Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs Symantec Endpoint Security comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Jan 2, 2023

We performed a comparison between Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both solutions say they are easy and straightforward to deploy. 
  • Features: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint users say the solution is very robust and works well out of the box. Users appreciate the very large intuitive database of places or sites on the internet that should be avoided, which is continuously being updated. However, users feel the solution should provide better support for other third-party products.

    Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response offers great application and device control. Users say the solution has great blocking features and is also very effective for malware detection and antivirus purposes. Many users feel that reporting and scanning capabilities could be improved.
  • Pricing: Users of both solutions say the pricing is fair and reasonable.
  • Service and Support: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint users feel the service and support are good. Symantec users say the service has declined and needs immediate improvement. 

Comparison Results: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is the industry leader for Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions. It is very well integrated and can handle almost anything. Users can control everything through a very intuitive central console. The solution works continuously and uses next-generation AI to keep every endpoint safe at all times. Symantec users say it can be a bit buggy and is complex to learn, making it less desirable. 

To learn more, read our detailed Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security Report (Updated: January 2023).
672,785 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:
Pros
"The integration with other Cisco products seemed to be really effective. We had Umbrella in place and we were using AnyConnect as well as Firepower. Once a threat was detected, being able to do the threat lookups and the live tracking was really useful.""I'm only using the AMP (advanced malware protection) which is protecting my file system from all the malicious things that might happen. It should protect all kinds of things that might happen on the servers, things that I cannot see.""It is extensive in terms of providing visibility and insights into threats. It allows for research into a threat, and you can chart your progress on how you're resolving it.""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.""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.""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 threat Grid with the ability to observe the sandboxing, analyze, and perform investigations of different malicious files has been great.""The most valuable feature is signature-based malware detection."

More Cisco Secure Endpoint Pros →

"The best part is that it is built into Windows, whether it is a server base or a desktop base, which gives more control over the operating system. Because Defender, the operating system, and the Office solution are by Microsoft, everything is working like hand-in-glove. Its administrative overhead is less because a desktop user has already got some experience of how to handle a Microsoft Defender notification or administer it.""Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is beneficial because we are using Microsoft Windows and all the core solutions are made by Microsoft, such as the authentic platform, operating system, and antivirus protection. It is a heterogeneous environment. We had to use third-party solutions before and update everything separately. For example, the policy for antivirus. With Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, when Microsoft Windows receives updates it will update with it. This is one main advantage of this solution.""The main features of this solution are that it handles everything by itself and is well integrated.""What I found most valuable in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is that it's out-of-the-box, which brings more value to the customer. The technical support for the product is also one of the best parts, because it's good, in terms of the product knowledge of the technical engineers.""The visibility into threats that the solution provides is pretty awesome... This is something that makes me think, "Wow, okay. If I had my own organization, I would probably get this too." It stops the threat before an employee gets phished or something gets downloaded to their computer.""The solution has an easy-to-use interface, is always updated, and is user-friendly.""Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is scalable. Currently, we have 600,000 users in our organization.""Microsoft Defender is always running. It is doing its job, so it is fine. I don't have any issues with the way it was implemented or how we are running it. We have been upgrading IT throughout the years, but there have been no issues."

More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Pros →

"I like the additional features that come with it. The firewall feature and the encryption feature that they throw in are good as well. Another thing that I like about Symantec is that it runs on different platforms, not just on Windows.""The valuable features are device control, SONOR, and anti-virus.""The most useful features are the antivirus, anti-spyware, and the firewall feature. It also provides application control and Host Integrity, which is a very unique feature.""One of the most valuable features is its antivirus database, which is current and updated daily. Another valuable feature is its capacity to be managed by a single server. The solution is managed by a secure server, so all the endpoints are managed from a central point.""We are using it on 1,600 computers. All the systems and servers are protected with the Symantec solution. Our environment has an uptime of 99.9% because we never had any attack or issue related to viruses. There is zero downtime.""The product has been quite stable.""The application and device control are valuable features, and the live update is another one. We have a schedule to check every four hours for the live update.""The solution can scale."

More Symantec Endpoint Security Pros →

Cons
"The GUI needs improvement, it's not good.""It could be improved in connection with artificial intelligence and IoT.""We don't have issues. We think that Cisco covers all of the security aspects on the market. They continue to innovate in the right way.""In Orbital, there are tons of prebuilt queries, but there is not a lot of information in lay terms. There isn't enough information to help us with what we're looking for and why we are looking for it with this query. There are probably a dozen queries in there that really focus on what I need to focus on, but they are not always easy to find the first time through.""They could improve the main dashboard to more clearly show me the things that I want to see. When I open the dashboard right now, I see a million things and they are not always the things that I need.""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.""This product has issues with the number of false positives that it reports.""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."

More Cisco Secure Endpoint Cons →

"The frequency of the patching, and the frequency of the updates, are not included with the free version.""Sometimes, there are different skews. In a basic skew, they should have basic log analysis without the need to integrate with any third-party or SIEM solutions, like Sentinel. This would make it so much easier for users who don't have log collection or log analysis.""The solution could be even more secure and provide an even higher level of security.""The solution could use improvement on the interface.""Microsoft Defender for Endpoint should have more transparency. In the latest edition of Windows, Windows 11, it is a compulsory requirement to connect to a Microsoft account, which in turn has implications for Defender. This should be removed.""Cortex... has good investigation capabilities, out-of-the-box, in case there is an event that you'd like to investigate. It's quite convenient. Microsoft has those capabilities as well, but you need a bit more training on the product to get the basic information that you can get out-of-the-box with Cortex.""We would like more customization.""The solution could improve by providing more integration."

More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Cons →

"There is room for improvement in the zero-day threat detection system.""Using the management console is a bit complex. There are many features that we cannot use and we could use some help. We need some assistance to make them work better. They need to add features to make it simpler.""Installation of the tool on a workstation requires some technical knowledge, which could be more straightforward.""Technical support could be more responsive.""The technical support could be a bit better.""If there is a suspicious file, it is put into a sandbox where Symantec does an analysis. After the analysis, Symantec marks the file as a risk, but it doesn't blacklist or block the file. If a file is already known to be harmful, I would like them to automatically block or blacklist it to reduce the damage.""The malware and ransomware protections could be improved, which was ultimately the reason why I stopped using the solution.""The virus definitions could be updated more frequently."

More Symantec Endpoint Security Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Licensing fees are on a yearly basis and I am happy with the pricing."
  • "We have a license for 3,000 users and if we get up to 3,100 users, it doesn't stop working, but on the next renewal date you're supposed to go in there and add that extra 100 licenses. It's really good that they let you grow and expand and then pay for it. Sometimes, with other products, you overuse a license and they just don't work."
  • "Cisco Secure Endpoint is not too expensive and it's not cheap. It's quite fair."
  • "The price is very fair to the customer."
  • "...the licensing needs to be improved. All the product features we need are there. It's just a matter of the complexity and the different offerings and trying to figure things out."
  • "The pricing and licensing fees are okay."
  • "Because we do see the value of what it's bringing, I think they have priced it well."
  • "The solution is highly affordable; I believe we pay $2 or $3 per endpoint. It's significantly cheaper than the competitors on the market."
  • More Cisco Secure Endpoint Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Licensing options vary. Some customers buy it as an enterprise agreement and pay yearly. Others buy it as a CSP, so they pay per month. It completely depends on the customer's needs."
  • "It's included with the Windows Operating System, I don't pay for any licensing fees."
  • "You need a license to use this solution."
  • "We have a bundle where the price includes all Microsoft products."
  • "The solution comes as a part of Windows 10 and it is covered under its license."
  • "For most people, the price of the license is not something that they have to worry about."
  • "It is free. It is included in Windows 10."
  • "There is no license needed, the solution comes with Microsoft Windows."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Licensing is based on a yearly subscription."
  • "Symantec is expensive."
  • "Its price is reasonable."
  • "They're on the reasonable side. They are at mid-level. They're not too expensive as compared to their competitors. They're also not too cheap. In terms of price structure, hopefully, they could do a subscription."
  • "When comparing this solution to others in the current market it is expensive."
  • "It is cheap. It is especially cheaper than Malwarebytes, which is three times higher than this. It is also cheaper than Cisco. Its price is almost similar to Bitdefender, Gravity, and CloudZone."
  • "The licensing costs are huge compared to what is normally included in the licensing with other products such as the Microsoft products that we're using. We're paying between $300 and $400 per seat."
  • "There is a yearly license."
  • More Symantec Endpoint Security Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature is signature-based malware detection.
    Top Answer:Licensing fees are on a yearly basis and I am happy with the pricing.
    Top Answer:The GUI needs improvement, it's not good. There are false positives in emails. At times, the emails are blocked and… more »
    Top Answer:Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a cloud-delivered endpoint security solution. The tool reduces the attack surface… more »
    Top Answer:We use Symantec because we do not use MS Enterprise products, but in my opinion, Microsoft Defender is a superior… more »
    Top Answer:The CrowdStrike solution delivers a lot of information about incidents. It has a very light sensor that will never push… more »
    Top Answer:Aqua Security is easy to use and very manageable. Its main focus is on Kubernetes and Docker. Security is a very… more »
    Top Answer:Protection from viruses, malware, Trojans, and malicious files is most valuable. It is also good in terms of application… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cisco AMP for Endpoints
    Microsoft Defender ATP, Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, MS Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender Antivirus
    Symantec EPP, Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP)
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cisco Secure Endpoint is a cloud-managed endpoint security solution that provides advanced protection against viruses, malware, and other cyber threats by detecting, preventing, and responding to threats. Cisco Secure Endpoint is managed online via a web-based management console and can be deployed on a variety of platforms. It protects endpoints, networks, emails, and web traffic.

    In a world of evolving threats, it’s necessary to put security above everything. Cisco Secure Endpoint provides you with the scope, scale, and capabilities to attain effective security with its integrated portfolio and industry-leading threat intelligence. Cisco Secure Endpoint continuously tracks and analyzes files and file activities across your systems - both remote and on premises - and compares these events to other events that occurred before or during past attacks. If a file exhibits malicious behavior, the tool sends an alert which enables you to stop a potential threat from succeeding.

    Key Capabilities of Cisco Secure Endpoint

    • Multi-layered protection: Cisco Secure Endpoint combines behavioral analytics, machine learning, and signature-based techniques to prevent threats from compromising your endpoints.

    • Powerful EDR capabilities: Reduce attack surface using advanced endpoint and extended detection and response, threat hunting, and endpoint isolation.

    • Dynamic malware analysis: Identify and block attacks in real time.

    • Simplified investigations: Advanced search capabilities help you get the information you need about your endpoints fast.

    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."

    Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a complete endpoint security solution that delivers preventative protection, post-breach detection, automated investigation, and response. With Defender for Endpoint, you have: 

    Agentless, cloud powered - No additional deployment or infrastructure. No delays or update compatibility issues. Always up to date. 

    Unparalleled optics - Built on the industry’s deepest insight into Windows threats and shared signals across devices, identities, and information. 

    Automated security - Take your security to a new level by going from alert to remediation in minutes—at scale. 

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

    Unmatched Endpoint Safety for Your OrganizationAs an on-premises, hybrid, or cloud-based solution, the single-agent Symantec platform protects all your traditional and mobile endpoint devices, and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize security decisions.

    Offer
    Learn more about Cisco Secure Endpoint
    Learn more about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
    Learn more about Symantec Endpoint Security
    Sample Customers
    Heritage Bank, Mobile County Schools, NHL University, Thunder Bay Regional, Yokogawa Electric, Sam Houston State University, First Financial Bank
    Petrofrac, Metro CSG, Christus Health
    Audio Visual Dynamics, Red Deer Advocate, Asia Pacific Telecom Co. Ltd., Kibbutz Ein Gedi, and AMETEK, Inc.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Government11%
    Healthcare Company11%
    Manufacturing Company11%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Government9%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm20%
    Computer Software Company16%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Government9%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm16%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    University6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business34%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise46%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise56%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise43%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise39%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise61%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    672,785 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is ranked 1st in EPP (Endpoint Protection for Business) with 120 reviews while Symantec Endpoint Security is ranked 10th in EPP (Endpoint Protection for Business) with 64 reviews. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is rated 8.0, while Symantec Endpoint Security is rated 7.8. 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". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Symantec Endpoint Security writes "The solution has given us visibility into compliance within our whole system and helped us ensure everything is updated". Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is most compared with Sophos Intercept X, Crowdstrike Falcon Endpoint Security and XDR, SentinelOne, Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks and Check Point Harmony Endpoint, whereas Symantec Endpoint Security is most compared with Crowdstrike Falcon Endpoint Security and XDR, Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro Deep Security, SentinelOne and Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. See our Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security 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.