantec.cloud, Symantec Email Security.cloud
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco Secure Email is an email security solution that provides advanced protection to safeguard inboxes. The solution includes comprehensive defense from the most damaging threats so your employees and organization can remain secure at all times. In addition, it includes advanced threat defense capabilities that detect, block, and remediate threats in incoming email faster. Simultaneously, it protects an organization’s brand, prevents data loss, and secures important information in transit with end-to-end encryption.

    Cisco Secure Email Features

    Cisco Secure Email has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Advanced threat analysis: Easily identify the malicious techniques used in attacks targeting your organization. Understand the specific business risks and categorize threats to gain insight into the parts of your organization that are most vulnerable to attack.
    • Robust, actionable threat data: The solution’s searchable threat analysis data provides critical contextual insight to the attack scope and breadth and expedites remediation.
    • Real-time URL analysis: With this feature, you can drop emails with risky links automatically or block access to newly infected sites with real-time URL analysis to protect against phishing.
    • Domain-based message authentication (DMARC): Users can prevent brand abuse from attackers using their organization’s domain to carry out phishing campaigns with automation of the domain-based message authentication (DMARC) process.
    • Data loss prevention (DLP): The solution enables users to protect sensitive content in outgoing emails.

    Cisco Secure Email Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Cisco Secure Email. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Optimize your defenses: The solution is designed to protect your organization from threats that can come from multiple sources, including phishing, malware, and ransomware. It can defend against all of them with industry-leading threat intelligence that empowers you to act quickly.
    • More efficient processes: You can use the solution’s orchestration feature to simplify workflows, reduce the burden on your team, and focus on more strategic initiatives.
    • Easy-to-manage tools: The solution is built with tools that are user-friendly and help you spend less time managing alerts. They allow users to quickly detect emerging threats and quarantine suspected threats to prevent their spread.
    • Flexible license options: Cisco Secure Email provides three different license choices: Secure Email Essentials, Secure Email Advantage, and Secure Email Premier.
    • Increase spam catch rates: Cisco Secure Email blocks unwanted emails using a multilayered scanning architecture.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Cisco Secure Email is a solution that stands out when compared to many of its competitors. Some of its major advantages are that it has an intuitive interface, reputation filtering, few false positives, and great protection features.

    Enrique J., Owner at Jolly Security Inc., says, "It has an intuitive, clear graphical interface where you can deploy your policies and understand the overall flow. The most valuable feature is reputation filtering.”

    The solution has a “low rate of false positives, good support, and it integrates well with other Cisco security products,” explains Mark R., IT Admin / Manager at a retailer.

    PeerSpot user Charles N., Network Security Engineer at Galaxy Backbone Ltd., mentions, “It is doing its work. It is doing what it was actually designed to do. They have a lot of features such as Advanced Malware Protection, Email Protection, Advanced Phishing Protection, Antispam, Antivirus, and Outbreak Filters.”

    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 protects all of Office 365 against advanced threats like business email compromise and credential phishing, and automatically investigates and remediates attacks. With Defender for O365 you get Integrated threat protection for all of Office 365 that gives you:

    - Native protection for Office 365 with built-in protection that simplifies administration, lowers total cost of ownership, and boosts productivity.

    - Unparalleled scale and effectiveness with powerful automated workflows to improve SecOps efficiency.

    - A complete solution for collaboration that protects you from attacks across the kill chain.

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

    Symantec’s on-premises email security solution begins with Messaging Gateway which provides essential inbound and outbound messaging security including, powerful protection against the latest messaging threats including ransomware, spear phishing, and business email compromise, It catches more than
    99 percent of spam with a less than 1 in 1 million false positives, and effectively responds to new messaging threats with real-time automatic antispam and antimalware updates. Messaging Gateway combines multilayer protection technologies that effectively detect, block, and quarantine suspicious email

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Secure Email
    Learn more about Microsoft Defender for Office 365
    Learn more about Symantec Messaging Gateway
    Sample Customers
    SUNY Old Westbury, CoxHealth, City of Fullerton, Indra
    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is trusted by companies such as Ithaca College.
    Doric, Joblink Plus, Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta, PPB Advisory, Slater & Gordon Lawyers, Sydney Adventist Hospital Ltd.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Energy/Utilities Company19%
    Manufacturing Company14%
    Retailer14%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Manufacturing Company14%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Government12%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business37%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise40%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise54%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business54%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise31%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    672,411 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is ranked 1st in Email Security with 18 reviews while Symantec Messaging Gateway is ranked 19th in Email Security with 8 reviews. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is rated 8.2, while Symantec Messaging Gateway is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 writes "Essential security capabilities, plenty of email protection, and enhanced data loss prevention". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Symantec Messaging Gateway writes "Easy to set up with good patching and reliable performance". Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is most compared with Proofpoint Email Protection, Mimecast Email Security with Targeted Threat Protection, Barracuda Email Security Gateway, Fortinet FortiMail and Sophos Email, whereas Symantec Messaging Gateway is most compared with Microsoft Exchange Online Protection, Fortinet FortiMail, Proofpoint Email Protection, Barracuda Email Security Gateway and Trend Micro Email Security. See our Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway report.

    See our list of best Email Security vendors.

    We monitor all Email Security 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.