I am a Security Specialist at a small tech services company.
I am currently researching DNS Security solutions. Which solution do you prefer: Cisco Umbrella or Palo Alto Networks DNS Security? What are the pros and cons of each solution?
Thank you for your help.
I work at a large university. I am currently researching DNS security solutions.
If you had to choose one or the other, would you choose Cisco Umbrella or Palo Alto Networks DNS Security as your DNS solution, and why?
Thank you for your help.
Independent Business Owner at Practical Information Systems
Feb 15, 2023
I would choose Umbrella first. Firstly, it's 100% cloud-based (private Cisco cloud) from the ground up, with no need for a new appliance, firewall, or server and they have their own DNS servers worldwide in an anycast configuration that has never ever been down. Those DNS servers do the filtering for you so the university network won't be affected by filtering. It's highly scalable and you can choose between different packages with other Cisco security products integration or more advanced information. Umbrella uses data from many different security sources, even AI so it actually filters sites even before they get publicly reported as malicious. It's a very proactive solution. It's very easy to set up initially from a central location even though you may set up different networks with their own filtering rules. You can set it up initially with basic filtering rules very fast and make it more complex later on. They offer special education institutions discounts even though the solution is already very competitive cost-wise. They invented DNS security and have been working on it longer than anyone by far. I've been using it for over 10 years, even before it was bought and enhanced by Cisco's own products (the solution was named OpenDNS Enterprise before) with no problems whatsoever. The other vendors have yet to catch up with them IMO. Their support is very good although you seldom have to use it. By the way, you may contact many universities and other educational institutions which have been using their solution for a long time for advice. Another big advantage is you can take advantage of it even in a hybrid working solution. Even if your students or faculty access or work from another location they will still be protected through the use of an agent. And you can integrate login through the active directory. To summarize, no other product compares for versatility IMO.
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Network Security Services at ACE Managed Securty Services
Feb 24, 2023
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The reports and notifications are the most useful part of the platform. As soon as you deploy the security layers, the reporting is very comprehensive. It helps you to have, at a glance, a clear view of what's going on.
We are very new users of the solution and are still in the exploration stages, but we are happy with the product thus far.
I also think that the dashboard view is really helpful. Whenever sites get blocked, we get the details and the users who are connecting to them.
The most valuable feature is the ability to filter malware sites that could infect clients or allow them to download infected files.
The single-pane-of-glass management is really important. In today's era, administration costs and operational expenses will cost you a lot, and it reduces that as well. You don't need extra resources to manage all your parameter firewalls, looking at every single device to allow resources internal access. By just introducing the single-pane-of-glass management, it has lifted the burden off of management, especially the network management.
I was able to implement it myself. It was really easy to install. You could install it on a server locally if you want to. If you have the biggest site, you would do that, but for my site, it was just directing all the traffic out through the Cisco Umbrella DNS. It was really handy. When the owners of the company went overseas, I knew that they would be secure because even if they were not on the company network, they would still go through the Cisco Umbrella servers. It was a complete solution for protecting the company with outgoing data.
You can manage and create policies based on a group of users. It can permit some URLs and block others.
The most valuable features for us include tenant lock, content filtering, and DLP solutions, looking for PII and information being exfiltrated.
It enables us to go granular in the customization of blocking some categories on the DNS.
The Global Block List is one of the most valuable features because it's really easy to block domain names as well as URLs. Sometimes you don't want to block the whole site, you just want to block one URL. The Global Block and Allow Lists are the best features for us.
If it didn't have a single pane of glass, we would not be using it. The single pane of glass gives you a one-stop shop. It's like going to Home Depot. You find all your stuff there. You can see all your threats and your endpoints. It's a very important feature and makes things very simple.
One of the most important features is the security posture check which Umbrella offers when a user accesses any website. That is one of the most unique features that it offers.
When we have laptops that leave the building, they could connect to public WiFi before they establish a VPN connection back into the company. For that duration or that period of time when they're not docked in the network or on a VPN, they effectively don't have that full layer of security that I provide inside the building. This tool stands in during that period of time, and we extend the security settings through their basic firewall or their cloud-based firewall at that time. So, we do content filtering and control access, but they also are looking at new domains, IP addresses, and bad requests. They're blocking them on my behalf when a laptop is not sitting behind our security appliances.
It is a good cloud-based solution for DNS security.
I like that it integrates with the infrastructure. I also like the kind of data and intelligence that's built-in. It helps create innovative reports for security.
It offers good visibility for the Administrator. The administrator has full visibility of what is blocked or has the knowledge of where users go when they are surfing the internet.
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.
We like Cisco Umbrella because of DNS security. It's one step ahead of whatever we are using for regular web filtering. In that way, it's more secure than other web filtering products.
Its simplicity is most valuable. I can install it and get it up and running, and it can be pervasive across my business within a business day.
It is pretty simple and straightforward to install and configure. Its remit is reasonably clearly defined. When you look at solutions like Darktrace and Carbon Black, the mission objective isn't as clearly defined. Cisco Umbrella, Sophos Central, or some of the other solutions have a more standardized approach to antivirus, which includes enhanced response from the machine learning or deep learning perspective.
The solution is extremely stable. It has excellent performance.
Some clients only want DNS security, while others want more of the advanced features that it has available.
Cisco Umbrella is a totally different solution. They are the first to come up with this idea of security. It's a totally new concept of security for everybody, for every time, real time, perfectionism.
I have found the malware protection feature valuable. It is helpful and deliverable and is able to protect my entire organization from getting compromised. It also prevents us from visiting any malicious sites which are not visible to the users.
The most valuable features of this solution are the Web Filtering and the APT.
We've found it to be stable and good for our customers.
I haven't found any issues related to latency or any other issue.
Overall, it is a very good solution. It is a simple solution and very easy to set up.
Stability-wise, it's good. I have never encountered any bugs.
The most valuable feature is the website protection capabilities because it prevents end-users from entering bad sites that potentially have malware or could be used for phishing.
The implementation is pretty easy.
The user interface is great. It's very easy to tailor to our client's environment and needs.
Cisco Umbrella is absolutely stable.
The security and access control features.
The solution is very easy to manage. We found the initial setup, for example, to be quite simple.
Helps block personal email accounts.
Provides dependable DNS monitoring of external devices.
What we like most is security and how easy it is to integrate with other appliances.
The weekly reportings are great. The investigation is super and the application management is equally great.
It's very stable, reliable and does its job.
It analyzes the domain security helps us implement the securest policy.
The most valuable feature for us is the DNS-based protection.
The most valuable features are the protection against ransomware and phishing.
It will protect, give you more robustness, and faster responses, compared to any firewalls or any of the proxy web servers.
The core business of Cisco Umbrella is non-malware. That's all it does: block the malware on the gateway.
The most valuable feature is that it secures our network against blacklisted or malicious websites.
Using this solution has meant that we've needed to make fewer firewall changes.
The most valuable feature of this solution is its reliability.
It has helped reduce my unit's security events.
It provides centralized, device-agnostic management of the Internet experience.
Threats never come close to your network with security at the DNS level.
They have a wealth of articles in their knowledge base. This has given me the freedom to troubleshoot on my own time.