Microsoft 365 Defender vs Microsoft Defender for Cloud comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on May 25, 2022

We performed a comparison between Microsoft 365 Defender and Microsoft Defender for Cloud based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users report that the initial setup and deployment of both solutions is straightforward and fast.

  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their stability and scalability. 365 Defender users say it is flexible, easy to use, and well integrated, but needs better machine learning capabilities. Defender for Cloud users like its alerting tools and say it provides them with good visibility into their system. Several users mention that Defender for Cloud isn’t very user-friendly.
  • Pricing: 365 Defender received mixed reviews in the pricing category. Some users feel that the price is too high. Defender for Cloud users feel that it is fairly priced.
  • ROI: 365 Defender users do not mention ROI. Defender for Cloud users report a significant ROI.

  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions report being satisfied with the level of the support they receive.

Comparison Results: 365 Defender has a slight edge over Defender for Cloud in this comparison since it is the more user-friendly solution. Defender for Cloud does come out on top in the pricing and ROI categories, however.

To learn more, read our detailed Microsoft 365 Defender vs. Microsoft Defender for Cloud Report (Updated: September 2023).
734,156 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The EDR and the way it automatically responds to ransomware and other attacks are valuable features.""I like that it's fully integrated with Windows, Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, and Outlook. It is better than other antivirus solutions because it's fully integrated with all Microsoft products. It's easy to integrate them and onboard all Windows devices from SCCM.""The most valuable feature of all is the full integration with the rest of the software in the operating system and Office 365, as well as Microsoft SCCM. It is quite easy for us to work with the whole instance of Microsoft products. This integration improves the benefits of the whole suite of products.""Microsoft 365 Defender is simple to upgrade.""The most valuable feature depends on the scenario. For compliance, I like Microsoft Purview Information Protection and Data Loss Prevention. Sentinel is the most helpful feature for security. 365 Defender helps us prioritize threats across an enterprise. It's a crucial feature for the managed services team.""It gives a lot of flexibility in terms of configuration and customization as per the business requirements.""The visibility into threats is also very impressive because Microsoft helps you predict things and provides analytics to help you really improve your security. And all of this technology works across the domain, so it is pretty helpful in terms of threat analytics.""We can automate routine tasks and write scripts to carry out difficult tasks, which makes things easier for us."

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"Technical support is helpful.""The solution is very easy to deploy.""The first valuable feature was the fact that it gave us a list of everything that users were surfing on the web. Having the list, we could make decisions about those sites.""It works seamlessly on the Azure platform because it's a Microsoft app. Its setup is similar, so if you already have a Microsoft account, it just flows into it.""When you have commissioned Defender, you have these things visible already on your dashboard. This gives the efficiency to the people to do their actual work rather than bothering about the email, sorting out the email, or looking at it through an ITSM solution, whey they have to look at the description and use cases. Efficiency increases with this optimized, ready-made solution since you don't need to invest in something externally. You can start using the dashboard and auditing capability provided from day one. Thus, you have fewer costs with a more optimized, easier-to-use solution, providing operational efficiency for your team.""Most importantly, it's an integrated solution. We not only have Defender for Cloud, but we also have Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Office 365, and Defender for Identity. It's an integrated, holistic solution.""The product has given us more insight into potential avenues for attack paths.""It's got a lot of great features."

More Microsoft Defender for Cloud Pros →

"The Defender agent itself is more compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11. Other than these two lines, there are so many compatibility issues. Security is not only about Microsoft. The core technical aspects of it are quite good, but it would be good if they can better support non-Microsoft solutions in terms of putting the agents directly into VMware and other virtualization solutions. There should be more emphasis on RHEL and other operating systems that we use, other than Windows, in the server category.""The support from Microsoft could improve. There are times I have to wait for a response from a qualified specialist.""Sometimes, configurations take much longer than expected.""Microsoft tends to provide too many features, which makes the solution prone to bugs.""There should be better information for experts on features in the solution. What I see when reading about features in Microsoft 365 Defender is that it is always general information. If Microsoft could go deeper into details for the experts about how to use the tools, usage of it would be more familiar and it would be easier to use.""At times, there may be delays in the execution of certain actions and their effects.""The user interface of Microsoft 365 Defender could improve. They could make it simpler.""Intrusion detection and prevention would be great to have with 365 Defender."

More Microsoft 365 Defender Cons →

"Azure is a complex solution. You have so many moving parts.""Microsoft Defender could be more centralized. For example, I still need to go to another console to do policy management.""Another thing is that Defender for Cloud uses more resources than CrowdStrike, which my current company uses. Defender for Cloud has two or three processes running simultaneously that consume memory and processor time. I had the chance to compare that with CrowdStrike a few days ago, which was significantly less. It would be nice if Defender were a little lighter. It's a relatively large installation that consumes more resources than competitors do.""The most significant areas for improvement are in the security of our identity and endpoints and the posture of the cloud environment. Better protection for our cloud users and cloud apps is always welcome.""Sometimes it's very difficult to determine when I need Microsoft Defender for Cloud for a special resource group or a special kind of product.""The product must improve its UI.""I would like to see better automation when it comes to pushing out security features to the recommendations, and better documentation on the step-by-step procedures for enabling certain features.""Sometimes, it's very difficult to determine when I need Microsoft Defender for Cloud for a special resource group or certain kinds of products. That's not an issue directly with the product, though."

More Microsoft Defender for Cloud Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Microsoft is not competitive with the pricing of the solution. The competitors are able to offer lower discounts. The price of the solution is higher."
  • "We have a lot of problems in Latin America regarding the price of Microsoft 365 Defender, because the relationship between dollars and the money of the different countries, it's is a lot. Many customers that have small businesses say that they would like the solution but it is too expensive. However, large companies do not find the cost an issue."
  • "The most valuable licensing option is expensive, so pricing could be improved. Licensing options for this solution also need to be consolidated, because they frequently change."
  • "Microsoft should provide lower-level licensing options. They should do it in such a way that even an individual could purchase a license, and it should be entirely flexible."
  • "They have moved from a licensing model to pay-per-use... The question is: What happens if, for any reason, there's not enough budget to accept this model? That could be a great problem."
  • "Its licensing and pricing are handled by someone else. My role is limited to incidents or issues with the portal, but you get what you pay for. It is worth the cost."
  • "The solution is affordable, and we haven't been hit with any hidden costs. The subscription model is straightforward, and it's easy to understand how much additional features cost. If we need to cancel a license or feature, we do that well in advance to avoid being charged for it, but overall, the pricing and licensing are simple and easy."
  • "I would like to have more security features in the lower licenses because not every customer is able to buy E5 licenses. The bundling isn't always easy for our customers to understand. Compared to other tools, it's a good price."
  • More Microsoft 365 Defender Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "It is bundled with our enterprise subscription, which makes it easy to go for it. It is available by default, and there is no extra cost for using the standard features."
  • "Azure Defender is definitely pricey, but their competitors cost about the same. For example, a Palo Alto solution is the same price per endpoint, but the ground strikes cost a bit more than Azure Defender. Still, it's pricey for a company like ours. Maybe well-established organizations can afford it, but it might be too costly for a startup."
  • "Defender for Cloud is pretty costly for a single line. It's incredibly high to pay monthly for security per server. The cost is considerable for an enterprise with 500-plus virtual machines, and the monthly bill can spike."
  • "The cost is fair. There aren't any costs in addition to the standard licensing fee."
  • "Pricing depends on your workload size, but it is very cheap. If you're talking about virtual machines, it is $5 or something for each machine, which is minimal. If you go for some agent-based solution for every virtual machine, then you need to pay the same thing or more than that. For an on-premises solution like this, we were paying around $30 to $50 based on size. With Defender, Microsoft doesn't bother about the size. You pay based on the number of machines. So, if you have 10 virtual machines, and 10 virtual machines are being monitored, you are paying based on that rather than the size of the virtual machine. Thus, you are paying for the number of units rather than paying for the size of your units."
  • "The pricing is very difficult because every type of Defender for Cloud has its own metrics and pricing. If you have Cloud for Key Vault, the pricing is different than it is for storage. Every type has its own pricing list and rules."
  • "They have a free version, but the license for this one isn't too high. It's free to start with, and you're charged for using it beyond 30 days. Some other pieces of Defender are charged based on usage, so you will be charged more for a high volume of transactions. I believe Defender for Cloud is a daily charge based on Azure's App Service Pricing."
  • "Pricing is difficult because each license has its own metrics and cost."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Cloud Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The comprehensiveness of Microsoft's threat detection is good.
    Top Answer:365 Defender is billed per account. I don't know the exact price, but my supervisor told me that Microsoft Defender is cheaper than the alternatives. It's bundled, so you get all the features in one… more »
    Top Answer:The only issue I've had is, when it comes to deployment, the steps I must take around policy setup. That is challenging. We're working on the onboarding and configuration policies. We're collecting… more »
    Top Answer:Azure Security Center is very easy to use, integrates well, and gives very good visibility on what is happening across your ecosystem. It also has great remote workforce capabilities and supports a… more »
    Top Answer:Defender is user-friendly and provides decent visibility into threats.
    Top Answer:I rate Microsoft Defender a three out of ten for affordability. The price could be a little lower.
    Average Words per Review
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    Microsoft Threat Protection, MS 365 Defender
    Microsoft Azure Security Center, Azure Security Center, Microsoft ASC, Azure Defender
    Learn More

    Microsoft 365 Defender, part of Microsoft’s XDR solution, leverages the Microsoft 365 security portfolio to automatically analyze threat data across domains, building a complete picture of each attack in a single dashboard. With this breadth and depth of clarity defenders can now focus on critical threats and hunt for sophisticated breaches, trusting that the powerful automation in Microsoft 365 Defender detects and stops attacks anywhere in the kill chain and returns the organization to a secure state.

    - Reduce signal noise by viewing prioritized incidents in a single dashboard. 

    - Use the automated investigation capabilities to spend less time on detection and response.

    - Take care of routine and complex remediation with Microsoft 365 Defender by auto-healing affected assets.

    - Hunt across all your data, leveraging your organizational knowledge with custom queries. 

    - Develop custom detection and response tools for long-term protection and improved security posture.

    To learn more about our solution, ask questions, and share feedback, join our Microsoft Security, Compliance and Identity Community.

    Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a comprehensive security solution that provides advanced threat protection for cloud workloads. It offers real-time visibility into the security posture of cloud environments, enabling organizations to quickly identify and respond to potential threats. With its advanced machine learning capabilities, Microsoft Defender for Cloud can detect and block sophisticated attacks, including zero-day exploits and fileless malware. The solution also provides automated remediation capabilities, allowing security teams to quickly and easily respond to security incidents. With Microsoft Defender for Cloud, organizations can ensure the security and compliance of their cloud workloads, while reducing the burden on their security teams.

    Learn more about Microsoft 365 Defender
    Learn more about Microsoft Defender for Cloud
    Sample Customers
    Information Not Available
    Microsoft Defender for Cloud is trusted by companies such as ASOS, Vatenfall, SWC Technology Partners, and more.
    Top Industries
    Manufacturing Company25%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Computer Software Company25%
    Recruiting/Hr Firm10%
    Consumer Goods Company10%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Company Size
    Small Business44%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise40%
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise66%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft 365 Defender vs. Microsoft Defender for Cloud
    September 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft 365 Defender vs. Microsoft Defender for Cloud and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
    734,156 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft 365 Defender is ranked 1st in Microsoft Security Suite with 37 reviews while Microsoft Defender for Cloud is ranked 2nd in Microsoft Security Suite with 22 reviews. Microsoft 365 Defender is rated 8.4, while Microsoft Defender for Cloud is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Microsoft 365 Defender writes "Includes four services and four products, which can help organizations a lot". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Defender for Cloud writes "Provides good recommendations and makes policy administration easy". Microsoft 365 Defender is most compared with CrowdStrike Falcon, Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager, Microsoft Sentinel, Trend Micro XDR and Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks, whereas Microsoft Defender for Cloud is most compared with AWS GuardDuty, Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft Sentinel, Wiz and Trend Micro Cloud One . See our Microsoft 365 Defender vs. Microsoft Defender for Cloud report.

    See our list of best Microsoft Security Suite vendors.

    We monitor all Microsoft Security Suite 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.