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Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs Symantec Endpoint Security comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 20, 2022

We performed a comparison between Microsoft Defender For Endpoint and Symantec End User Endpoint Security based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of Microsoft Defender For Endpoint provide mixed reviews regarding its deployment. There are some reviewers who say that the setup is easy and straightforward, while other users mention that the initial setup can be complex (especially in regards to the configuration of extra parts), and the deployment can take up to a few months depending on the size of the organization. In contrast, users of Symantec End User Endpoint Security found deployment to be simple and not complex at all.
  • Features: Valuable features of Microsoft Defender For Endpoint include holistic integration with all Defender products and MCAS, data leak prevention, high stability, attack surface reduction controls, exploit prevention control, application control, scalability, ransomware, and auto-remediation as well as manual-remediation. There are certain things that users find are lacking. Some users mention that other vendors provide a lot more customization when it comes to integration; Others say they encountered some misbehavior between Microsoft Office Suite and Defender; Still other users feel the GUI could be better optimized, the monitoring could be better, onboarding could be a little faster, log collection could be easier, and that the dashboard could be more streamlined. Some reviewers have also experienced some issues with scalability.

    Valuable features of Symantec End User Endpoint Security include great malware detection, a good firewall, IPS and impeccable device control, antivirus database, stability, scalability, user-friendliness, single-pane management, anomaly alerts, and automated updates. Reviewers also mention that the solution needs to do a better job at scanning video links, needs to improve its functionality, and needs more network and cloud scanning coverage. Other users say there have been instances where the root causes of alerts could not be found, and others feel that the agent shouldn't use up so many resources at the endpoint when scanning and protecting. Other useful feedback includes that the enterprise edition does not report attacks on external devices, the whitelisting feature does not work as expected, and that there is a lack of reporting and alerts.
  • Pricing: Microsoft Defender For Endpoint users say the pricing is good. Users of Symantec End User Endpoint Security say the pricing seems to be good and quite competitive.
  • Service and Support: Users of Microsoft Defender For Endpoint have the opinion that service and support are just average. While there are a select few users of Symantec End User Endpoint Security that say service and support are okay, the majority feel that they are not responsive enough.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, users of Microsoft Defender For Endpoint were happier with the solution and gave it slightly higher ratings than users of Symantec End User Endpoint Security. It seems that users of Symantec End User Endpoint Security see a lot of room for improvement with the solution, and are disappointed with the lack of features as well.

Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
598,634 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"If somebody has been compromised, the question always is: How has it affected other devices in the network? Cisco AMP gives you a very neat view of that.""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.""One of the best features of AMP is its cloud feature. It doesn't matter where the device is in regards to whether it's inside or outside of your network environment, especially right now when everybody's remote and taken their laptops home. You don't have to be VPNed into the environment for AMP to work. AMP will work anywhere in the world, as long as it has an Internet connection. You get protection and reporting with it. No matter where the device is, AMP has still got coverage on it and is protecting it. You still have the ability to manage and remediate things. The cloud feature is the magic bullet. This is what makes the solution a valuable tool as far as I'm concerned.""The ability to detonate a particular problem in a sandbox environment and understand what the effects are, is helpful. We're trying, for example, to determine, when people send information in, if an attachment is legitimate or not. You just have to open it. If you can do that in a secure sandbox environment, that's an invaluable feature. What you would do otherwise would be very risky and tedious.""The visibility and insight this solution gives you into threats is pretty granular. It has constant monitoring. You can get onto the device trajectory to look at a threat, but you can also see what happened prior to the threat. You can see what happened after the threat. You can see what other applications were incorporated into the execution of the threat. For example, you have the event, but you see that the event was launched by Google Chrome, which was launched by something else. Then, after the event, something else was launched by whatever the threat was. Therefore, it gives you great detail, a timeline, and continuity of events leading up to whatever the incident is, and then, after. This helps you understand and nail down what the threat is and how to fix it.""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.""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."

More Cisco Secure Endpoint Pros →

"Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has been secure and there is zero maintenance required because it updates with Microsoft Windows.""In terms of the installation, ease of use, and user interface, Defender has been great so far.""Technical support has been great.""The solution is highly scalable.""The patch management is very easy, as it can be done automatically or added to a schedule.""It's an enterprise solution that provides a centralized console and it supports all the platforms that we use, including Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android.""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.""We have just started to implement it. It is useful for protection from malware and ransomware."

More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Pros →

"It's good at detecting signature-based stuff and stopping that.""It's good for large organizations. It's able to handle a lot of users.""It is good for detecting signature-based viruses, and it is user friendly.""The performance of Symantec End-User Endpoint Security is very good. It does not slow down the computer like other solutions.""The single-pane management is the solution's most valuable feature. It makes administrative control very easy.""Great security and very user friendly.""Stability-wise, it is very good and we have had no trouble.""The solution is easy to use."

More Symantec Endpoint Security Pros →

Cons
"The one challenge that I see is the use of multiple endpoint protection platforms. For instance, we have AMP, but we also have Microsoft Windows Defender, System Center Endpoint Protection, and Microsoft Malware Protection Engine deployed. So, we have a bunch of different things that do the same thing. What winds up happening is, e.g., if I get an alert for a potential incident or malware and want to pull the file, I'll go to fetch the file to analyze it. But, one of these other programs has already gotten it, so the file has already been quarantined by another endpoint protection system. AMP doesn't realize that and the file fetch fails, then you're left wondering what's going on.""We had a lot of noise at the beginning, and we had to turn it down based on exclusions, application whitelisting, and excluding unknown benign applications. Cisco should understand the need for continuous updates on the custom Cisco exclusions and the custom applications that come out-of-the-box with the AMP for Endpoints.""The room for improvement would be on event notifications. I have mine tuned fairly well. I do feel that if you subscribe to all the event notification types out-of-the-box, or don't really go through and take the time to filter out events, the notifications can become overwhelming with information. Sometimes, when you're overwhelmed with information, you just say, "I'm not going to look at anything because I'm receiving so much." I recommend the vendor come up with a white paper on the best practices for event notifications.""I would like to see integration with Cisco Analytics.""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.""We have had some problems with updates not playing nice with our environment. This is important, because if there is a new version, we need to test it thoroughly before it goes into production. We cannot just say, "There's a new version. It's not going to give us any problems." With the complexity of the solution using multiple engines for multiple tasks, it can sometimes cause performance issues on our endpoints. Therefore, we need to test it before we deploy. That takes one to three days before we can be certain that the new version plays nice with our environment.""The connector updates are very easily done now, and that's improving. Previously, the connector had an issue, where almost every time it needed to be updated, it required a machine reboot. This was always a bit of an inconvenience and a bug. Because with a lot of software now, you don't need to do that and shouldn't need to be rebooting all the time.""Maybe there is room for improvement in some of the automated remediation. We have other tools in place that AMP feeds into that allow for that to happen, so I look at it as one seamless solution. But if you're buying AMP all by itself, I don't know if it can remove malicious software after the fact or if it requires the other tools that we use to do some of that."

More Cisco Secure Endpoint Cons →

"We encountered some issues when we were trying to enable automatic updates from our group policy.""Phishing and Malware detection could be better.""I wish they would extend the use of the Security Central portal, even for the free option of Defender. Because, as companies grow, it is labor intensive to manage the AV and detection part of it. For companies already subscribed to Office 365, I think this would be a good enhancement.""With regards to the interface, a challenge I found was that there was not enough documentation on how to tune it. I had to read multiple sources on the internet to learn how to configure the tool appropriately.""The frequency of the patching, and the frequency of the updates, are not included with the free version.""From an audit point of view, our auditors would like to have more reports on how things are used, if things go wrong, and how they went wrong. For example, if something got a warning, "Why?" So, we would like more versatility for tracing and reporting. That would improve the product, as long as the user interface doesn't get bogged down.""I think Microsoft needs to improve some of the security aspects of Defender. The email part, in particular, needs to be improved in terms of security effectiveness.""Microsoft support could be more knowledgeable."

More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Cons →

"The solution could improve by having a better graphical interface.""The monitoring capabilities could be further developed.""They lack the visibility you get in a heuristical, artificial, AI type of product, like a next-gen antivirus.""Is not a full anti-ransomware solution.""There are limitations because everyone these days has hybrid working; however, the endpoint does not work for us unless we are connected to a VPN, which is a major limitation.""It would be perfect if it is capable of detecting or checking ransomware.""The reporting could be improved.""The solution is very difficult to uninstall. There isn't really a way to uninstall the product at all, which is quite a headache."

More Symantec Endpoint Security Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The visibility that we have into the endpoint and the forensics that we're able to collect give us value for the price. This is not an overly expensive solution, considering all the things that are provided. You get great performance and value for the cost."
  • "Whenever you are doing the licensing process, I would highly advise to look at what other Cisco solutions you have in your organization, then evaluate if an Enterprise Agreement is the best way to go. In our case, it was the best way to go. Since we had so many other Cisco products, we were able to tie those in. We were actually able to get several Cisco security solutions for less than if we had bought three or four Cisco security solutions independently or ad hoc."
  • "In our case, it is a straightforward annual payment through our Enterprise Agreement."
  • "Our company was very happy with the price of Cisco AMP. It was about a third of what we were paying for System Center Endpoint Protection."
  • "There are a couple of different consumption models: Pay up front, or if you have an enterprise agreement, you can do a monthly thing. Check your licensing possibilities and see what's best for your organization."
  • "The Enterprise Agreement is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of Cisco products. In that vein, it was very affordable."
  • "We can know if something bad is potentially happening instantaneously and prevent it from happening. We can go to a device and isolate it before it infects other devices. In our environment, that's millions of dollars saved in a matter of seconds."
  • "The pricing and licensing are reasonable. The cost of AMP for Endpoints is inline with all the other software that has a monthly endpoint cost. It might be a little bit higher than other antivirus type products, but we're only talking about a dollar a month per user. I don't see that cost as being an issue if it's going to give us the confidence and security that we're looking for. We have had a lot of success and happiness with what we're using, so there's no point in changing."
  • More Cisco Secure Endpoint Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The solution is free."
  • "This product is included in the pricing for Windows."
  • "If you don't purchase the advanced threat protection then there is no additional charge."
  • "It is affordable and comes in the Office 365 bundle."
  • "Microsoft Defender ATP is expensive."
  • "I pay for it through the Windows Professional or Standard license. It is a one-time cost for me, and I use the same license."
  • "When compared with other vendors, the pricing is very high."
  • "This solution is part of Windows and comes included with it."
  • More Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We pay our licensing fees on a yearly basis, and everything is included in that price."
  • "Its price should be reasonable."
  • "There are subscription costs, we typically purchase the annual subscription. There can be other expenses too, for example, we use CrowdStrike also as part of our policy."
  • "The prices fluctuate, but this year I think it was maybe around $12,000."
  • "The EDR options are costlier than other products."
  • "Licensing is based on a yearly subscription."
  • "Symantec is expensive."
  • "Its price is reasonable."
  • More Symantec Endpoint Security Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    It is extensive in terms of providing visibility and insights into threats. It allows for research into a threat, and… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The pricing was negotiated before I started, so I don't really know.
    Top Answer: 
    While I've attended a lot of their training webinars, they were mostly high-level. They just say that these are the… 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: 
    We are a reseller. We are using Symantec Endpoint Security and we're using Symantec Endpoint Encryption. We have it… 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
    Government13%
    Healthcare Company13%
    Manufacturing Company13%
    University7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider24%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm23%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government8%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Pharma/Biotech Company8%
    Computer Software Company7%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider23%
    Computer Software Company22%
    Government7%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise43%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise52%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise41%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise50%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business41%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business46%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise35%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    598,634 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is ranked 3rd in Endpoint Protection for Business (EPP) with 113 reviews while Symantec Endpoint Security is ranked 13th in Endpoint Protection for Business (EPP) with 61 reviews. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is rated 8.0, while Symantec Endpoint Security is rated 7.2. 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 "Lacks next-generation behaviour-based detection, offers terrible technical support, and not as robust as competitors". Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is most compared with CrowdStrike Falcon, Sophos Intercept X, Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks, SentinelOne and Malwarebytes, whereas Symantec Endpoint Security is most compared with Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks, CrowdStrike Falcon, Trend Micro Deep Security, Trellix Endpoint Security and Fortinet FortiEDR. See our Microsoft Defender for Endpoint vs. Symantec Endpoint Security report.

    See our list of best Endpoint Protection for Business (EPP) vendors.

    We monitor all Endpoint Protection for Business (EPP) 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.