Successful project with great ROI when switching to Web Security Appliance
April 30, 2019

Successful project with great ROI when switching to Web Security Appliance

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance

We used Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance to provide filtered Internet access for the public and had several levels of filtering "strictness" available depending on the age of the patron involved. The choice of filter level was handled by the ILS and we did this by using different proxy server ports for different filtering levels. The primary purpose was to block offensive web sites from various age groups. We had to tweak the rules a little at the beginning, but we've found at this point that it is very rare to need to whitelist or blacklist sites. The web site categories worked very well for us and were accurate.


  • SMA gave us central control over multiple servers, simplifying management.
  • Performance of the Appliance VM exceeded that of our old physical appliance-based solution.
  • Convenient licensing for virtualized environments that allows easy scaling.


  • The configuration paradigm takes a bit of getting used to.
  • Building out multiple similar VMs requires more manual configuration than I would have hoped. I wish you could easily have a template VM for your organization.
  • I think the SSL interception configuration needs to be integrated with standard HTTP config. HTTPS is too prevalent to be a separate thing.
  • We had to disable the reputation score based filter. Too many false positives. Tickets related to the system dropped to near zero after disabling it.
  • We negotiated a deal for a 5-year license that was far cheaper than just upgrading the hardware for our previous system. This was a huge cost savings.
  • The system has been reliable and hasn't taken much operational management. This saves staff time.
  • Very few complaints from our users. End user satisfaction makes us happy!
  • Symantec WebFilter (formerly Blue Coat)
We previously used BlueCoat ProxySG appliances. The system worked well overall, but the hardware, licensing, and support costs were just too high to continue using the product. The hardware costs, in particular, were unacceptable. It was relatively easy to convert our requirements to the Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance and the cost savings easily justified the switch.
Based on the platforms I have evaluated, I think the WSA is a great fit for any organization that needs a proxy server that provides control over what web sites are accessed or when they can be accessed. I think it is probably overkill if you simply need a proxy server for bandwidth savings or because you need to proxy general Internet access without extensive filtering needs.


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