Buyer's Guide
EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)
January 2023
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Sr. Lead Consultant at catapult
MSP
Top 5
The single pane of glass is vital to us as security consultants and to our clients, who need a high level of visibility
Pros and Cons
  • "In my opinion, the most valuable aspects are the reporting analytics and integration with Sentinel. Defender does an excellent job of correlating the different entities that comprise threat analysis, analytics data, and log analytics. It helps to piece together investigations into any exploit or malicious activity within a specific tenant. AI and analytics tools are probably the most valuable components."
  • "Localization is always a challenge, especially with new products you typically want. Solutions are designed to be deployed where the most licenses are being consumed, such as in the United States. They focus on US products, devices, and networks. Specialized deployments for other countries would allow for a smoother experience in transition."

What is our primary use case?

I'm a security coach with multiple clients. I provide security implementation, planning, and maintenance through Microsoft Defender. I use all the Defender products, including Defender for Identity, Defender for Office 365, and Defender for Cloud. 

It's easy to integrate the solutions. You only need to go into the settings and switch on the connectivity to all the Defender for Endpoint connectivity telemetry. Microsoft documentation is thorough, and it walks you through all the necessary steps.

We're multi-client and multi-cloud. We're working with multiple organizations and departments, so it's complex. We have domains and sub-domains that we must account for on the deployment side. We also use Defender for ATP, which is the Defender for domain controllers.

How has it helped my organization?

Defender for Endpoint helped to bridge the gap with remote workforce solutions because it protects managed and unmanaged devices. It's also easier to use because Defender for Endpoint is cloud-managed, so it stays maintained and updated. It has a leg up on competing solutions that require more system resources and maintenance. 

The tight integration with Microsoft operating systems is another advantage because it's easier to manage. It also goes beyond Windows OS. Defender for Endpoint supports other platforms and operating systems, such as Linux, iOS, and Android. I like that Microsoft is expanding the product's scope beyond Microsoft operating systems. Microsoft is developing a holistic approach, so you don't need a third-party product to protect these other non-Microsoft platforms.

Defender helps us to prioritize threats across the enterprise. The weighted priorities are based on all the MITRE security standards. Defender products work together to provide comprehensive protection. I agree with the placement of Defender Products on Gartner's Magic Quadrant. Defender is a leader in that area of threat protection. I'm pleased with the outcome of a lot of the investigations. I can protect and harden areas that didn't usually didn't have that level of visibility and granularity. 

Defender integrates with Sentinel, enabling me to ingest data from my entire ecosystem. Sentinel also covers non-Microsoft products with the third-party connectors that are provided. I enjoy that part of the Sentinel functionality and feature set. It has several features for aggregating the log data and analytics for the on-premises environment. Having that visibility is crucial.

Sentinel provides the SIEM and the SOAR capabilities, offering a single pane of glass for all of the security operations centers and providing on-site reliability for many of my clients. Sentinel is Microsoft's answer to competing tools such as Splunk and other log application tools. Sentinel seems to provide more added value from the ease of use and visibility. The licensing is also competitive.

You can set up Sentinel to forward alerts if you want to create a managed Cloud environment solution for Sentinel for a client. There's a way to set that up through Azure Front Door. You're seeing the data reporting and single pane of glass for other tenants and customers. It enables you to offer security as a service to maintain visibility for clients.

I like that it considers the status of a device (whether the device is online or offline, VPN or not, etc.) and provides several options for telemetry, depending on where and how the device is being used. It gives a lot of flexibility with the installations, maintenance, and management of the Endpoint solution. In addition to Defender for Endpoint's feature set, other parts of device management reduce the attack surface and protect those devices.

Defender's automation features have been a significant advantage with many of my clients because the remediation has been automated. Most of the time, it doesn't require any human intervention unless there's something that hasn't been set up. I must demonstrate the automated investigation and remediation to my clients to ensure their environment is automatically protected on weekends and after business hours.

The single pane of glass is vital to us as security consultants and our clients, who need a high level of visibility. You can go into the high-level executive dashboard view and drill into each telemetry graphic to provide you with more granular data. I see how easy it is to see the big picture and effortlessly drill into the details using the side navigation menus and more.

Consolidating things into one dashboard streamlined them significantly. When working with multiple tools and vendors, you typically have to stitch the reporting together to get an overarching view of everything. It's time-consuming. By the time some of these tasks are accomplished, the data starts to get stale, so you need to refresh and create an all-new view again. Having real-time capability in a single pane of glass is essential.

Defender Threat Intelligence helps us develop a forward-looking approach to threats and plans. That's one aspect of the product I find incredibly helpful. It will highlight things that may require intervention, such as turning on conditional access rules or setting up some geofencing for anything that looks like it could be a password spray attack from a known location that we can block. 

There are opportunities to turn off any legacy protocols that may be in use. That's been a common thread with some of my clients who still use legacy protocols for sign-in and authorizations. The ability to do that has been a considerable help proactively.

You don't know what you don't know until you know. The continual flow of real-time data and analytics from Defender products helps create a security roadmap and harden many areas. With improved visibility, we can build a better roadmap to harden those areas by prioritizing and doing things methodically. Previously, we were guessing what to do next or what would be most important based on an educated guess. Now, we have data to guide our security decisions.

Microsoft Defender has saved us hours and hours. It has probably paid for itself many times over. I would agree that it has saved a lot of time and money. I estimate it probably saved us the equivalent of two people working full-time. You typically have at least one person overseeing on-premise resources and another dedicated to cloud resources.

What is most valuable?

In my opinion, the most valuable aspects are the reporting analytics and integration with Sentinel. Defender does an excellent job of correlating the different entities that comprise threat analysis, analytics data, and log analytics. It helps to piece together investigations into any exploit or malicious activity within a specific tenant. AI and analytics tools are probably the most valuable components.

The bidirectional sync capabilities and off-app sanctioning of the SaaS applications are helpful. The identity security posture feature set provides investigation recommendations for risky users. The heat map for locations is also handy. Defender integrates with the AIP DLP for data governance and protection. I use all of that.

There's a need to have augmented workforce capability. You need to see the data streams for client work augmentation for the security operation center and act on the information. Having data in near real-time is essential to my organization and the work we do for our clients. The built-in SOAR, UEBA, and threat detection features are comprehensive.

What needs improvement?

It always helps to have onboarding wizards. Microsoft has done a lot of work in that area. I would like to see some more refinement in the wizards to allow more diverse use cases and scenarios that help us deploy Defender globally. In particular, I would like to see more deployments considering localization barriers and networks or devices common in various regions. 

Localization is always a challenge, especially with new products you typically want. Solutions are designed to be deployed where the most licenses are being consumed, such as in the United States. They focus on US products, devices, and networks. Specialized deployments for other countries would allow for a smoother experience in transition.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Defender for about two and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. I haven't had any reliability concerns with Defender, and there have not been too many complaints from users that have to have extensive reboots or any kind of performance impact. So I would say it's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is built into the product. It's a cloud-managed solution, so it's capable of scaling pretty quickly as needed. You don't have to unlock another key or do something else to scale the product. It's scalable by design.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Microsoft support a seven out of ten. We've opened a few Microsoft tickets. For example, we've seen some discrepancies between Defender for Exchange Online and the reporting from Sentinel. We raised tickets to determine why Sentinel's logging data doesn't match what we see in Exchange Online.

It can be slow and tedious sometimes. Microsoft has different support level agreements. If you want prompter and higher-quality support, you typically need to pay for an Ultimate Support contract. If we compare that with other companies or organizations, Microsoft is probably on par with everyone else. You don't get a higher level of support unless you pay for it.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've worked with all the major antivirus and endpoint protection vendors, including Splunk, CrowdStrike, Sophos, Norton, and McAfee. Microsoft's advantage is its integration with the operating system, ease of deployment, and support for the 365 Cloud experience. It makes everything easier to deploy, maintain and manage. It comes down to cost and integration. We realize cost savings because it's integrated into the E5 licensing product.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward and mostly automated. You only have to intervene when you experience errors. Those typically happen on non-US systems or in other countries. For the most part, it's effortless to deploy.

We try to use the auto-onboarding capabilities that come with Autopilot. If you have new systems deployed with Windows Autopilot onboarding capability, that's going to turn Defender on with the proper policies and security parameters. 

One person is enough to deploy Defender if you have a plan and proper communication. You notify everyone that the deployment is happening and push the button. You need to let everyone know if reboots are required and the like. Other than that, it's pretty much a one-person deployment job.

In terms of maintenance, Defender is probably somewhere in the middle. Microsoft maintains a lot of automated updates. There are feature sets that come into play with things that are put in preview and you may want to see if it's something you want to turn on and try out while it's in preview. Those are the only areas that require some discussion and intervention. Most of the maintenance is automated. At the same time, you also need to be trained and aware of the updates and feature sets as they mature. You must stay on top of changes to the UI, reporting, etc.  

What was our ROI?

If you look at what we pay on average and all the potential ransomware and malware threats we've averted, we've definitely saved tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the client. Some of the bigger clients have saved millions of dollars of potential ransomware payouts because Defender products helped protect those areas of attack. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The cost is competitive and reasonable because most of the expense is log analytics, storage, and data consumption and ingestion. They can be throttled and controlled, so they are highly flexible. Defender has a lot of advantages over competing products.

From a licensing aspect, you're not just getting a security product. You're getting a lot of other capabilities that go beyond the Defender products. You get an E5 or E3 license and some form of Defender for Endpoint included with all the other security features of the other Defender products. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It didn't take too long to decide on Microsoft because of the integration and simplicity. CrowdStrike is probably the closest competitor.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Microsoft Defender for Endpoint a nine out of ten. Defender is one of the best I've seen, and I'm not saying that as a Microsoft reseller. We use Defender and have gotten our Microsoft certifications to provide a high level of service for our clients. It's crucial to have a product we stand behind and believe in wholeheartedly. We're not getting kickbacks from Microsoft for saying or doing any of that. We use it because it works. 

I would say there's a trade-off. Once you start adding complexity to security, you're going against best practices that say simpler is better. Adding another vendor or a level of complexity is usually unnecessary. Unless there's something Microsoft completely missed, I would question the value of going to another vendor. 

Communication and planning are most important. Any time you change products or deploy something for the first time, you should test it first in a smaller use-case scenario. That will help you identify any issues with your network, firewall, or legacy applications that may be falsely identified as a threat. It's always best to test your use case scenarios in a proof of concept before you deploy it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Director IR and MDR at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Provides deep visibility, helpful and intuitive interface, effectively prevents ransomware attacks
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature varies from client to client but having absolute clarity of what happened and the autonomous actions of SentinelOne are what most people find the most assuring."
  • "As a cloud-based product, there is a minimum number of licenses that need to be purchased, which is unfortunate."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

Sentinel One is being deployed as a replacement for any antivirus solution. In our case, we use it to primarily prevent ransomware and other malware from entering networks or computers, as they're deployed across the entire world now, in this new post-COVID environment.

We no longer have the luxury of the corporate firewall protecting everyone equally. This means that having SentinelOne on each box is providing a solution where we stop the badness before it can spread.

This is a cloud-based platform that we use in every capacity you can imagine. We use it on cloud components in both Azure and Amazon.

How has it helped my organization?

We have tested SentinelOne's static AI and behavioral AI technologies and it performs well. We actually put a laboratory together and we tested SentinelOne against CrowdStrike, Cylance, and Carbon Black side by side. We found that the only product that stopped every instance of ransomware we placed into the computers in the test lab, was SentinelOne. As part of the testing, we used a variety of actual ransomware applications that were occurring, live on people's systems at the time.

My analysts use SentinelOne's storyline feature, which observes all OS processes. They're able to utilize the storyline to determine exactly how the badness got into the network and touched the computer in the first place. That allows us to suggest improvements in network security for our clients as we protect them.

The storyline feature offers an incredible improvement in terms of response time. The deep visibility that is given to us through the storyline is incredibly helpful to get to the root cause of an infection and to create immediate countermeasures, in an IT solution manner, for the client. Instead of just telling them a security problem, we are able to use that data, analyze it, and give an IT solution to the problem.

SentinelOne has improved everybody's productivity because the design of the screens is such that it takes an analyst immediately to what they need next, to make the proper decision on the next steps needed for the client.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature varies from client to client but having absolute clarity of what happened and the autonomous actions of SentinelOne are what most people find the most assuring. The fact that it stops everything and lets you analyze it with great detail, including how it occurred, to improve your overall security infrastructure to prevent such an attack from occurring in the future, is really important to clients because it's almost like a security advisor or a security operation center in the tool itself.

When an event occurs, it gets stopped, and then they have a way to look into that data to find ways to improve the security of their network or what risk factors they need to tend to within the company through education or other means. For example, they may be constantly clicking on the wrong links or the wrong attachments in phishing emails.

Our people constantly use the Ranger functionality. The first thing we do is look for unprotected endpoints in the environment. This is critical because SentinelOne should be placed on everything in the environment for maximum protection. The second way we use it is if a printer or a camera or a thermostat is being used as a relay for an attack, through a weakness in that product, we are able to let them know exactly what product it is. The other advantage of Ranger is that it lets us put a block into the firewall of SentinelOne that's on every Windows computer, and we can stop the communications from the offending internet of things product to every system on the network with just a few clicks.

It's incredibly important to us that Ranger requires no new agents, hardware, or network changes. If you think about it, we're in the middle of an incident response every day. We have between 60 and 80 incident responses ongoing at any time, and having the ability to deploy just one agent to do everything we need to advise clients on how to improve their security and prevent a second attack, is incredibly important. It was a game-changer when Ranger came to fruition.

Various clients, depending on their business practices, are heavily in the IoT. Some are actually the creators of IoT and as they put new products on the air for testing, we're able to help protect them from external attacks.

What needs improvement?

As a cloud-based product, there is a minimum number of licenses that need to be purchased, which is unfortunate.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SentinelOne personally, on and off, for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SentinelOne is very stable and the agent rarely fails. The only time I've seen an agent fail is normally on a compromised system. The fact that it even works to protect a compromised system in the first place is amazing, but that's the only time that we actually see the failure of an agent. Specifically, it can happen when there's a compromise to the box prior to loading SentinelOne.

On a pristine new load of a workstation or server where it has no compromises and no malfeasance exists, the SentinelOne agent is incredibly stable and we rarely have any issues with the agent stopping in function. I will add that in this respect, the fact that the agent cannot be uninstalled without a specific code gives us higher stability than others because even a threat actor can't remove or disable the agent in order to conduct an attack against the network. It's a unique feature.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Right now, we have 54 analysts managing approximately 300,000 endpoints at any one time, globally. We operate 24/7 using SentinelOne.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support team is probably the fastest in the industry at responding, and they do care when we have to call them or send them an email due to a new issue that we've discovered. Most of the time, the problem is the operating system that we're dealing with is not regular, but they're still very helpful to us when it comes to protecting that endpoint.

I would rate their customer server a nine out of ten. I could not give anybody a ten. They are a continuous process improvement company and I'm sure that they are constantly trying to improve every aspect of customer service. That is the attitude that I perceive from that company.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Primarily in the last year, the number one solution clients had, in cases where we replaced it, was probably Sophos. Next, it was CrowdStrike, and then Malwarebytes. The primary reason that these solutions are being replaced is ransomware protection.

Almost every client that I get involved with has been involved in a ransomware case. They've all been successfully hacked and we can place it onto their boxes, clean them up, along with all of the other malware that everyone else missed, no matter who it was. SentinelOne cleans up those systems, brings them to a healthy state, and protects them while we are helping them get over their ransomware event. This gives them the peace of mind that another ransomware event will not occur.

Personally, of the EDR tools, I have worked with Cylance, Carbon Black, and CrowdStrike. I've also worked with legacy antivirus solutions, such as McAfee and Symantec. However, this tool outshines all of them. It has ease of use, provides valuable information, and protects against attack. The autonomous nature of SentinelOne combined with artificial intelligence gives us the protection we cannot experience with any other EDR tool today.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. SentinelOne has incredibly helpful information on their help pages. They are probably the fastest company that I know of in the entire EDR space for responding to a client's email or phone call when you need to do something new or complex.

We have covered everything from Citrix networks to more complicated systems that work by utilizing the Amazon and Azure cloud to spin up additional resources and spin down resources. We were able to protect every one of those assets with it. The agent is easy to load and configure and the library allows us to quickly pivot on a new client and get their exclusions in fast enough to not impede business as we're protecting them.

What was our ROI?

When we were at a point of 50 clients, which is an average of 10,000 endpoints, we needed four analysts using Cylance. When we switched to SentinelOne for that same protection, the 50 clients could be covered by two analysts. We dropped our need for analysts in half.

The average cost of a security incident involving ransomware is a minimum of $50,000 USD, and this is something that SentinelOne can prevent.

The product has a rollback feature, where you can take a machine that's been attacked and partially damaged, and you can roll it back to a previously healthy state. That saves endless hours of system administrators' time rebuilding systems. That alone can reduce the cost of an incident from $50,000 down to $20,000. There is a cost because you still have to determine exposure and other factors with an incident response to determine if the threat actor has taken any data, things like that, but on the damage to the equipment, with the rollback feature and the restoration features built in the SentinelOne, and the fact that it stops everything but the most sinister lateral movements today, just means that an incident never has to occur.

This means that there is a great return on investment for a lot of companies. Another important thing to mention is that they don't lose people. Approximately 60% of businesses that are hit with a ransom attack go out of business within six months. If SentinelOne is preventing those incidents from occurring, that return on investment is worth almost the value of the entire company in some cases.

It is difficult to put an exact number on something like that, but the lack of pain and suffering of the employees of the company, because they didn't have to go through an incident response, and the lack of expense for the company to hire lawyers and professional companies to come in and help them during an incident, as well as their increased insurance costs of having an incident is also another factor.

Overall, it's difficult to judge but it's a true factor in the return on investment of owning SentinelOne and utilizing it to protect your environment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is very reasonable. Unfortunately, because it's a cloud-based product, it has a minimum count for licensing, but other than that, I've found their pricing to be incredibly reasonable and competitive with tools that are very similar.

Considering the invaluable nature of SentinelOne's autonomous behavior, I don't believe anyone else can measure up to that. That makes it an incredible bargain when compared to the cost of an incident for any company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are organizations such as MITRE and ESET Labs that have been doing testing that is similar to what we did three years ago. We just look at those results for the same truth that we discovered in the beginning, and the product continues to improve its performance.

What other advice do I have?

I have been a proponent of SentinelOne for many years. When I learn about somebody who has been hacked and wants to have protection against problems such as ransomware occurring, this is the one solution that I recommend.

The SentinelOne team is open to suggestions. They listen to the analysts and managers that are using their product and they innovate constantly. The improvements to the SentinelOne agent have enhanced its ability to catch everything and anything that comes in, including the detection of lateral movement attacks, which are the worst-case scenario.

When an unprotected agent penetrates the firewall and attacks a network, that unprotected asset has no protection on it so that the hacker can do whatever they want from that box with no impedance. But, the detection of it attacking from a lateral basis has been improved immensely over the last three years.

The improvement in the exclusions library has been phenomenal to help us get the new systems on the air with the new software. It allows the end-user to almost seamlessly get SentinelOne loaded and operational without impacting their business, which is incredibly helpful.

SentinelOne is working on something right now in the Ranger space that is going to allow us to remotely load endpoints that need the SentinelOne protection through the Ranger portion of the application. This is going to significantly improve the security of all of our clients, whether they be in long-term care or short-term incident response, it will help us protect them better. It's a significant improvement to our ability to protect the client.

Of all the products on the market today, I can say that they are the ones that I trust the absolute most to protect my clients.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Technical operations manager at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
Provides anti-malware protection for endpoints and monitors Wi-Fi networks
Pros and Cons
  • "Anti-malware is the most valuable feature. We trust Symantec for protection, and we like the idea that Symantec is preventing us from accessing certain websites that are known for containing malware."
  • "It could be more responsive and have fewer delays."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to protect our endpoints. We have a default antivirus that we use to protect our laptops. Symantec provides access to the antivirus, so they're not deploying it on our side. We use what Symantec provides to us as their cloud solution. The solution is deployed on cloud.

We have a single console, and it comes with a lot of alerts. Fortunately, I don't see many false positives, so it doesn't really bother us. Most of the time, it bothers users who are prevented from accessing certain websites.

We've thought about exploring additional features, like implementing allowed or disallowed files for programs. We have several of them configured, but there isn't a lot of targeted cybersecurity activity against us.

We use EDR just in case somebody happens to install a compromised application. That way, we can capture the activity through EDR. Symantec Enterprise doesn't include that, but Symantec Complete does.

We don't use the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, but it's part of Symantec Enterprise Complete.

In our environment, we're protecting more than 30 endpoints. We have three administrators who monitor the solution, but most of the time it just works.

We could increase usage, but it depends on the cloud because our cloud is pretty closed in terms of hosting. There's not much happening in our environment, so antivirus isn't really a concern, but we do have Symantec on some key hosting infrastructure that protects the cloud in terms of bringing un-installable files into the environment. The rest is protected.

Network activity is really hard to monitor. When it comes to network threats, Symantec has definitely helped with that. We're concerned about it because the solution blocks it.

How has it helped my organization?

Our users are mostly working from their home computers and home networks. The problem with home Wi-Fi is that your children or partner could get malware on their laptops and because you're in the same network, you could get attacks on a corporate laptop. I would rather have a solution that has strong network protection.

Symantec helps us reduce indicators of compromise. It's important to us to reduce indicators of compromise for our organization, primarily with malware protection and cloud-based threats, because we have a fair amount of files coming in and out of the organization. It's useful for network protection and Wi-Fi protection when users go outside of the office network and are working from home or using public Wi-Fi or any other Wi-Fi. I'm happy that we have much better protection in place.

Symantec helps prevent unknown attacks. We have some servers exposed to the internet on common ports, and it seems to stop all kinds of different network probing activities. I don't know how well it prevents serious attacks because we don't have that many activities in our report.

Symantec helps us secure our performance using a multi-layered strategy. Apart from Symantec, we use other solutions to control what's happening on the endpoint. In terms of additional features, Symantec has a good idea when it comes to Data Leakage Protection. There's a separate product there. It looks pricey, but they claim to have a good approach to protection when it comes to the internet resources you're accessing, not just normal file-based activities.

I think it's important because these days, every single company is worried about how to not lose customer data. Customers lose data all the time, but we're a service provider, so we can't lose any customer data for obvious reasons. 

The Symantec Single Agent is quite good for attack prevention. It's just one agent that you deploy and forget about. It updates by itself in the console, and we can see what's happening and whether any agent is responding or not responding. Even with the enterprise option, it comes up with a sufficient amount of details about what's happening on the laptops. If necessary, we can easily change policies, which is also a wonderful approach. Generally, it helps us with our basic needs.

Symantec hasn't helped us consolidate our security stack because Symantec is very much concerned with what Symantec does. If you look at what AWS does with Guard Duty, AWS is looking at creating a single platform that can feed logs and get logs from a variety of different tools into one aggregated view. Symantec is a platform that just thinks about Symantec.

I think this is because of what's happening in the market. A lot of companies want to have a modular solution that can easily unplug the internet protection and plug in a different solution. The process would be like having a cloud proxy. Without a single dashboard and a single monitor for the security separation center, the reality is that it isn't going to work.

If we ever decide to aggregate it, I think we'll be looking at Symantec's options to use the API integration and actually fetch data from Symantec Cloud into the cloud platform. It's going to be something that we have to build in order to create one single view across multiple different tools.

What is most valuable?

Anti-malware is the most valuable feature. We trust Symantec for protection, and we like the idea that Symantec is preventing us from accessing certain websites that are known for containing malware. It gives us general protection of websites through the browser. There isn't much of a need for the antivirus because the number of cases when antivirus would be necessary is generally going down across the market. There aren't that many cloud-based antivirus solutions.

We also like that Symantec monitors Wi-Fi networks. If something bad comes and the public Wi-Fi isn't trusted, they recommend the users to disconnect and have an option to force the VPN connection. We're looking at moving to Symantec Complete because it has additional EDR functions and several additional features that we would like to use. The price is also good, so it was an easy choice.

They have releases a couple of times a year. The last one was in November or October. They have a lot of research and development. I'm sure that they're looking at the competitors, like Trend Micro or CrowdStrike, and they're trying to figure out what to do with those competitors, how to handle them, and how to improve over what the competitors are able to do.

What needs improvement?

It could be more responsive and have fewer delays.

We don't spend a lot of time in the platform, but it's working well. It seems like the console was written a long time ago, and sometimes the browsers have problems with updating the console because there are heavy Java issues. Maybe they'll rewrite it eventually to make it more suitable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for several years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's absolutely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're a small company, so the scalability is very straightforward when it comes to grouping devices into different groups and applying different policies against different groups. The endpoints are grouped based on the functionality and the kinds of policies that we want to apply.

How are customer service and support?

We've never used tech support. There was a time when we wanted to migrate from Enterprise to Complete, and we heard stories about how Symantec completely pulled out of the Australian and New Zealand market. We received a really good technical rundown from Symantec and the people working in Canberra. They were absolutely professional. 

We used technical resources to explain certain features and functionalities. One of the wonderful things about that communication was that unlike CrowdStrike, we didn't feel extreme sales pressure. CrowdStrike gets into a sales-driven mode.

I would rate the technical support as nine out of ten.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is straightforward. From my perspective, the solution is pretty flexible. We haven't had any problems with deploying Symantec.

We predominantly use Workstations from Microsoft. We rarely use Apple Mac OS, but we're able to deploy agents on Mac OS as well. We're a smaller company, so it's much easier for us to deploy the agent on all of our laptops. We don't have the problems that big companies have when they need to deploy hundreds or thousands of servers and endpoint devices.

What was our ROI?

It's very hard to justify a calculated return on investment because we didn't have a high priority issue that would be prevented by Symantec. A lot of it is driven by compliance.

Even in a smaller company, we need to have people who are responsible for monitoring and following up on what's reported by Symantec or other security operation platforms. We just need to have a dedicated person who takes those tasks and responsibilities into account, follows up on what's going on, updates policies if necessary, and keeps an eye on endpoint protection.

Sometimes, a year goes by without any virus being discovered and eventually people begin to ask why we're paying for all that protection. It's because it seems like nothing is being discovered until the day comes when you actually need it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you have a variety of different endpoints, including heavily protected endpoints and some endpoints that are in the field, Symantec allows you to apply different licensing so you don't have to put everything under Endpoint Complete, which is more extensive. You can split it and apply licenses for Enterprise Complete to those devices that need that level of protection. 

For heavily protected servers that mostly deal with file processing or other things that don't have serious exposure, you can just keep them in the standard license. There's flexibility in the licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We recently had the chance to look at CrowdStrike as a tool, and it was interesting to compare the two. To me, CrowdStrike has a lot of attention, but I didn't see much of a difference between what CrowdStrike is doing and what Symantec is doing. The price difference was significant, and by not proceeding with CrowdStrike, we were able to deploy Symantec on more endpoints. 

CrowdStrike has some sort of DLP and other good features like controlling what kind of files have been moved from the net endpoint. Symantec DLP covers more, and there is a fair bit of network protection included in the Symantec solution, which is a valid point for us.

We looked at CrowdStrike because we were curious about the EDR functionality. We provide hosting and application support for a variety of big customers, and all of those customers are concerned with endpoint protection. They want to make sure that their data is not going to leak and that their environments are protected. EDR is one of the requirements that our customers want to impose on us, and therefore we need to deploy it.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution as eight out of ten.

We're going to start using the Complete version. In a few months, we will have a better understanding of how Endpoint Complete works, including the EDR functionality, active protection, and threat hunting.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Owner at a security firm with 1-10 employees
Reseller
Top 10
Very customizable but slow in the cloud environment
Pros and Cons
  • "The features that I have found most valuable are the ability to customize it and to reduce its size. It lets you run in a very small window in terms of memory and resources on legacy cash registers."
  • "Everything with Fortinet having to do with their cloud services. They need to invest more in their internal infrastructure that they are running in the cloud. One of the things I find with their cloud environment compared to others' is that they go cheap on the equipment. So it causes some performance degradation."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use cases for Fortinet FortiEDR are cash registers and endpoint, and point of sales.

The reason we originally started with FortiClient with one of our clients in the first place was that they were able to have legacy cash registers, a really old technology, which we had to get to run in a small resource space, and FortiClient, which was the predecessor, allowed us to literally pick and choose what features we wanted in the client and reduce its size, which you couldn't do with any other types of clients that were out there. That's how we started with that.

It is mostly on premise and any cloud services that we use are directly from Fortinet themselves. I would call that public cloud. We do run some of the customer's environment in private cloud, basically co-location. This has provided the services back to their dataset. I am talking about Fortinet's cloud for the public. For the private stuff it was basically out at Q9, which is the co-location provider.

How has it helped my organization?

Fortinet FortiEDR has the ability to customize the footprint of the client or the agents on the device and on the endpoint.

What is most valuable?

The features that I have found most valuable are the ability to customize it and to reduce its size. It lets you run in a very small window in terms of memory and resources on legacy cash registers. The customer has literally about 800 cash registers. That was the use case for Fortinet FortiEDR - to get that down into a tiny space. The only way to do that was to use this product because it had that ability to unbundle services that were a surplus.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved, I would say everything with Fortinet having to do with their cloud services. They need to invest more in their internal infrastructure that they are running in the cloud. One of the things I find with their cloud environment compared to others' is that they go cheap on the equipment. So it causes some performance degradation.

A classic example of that would be products like FortiMail where you're basically acting as a mail relay. So say you're on a support call and I'm sending you a mail with document that you expect to come to you immediately, or within 30 - 60 seconds, could take up to 45 minutes because of the load on the cloud services. This can result in trouble tickets and other customer side issue.

In the next release I would like to see more investment in their cloud services. Additionally, they definitely need better integration into their FortiSIEM and FortiSOAR solutions.

They should continue to improve that and possibly include a managed threat hunting feature, an MDR solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I'm a Fortinet Gold Reseller but primarily we're a consulting company, not a product company. We tend to be agnostic with the one caveat being Fortinet, and only because I was the first guy in Canada to get certified in that, and also the first guy to sell it. There is a personal preference there. But I'm looking deeper into more enterprise security solutions that are SASE and endpoints and EDR, XDR, MDR, all that kind of stuff.

We've done work primarily with FortiGate deployments, but we've also done multiple SD-WAN projects and we've worked with FortiEDR, which is similar to their version of EDR. We've worked with FortiClient before that. As far as FortiCloud goes, we've worked with FortiMail in the cloud, we've worked with FortiManager in the cloud, but we haven't gone into CASB stuff yet.

We also do some Fortinet managed services in our customer base. So I have worked with Fortinet since 2004, 2005.

Fortinet FortiEDR has only been out for a couple of years. We've been working with it for a couple of months, primarily migrating a customer from FortiClient to FortiEDR.

We haven't done full scale deployments of FortiEDR yet, it's still fairly new.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, EDR is a pretty decent solution, but it's not best of breed. One of the challenges with Fortinet, and all of these vendors, is that they are doing acquisitions and doing things to retrofit into their environment, but there's a dependency on legacy or other features that Fortinet has, and Prisma from Palo Alto has. They have their own products, which are how their system is designed. It's really a suite of products. Fortinet is now FortiFabric, with Palo Alto it's Prisma, Prisma Cloud and XSOAR and all that stuff.

All these types of companies are not as flexible. I think in the future, people are not going to be interested in having these huge complex suites of products in order to take advantage of integration.

If you look at a true SASE solution, for example Zscaler, it's a product on its own. And it typically integrates with industry best of breed products first. So Zscaler would work with CrowdStrike or Microsoft Defender before it's going to work with an integrated solution like Palo Alto or Fortinet.

I'm finding more and more that these companies, Palo Alto, Fortinet, Check Point, Juniper, are all doing well right now. But I think in the next year to two, you're going to see a transition away from that type of technology.

It is actually one of Fortinet's big selling points that they're not maintenance heavy and they've got their gang leveraging all the other components. It actually updates itself automatically if you choose. And it has the ability, using FortiManager and other products, where you can push out policies very easily across multiple appliances, although that requires proper design and architecture from the beginning to make sure that you've got cookie cutter configurations across your enterprise.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is Fortinet's sweet spot, even though they're heavily focused trying to sell into enterprise, their sweet spot is still mid-size, SMB, customers.

Those products work well in an environment which is below 3000 users. It also works well in in terms of large enterprises, like a bank.

I don't see EDR really expanding. Fortinet Firewalls is another story. Firewalls can scale up to very large enterprises, including Telcos, but I don't see the EDR product deployed in those environments.

How are customer service and support?

Their support is getting better.

Right now it is not that good. Fortinet was never big on technical support. I think they went by the theory that if it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand. Their technical support is getting better, but if you compare it to Cisco, it's not as good and it never was. It is one of their weak points. Its response time is not bad, but the attitude of the people on the phone is. It's the amount of information they ask for to do an RMA, for example. They can be very challenging to work for. That's an opportunity for managed security providers, because if you confront them, and take it away from the customer, it makes the customer's experience much better. So a bad support center is good for an MSSP.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is complex compared to stuff like CrowdStrike or other products where you can just sign up and download and it, and it works.

It's a little bit more complex with FortiEDR because you're dealing with the setup and management of it, whereas in products like CrowdStrike, it's pretty automatic and it's just a question of a radio button to turn on or turn off additional features that you may want.

For example, going EDR to XDR or going EDR to MDR in CrowdStrike, you can do that in Fortinet but you have to implement FortiSOAR and all this other stuff.

Initially the setup took us a while, simply because we had to mess around with the client. We are talking weeks because we had to test and make sure that there were no performance issues and no interruptions in the flow of data, etc...

That took us probably five, six weeks to get up in a POC type environment. Once we got that, it's cookie cutter. You have an image that you deploy that already has that compiled in it, and it works pretty easily.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Fortinet FortiEDR is priced pretty competitively if you compare it to other companies that are in the same boat, like Palo Alto, who have similar product suites. It is reasonable. In the industry, they call Fortinet the Chevy of Perimeter Security and Palo Alto the Cadillac. I think that's undeserved. I think Fortinet is actually, in the long run, a better product, but it has that reputation because of their pricing. Palo Alto, right off the bat, charged a much higher premium, which created the illusion that you're getting a better product. Palo Alto products are brutally expensive.

But that's the way Palo Alto works and it works for them. Although, I've heard rumors that they're changing their channel model where they're going after enterprise customers directly, rather than forcing it through the channel. Fortinet is a 100% channel, Palo Alto is not. And that's affecting them. If you look at stock prices and earnings, Fortinet is actually doing better.

What other advice do I have?

With any of these products, you need to step back and look at where the wave of technology is going in the security posture. I think that you need to step back and say, "Here's my current situation, what's the best solution two to three years from now?" If you look at that, I don't see Fortinet or Palo Alto or any of those traditional product vendors being the future state.

These companies are like system integrators. A lot of system integrators went out of business mostly because they couldn't make the paradigm shift from a product led business to a service led business. I see the same type of thing happening in the traditional Perimeter Security companies, that are not designed from the ground up. They make an acquisition of a product and they try to integrate it into their business model, and to leverage all their other products in a suite. That's not the way the industry is going.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Fortinet FortiEDR somewhere around a six.

It goes back to what I said that I don't think it's got a huge future. If you compare it to CrowdStrike or those type of products, it is very similar to Palo Alto's Cortex, they didn't even come out with an an EDR solution, they went directly to an XDR solution. What is XDR penetration? About 2% of the market right now. It's just not a fit to the future. That's why I give it a six.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
VP of Info Security at SouthernCarlson, Inc.
Real User
Top 20
Does a good job of reporting when it detects anomalous behavior
Pros and Cons
  • "Morphisec makes it very easy for IT teams of any size to prevent breaches of critical systems because of the design of their tool. When we evaluated Morphisec, the CIO and I sat and listened. What attracted us to them is the fact that it stops activity at the point of detection. That saves a lot of time because now we are not investigating and trying to trace down what to turn off. We have already prevented it, which makes it very much safer and more secure."
  • "Morphisec is a venture startup. They are still early in their growth stage. They need to get mature on their customer support and on how they interface with system tools. For example, they need to get multifactor in place and an API for the major multi-factor systems, e.g., Okta, Duo, Ping, and Microsoft. They don't have them built in yet. They are working on them. It is just not there yet. Also, their stability, customer support, and processes need improvement, which is just part of maturity."

What is our primary use case?

We purchased Morphisec to protect our endpoints from anomalous behavior. The biggest use case would be to prevent ransomware, but also to detect other unnecessary programs running on devices. So, the use case has been endpoint protection, both for servers and endpoints, e.g., laptops and desktops.

We do a multi-layered defense in-depth. They are our primary prevention at the endpoints for anomalous behavior. I would classify it as a preventative tool, since Morphisec blocks and prevents execution. So, I would put it at the preventative layer.

We have agents on all of our endpoints and servers pointing to their cloud instance.

How has it helped my organization?

Morphisec makes it very easy for IT teams of any size to prevent breaches of critical systems because of the design of their tool. When we evaluated Morphisec, the CIO and I sat and listened. What attracted us to them is the fact that it stops activity at the point of detection. That saves a lot of time because now we are not investigating and trying to trace down what to turn off. We have already prevented it, which makes it very much safer and more secure.

What is most valuable?

The biggest feature is its ability to prevent. Here is the interesting thing with a tool like Morphisec. You implement it almost as an insurance policy. If it works, nothing happens. If it fails, you have bad things occurring. So far, nothing terrible has happened. It does a good job of reporting when it detects anomalous behavior so we can research it. However, the key is that we can research in a much calmer fashion, since we do not need to uninstall because it blocks the activity.

What needs improvement?

Morphisec is a venture startup. They are still early in their growth stage. They need to get mature on their customer support and on how they interface with system tools. For example, they need to get multifactor in place and an API for the major multi-factor systems, e.g., Okta, Duo, Ping, and Microsoft. They don't have them built in yet. They are working on them. It is just not there yet. Also, their stability, customer support, and processes need improvement, which is just part of maturity.

For how long have I used the solution?

My company has been using Morphisec since mid-December of 2020.

I have been aware of Morphisec since I worked for Optiv and met one of the key sales people back in 2015 or 2016. When I was at that company, I was a consultant helping companies with their roadmaps. So, we connected there and got Morphisec introduced to Optiv, the company I was working with then, who is also a VAR. Therefore, it was getting the product in via another sales route or sales channel.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It takes less than one person to deploy and maintain the solution. So far, we have not had to do maintenance. The biggest thing that we are working with Morphisec right now on is the multi-factor interface enhancement.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no issues with scalability. It's worked fine.

We have probably 10 people between our help desk, Tier 2, and executives accessing the system and using the dashboards, which has been pretty straightforward and easy to do.

In the system, our IT people research alerts. We get a daily report of all the events from the prior day. If there was a critical alert, the help desk will go out and research to see if they need to do anything with the endpoint. They have to go into the system to monitor and look at it. If we are running into an issue on a particular server and endpoint, we may go out there to see if there was any indication of an issue or if the actual agent is causing a problem. We have yet to find that the agent is causing a problem, but that is why they potentially would go out there.

It is on every endpoint, e.g., laptops, desktops, and servers, which is pretty extensive. We may expand into their incident response process and a number of other things that we can use them for, but that will be evaluated as we go into our budget cycle at the end of the year.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate Morphisec technical support as eight out of 10. They have just been very responsive. They are very strong at follow-up. They won't close tickets until we tell them to. They are very much a customer service focused group. They have been very good at tech support, providing knowledge, information, etc.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Morphisec makes use of deterministic attack prevention that doesn’t require investigation of security alerts. We didn't have a protection layer prior to Morphisec, so we added it. The key is the amount of work by the team is minimal. So, it did not increase our workload. We did not have to add staff. It has been a positive benefit that way.

This solution was an additive layer that we didn't have before. So far, it has been successful in the sense that it has not caused us to add resources. So, we have been able to get layer protection without additional expense, in terms of staff. That is a good thing.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It was simple to install the agent. They provided good support. It was just a push, then it just took minutes to get the process rolling. We could monitor how well it rolled out, and they were there to support us. This was one of the easiest that we have ever done.

The deployment took a day or two in total actual work time, so we could confirm it reporting in on the dashboard. 

It probably took us a week or two to get it rolled out to all the devices because of our change control windows. 

We put it in the most conservative setting that we could for prevention. We did roll through certain applications for the logic of what not to include, but they had a pretty good baseline for what we should reference. We then just pushed the agents with some logic on the change windows. So, we did all the desktops and laptops first, then the servers. It was a pretty straightforward implementation.

What was our ROI?

Morphisec helps us save money on our security stack. We probably would have spent $100,000 more on a different solution. So, it did save us on that expense.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is an annual subscription basis per device. For the devices that we have in scope right now, it is about $25,000 a year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated CrowdStrike, Cylance, and SentinelOne. CrowdStrike and Cylance were way too expensive. You could also throw in Sophos and Symantec in there. All those were too expensive and burdensome. SentinelOne was interesting. We were able to get better pricing and better access to the top people at Morphisec, and that is why we went with Morphisec.

We do not use Morphisec for antivirus at this time. We are using another tool for antivirus, but we will look at Morphisec Guard when that license is up.

What other advice do I have?

Don't overthink it. Just do it. Follow the directions of Morphisec and go for it, but make sure you understand what your application stack is before you go full bore, so you don't create false positives. However, they are easy to work with in those terms.

The reality is nobody ever gets to a single pane of glass or a single dashboard. Those claims are made by vendors, even Morphisec will make it. The problem is you have so many layers in your security stack that you will never get to a single pane of glass. So, I never have that as a requirement because I know it is not attainable.

We do not have Microsoft Defender in place, but so far it is providing visibility for what it is installed on.

While I have known of the company since 2016, they are still a startup. They are still equity-backed. I don't know where they are going to end up, but right now I am confident that they have good backing and financial resources. They got a new round of funding just after the first of the year. That is always a good sign.

Biggest lesson is the amount of discipline required in our company to stay current. Morphisec highlights breakdowns that we have in process and procedure, which is a good thing, but it's highlighted to us that we need to be a little bit more disciplined.

I would rate Morphisec as nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)
January 2023
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