We performed a comparison between Cortex XDR and Microsoft defender for endpoint based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison of Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint seems to be a slightly superior solution. All other things being more or less equal, our reviewers found Cortex XDR rather expensive to purchase. Some reviewers also felt that the ease of deployment could be improved.
"appreciate the File Trajectory feature, as it's excellent for an analyst or mobile analyst. I can track everything that happens on our server from my PC or device. Integration with SecureX is a welcome feature because it connects Cisco's integrated security portfolio with our complete infrastructure. Sandboxing is helpful, and integration with the Cisco environment is excellent as we use many of their products, and that's very valuable for us."
"The threat Grid with the ability to observe the sandboxing, analyze, and perform investigations of different malicious files has been great."
"The best feature that we found most valuable, is actually the security product for the endpoint, formerly known as AMP. It has behavioral analytics, so you can be more proactive toward zero-day threats. I found that quite good."
"It's quite simple, and the advantage I see is that I get the trajectory of what happened inside the network, how a file has been transmitted to the workstation, and which files have got corrupted."
"Definitely, the best feature for Cisco Secure Endpoint is the integration with Talos. On the backend, Talos checks all the signatures, all the malware, and for any attacks going on around the world... Because Secure Endpoint has a connection to it, we get protected by it right then and there."
"Device Trajectory is one of the most valuable features. We're able to dig in and really understand how things came to be and where to focus our efforts."
"The most valuable feature at this moment is that Cisco AMP or Cisco Secure Endpoint solution is delivering a lot of things, and I always say to a lot of customers that if we didn't have Cisco AMP, we probably would have had ransomware somewhere. So, it's protecting us very well from a lot of hackers, malware, and especially ransomware."
"Another of my favorite features is called the Device Trajectory, where it shows everything that's going on, on a computer. It shows the point in time when a virus is downloaded, so you can see if the user was surfing the internet or had a program open. It shows every running process and file access on the computer and saves it like a snapshot when it detects something malicious. It also has a File Trajectory, so you can even see if that file has been found on any of your other computers that have AMP."
"The initial setup isn't too bad."
"It has pretty much everything we need and works well within the Palo Alto ecosystem."
"Cortex XDR's most valuable feature is its intelligence-based dashboards."
"I like the centralized console and the predictive analysis it does of malware. It is very stable and also scalable."
"It's a nice product that's stable and scalable."
"One of the things that I enjoy the most is using policy extensions. It's like having host firewalls to control USB connections. I think it's a wonderful tool to restrict use when connecting to our computers. Another important tool is Home Insights. That is an add-on to the Cortex solution. I like that because we can see all the vulnerabilities in the environment and control what assets are connected to our network."
"Best solution for avoiding security breaches, malware attacks, and other kinds of security issues."
"The most valuable feature of Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks is the low consumption of system resources. The solution uses a lot of AI and machine learning."
"Its threat intelligence feature is beneficial. This solution smoothly integrates with SIEM."
"Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is scalable. Currently, we have 600,000 users in our organization."
"It is a straightforward setup."
"It doesn't cause the slowness of the system, which is one of the reasons why I like it."
"We had Norton Antivirus before, and with Norton, we didn't have a way to centrally manage a lot of features. Defender allowed us to deploy it from our Office 365 admin console. That is probably the biggest thing that made us go with Defender."
"The performance of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has been a valuable feature."
"I've started to test it from the security point of view. There are plenty of features that are interesting, but at this time, the XDR functionality is most valuable. It is endpoint security on steroids."
"We apply the DLP policies across a range of endpoints and it is very accurate when reporting vulnerabilities, including those in email attachments."
"The thing I hate the most, which they have not fixed, is when it creates duplicate entries within a console. If you have a computer and you upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or you upgrade your agent from version 6 to 7, it creates a new instance in there instead of updating the information. Instead of paying a license for one computer, I have to license two computers until I manually go in, search for all the duplicate entries, and clean them out myself."
"In terms of the user experience, if the UX design could be much simpler [that would improve things]... if they could make it more intuitive for someone who is not an engineer so that they still can read what's going on in their webpage and understand, that would be something."
"Cisco is good in terms of threat intelligence plus machine learning-based solutions, but we feel Cisco is lagging behind in using artificial intelligence in its systems."
"The integration of the Cisco products for security could be better in the sense that not everything is integrated, and they aren't working together. In addition, not all products are multi-tenant, so you can't separate different customer environments from each other, which makes it a little bit hard for a managed service provider to deliver services to the customers."
"The Linux agent is a simple offline classic agent, and it doesn't support Secure Boot, which is important to have on a Linux machine. The Linux agent has conflicts with other solutions, including the Exploit Prevention system found in Windows servers. We didn't find a fix during troubleshooting, and Cisco couldn't offer one either. Eventually, we had to shut down the Exploit Prevention system. We didn't like that as we always want a solution that can fit smoothly into the setup without causing problems, especially where security is concerned. The tool also caused CPU spikes on our production machine, and we were seriously considering moving to another product."
"Its price is okay for us, but it can always be better. There's always room for improvement when it comes to pricing."
"This product has issues with the number of false positives that it reports."
"It could be improved in connection with artificial intelligence and IoT."
"I would like to see some additional features related to email protection included."
"It should support more mobile operating systems. That is one of the cons of their infrastructure right now."
"It is not easy to sell Cortex XDR, not because it isn't a good tool. Its marketing needs to be improved."
"The playbooks could be improved to include more functionalities or actions."
"There are some third-party solutions that are difficult to integrate with, which is something that can be improved."
"Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks could improve by adding a sandbox feature to better compete with their competitors which have it."
"It's more focused on network communication. If a customer wants to increase the level of protection and start working with documents, it's impossible to integrate these features into the system. It's more of a communication-oriented system than a content security-oriented system."
"The price could be a little lower."
"This solution is not secure, which is why I have moved to Linux."
"On the Mac OS platform, there is no parity between Windows and Mac OS. The solution is very feature-rich and very well-integrated into Windows, and I guess baked into Windows 10 and Windows 11. Whereas, on the Mac OS platform, there is still some work there to give it a more feature-reach platform."
"I would like to see improvement from a management perspective. We have had to depend on Intune for certain tasks."
"With the XDR dashboard, when you're doing an investigation and you're drilling down to obtain further details it tends to open many different tabs that take you away from your main tabs. You can end up having 10 tabs open for one investigation. This is another area for improvement because you can end up getting lost in the multiple tabs. Therefore, the central console can be improved so that it does not take you to several different pages for each investigation."
"They should bring back the feature of a dedicated proxy device for communication to the cloud. As of now, all the agents are required to send the logs directly to the cloud. There should be a solution where you can put a proxy and all the logs are consolidated, like a forwarder."
"This solution needs to move beyond relying on virus definitions alone and protect the system using behavioral analysis of the processes that are running."
"It is using a large space in your memory all the time. While an antivirus will use some of your memory, if they could reduce the load of the antivirus to some extent that would be good."
"Sometimes the software doesn't work the way we expect it to, and in those cases, we can't communicate with a device because it may be infected."
More Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks Pricing and Cost Advice →
More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Pricing and Cost Advice →
Cisco Secure Endpoint is a comprehensive endpoint security solution that natively includes open and extensible extended detection and response (XDR) and advanced endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities.
Secure Endpoint offers relentless breach protection that enables you to be confident, be bold, and be fearless with one of the industry’s most trusted endpoint security solutions. It protects your hybrid workforce, helps you stay resilient, and secures what’s next with simple, comprehensive endpoint security powered by unique insights from 300,000 security customers and deep visibility from the networking leader.
Learn more about Secure Endpoint: www.cisco.com/go/endpoint
Cisco Secure Endpoint was formerly known as Cisco AMP for Endpoints.
Reviews from Real Users
Cisco Secure Endpoint stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its ability to enable developers to easily secure their endpoints with one single operation using its management console and its advanced alerting techniques.
Tim C., an IT manager at Van Der Meer Consulting, writes, "The solution makes it possible to see a threat once and block it everywhere across all endpoints and the entire security platform. It has the ability to block right down to the file and application level across all devices based on policies, such as, blacklisting and whitelisting of software and applications. This is good. Its strength is the ability to identify threats very quickly, then lock them and the network down and block the threats across the organization and all devices, which is what you want. You don't want to be spending time working out how to block something. You want to block something very quickly, letting that flow through to all the devices and avoiding the same scenario on different operating systems."
Wouter H., a technical team lead network & security at Missing Piece BV, notes, "Any alert that we get is an actionable alert. Immediately, there is information that we can just click through, see the point in time, what happened, what caused it, and what automatic actions were taken. We can then choose to take any manual actions, if we want, or start our investigation. We're no longer looking at digging into information or wading through hundreds of incidents. There's a list which says where the status is assigned, e.g., under investigation or investigation finished. That is all in the console. It has taken away a lot of the administration, which we would normally be doing, and integrated it into the console for us."
Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks is the first threat detection and response software to combine both visibility across all types of data as well as autonomous machine learning analytics. Threat detection very often requires analysts to divide their attention among many different data streams. This platform unifies a vast variety of data flows, which allows analysts to assess threats from a single location. Users can now maintain a level of visibility that other threat detection programs simply cannot offer. This level of transparency lends itself to both quick identification of problems that arise and the equally quick development of a potential solution.
Cortex XDR’s machine learning works on many different levels to detect and prevent threats. It is constantly scanning for threats and vulnerabilities. The solution can scan up to 5.4 billion IP addresses in three-quarters of an hour. This allows it to spot weak points in the system and notify administrators long before hackers can take advantage of vulnerabilities. Once the Artificial Intelligence (AI) discovers an issue or an area where an issue could potentially take place the system creates a log of the information and subsequently sends an alert to system administrators. The AI takes the information that it has gathered and uses it to assign threat levels to the issues that it detects. Following this, a human analyst will be assigned to manually assess the issue and deal with it accordingly. You can set it to automatically respond to the threat by isolating the issue while analysts investigate it.
Benefits of Cortex XDR
Some of Cortex XDR’s benefits include:
Reviews from Real Users
Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks software stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its ability to isolate threats while enabling them to be studied and the way that the software combines all of the data that it gathers into a single, more complete picture than other solutions offer.
PeerSpot users note the effectiveness of these features. A network designer at a computer software company wrote, “The solution has a very helpful isolation feature. If any system gets compromised, with one click I can access the system and isolate it from other networks, and then go into further forensic investigation of the current threat without compromising anything else.”
Jeff W., Vice President/CTO at Sinnott Wolach Technology Group, noted, “The ability to kind of stitch everything together and see the actual complete picture is very useful. I guess you'd call it a playbook. Some people call it the forensics analysis of what was happening on particular endpoints when they detected some malicious behavior, and what transpired before that to cause that. It is also very user friendly.”
Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks is ranked 4th in EPP (Endpoint Protection for Business) with 46 reviews while Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is ranked 1st in EPP (Endpoint Protection for Business) with 114 reviews. Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks is rated 8.4, while Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks writes "Easy to set up, reliable, and always scanning". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint writes "Enables ingestion of events directly into your SIEM/SOAR, but requires integration with all Defender products to work optimally". Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks is most compared with CrowdStrike Falcon, SentinelOne Singularity Complete, Darktrace, Symantec Endpoint Security and Check Point Harmony Endpoint, whereas Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is most compared with Sophos Intercept X, Symantec Endpoint Security, CrowdStrike Falcon and SentinelOne Singularity Complete. See our Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks vs. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint report.
See our list of best EPP (Endpoint Protection for Business) vendors.
We monitor all EPP (Endpoint Protection for Business) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.
I have not used Microsoft Defender and only used Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks. My experience with Cortex is not good as you need to whitelist each and every exe file of each adn every computer. My recommendation for you is to go for Cynet360 MDR which is far better than Cortex in terms of auto detection and remediation. You will get genuine alert.
Choosing Microsoft Defender makes the most sense if you already have a Microsoft ecosystem. But in reality, you need an endpoint security solution that is proactive and comes with built-in artificial intelligence capabilities.
I value in-depth visibility across the endpoints, so I prefer CrowdStrike Falcon EDR. It’s the best solution for simplified endpoint detection and response. CrowdStrike EDR comes with advanced features and easily integrates with popular third-party solutions like Splunk and Palo Alto Networks. An easy-to-use and navigate interface reduces the learning curve. Personally, I think CrowdStrike Falcon is easier to use than Microsoft Defender.
MSSPs like ACE Managed Security Services provide Managed CrowdStrike EDR. If you’re looking for hassle-free deployment and a fully-managed solution, you should look into ACE.
Unless you are using Palo Alto elsewhere in your architecture, I would go with Microsoft if that were the only choice.
However, if you are using another network security issue such as Fortinet or Sophos, I would also look to their endpoint solutions. They both have EDR and XDR capabilities and the endpoint solutions facilitate synchronization between the endpoint and the network control.
Microsoft has done lots of work in the endpoint space and the Zero Trust world over the past several months. Defender integrates tightly with the Microsoft Cloud and there is much synchronization that occurs between the physical endpoint and the cloud infrastructure. This means that regardless where the endpoint is physically located it stays connected and controlled by the policies set in the Microsoft cloud. Very much like the Group Policy Options we became accustomed to with the on premises domain controller.
I know that's a scratch on the surface and there are many other considerations, but you need to seek the solutions that promise management simplicity and the ability to control and protect the endpoints wherever they may be located.
I would go for the one with the best independent threat intelligence, a platform that allows you to change, add, move IT and Security infrastructure without impacting your security platform. I would also place a close attention to storage costs, service levels and the number of resources providing human intelligence on top of machine intelligence for investigation and incident response, all in one platform. But I am biased ;-)