Cisco Web Security Appliance Review

Has high availability and is easy to scale horizontally


What is most valuable?

Web Security Appliance is a proxy and I have gotten active with the open-source proxy. If I want a feature that is not present, most of the database updates and filters are good. Our clients use Cisco Palace which is a very big database that is very quickly updated.

It also has high availability. These kinds of solutions impact the user experience. If you have an issue with the proxy not responding, you have to install or activate new does in order to reestablish the connections for the customer. 

What needs improvement?

There are some problems with this solution but it's not related to this product. If a user wants to use it for other devices like mobile or smartphones, this product isn't so reliable. If you want to implement it in a track point mode, it is difficult to implement and is not so reliable. There should be more implementation. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Web Security Appliance for five to six years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. We have thousands of users and they don't have any issues with it. It's very stable.

If you want this product to be stable you have to put it through the EPS and you have to manage the connection to the power. If you shut down the product, there will be a problem because they encrypt the discs and you'll have hardware loss. The solution won't work. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. If you buy one bundle with 100 users, you can install unlimited appliances to scale horizontally. You can have ten appliances that can log share communications. It's very scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have contacted Cisco support for other products. I am satisfied with their support. It depends on the level of the technician you get. If you are an end-user you start with level one help which isn't so easy. If you request escalation to the next level you get a good level of support. 

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

I only used an open-source solution. Cisco's advantage is the support and they have good scalability which is not so easy to implement in other solutions. 

How was the initial setup?

The level of complexity of the initial setup will depend on the level of customization. If you want to start the product with the best practices presented by Cisco, it's very easy. You have to manage your own IP addresses and check that the service is okay. It's integrated with other services and then apply it to your users. It's very easy to implement. You need a high level of skills to manage it. If you want special customization or a high level of security activation, it may be a bit more complex. 

For a single appliance without any high-appliance activated and if you have all the data, DNS servers, and IP addresses, it can around an hour to implement.

What other advice do I have?

Try it. See how it works, it's not difficult to implement and it's not so expensive. I would recommend it. 

I would rate it a ten out of ten. 

In the next release, I would like to see reporting to implement more features. The license should also be more flexible. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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