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: November 2022).
658,157 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
"There is a huge return compared to if we didn't have a gateway appliance, as far as blocking malicious emails.""The solution is very configurable. It has enabled us to configure some specific filters to stop emails that general configurations didn't stop. It's a powerful solution. It can analyze a lot of emails simultaneously, with no problems of capacity or system load.""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.""The malicious URL scanning, as well as the anti-malware features, have been really useful for us in our environment.""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.""Anti-Spam and Advanced Malware Protection are the most valuable features... and we also have the option to block Zero-day attacks.""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.""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."

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"The good part is that you don't have to configure it, which is very convenient.""The most valuable feature of Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is the ease of use.""The basic features are okay and I'm satisfied with the Defender.""Threat Explorer is one of the features that I very much like because it is a real-time report that allows you to identify, analyze, and trace security attacks.""At the moment we are satisfied with this product. It's a stable, scalable, and resilient solution for us.""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.""Does a thorough job of examining email and URLs for malicious content.""Safe attachments, safe links, policies, and the ability to protect from zero-day threats are the most valuable features."

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"Symantec Messaging Gateway is stable and scalable. Installation is easy, and the deployment and maintenance can be done by one administrative person.""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.""The most valuable features of Symantec Messaging Gateway are advanced content filtering, malware, and antivirus defense.""The solution is stable and the performance is good.""Messaging Gateway is stable.""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.""It is a solid and stable product."

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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 Forged Email Detection feature needs improvement, particularly with domain. The sensors are not that good and the rules sets are unclear.""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.""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.""The UI is definitely one area of improvement because it doesn't match other interfaces and the navigation can be a little clunky.""The configuration UI should be made more intuitive. Currently, it takes a while to understand how to do the basic configurations.""I use the search all the time. Sometimes, it is hard to search for things and things are hard to find. People come to me all the time, saying, "This email didn't get through." Then, I go searching and don't find it on the first search. You have to think about alternative searches. I don't know if there is an easier way that they could help to find things. I don't know how they could simplify it, because now everybody else is using the cloud and everything is coming from Office 365, or whatever. It is just not the same environment from years ago where everybody had their own server and you could search easier.""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."

More Cisco Secure Email Cons →

"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.""The company should focus on adding threats that the solution is currently unable to detect.""In some situations, it has not been able to pick impersonated emails having no attachments. Technical support definitely has a scope for improvement.""This product's effectiveness could be improved, in terms of detecting unwanted spam or even malware between the emails, compared to other products.""There is room for improvement with the UI.""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.""We need a separate license and we don't know how to get the license that is required.""It would be better if it were more scalable. It depends on the architecture, but we would like to make it more scalable for both data centers."

More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Cons →

"Messaging Gateway's advanced malware detection could be improved.""Sometimes the solution picks up false positive for viruses during scans.""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.""The biggest problem is it's an on-prem product and we're trying to get out of having equipment in data centers.""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.""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.""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.""They really need to create a good package that competes with Microsoft."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The licensing was all transferred."
  • "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 →

  • "It's a user-base subscription."
  • "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."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It's a bit expensive compared to its competitor Barracuda Email Security Gateway but cheaper than Sophos Email."
  • "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:Threat Explorer is one of the features that I very much like because it is a real-time report that allows you to… more »
    Top Answer:I would recommend Microsoft Defender for Office 365. If you already have a deployment method, like CCM or something… more »
    Top Answer:There is room for improvement with the UI. The company should focus on adding threats that the solution is currently… 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

    Customers of all sizes face the same daunting challenge: email is simultaneously the most important business communication tool and the leading attack vector for security breaches. Cisco Email Security enables users to communicate securely and helps organizations combat Business Email Compromise (BEC), ransomware, advanced malware, phishing, spam, and data loss with a multilayered approach to security.

    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%
    Retailer14%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Manufacturing Company17%
    Performing Arts8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider10%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider19%
    Government11%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business37%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise40%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise25%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise54%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business50%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise33%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Defender for Office 365 vs. Symantec Messaging Gateway and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    658,157 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is ranked 1st in Email Security with 15 reviews while Symantec Messaging Gateway is ranked 17th in Email Security with 8 reviews. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is rated 8.0, while Symantec Messaging Gateway is rated 8.2. 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.