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A DNS filter provides an extra layer of security that can help to prevent phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks. In this post we cover Cisco Umbrella, a popular DNS filter, and look at Cisco Umbrella pricing to help you decide whether this is the right solution for your organization.
What is Cisco Umbrella?
Cisco Umbrella, the new name for OpenDNS, is a DNS filter that allows healthcare organizations to block web-based threats and carefully control the types of web content that can be accessed by employees and guest users.
A DNS filter is an important element of layered cybersecurity defenses, as it prevents network users from accessing dangerous web content and downloading potentially malicious files. Importantly for healthcare organizations, a DNS filter provides an additional layer of protection against phishing attacks by providing time-of-click protection against potentially malicious hyperlinks embedded in emails and email attachments. Phishing is the most common cause of healthcare data breaches and attacks are becoming much more sophisticated. Phishing emails frequently bypass spam filtering controls, so additional security layers are important to block these attacks.
As with most DNS filters, Cisco categorizes websites to allow easy content filtering. The DNS filter includes 80+ categories of website which can be allowed or blocked based on the organization’s acceptable internet usage policies and level of risk tolerance. Blacklists and whitelists are supported, which block or allow access to specific webpages or websites. Policies can be set up by user, department, location, or at the organization level.
Cisco Umbrella Professional Pricing
The Cisco Umbrella price list is not available on the Cisco website so you will need to call or email to obtain the Cisco Umbrella price for your organization. You may find the Cisco Umbrella price list somewhat complex, as Cisco offers three DNS filtering packages and charges more for add-on services. The Cisco Umbrella price is also based on the number of users. Because of these factors, Cisco Umbrella professional pricing can vary considerably from customer to customer.
You may be surprised by some of the add-on services under the Cisco Umbrella professional pricing policy. For instance, your Cisco Umbrella price will increase if you want product support other than email, which is often provided as standard by other web filtering solution providers. Cisco Umbrella pricing also includes monthly minimums, which should be considered when selecting a package.
Cisco Umbrella Pricing Per User
Based on the 2019 Cisco Umbrella price list, OpenDNS Cisco Umbrella web filtering in 2019 is likely to cost you at least $2.20 per user, per month, for the basic DNS filtering package – DNS Security Essentials. This is much more than OpenDNS pricing, although the product has evolved considerably since Cisco acquired OpenDNS in 2015 and is now a much more comprehensive security solution.
Can the Cisco Umbrella Price be Justified?
There are two main reasons for using Cisco Umbrella. To gain visibility into web activity and enforce acceptable internet usage policies, and to block web-based threats such as malware, ransomware and phishing attacks.
Cisco Umbrella is certainly at the higher end of the price spectrum for web filtering and while the Umbrella cost per user may be high, that cost can be justified for the protection provided. Umbrella is powerful and includes many features in the more comprehensive packages on offer which are not typically included in other DNS filtering solutions. That said, many SMBs and MSPs find these are overkill and are not worth the additional cost. There are web filtering solutions that may meet your needs at a much lower price point, so it pays to conduct research before selecting a web filtering solution.
Content control can improve productivity, prevent HR issues, and can be used to conserve bandwidth. From a cybersecurity perspective, a DNS filter will improve defenses against phishing, malware, ransomware, and botnets and will help to prevent costly data breaches. Regardless of the web filtering solution you choose and the price you pay, DNS filtering will be cost effective and will more than likely pay for itself by preventing costly data breaches and from the productivity gains that are possible through internet content control.
Is OpenDNS free?
OpenDNS offers three packages for home users, but the packages are not recommended for business use. The free versions are OpenDNS Home and OpenDNS Family shield. The latter is pre-configured to block access to 4 categories of web content ((Pornography, Sexuality, Tasteless, and Proxy/Anonymizer services). OpenDNS Home VIP is a paid service that has monitoring capabilities and more extensive blacklist/whitelisting options.
What does OpenDNS Umbrella cost?
OpenDNS Umbrella, the business version of the OpenDNS web filtering service from Cisco, is available as three packages with increasing features and protection. At the most basic level, DNS Security Essentials, you can expect to pay around $2.25 per user per month in 2020.
Does OpenDNS block ransomware?
OpenDNS is used to prevent access to phishing websites, websites used for distributing malware/ransomware, and suspicious websites, such as those that use IP addresses reserved for internal networks. The solution also blocks malware command and control center callbacks.
Is web filtering for businesses necessary?
Web filtering is an important cybersecurity solution that should be considered by all businesses. Web filters block malware and ransomware downloads and work in tandem with your spam filter to block phishing attacks by preventing employees from visiting phishing websites linked in spam emails.
What are the best Cisco Umbrella alternatives?
Web filtering solutions comparable to Cisco Umbrella include WebTitan Cloud (TitanHQ), ZScaler Internet Access, Forcepoint Web Security Cloud, Symantec Web Filter. Each has advantages and disadvantages compared to Cisco Umbrella, which are detailed in this article.