Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) Review

All devices have multifactor authentication in collaboration with IT which secures access to all our devices

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case of this solution is for access control for authentication and for the authorization of wireless users.

How has it helped my organization?

For device administration, all devices have multifactor authentication in collaboration with IT, so it secures access to all of our devices. For guest and wireless access, it's a matter of a lowly manager who we give access to the portal and he can assign access to the guests, so it's a very simple process now. It keeps IT focusing on their work, and gives the business people the right access. 

Also, with BYOD mobile users can work easier and in a more secure way. For the places in public access we're securing our network socket, so now not everybody can plug in and log into our network due to this feature. It's making it more secure for headquarters.

What is most valuable?

  • BYOD service
  • The guest and secure wireless access
  • Compliance and posture
  • Wireless administration

What needs improvement?

The compliance and posture don't always work. They should make it more stable. With each upgrade, we lose some functionality. We have to wait for another upgrade.

I would like to see them develop some type of device management, like an iPad feature, just to be able to give security access to certain devices for management. Mainly for the suppliers and the third parties.

Another feature I would like to see would be for them to create the ability to integrate with other products from the start. We always search for products that integrate with us and so it would ease the management and then everybody would be entered. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's 99% stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. We have more than 500 users. We are planning to use more features and to integrate it with other branches that we have. It's a way to have a global solution across all branches.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. Sometimes it takes a long time for them to respond. We'll usually end up solving our own issues. The response time should be shorter. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. It took time to have a stable environment but once it stabilized, it was great. Although, we had six to seven months of an unstable system. 

What about the implementation team?

We deployed through a reseller, they were good. We require two staff members for maintenance.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is good enough. It's simplifying things for IT and for the business, so it's good for both sides. It solves a lot of issues that without the product would be costly to our organization so we see ROI in that sense. 

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

Licensing is very complicated and it changes a lot. I know recently it changed since we acquired the solution. It had a different licensing scheme that has changed. 

The cost is high compared to other solutions. Even so, it is better than what's on the market. The licensing model is complicated and the cost is a little bit high.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great product but you should be careful to plan before deploying. Do thorough planning as not to do the same error that we did. We didn't do enough planning before deploying so it took us a long time to have a thorough plan. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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