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Unravelling Duo Essentials vs. Advantage: Which Package Fits Your Needs?

What is Orixcom Managed Duo Security?

Introducing Orixcom Managed Duo Security Powered by Cisco, a robust multi-factor authentication (MFA) and secure access solution aimed at safeguarding organisations against unauthorised access while fortifying the security of their applications and data. Operating in partnership with Cisco, Orixcom, a distinguished Cisco Managed Services Security Partner, offers Duo Security to empower businesses with advanced security measures. As part of their managed services, Orixcom provides comprehensive support and optimisation services, ensuring seamless integration and proactive security management. With Duo Security's layered defence approach, users are required to authenticate their identity through multiple factors before gaining access to applications and resources, enhancing security posture and mitigating potential threats.  

Here's a brief overview of two key components within Orixcom Managed Cisco Duo: 

Duo Essentials provides foundational multifactor authentication and digital access security for organisations.  

  • Free Authenticator App: The inclusion of a free authenticator app provides users with a convenient and secure way to verify their identity through the mobile application, adding an extra layer of authentication beyond passwords. 
  • Strong Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Duo Essentials emphasises robust MFA, ensuring that users must authenticate through multiple factors, such as passwords and the authenticator app, enhancing security against unauthorised access. 
  • Single Sign-On (SSO): SSO functionality streamlines the user experience by allowing individuals to access multiple applications with a single set of credentials. This not only enhances convenience but also contributes to increased efficiency and productivity. 
  • Seamless Integrations: The ability to seamlessly integrate with various applications and services is crucial for a security solution. Duo Essentials ensures compatibility with a range of platforms, enabling organisations to incorporate it into their existing infrastructure without disruptions. 
  • Verified Duo Push: The inclusion of Duo Push, a form of push notification for authentication, adds an extra layer of verification. Users receive a push notification on their mobile devices, verifying and allowing access with a simple tap. 
  • Passwordless Authentication: The support for passwordless authentication is a modern approach that enhances security and user experience. Users can authenticate without traditional passwords, reducing the risk associated with password-related vulnerabilities. 
  • Trusted Endpoints: The trusted endpoints feature enhances the security of your sensitive applications by allowing only recognised devices to connect to Duo protected services. When a user authenticates through the Duo Prompt, we conduct a thorough security posture check on the accessing device using Cisco Secure Endpoint.
  • User Group Policies: Duo Essentials allows organisations to establish policies based on user groups. This flexibility enables tailored security measures for different categories of users, adapting to specific organisational needs.

Phishing attacks account for 90% of data breaches. Secure your business now!  

Duo Advantage extends the security capabilities beyond Duo Essentials, offering advanced features that enhance protection and visibility.  

  • Risk-Based Authentication: This feature in Duo Advantage considers the risk associated with each access attempt. By analysing contextual factors such as user behaviour, location, and device characteristics, the system dynamically adjusts authentication requirements. This adaptive approach helps in identifying and responding to potential security threats in real-time. 
  • Adaptive Access Policies: Duo Advantage enables businesses to set adaptive access policies based on various contextual factors. This includes tailoring security policies based on the specific needs of different user groups, locations, or times of access. The adaptability of policies enhances the organisation's ability to balance security and user experience dynamically. 
  • Complete Device Visibility: With this feature, Duo Advantage provides comprehensive visibility into all devices attempting to access resources. This includes information about the types of devices, their operating systems, and other relevant details. Enhanced visibility aids in making informed decisions about granting or restricting access based on device characteristics. 
  • Device Health Checks: Duo Advantage conducts health checks on devices seeking access to ensure they meet specific security standards. This involves assessing the security posture of the device, including the status of antivirus software, operating system patches, and other critical security measures. If a device is deemed insecure or non-compliant, access may be restricted, or additional authentication steps triggered. 
  • Threat Detection: The threat detection feature in Duo Advantage actively monitors for suspicious activities and potential security threats. By analysing patterns and anomalies, the system can identify and respond to security incidents promptly. This proactive approach contributes to a more robust defence against emerging threats. 

Choosing the right Duo Security package, whether Essentials or Advantage, is crucial for tailoring your organisation's security strategy. While Essentials provides fundamental multi-factor authentication and basic adaptive authentication, Advantage offers a more advanced security posture with features like granular access policies and potentially secure single sign-on. The decision hinges on the depth of security required, customisation needs, and the desire for advanced policy controls. It's essential to align the chosen package with your organisation's specific security objectives to ensure an optimal balance between usability and robust protection against unauthorised access. 

Duo Essentials vs Duo Advantage

Feature comparison:

The below table compares the features of Duo Essential and Duo Advantage at a glance.







Single Sign On (SSO) 



Device Insight 



Self Service Portal 






Duo Desktop 



Trust Monitor 



Duo Push 



Trusted Endpoints 



Device Health Checks 




Pricing structures

With both Duo Essentials and Duo Advantage having a focus on providing robust multi-factor authentication and secure access solutions, these packages can cater to organisations of varying sizes. Here's a breakdown of their Managed pricing structures with Orixcom: 

Duo Essentials: 

  • Pricing: AED13.80 per user per month for 1 to 999 users, with reduced pricing for larger user counts and a 14-day free trial for up to 10 users. 
  • Features: This package includes essential features such as Free Authenticator App, Strong MFA, Single Sign-On (SSO), Seamless Integrations, Verified Duo Push, Passwordless Authentication, Trusted Endpoints, User Group Policies, and Orixcom Managed Services. 

Duo Advantage: 

  • Pricing: AED 27.60 per user per month for 1 to 999 users, with reduced pricing for larger user counts. 
  • Recommended Plan: In addition to Essentials features, Advantage offers advanced capabilities like Risk-Based Authentication, Adaptive Access Policies, Complete Device Visibility, Device Health Checks, Threat Detection, and Orixcom Managed Services. 

Both plans offer a range of features and come with the peace of mind that Orixcom Managed Services provide such as round the clock monitoring and support, free installation, policy configuration and reporting. The pricing is based on a per-user, per-month model, and reduced pricing for larger user counts. 

Scalability and customisation options

Scalability: One critical aspect of evaluating security solutions is scalability, and both Duo Essentials and Advantage offer flexibility in accommodating the growth of a business. Whether you are managing a small team or a large enterprise, these packages are designed to scale accordingly. As your user base expands, the pricing structures often provide reduced rates for larger numbers of users, making it a cost-effective choice for organisations with varying scales. This scalability ensures that the security measures provided by Cisco Duo can grow in tandem with the evolving needs of your business. 

Customisation Options: While both packages provide essential security features, Duo Advantage stands out with an enhanced set of capabilities, including Risk-Based Authentication, Adaptive Access Policies, Complete Device Visibility, Device Health Checks, and Threat Detection. These advanced features allow for a more granular level of customisation in crafting security policies tailored to specific organisational requirements. The ability to fine-tune policies based on risk factors, user behaviour, and device health empowers organisations to create a security framework aligned precisely with their unique needs. This level of customisation is particularly beneficial for enterprises with complex security considerations or specific compliance requirements.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Essentials and Advantage 

The size and nature of your business, specific security requirements, compliance needs, and budget considerations collectively shape the decision between Duo Essentials and Advantage.  

1.Size and Nature of the Organisation

The size and nature of your organisation play a pivotal role in determining whether Duo Essentials or Advantage is the better fit. Essentials, with its fundamental multi-factor authentication (MFA) and adaptive authentication features, may be suitable for smaller organisations with straightforward security needs. Alternatively, Advantage, offering advanced features like risk-based authentication and complete device visibility, is better equipped to address the complex security demands of larger enterprises. Consider the scale of your organisation, the number of users, and the intricacy of your security requirements when making this decision. 

2.Security Requirements and Compliance Needs

The specific security requirements and compliance standards applicable to your business are critical considerations. If your industry mandates stringent security measures or if your organisation deals with sensitive data, Advantage's advanced security features, such as adaptive access policies and threat detection, may be essential. Assess your compliance needs, industry regulations, and the level of security required to safeguard your assets and data. Aligning your choice with these requirements ensures that you meet industry standards and protect against potential risks. 

3. Budget Considerations

Budget considerations are paramount when choosing between Essentials and Advantage. Essentials offers a cost-effective solution with fundamental security features, making it suitable for organisations with budget constraints or simpler security needs. Advantage, while providing an enhanced security posture, comes with a higher price tag. Evaluate your budget constraints and weigh the value of additional features against the associated costs. It's crucial to strike a balance between the desired security level and the financial resources available to your organisation. 


The choice between Duo Essentials and Duo Advantage hinges on a thoughtful evaluation of your organisation's unique needs. Unravelling the distinctions between these two packages reveals a spectrum of considerations, from the size and nature of your business to the intricacies of your security requirements and compliance needs. Duo Essentials stands as a cost-effective solution, adept at providing fundamental multi-factor authentication for smaller enterprises with straightforward security demands. On the other hand, Duo Advantage emerges as the recommended plan for larger organisations, offering advanced features like risk-based authentication and comprehensive device visibility to meet the complexities of evolving security landscapes. 

Ultimately, the decision is a balancing act, with budget considerations playing a significant role. Finding the equilibrium between desired security levels and financial resources is key to making a sound choice. As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, Duo Essentials and Duo Advantage present robust solutions, each tailored to address the diverse needs of organisations. By understanding the nuances and aligning your decision with the specific requirements of your business, you can confidently unravel the mystery of which package best fits your security needs. Choose wisely and embark on a secure digital journey with Orixcom Managed Cisco Duo Security.  


  1. Is Duo a good MFA? 
    Yes, Cisco Duo is widely regarded as a strong Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) solution. Known for its ease of use, adaptive authentication capabilities, and versatility in supporting various authentication methods, Cisco Duo provides a robust security layer for organisations. Its seamless integration with diverse applications and platforms, coupled with additional security features, makes it a popular choice for enhancing authentication security and ensuring a positive user experience. However, enterprises should regularly assess their specific needs and consider the evolving cybersecurity landscape when selecting an MFA solution. 

  2. Can I upgrade from Duo Essentials to Advantage if my needs change? 
    Yes, Cisco Duo typically allows users to upgrade from Essentials to Advantage based on changing needs. The flexibility to upgrade enables organisations to adapt their security solutions to evolving requirements. Upgrading may involve contacting Cisco or an authorised Cisco partner to discuss the transition, potential pricing adjustments, and the process for migrating from one plan to another. It's advisable to check with Cisco directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding upgrade options and any specific considerations that may apply. Keep in mind that terms and conditions may vary, so it's essential to clarify the details based on your organisation's circumstances. 

  3. How does Cisco Duo protect against phishing attempts? 
    Cisco Duo employs several measures to help protect against phishing attempts and enhance overall security. Here are some key features and practices that contribute to Cisco Duo's defence against phishing: 
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Cisco Duo requires users to authenticate through multiple factors, adding an extra layer of security beyond just passwords. This makes it more challenging for attackers who may have obtained login credentials through phishing to gain unauthorised access. 
    • Device Trust and Visibility: Cisco Duo provides visibility into the devices attempting to access applications. If a login attempt is coming from an unfamiliar or untrusted device, it can trigger additional authentication steps or be flagged for further investigation. 
    • Endpoint Security Checks: The solution can perform health checks on devices seeking access, ensuring that they meet specified security requirements. If a device is compromised or poses a security risk, access can be restricted. 
    • Adaptive Authentication Policies: Cisco Duo allows organisations to set adaptive authentication policies based on contextual factors such as the user's location, time of access, and device characteristics. Unusual patterns or deviations from normal behaviour may trigger additional verification steps. 
    • Integration with Security Ecosystem: Cisco Duo integrates with other security tools and platforms, providing a more comprehensive security ecosystem. This integration allows for a coordinated response to potential threats, including phishing attacks. 
    • Real-Time Threat Detection: Cisco Duo may incorporate real-time threat detection mechanisms to identify and respond to phishing attempts promptly. This can include monitoring for suspicious behaviour or patterns that indicate a potential phishing incident.

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