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Symantec Secure Web Gateway OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Symantec Secure Web Gateway is #12 ranked solution in top Web Security Gateways. IT Central Station users give Symantec Secure Web Gateway an average rating of 6 out of 10. Symantec Secure Web Gateway is most commonly compared to Cisco Umbrella:Symantec Secure Web Gateway vs Cisco Umbrella. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
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 Buyer's Guide

Download the Symantec Secure Web Gateway Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Symantec Secure Web Gateway Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Symantec Secure Web Gateway pricing:
  • "There is an additional charge for advanced security features."

Symantec Secure Web Gateway Reviews

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FI
Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
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.
AY
Senior Information Security Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable and easy to use and manage, but needs better support and reporting

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy to manage. The graphical user interface is quite easy to navigate, and we don't have any difficulty in using it. It is a good solution."
  • "The major challenge is their support. The support from Broadcom is quite poor. It takes forever for them to get back to you, and when they get back to you, they ask you for so much information, which makes it more difficult. That's the only problem I have with Broadcom. This is one of the reasons why we are switching to another solution. Another reason for switching is that we have a plan to adopt solutions in the cloud so that we can offload the administration efforts to the vendor. In future releases, they can improve its reporting and the process for rules creation. They can also improve Broadcom on things such as security information and event management so that from my same platform, I can carry out functions and probably block websites. Such a feature would be nice. Currently, Broadcom is integrated with McAfee to block access to certain sites automatically. It would be nice if they can expand their integration to IBM Resilient Security Orchestration and Automation Response."

What is our primary use case?

One major use case is to allow internet access for some specific sites for all users without authentication. Normally, in our environment, before you go to the internet, we need to grant internet access to your account.

Another use case is where there are some sites that people can go through only from inside the office, but they should not authenticate. We don't want to grant them internet access, but we want them to be able to go to the site. We could easily configure those sites, and the users do not require authentication for them. 

We also used it to block or restrict some sites during the day so that these sites are not able to affect people during their work hours. We were also able to exempt some users from any restriction. People with the manager and higher roles could go to the internet, whereas the access was restricted for people who were not managers.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to manage. The graphical user interface is quite easy to navigate, and we don't have any difficulty in using it. It is a good solution.

What needs improvement?

The major challenge is their support. The support from Broadcom is quite poor. It takes forever for them to get back to you, and when they get back to you, they ask you for so much information, which makes it more difficult. That's the only problem I have with Broadcom. This is one of the reasons why we are switching to another solution. Another reason for switching is that we have a plan to adopt solutions in the cloud so that we can offload the administration efforts to the vendor.

In future releases, they can improve its reporting and the process for rules creation. They can also improve Broadcom on things such as security information and event management so that from my same platform, I can carry out functions and probably block websites. Such a feature would be nice. Currently, Broadcom is integrated with McAfee to block access to certain sites automatically. It would be nice if they can expand their integration to IBM Resilient Security Orchestration and Automation Response.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The plan that we bought can support a significant number of users. Our number of users has not grown significantly over time. We have a license for 2,500 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am not satisfied with their technical support. The support from Broadcom is quite poor. It takes forever for them to get back to you, and when they get back to you, they ask you for so much information. With other vendors, if you have a problem, you raise a ticket, whereas the Broadcom support team will have a remote session with you to get the information they require. They will ask you series of questions and want you to answer them. Some of them are difficult to answer. 

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

We used to use a Microsoft solution. We switched because it was not meeting our requirements.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't a part of the initial installation.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Symantec Secure Web Gateway a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Symantec Secure Web Gateway. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,529 professionals have used our research since 2012.
NishantKamath
Sr. Consultant, Cyber Security at Mideast Data Systems
Consultant
Top 10
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
NV
Senior Network Engineer at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
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.

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 technical 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.