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Symantec Secure Web Gateway OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Symantec Secure Web Gateway is #18 ranked solution in top Web Security Gateways. PeerSpot users give Symantec Secure Web Gateway an average rating of 7.0 out of 10. Symantec Secure Web Gateway is most commonly compared to Cisco Umbrella: Symantec Secure Web Gateway vs Cisco Umbrella. Symantec Secure Web Gateway is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 69% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 27% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Secure Web Gateways (SWG) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is Symantec Secure Web Gateway?

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.

Symantec Secure Web Gateway was previously known as Symantec Complete Website Security .

Symantec Secure Web Gateway Video

Archived Symantec Secure Web Gateway Reviews (more than two years old)

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Senior Network Engineer at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Good website blocking and SSL interception capability, but the interface needs to be improved
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the website blocking capability and SSL interception."
  • "The interface could be made more user-friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product on all of the traffic that is going outside of the organization. It is used for the blocking of websites, as well as SSL interception and authentication for HTTP and HTTPS requests.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the website blocking capability and SSL interception.

What needs improvement?

The interface could be made more user-friendly. As it is, we have trouble when we want to do certain operations, such as choosing when and what we want to block or allow. For example, we don't want to block WhatsApp, but we do want to block uploads. This means that we have to enter some codes. It's not like you can just drag and drop, as we have seen in other security solutions.

Another example is on the main page. When you're logged into the device using HTTPS, you still have to go to another link to access the policy manager. When you are redirected to another function, it loads very slowly. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with the Symantec Secure Web Gateway for one year.

Buyer's Guide
Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Broadcom, Cisco, Zscaler and others in Secure Web Gateways (SWG). Updated: July 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise it is okay.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Although we have not had specific problems with scalability, it could be more straightforward in terms of administration. I would rate the scalability a seven out of ten and I think that it is an area that could be improved.

There are three or four people in the company who operate this device administratively, and the traffic for all of the users go through it.

How are customer service and support?

I have not personally been in touch with technical support. One of my colleagues has spoken with them, but our support is with a partner and not Symantec directly.

How was the initial setup?

I was not on the team when it was deployed but my understanding is that the initial setup was straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There is an additional charge for advanced security features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are planning to replace Symantec with another product, so we are currently in the process of evaluating others.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution is to check the market because traditional proxy servers are becoming a thing of the past. Most web security servers are already in the cloud so I think that the normal flow of web traffic will not be examined internally. Also, for remote users, I think that it is better to use virtual, cloud-based platforms.

Overall, this product is okay and it does that job that it is supposed to do. At the same time, I think that other products that have comparative features and are more user-friendly. They are outdated when it comes to presentation.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Quite scalable but it is more complex than it needs to be and would be better with modernized deployment strategies
Pros and Cons
  • "It is quite scalable. If a user needs to do more deployments, they can just add them."
  • "Difficult and time-consuming to deploy and update."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is deploying the product as a web security gateway in conjunction with the Symantec client.  

What needs improvement?

There are definitely considerable problems with this solution. Most notably, compared to Cisco Umbrella it was a lot more difficult to deploy. The deployment process should definitely be significantly simplified.  

The service pack file system should also be improved or even abandoned. The way the packed files are set up could definitely be better and maybe they do not have to be deployed that way at all. There are better solutions which is demonstrated by the fact that other products and companies no longer handle updates this way. They do it in a way that is easier to handle.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the Symantec Complete Website Security solution for about six months.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability so far for the solution is very hit-and-miss. It has required a lot of fine-tuning over time.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not really any major issue. It is quite scalable. If we need to do more deployments, we just add them.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I, personally, have not contacted the Symantec technical support for this product, but my colleagues have. I think the technical process is a bit long-winded and drawn out. The reason for that is that each time there is an issue we have to go through our supplier first and then we get to speak to Symantec. Obviously, in that chain there is a bit of unnecessary delay when we might be better off getting straight through to the source without an intermediate step.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

While we are currently using this tool from Symantec, I prefer Cisco Umbrella which we use with our guest and staff wifi. Cisco Umbrella is very easy to deploy. All the user has to do is point a service to Cisco's DNS service, and the deployment is pretty much complete. You can have it up and running in 10 minutes.  

How was the initial setup?

The deployment process is ongoing as we are still finding problems with it. I would say we are looking at about a couple of months to really complete the process of setup. That is with four people involved in the deployment process. It was entirely too long.  

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anyone considering this Symantec product as a solution is to first do a proof of concept. Do not roll it out completely. Doing the proof of concept makes you sure that you can target all of the different devices and complete the setup for your environment.  

The biggest lesson we have learned from working with this solution so far is that I now think the idea of a service pack file is a bit antiquated and Symantec needs to come away from that mindset. There are existing products that do not use it. That is where we have the biggest issues with the product when we do have issues with it. When we do have those issues, we have experienced complete outages within the whole organization. So I would definitely not recommend it over Cisco Umbrella as we have not experienced any similar issues with Umbrella.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a six-and-a-half. If I have to choose a whole number I would round it down to the lower end — or a six in that case.  

To become better rated — at least nine — they definitely have to start with the idea of changing the service pack file concept and resolving that issue while moving into something more fluid. If they will fix that, the product could be rated at closer to a nine. But that it causes catastrophic issues is unacceptable. If they got rid of the service packs completely and use technology similar to Cisco Umbrella, that would likely resolve those issues.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Broadcom, Cisco, Zscaler and others in Secure Web Gateways (SWG). Updated: July 2022.
622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Sr. Consultant, Cyber Security at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Good URL filtering features but lacks features compared to the competition
Pros and Cons
  • "In terms of most valuable features, I like the ICAP capability and URL filtering the most."
  • "Depending on the severity of the issue, I think they can be a bit slow - a few days for the low severity cases, but for the severe cases normally they contact you back in a couple of hours."

What is our primary use case?

It is a web-based proxy - it's a cloud proxy.

Its use case is mostly for customers who need URL filtering, who need a proxy for blocking access to different websites, and ICAP if the proxy supports it.

The functionality is exactly the as same as ProxySG, Symantec's Blue Coat on-prem proxy, but the benefit is that the infrastructure doesn't have to be managed. You don't have to patch it, you don't have to do anything.

What is most valuable?

In terms of the most valuable features, I like the ICAP capability and URL filtering the most - these are what most people look for when they look at a proxy, whether on the cloud or on-premise. The authentication is also valuable. 

What needs improvement?

They should have a tool to help with the deployment. It is needed to point all the clients to the proxy.

I don't think either vendor has a deployment tool as such.

Also, Zscaler has something called the Zscaler Internet Access which also acts as a signin box on the next-generation firewall. WSS doesn't do this.

For how long have I used the solution?

For website security, I worked with it for only a year when I was in Symantec. We supported a few customers who had purchased this product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, it's fine. We have never had downtime because availability is AWS' responsibility because it is hosted on their servers. So availability is not an issue.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have never had any issues with scalability or availability because both are using a good back-end infrastructure.

How are customer service and technical support?

I used to be a part of Symantec so I did work in tech support. Even as a partner, I've been contacting them.

Their technical support is okay. Depending on the severity of the issue, I think they can be a bit slow - a few days for the low severity cases, but for the severe cases normally they contact you back in a couple of hours.

How was the initial setup?

The configuration is pretty straightforward for both vendors. It's plug and play. Because they give you access to the cloud console, as soon as you log in you can get started. If you have all the clients pointing to the cloud proxy then it's just plug and play.

What other advice do I have?

Symantec Complete Website Security works similar to Zscaler, but I think Zscaler is better. For a web-based proxy, I think Zscaler would be my top choice, based on the feedback I have personally received from my customers. The problem with Complete Website Security is with the dot com transition and dealing with Symantec is becoming a problem right now. I think it will be okay in February but for now, I think Zscaler is the best cloud proxy.

On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd rate it a six or seven due to a lack of features compared to its competition.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
DonaldBaldwin - PeerSpot reviewer
Principal Enterprise Architect at Aurenav Sweden AB
Real User
Top 10
We can see what's happening in machines at different locations but it's hard to understand the generic alerts
Pros and Cons
  • "It's nice to have it in the cloud where we can pull the reporting together for it so we can see what's happening in machines at different locations."
  • "It needs to be easier to set up rules for what sites it should allow or not allow us in certain areas of our computer for programs. It would also be nice really nice to have it give you better information about what it's finding. A lot of the alerts we get are very difficult to understand what it's actually telling you. It's too generic."

What is our primary use case?

We manage it through the cloud and it's deployed that way too.

Our primary use case is for our signature-based tool for antivirus. It adds value. 

What is most valuable?

It's nice to have it in the cloud where we can pull the reporting together for it so we can see what's happening in machines at different locations. That's the most valuable feature. We have it all over so we can see if something had gone wrong with it.

What needs improvement?

One of the problems with using Symantec is that it's widely known and the people who are making malware have designed to circumvent it. You have to keep that in mind. The other thing that I find is a weakness is that it doesn't give you a statement so you don't have an ability to really test something to see if something's suspicious because if it is, it might have a payload that could disable Symantec and get through it. I'm always more concerned about that. This is one of the reasons we separate it from our Comodo.

It needs to be easier to set up rules for what sites it should allow or not allow us in certain areas of our computer for programs. It would also be nice really nice to have it give you better information about what it's finding. A lot of the alerts we get are very difficult to understand what it's actually telling you. It's too generic.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Symantec for many years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We don't have any problems with scalability. We have around 40 users. The IT department of three people is responsible for deployment and maintenance. They are a network admin and in security. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is so-so. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used a few different solutions before, like McAfee. There are several that we're using concurrently. Even right now we have some different sections in the company that use different products. We switched because we wanted to standardize our business administration and corporate functions.

How was the initial setup?

We used IT people for the deployment so we didn't have any problems with the setup. The deployment doesn't take long. You just click on a link and it's pretty much fine.

What other advice do I have?

For general business purposes this is a good product. It works on Windows platforms. If you need something on other platforms, you may need to look for something else.

I would rate it a seven out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Senior Logistics Specialist at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Has quarantined and stopped many threats and potential attacks on end users but there's a need for increased firewall functionality
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the endpoint security."
  • "There's a need for increased firewall functionality and capabilities. I'm not seeing a competitive Symantec cloud product. Specifically, functionalities with security as filtering from the cloud. I am aware that there is a product, a proxy in the cloud but I have compared it with other vendors and I don't find it that powerful. I think the worst thing that we're experiencing is very poor and inadequate technical support. It seems to me that tech support engineers aren't qualified to fulfill their job duties."

What is our primary use case?

Our company is both a partner and a reseller of this solution. The primary use case is for endpoint security for our customers. We have lots of security devices, but for the host itself or PCs in general, this is the best solution. Especially since we have a sizeable customer base.

How has it helped my organization?

There have been several incidents in which our IPS system or sometimes our firewalls, haven't been able to stop endpoint device attacks. Thanks to Symantec Endpoint Security it has actually quarantined and stopped many of these threats and potential attacks on the local PCs. Especially because that's from the end user side.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the endpoint security.

What needs improvement?

There's a need for increased firewall functionality and capabilities. I'm not seeing a competitive Symantec cloud product. Specifically, functionalities with security as filtering from the cloud. I am aware that there is a product, a proxy in the cloud but I have compared it with other vendors and I don't find it that powerful.

I think the worst thing that we're experiencing is very poor and inadequate technical support. It seems to me that tech support engineers aren't qualified to fulfill their job duties.

The major requirement is a firewall. That's the only thing we're lacking now.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are too many bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is poor. Nowadays a cloud solution is considered scalable in most respects. Our finding is Symantec still has a long way to go to achieve a good cloud solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not that apt and not that good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've tried other endpoint security solutions but this tool seems to be the best when specifically comparing the endpoint security features.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup depends on the complexity of the project.

The maintenance of the equipment requires about thirty techs.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing is stunted and licensing is expensive. We have many customers who are now thinking about other solutions due to the cost.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten, with one being the worst and ten being the best, I'd give this solution a six out of ten. Primarily because of the lack of flexibility with technical support and because of the out-of-date features resulting in missing functionalities.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user592344 - PeerSpot reviewer
Desktop And Telephony Support Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The admin GUI is user friendly and easy to manage. Sometimes, Credential ID does not register a device.

What is most valuable?

From a user’s perspective, ease-of-use is what separates it from others like RSA SecurID. It is very easy to download to mobile phones, laptops, and desktops of any platform. From the admin’s perspective, its GUI is very user friendly and easy to manage.

How has it helped my organization?

When using Symantec VIP, not much configuration is needed in order for it to work. It works in any platform, including macOS. In our case, we just simply download and install the application online, install Citrix Receiver and that’s it. You are good to go.

What needs improvement?

The Credential ID part where you need to register it: Sometimes, it does not register a device, for some reason. As a workaround, we register it for our users from the Symantec VIP Manager portal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product since 2014.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had no stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no scalability issues so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Personally, I have never coordinated with Symantec VIP technical support in my two years of using it. So, I can’t rate it as of yet.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use RSA SecurID. The solution is, in my personal terms, very “toxic” to use. It was not a choice made by myself to switch to Symantec VIP Manager, but I believe an accumulation of disappointment with the other solution made the team switch over to a better one.

What about the implementation team?

The setup was done in collaboration by our Infrastructure and Desktop Management teams. I cannot really tell as to what happened during its initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

The product will not disappoint. Go for it!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user800895 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user800895Developper at CacheGuard Technologies Ltd
User

Maybe a frontal firewall blocks the registration process... Have you tried to contact the support? With CacheGuard we have sometimes the same issues.

Buyer's Guide
Download our free Secure Web Gateways (SWG) Report and find out what your peers are saying about Broadcom, Cisco, Zscaler, and more!
Updated: July 2022
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Secure Web Gateways (SWG)
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Secure Web Gateways (SWG) Report and find out what your peers are saying about Broadcom, Cisco, Zscaler, and more!