Associate Director-Technology Consultancy at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Top 20
Proactive, doesn't slow down the systems, and integrates well with Microsoft products
Pros and Cons
  • "The most important feature is the way it monitors the threats and blocks them. About 10 days ago, we were implementing SOC for a particular client. The SOC was not yet implemented, but they had Microsoft Defender. That organization was hit by some ransomware, but the hacker could not succeed. Because of the EDR, the hacker could not install the hacking tools. They were trying to do that, but Microsoft Defender completely blocked that. The hacker could log into the system, but they could not install anything."
  • "It should support non-Windows products better. Microsoft is now one of the leading vendors in the security area. So, they should be product-independent."

What is our primary use case?

We provide solutions to our customers based on their requirements. We started working with Microsoft products because we saw people getting more inclined toward Microsoft security products. For example, previously, for SOC, we saw more organizations working with Splunk or QRadar. However, over the last six months, we have seen a lot of customers migrating to Microsoft Sentinel because they already have Microsoft products in their environment, and it works better with other Microsoft products.

How has it helped my organization?

The main purpose of EDR is threat protection, and Microsoft Defender is most impressive when you are factoring in the E3 and E5 security enhancements. It gives all monitoring alerts on a proactive basis. It generates an alert if it finds suspicious traffic, and it also helps to understand where the risks are.

It helps us to prioritize threats across our enterprise. That's one of the key features.

It helps automate routine tasks and the finding of high-value alerts. Because of the automation, you don't need to do anything. You are not required to do anything manually. It automatically detects threats and blocks them. It reduces a lot of manual effort.

It makes the organization much more secure. Microsoft Defender is one of the leading products. It works perfectly. When you are monitoring daily alerts, you can understand what kind of threats your organization is facing or how it is blocking. Based on this analysis, you can secure your organization more. Based on their automation, they are protecting you, and from that analysis, you can understand what threats your organization is facing. So, you can focus more on that area. It helps you to identify and secure those areas so that the same threats don't come in the future.

It has saved us about 20% of the time from an endpoint perspective. It has reduced our time to detect and respond by 50%.

Our customers also use M365 and Microsoft Sentinel. We have integrated all of these products. The base product is Microsoft Sentinel because that is the SIEM. All M365 logs get ingested for the phishing attack checks, and Microsoft Defender logs get integrated with Microsoft Sentinel to check all the endpoint-related activities. These endpoints include Windows servers, laptops, and desktops. On Windows Server also, we have installed Microsoft Defender EDR. From there, the logs go to Microsoft Sentinel, and from there, a centralized monitoring console works. These solutions work natively together to deliver coordinated detection and response across an environment.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is the way it monitors the threats and blocks them. About 10 days ago, we were implementing SOC for a particular client. The SOC was not yet implemented, but they had Microsoft Defender. That organization was hit by some ransomware, but the hacker could not succeed. Because of the EDR, the hacker could not install the hacking tools. They were trying to do that, but Microsoft Defender completely blocked that. The hacker could log into the system, but they could not install anything. 

Microsoft Defender is a lot proactive, and it can also analyze the threats on the latest technologies. In the case of the attack that happened just 10 days ago, we immediately logged in and saw various challenges because we didn't have any other logs. SOC was not ready, and we only had EDR logs. From there, we could identify that the hacker couldn't succeed because Microsoft Defender was proactively working. It prevented the complete attack.

It is proficient and proactive in monitoring threats. It can seamlessly monitor all the individual assets in real time. Another thing is that after installing the Microsoft Defender agent, your computer doesn't slow down even though real-time scanning is going on in the background.

What needs improvement?

It should support non-Windows products better. Microsoft is now one of the leading vendors in the security area. So, they should be product-independent.

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For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for the last year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable.

How are customer service and support?

I have not faced any issues with their technical support. Our client has a tie-up with Microsoft, and the Microsoft team has provided them with good support, but I'm not sure how they will be in the case of small customers. 

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

We are working with multiple vendors for our clients. We are using CrowdStrike for some of the other organizations. Microsoft Defender has grown in a very big way in a very short period, but CrowdStrike Falcon is ahead of it in terms of protection.

Microsoft doesn't give everything in a single dashboard, whereas with Mandiant or Secureworks, from a single dashboard, you can manage everything, such as your EDR threats, vulnerability detection and response, and network detection and response. Microsoft has not grown up in that way.

How was the initial setup?

It is much easier to deploy for the Windows platform. One of the customers had 3,000 or 4,000 endpoints, and we could do the deployment in two months.

There was a team of 10 members. They were working on multiple things. They were not fully dedicated to it. We had SCCM, and we had to push everything through SCCM. That helped a lot to automatically push to multiple endpoints at the same time.

If it is on the cloud, you don't require any separate maintenance, but when their patch is coming, you have to do the patch upgrade. You can make that automated. It is easy.

What was our ROI?

It is hard to measure the amount of money saved from using this solution because it depends on if you had any attack, and if an attack happens, how much your organization would lose based on the threat. It was published that in the last year, companies have lost millions of dollars because of ransomware and multiple attacks.

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

They are now doing it on an endpoint basis. It is based on the number of endpoints, which is good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We made multiple comparisons between tools. We had not only Microsoft Defender but also CrowdStrike and Tanium. I was working on some of the requirements for one of our clients, and based on that, we started evaluating these three products. We started working with Microsoft Defender based on the endpoints or hosts available on the Windows platform. We saw that most of the organizations are still on the Windows platform. They have Windows laptops as well as Windows servers. 

One of the reasons why the client agreed to go with Microsoft Defender was that it was easy to deploy. We didn't need to spend a lot of time implementing it. It is much simpler compared to other competitive products.

During the PoC, we found Microsoft Defender to be easy to implement. It was able to detect a lot of things, but in a few areas, we found CrowdStrike much ahead of Microsoft Defender. Another difference is that CrowdStrike is product-independent, whereas Microsoft Defender is limited to Microsoft products. Also, if you have any other EDR running on your system and if you implement Microsoft Defender, it'll immediately disable others. In this tenure, if something happens, there is always a risk.

What other advice do I have?

To a security colleague who says it’s better to go with a best-of-breed strategy rather than a single vendor’s security suite, I would agree. I prefer multiple vendors. I am not in favor of implementing Microsoft products in all areas because, in every domain, there are some specialty products. You should focus on that and see how to make your organization much safer. Every organization claims that it has all the products, but all the products are not good. That's why you have to find out the best one and put it there.

I would recommend comparing it with other products and defining what are the most important needs for your organization. You may not require all the features. Microsoft Defender includes a lot of things. Microsoft Defender has its own MCAS solution. It also supports DLP, which is not yet mature. You should see what is required for your organization and then do a testing or PoC on that.

Microsoft Defender works well with Microsoft products. You can implement or install it on the Windows platform, but you will have to find another way to track non-Windows platforms, such as Linux platforms or Unix platforms.

Similarly, Microsoft Sentinel does the analysis for Microsoft products in a better way, but they are yet to catch up when it comes to non-Windows products. It lacks when it comes to analyzing non-Windows products. It isn't able to identify all the threats properly. The number of false positives is much more compared to other products, but still, Microsoft Sentinel is one of the leading products in the market. It has developed a lot as compared to what we saw one year ago. It enables you to ingest data from your Microsoft environment, but I am not sure about the non-Microsoft environment. This data ingestion is very important. Without ingesting all the logs to your SIEM, you can't monitor the threats. When it comes to security products, they need to be product-independent. In terms of cost, it is almost similar to other products, but it is a little bit cheaper than Splunk. In terms of ease of use, on the Windows platform, it is very easy to use, but it is not so easy for non-Windows platforms.

Overall, I would rate Microsoft Defender an eight out of ten.

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: MSP
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Network Engineer at a real estate/law firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Covers everything that we want from our security platform, integrates with all enterprise services, and is infinitely scalable
Pros and Cons
  • "It is a very advanced system based on AI. It has a very large database of places or sites on the internet where you should not go. It is continuously online."
  • "It makes your Surface devices hot. It is resource-intensive. It strains your CPU, not more than other file scanners around, but it also does a lot more. When you are transmitting files or data, it is continuously scanning the traffic and analyzing it bit by bit to see what's going on, and that, of course, is costly in terms of CPU. It is CPU intensive, and if you are on battery, it drains your battery fast. That's the only drawback that it has."

What is our primary use case?

We are a property investment company, and people here use Microsoft Surface devices for their daily job. We are a Microsoft-oriented company, and we use it for our basic endpoint security implementation. 

Our entire security is based on this endpoint solution. Sometimes you have centralized security where you scan all traffic going through a central firewall and you also check through several types of solutions. You also check HTTPS connections. Basically, for all the traffic going inside and outside the company, you use a security firewall, and this endpoint solution is actually a firewall solution or security solution that is distributed. So, all the traffic coming from and going into the end-user device is basically submitted for scanning. If you download an ISO on a website or an email, everything is scanned for security to check whether it contains any malicious data. 

We are using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2, which is the enterprise version of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. We are using the most recent version of it.

We deploy it via Intune. The feature is called Microsoft Intune Autopilot. We have a hardware hash. A colleague of mine prepares the configuration and then based on the hardware hash and Autopilot, the devices are completely installed and joined to Azure AD and then to our enterprise. Intune is a Microsoft device management platform that comes with Microsoft solutions. When you buy a new device, based on the hardware hash, it can automatically find that device through Autopilot and do the specific deployment for your company. So, the users can use any type of device, start it, and then it will automatically be joined to our environment.

How has it helped my organization?

It is a completely integrated platform with advanced threat analysis, SIEM features, updated inventory, and so on. It is an all-in-one solution. Microsoft is taking over lots of companies to provide more and better services to its clients. This is one of the best solutions around at the moment.

It protects our organization from all kinds of attacks, such as ransomware attacks and any malware downloads. It is like an oracle who knows everything about:

  • What is around at the moment?
  • From where the attacks are coming?
  • What is currently going on security-wise?

It knows about all the software that you have installed on the laptop, and whether they are not patched or have security issues. It covers everything you want from your security platform.

What is most valuable?

It is a very advanced system based on AI. It has a very large database of places or sites on the internet where you should not go. It is continuously online. 

It is completely self-sufficient. You don't have to install anything. It is completely integrated into the operating system, and it also has a centralized information dashboard where you can immediately see:

  • Are all your devices up to date?
  • Are there any threats?
  • Are the devices having problems with updates?
  • Are they infected with anything?
  • Was something blocked?

You can immediately see what is going on in your enterprise, in different networks, and also in people's homes in terms of endpoint security.

It is a zero-trust platform, and it integrates with all types of enterprise services that we run. It also integrates with the Office 365 environment where you can securely connect from anywhere.

What needs improvement?

It makes your Surface devices hot. It is resource-intensive. It strains your CPU, not more than other file scanners around, but it also does a lot more. When you are transmitting files or data, it is continuously scanning the traffic and analyzing it bit by bit to see what's going on, and that, of course, is costly in terms of CPU. It is CPU intensive, and if you are on battery, it drains your battery fast. That's the only drawback that it has.

They're continuously improving it. You can compare it with Teams. About a year ago, the codex and the presentation of the Teams application were not very well optimized, and if you were using the Teams application, it used to drain your battery. It still drains your battery, but they have improved it a lot, and it is a lot less CPU intensive after one year. They're working on Defender for Endpoint to make it less CPU intensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for more than six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is quite good, especially with Windows 11, which is a very stable operating system. Of course, you can run into some issues. We have some issues with docking stations for Surface and screens, but generally, the operating system together with the endpoint security solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is the most scalable solution around. You can create an Azure tenant, and with a script, you can deploy 1,000 user accounts. There is no actual limit to it, so the scalability is infinite.

How are customer service and support?

Their support has improved. They're quite good. I would rate them an eight out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

It has the easiest setup that I've ever seen. It's completely integrated with Microsoft. When you deploy your machine through Autopilot and Intune and assign the license, everything is done automatically. Of course, you have a lot of possibilities and a lot of freedom for detailed configuration, but out of the box, it comes completely self-sustained. You don't have to do anything. This is one of the easiest solutions that I've seen.

You just apply for the plan in Office 365, and you set up your very basic Autopilot template where you would specify the types of software that have to be installed. For instance, you want Office or other types of software. The very basic template is enough to roll it out fully automatically.

It takes a couple of hours. If you apply for a tenant on Azure, you pay for the licenses, and you can roll out with a click on 200 to 1,000 endpoint devices within the hour. This cloud is really amazing.

What about the implementation team?

We are a small company with a few technical engineers, and we provide services for our clients. We provide all kinds of services such as maintaining endpoints and Azure cloud solutions with virtualized services and SaaS services.

Its implementation is more or less handled by my colleague. I do a little bit of configuration but not so much. My colleague knows about all the technical details. He does the complete installation and the complete central management of policies and templates. However, a basic part with basic software is very quickly implemented. You just create a tenant on microsoft.com, and then you can very easily roll out to as many workstations as you would like the necessary configuration for Defender for Endpoint.

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

Its price at the moment is very good because you get a lot of value for your money, especially with the subscriptions. If you have the E1, E3, or E5 enterprise subscription, you pay per month per user, and you get almost an infinite number of solutions. If you compare the price to the number of solutions that you get, it is a very good deal. 

I'm only concerned about the future because Microsoft is taking over one company after another. In the end, there will be no alternative and then they can do whatever they like, but for now, in terms of price, Microsoft is one of the best performers.

What other advice do I have?

At the moment, it is one of the best security platforms for endpoint security in the market. It is comparable to SentinelOne in terms of features and functions.

It is part of Microsoft's ecosystem. If you need a reliable and secure work environment, and you are bound by GDPR and other standards where you have to take care of your data and prevent breaches and unauthorized access, it is a great solution. 

The E1, E3, or E5 license contains Defender for Endpoint along with many other solutions. Having just the scanner is not enough these days. You need an overview of your whole environment. You need to make sure that your endpoints are encrypted, they are up to date, and they are correctly using zero-trust relationships for your central services. All these things that you need these days are perfectly implemented in the solutions that Microsoft provides. This is the only way for a company that takes data seriously and has to give a guarantee to customers that data is protected.

It is resource-intensive, but you have to take into account that it is not only a file scanner. It is continuously scanning every connection you make on the internet. It is deeply investigating the data that you transport and the connections that you make. It is scanning your files, and it is scanning your software against all kinds of knowledge bases to identify whether there are vulnerabilities in the software that you use. It is a solution that integrates almost everything. It is doing what a central firewall did before, but it is doing that in a distributed way on your device. So, it does so much more than you expect. If you are providing it to your users, you have to take its CPU consumption into account, and you need to provide sufficient CPU power for this.

I would rate it an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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ICT&CyberSecurity Services Team Lead at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Scalable, has XDR capabilities, and integrates well with Microsoft products
Pros and Cons
  • "I've started to test it from the security point of view. There are plenty of features that are interesting, but at this time, the XDR functionality is most valuable. It is endpoint security on steroids."
  • "I miss having an executive dashboard or a simple view for viewing things. Everything is extensive in this solution. Everything is configurable and manageable, but the environment of Microsoft 365 has about 13 administrative dashboards, and in each of the dashboards, there are a gazillion things to set up. It is good for a large enterprise, but for a 200-seat client, you need to see 5% of that."

What is our primary use case?

We have been using it in our test environment. On the customer side, we are using the small business variant of the tool. So, we are using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Defender for SMBs. They're pretty similar, but the one for SMBs is a little lighter.

In our test environment, we have access to 50-seat licenses for everything. So, we are making sure that we are technically in a good place before we begin to offer this kind of solution to our clients. In addition to our solutions, we are delivering services to our clients. So, when we sell an SMB or enterprise Microsoft license, we are able to do the migration, management, and other things for a client.

How has it helped my organization?

It works well with different solutions from Microsoft. If a company is using Microsoft 365 package, this security addition is easier to implement and manage because it is from the same vendor. You have greater visibility because they are from the same vendor. Microsoft probably also has larger visibility on the endpoint itself because of its own operating system.

It provides good visibility into threats. I would rate it a seven out of ten in terms of visibility.

Its threat intelligence is helpful for preparing for potential threats before they hit and taking proactive steps. We can manage our own images, and we can also inform the client to patch certain things.

What is most valuable?

I've started to test it from the security point of view. There are plenty of features that are interesting, but at this time, the XDR functionality is most valuable. It is endpoint security on steroids.

It allows you to prioritize threats across the enterprise, which is very important because the SLAs are different for different cases. If the error is critical, you must act now. If something is just informal, it can be done in weeks. 

What needs improvement?

I miss having an executive dashboard or a simple view for viewing things. Everything is extensive in this solution. Everything is configurable and manageable, but the environment of Microsoft 365 has about 13 administrative dashboards, and in each of the dashboards, there are a gazillion things to set up. It is good for a large enterprise, but for a 200-seat client, you need to see 5% of that.

A simplified SIEM would work so that we don't have to use everything on the Sentinel, which is great by the way, but Sentinel is too expensive for our kind of market. It is an enterprise product. It is not an SMB product.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using it for half a year in our test environment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is good. It is stable. Once you set it up, it works, but we haven't tested it on a large time scale. The solution itself is pretty young. We'll see how stable it will be in the next few years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We hope to increase the usage of the product. It is being used only by our team for now at multiple locations. It is for laptops in the office and other networks and also for mobile devices. A few tech guys in our department are testing everything that could happen on the client side, and that's it.

How are customer service and support?

I didn't use their support for this solution, but the knowledge base, training, and documentation are pretty good. I would rate it a nine out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

It is complex. You need to first have a list of computers. Then, you need to set up the plan for these computers, and then, you need to deploy it and apply it. There are too many steps to deploy this kind of solution because it is a Microsoft native solution.

In terms of the implementation strategy, first, you need to have a view of the inventory. You have to have knowledge of what is already installed on an endpoint. You don't want to cause any clashes with some other endpoint security vendor. So, you need to know your devices. The next one is to prepare the package and then decide to deploy it via Intune or via MSI, through group policy.

In terms of duration, you can deploy it on one computer in minutes. If you are deploying it on a thousand computers and everything is set up correctly, it can be done in a few hours, but if everything is not set up correctly, it can take up to a day or a week. 

It took a month for us to realize its benefits from the time of deployment. It takes some time to understand the settings, portal, etc. 

It has not yet saved any time. It has only consumed my time for now because I need to learn and do the training and PoCs, but it is an investment for the future.

What about the implementation team?

The number of people required for deployment depends on the size of the client or the company. I can do it by myself if I have a client with 100 seats, but if there is a corporation or enterprise in several locations, we need to involve the local IT people to confirm everything is okay, etc.

It doesn't require any maintenance, but it requires somebody to take care of the consequences. You can implement endpoint security and just have it there. You don't have to maintain the solution itself, but you need to take care of the alerts. You need to take care of the patches and other things. The number of people required depends on the size of the client.

What was our ROI?

It hasn't saved us any money yet. It might save in the future, but it depends on the pricing of Microsoft because there are several different parts of the Microsoft solution. 

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

Everybody would like to see a lower price on everything. The Slovenian market is basically an SME market with clients having up to 100 seat licenses, comprising 90% of the company. They're very price sensitive. So, the price could be cheaper. 

Any additional costs depend on the basic license of the client. There could be additional costs. If somebody needs Plan 2 of Defender for Endpoint, if I'm not mistaken, it is only available as an add-on. It is not included in any license, not even in the E5 license. So, there are some things at an additional cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are always open to suggestions and newer and better things. We are constantly looking around for similar solutions and testing them. Microsoft is the biggest player. Everybody uses something from Microsoft. So, it is a logical next step. For an MSP, by having everything from one vendor or everything under one umbrella, managing clients is easier. This is the main reason for exploring this solution.

At the moment, we are using the Cynet XDR solution, and we also tried SentinelOne. We are going to put it in our portfolio in the following months, but mostly, we are comparing everything to Cynet because we have more clients on Cynet.

In comparison to other solutions that we are using, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has not decreased our time to detect and time to respond much.

What other advice do I have?

In my opinion, from the management and maintenance point of view, it is better to go with a single vendor, but from the security point of view, multiple vendors on multiple layers could work better than one vendor. If one vendor is breached, then everything goes, but if you have several layers with several vendors, and only one is breached, you have other vendors.

My advice to those evaluating Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is to stick with it and train themselves. They should know the solution and try it as much as they can. Microsoft is on the right path here.

It helps to automate routine tasks and the finding of high-value alerts, but we haven't yet implemented automation. We are planning to implement it, but at this time, because of a small number of clients, it is easier to do it manually. We just look into the alerts and resolve them one by one. We don't have a few thousand alerts per day, per week, or per month. So, it is manageable to handle them manually.

It would help us to eliminate looking at multiple dashboards and have one XDR dashboard, but we haven't yet managed to do that.

I would rate it an eight out of ten. I would have rated it a ten, but it is a pretty pricey solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
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Head of IT at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Provides users protection without impacting their experience
Pros and Cons
  • "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."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

It is the end defense against anything coming into our computers and through other channels, e.g., we have some other measures. A lot of our users use Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, so all our servers are locked down. The solution handles what nothing else finds along the way. It is a standard endpoint for computers, servers, and tablets.

How has it helped my organization?

What the user doesn't see or experience, the user is happy with. Every time our other services go in and put a stop pop-up in front of what they are doing when they want to visit a website, but the browser says, "No," or they are trying to download a link and then says, "Oh, no. This is dangerous," that upsets users because they can't do what they want to do. As long as we don't get any of that, then users are happy. If users don't feel it or know about it, then they are happy. Everything else will make them unhappy.

Our end users expect to be protected and that everything works. When IT doesn't work as they expect, then they get unhappy in some form. We kind of forced this solution upon them, so they don't have a choice. As long as it doesn't meddle with their normal work, they are fine. For example, when GDPR hit us in May of 2018, that was upsetting because they now had to do some of their work a little differently. So, they don't like GDPR because it interferes with their normal workflow. Normally, users come to me if they have issues with anything. However, if everything works as expected, they are happy. In addition, they expect that they are protected.

What is most valuable?

When you have something fail and you have three or four different vendors where the fail might be located, everyone just says, "Well, it's awful." Then, you have to go and find out where the fault is. That is really annoying and can cost the business money. For that reason, if I can have one single point of contact when I have a problem to help me out, and say, "Let's find the solution." That is much better instead of having me contact multiple companies to track errors down.

What needs improvement?

The protection will always need improvement:

  • From a technical standpoint, I would like better artificial intelligence on how it does its stuff in the background. It will always be behind. However, at some point, it would be nice if it could get better. It is not bad, but it could always be better.
  • 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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the current solution since 2014.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues. I haven't had any bad experiences. I expect it to work, and it works. It is just there. For example, when you have Word or the whole Office package, as long as it works, people are happy. You just have it, and you don't have to say, "Oh, this version is really..." It is just Microsoft. For most users, Microsoft is Windows, Defender, and the Office package. As long as you just use that, then people will say, "Okay, we're just basically using Windows." They don't care about one thing or another, as long as IT works.

As long as things are slowly upgraded, it works, and we don't have any issues, then I am happy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I let my outsource company handle scalability. I only get involved if there are issues.

We have 50-plus servers with around 125 to 150 endpoints.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our consultancy has a deal with Microsoft where they can get access to Microsoft directly. We are part of that deal. When we have issues that need some type of Microsoft input, we can get it. However, I will let the consultancy do that. I wouldn't do that myself.

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

We use different email solutions and web solutions to handle incoming and outgoing traffic. However, we have not previously used another endpoint protection solution.

How was the initial setup?

In 2014, we upgraded from Windows 7. It was a completely new deployment of everything. Every server, every endpoint, and even the old laptops and desktops were upgraded. So, it wasn't just Defender. Microsoft Defender wasn't really the issue, as it worked. We had a lot of other IT that was annoying, but I don't remember that we had any struggles with Defender.

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 had a migration deadline set by our mother company. We had to stop using Windows 7 and server 2003 by 15th of June, and we started in April. So, it was done in just under two months right before June 1st.

What about the implementation team?

We are part of the aircraft industry. We have been going downhill for some time, and now we are sort of going up again. At the time of purchase, we simply bought the outsourcing with the solution, meaning we would get this many machines and servers using these services. They kind of supplied everything.

We outsourced the deployment to another company at that point in time, who put up all the consultants and stuff. Before that, we had everything internally and on-premises. At that point, we moved it out still on-premises, but not in our own house. So, we built a separate system, then moved users over.

We didn't have Microsoft in to specifically help us.

The administration of this solution is outsourced. We use a consultancy who has 50-plus employees/consultants. They take care of nearly all services: Defender, Teams, SQL, etc. I then only have to talk to one or two people who are specialized in what needs to be done.

I have been very happy with our current IT services provider. We have had them for about a year. They took over from the old consultancy who installed our IT in 2014. Our current consultancy took over in 2020 because I wasn't so happy with the old guys.

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

It provides peace of mind with really good pricing. It won't be upsetting my budgets or anything like that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our outsourcer handled the decision that we were to use Defender, Remote Desktop Services, etc. They just said, "If you choose us, this will be your solution." It came as a package. Unfortunately, that company was bought by another IT services company, who bogged everything up. The service went downhill and stuff didn't get upgraded. So, we switched to another Danish supplier with whom we currently are happy.

What other advice do I have?

Go for it. It is a standard solution. If you use Windows, you might as well go for Defender. With this solution, you have your normal dependencies within Microsoft. This means that you don't have to talk to another company; you talk directly to Microsoft. Some people might go for something else, and that is fine too. However, depending on how big your company is, if you are a small or medium business, you may want to have as many eggs in one basket to have fewer points of contacts.

It is a good endpoint. All the administration is handed over to our outsource partner. So far, it has been good. We have been using it for years, so it is the de facto standard for us right now.

As far as I know, its capabilities are okay. It is up there with the rest of them. Sometimes, this is what Gartner says is the best, the next best, the 10th best, etc. That will always change. As long as we don't get hit, we are fine. If we get hit, then there are questions around what we can expect from it, what we can get out of it, what help did we get, etc., but I would let my outsource partner deal with that. Directly, I don't have my hands on it.

I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Sr SOC Analyst at a security firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Great prevention and response capabilities but requires an updated GUI
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is highly scalable."
  • "They should come up with pre-built inner workflows."

What is our primary use case?

We call the solution MDATP - Microsoft Defender Advanced Persistent Threat Protection. At the same time, we're using it more from an EDR point of view, as an Endpoint Detection Response. It can detect any threats, malware, or processor, which are illegitimate and being executed by the end-users or malicious actors. When it sees this, it detects and reports to us. 

Not only that, at the same time, it's detection, prevention, and response. Mostly what we were working on is detection. When I refer to detection, I mean that it can, with pinpoint accuracy, detect something and expose the threat. It can also map those threats with a MITRE, which is one of the great things that I love about it, on top of the accuracy and the threat description it provides.

There are a few different use cases. We return with a query language, which is provided by Microsoft. We are able to create some threat hunting queries. We can pinpoint, accurately detect, and run pain testing. When there’s a threat or issue, I am able to find it and track it with great accuracy in MDATP. MDATP is able to tell me that, for example, in my organization, if there was a guy who was doing pain testing, which is black listed, and if there was an attempt to exploit something or install some malicious code or try to hack into the system. I am able to find this and pinpoint its occurrence. Not only that, I’m able to map them onto a MITRE framework and tell which stage of the attack it was, where the attacker came from, et cetera. I can see if it was something that was planned in the organization. 

I can both detect internally and externally. I have full faith that the MDATP will detect behaviors and warn us of issues.

What is most valuable?

When you go to do a deep-dive or investigation as a SOC analyst or any security analyst, it gives three structures or processes, as well as the execution that it performs. I am able to perform a very deep-level investigation with MDATP - more than I can with any other tool.

It did increase our security posture. While we had an antivirus before, it would only detect or prevent certain types of attacks. However, based on that capability, you cannot respond to the threat directly. For example, if there was ransomware on a system, the antivirus will be able to identify, detect, and mitigate it. However, at the same time, even if the antivirus detects that and tries to prevent it, you need to contain that machine, or you need to isolate that machine from the network. You don't want that machine to be talking to anybody in the network. Antivirus solutions can’t exactly do that.

With respect to prevention, it has an auto-remediation feature, which is a good feature that I love with respect to prevention. It does auto-remediation as well as manual remediation, which is pretty good.

With respect to response, we were able to contain, block, and respond to threats faster with MDATP. When we analyze the incidents or the threats it gives us a very good view of everything.

With this product, before containing or responding, we get the information and can see what exactly is happening and when that malicious file was installed. After that, we have an event timeline. The visibility is not that much when you only have an antivirus. Now, we see the full picture. When we adopted this tool, we got the detect, prevent, and response functionalities. Overall, our security posture looks much better and our attack surfaces are limited. Endpoints are also most vulnerable today and we can efficiently protect them now. Since we have reduced the attack surface our security posture has improved dramatically. On top of that, we have the capability to respond and to go deeper on a forensic level.

The product doesn’t affect our end-users. I do not see any major issues. There are exceptions where approvals may be necessary. However, the user acceptance is good. This is something that organizations pre-plan and there is nothing the user really has to worry about or act on.

What needs improvement?

Defender’s GUI can be optimized. The console needs to be more refined. After you have been using it for some time, you get used to it, and it is manageable. However, it should be a little bit more refined.

They should come up with pre-built inner workflows. I would really like to see this. There need to be workflows with respect to notifications, remediations, or any actions that people want to take. They should come up with predefined or prebuilt hunting capabilities. Right now, we have to manually write queries. I would prefer if they could come up with something more automated.

This is with respect to a SOC analyst perspective. Other users, other administrators, other different roles might have different issues. For me, there are no major concerns. It is a good tool, out of the box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for about a year and a half, and have also done training on it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. It's a stable platform. I don't see any issues right now. However, I did see something in the past. I can't quite remember the exact situation. It's resolved and right now there are no issues. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is highly scalable.

You can onboard as many end systems as you want. If you bring more, for example, 100 users or 100 endpoints, you can integrate them with no issue. It's not a problem with MDATP.

We have somewhere around 2,000 to 3,000 users who are using it. We have an endpoint team and they manage the antiviruses and security tools and all those things. We manage the product partially from a policies perspective, and the endpoint team manages the platform and maintenance of it, including any upgrades, as necessary.

How are customer service and support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past. It's good, not excellent. That said, it's okay.

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

Before using this solution, the company mostly dealt with antivirus solutions.

We moved to this solution to strengthen and report, detect and prevent, et cetera, which antivirus solutions don't offer. We wanted forensics and capabilities that were missing. Antiviruses simply cannot protect you from advanced persistent threats, and they cannot protect you from ransomware and they don't respond to things faster. Response capabilities were something that was missing. Basically, we just needed more.

How was the initial setup?

I'm usually not part of the entire setup, however, I do manage it. We have to do certain policies within our organization. However, from what I've seen, it's not a complex setup. It is pretty straightforward.

In terms of how long the deployment takes, I don't remember the length of time. If you have a CCM centralized, you can push the policies within hours. 

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

The licensing is something that management decides on. I don't deal with the pricing or licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't really evaluate other options. We provided support for one of our clients, and it was a decision they made. 

What other advice do I have?

We're a consulting company. We are not partners with Microsoft.

We use the solution as a SaaS.

I'd advise other companies to use this solution. It's an ideal choice, however, I'm not sure about the pricing. Maybe it's on the higher end of other competitors' pricing. That said, if you have an opportunity to use it, it will solve a lot of problems with respect to pain point detecting and doing investigations. At the same time, with Microsoft, if 80% of your organization is using Windows systems, it's going to be compatible. Specifically, with its platform, Microsoft understands what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, if the money is not a concern, or the budget is not a concern, opt for this. At the same time, as a generic statement, if not this solution, go for an EDR tool that suits your organization's needs best.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten simply due to the fact that I have not fully optimized it. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Independent Security Consultant/ Virtual CISO at Galbraith & Associates Inc.
Real User
Top 10
Is great at identifying threats on Windows and Azure products
Pros and Cons
  • "The comprehensiveness of Microsoft threat-protection products is great... Today, Microsoft Sentinel by itself is a leading Gartner SIEM tool. It has advantages over competitors because of the ability to integrate with Microsoft solutions and automate continuous monitoring of Microsoft AD and Office 365 data."
  • "If you have multi-cloud like Google and AWS, the native solutions are better for those particular cases."

What is our primary use case?

I worked for an enterprise client in the public sector with half a million endpoints. I'm in Canada, and that's bigger than most US companies. Defender is an endpoint agent, but it's tied into what I would call a SOC outsourcing stack. It's part of a security operations center that is getting threat intelligence, comparing that to endpoint detection and response, and feeding it all back into a SIEM.

I use either E3 or will upgrade to the E5 full suite, or will go a la carte. You can pick one or two off there, but it usually makes more sense to go all E5. Sentinel and Defender are the two things I like in E5 that I work together.

We use Defender's bidirectional sync capabilities at a high level. I'm more of a high-end security architect, so I do the conceptual designs but not the implementation. Even though I like it, I don't know if it gets implemented and used or not. As a capability, as an architect, that's a good thing to have.

How has it helped my organization?

Our deployment is still a work in progress, but it will enable us to mature and automate our cyber incident response and threat security posture. Defender helps us automate routine tasks and the findings of high-value alerts. That's the SOAR part we hope to achieve with the project reaches maturity.  

Defender simplifies things if you are managing a multi-cloud environment or a hybrid deployment. Instead of having 10 dashboards, you're now down to three. It creates a fabric. Do I have a single pane of glass? No. However, I have three panes instead of ten.

It can give early warning signs. I'd stop short of saying Defender protects, detects, responds, and remediates. It still doesn't do the remediate part. Defender will ultimately save time and money when we've fully implemented it. I'll find more problems, but I think the integration will save me a lot more time on the operations,  incident response, etc. It's all speculative until you're fully deployed and got key metrics to prove it.

What is most valuable?

The biggest reason I looked at Defender is that the world seems to have shifted to Office 365 and Azure in the last couple of years because COVID is forcing many people to work from home. Defender has better out-the-box integration with Office 365 and Microsoft security solutions like Sentinel, and its SIEM. CrowdStrike or other top products are excellent, but I'd still need to integrate them.

Defender is great at identifying threats on Windows and Azure products. If the threats aren't related to Microsoft, I will use something else. My view of Microsoft Defender changed significantly over the past five years. I used to think it couldn't compete with best-in-class solutions like CrowdStrike. It was like a Microsoft version of CrowdStrike. Today, I think it's on par pound-for-pound with CrowdStrike on the EDR Gartner MQ capability list. 

If you have multi-cloud like Google and AWS, the native solutions are better for those particular cases. But if you want Azure covered and you use Sentinel and Defender, you can also integrate Defender well with Zscaler. 

Zscaler is more of a multi-CSP fabric with zero trust capabilities that integrate with CrowdStrike and other third-party tools. I use Defender and Sentinel for Microsoft, but I also like that Microsoft integrates very well with Zscaler and vice versa.

The comprehensiveness of Microsoft threat-protection products is great. Five years ago, I would've said don't use it because other products are better. Today, Microsoft Sentinel by itself is a leading Gartner SIEM tool. It has advantages over competitors because of the ability to integrate with Microsoft solutions and automate continuous monitoring of Microsoft AD and Office 365 data.

Sentinel aggregates logs from everything. It's pretty good at that. If you were on Google Cloud or AWS, you would use the native products, but Sentinel is useful if you already have it and you want to use it as the central log aggregator.

Defender offers SOAR plus UEBA, and you can integrate it easily with the endpoint, making it a compelling security fabric as a SOC technology stack. I would put it in the top four along with IBM, Splunk, and maybe Fortinet as one of the better-integrated UEBA types of technology suites.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft Defender improved a lot. They weren't even on the Gartner Magic Quadrant, and now they've equaled or surpassed the leading solutions. I would suggest they continue doing what they're doing on their product roadmap and develop more SOAR. The last thing for them to tackle is multi-tenant and multi-cloud handling.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Defender for about five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Defender is robust.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm still in the early stage, but the scalability seems impressive based on my research and the size of reference clients.

How are customer service and support?

I've mostly seen the pre-sales part, like doing demos and licensing. As far as doing demos and licensing. My experience with the sales organization has been awesome, but I'm not dealing with maintenance, rollover, or contract.

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

Five years ago, I looked at Micro Focus, ArcSight, and maybe some best-of-breed UEBA and EDR solutions, like CrowdStrike and Intercept. Business considerations led me to choose Defender. 

Security people will go for the top security solution, but executives are worried about enterprise and return on investment. They push for Microsoft security products because they've got Azure and Windows. I now agree that it also makes sense from a security point of view,

How was the initial setup?

As an architect, my experience with the deployment is limited to evaluations and PoCs, and the full roll-out is ongoing. Ultimately, it's a low-maintenance solution. The payoff on automation and maturity is getting ongoing maintenance and support, training, patches, and new product upgrades. That's part and parcel of why it's a good idea.

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

The price was a problem for me three years ago, but they improved their E3, E5, and a la carte licensing. In other words, you have to get all of E5. That used to be a problem because you had E3, Defender, and guardrails, but you needed an E5 license to get the management suite and the analytics. 

It's more flexible now. You can switch from a la carte to the entire suite when it starts to make sense. It's becoming more economically competitive to go that route.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Defender is good enough if I compare it to the leading EDR solutions on Gartner. I would place it in the top quartile based on cyber threat intel. Cisco Talos and CrowdStrike are better, but Defender isn't that far behind. The payoff for me is the native Microsoft integration. 

Suppose most of my applications and data were still on-premise and I didn't need to work from home because of COVID. In that case, I'd be looking at IBM, Q1 Radar, Resilient, FortiSIEM, or ArcSight because the legacy SIEM products do on-premise security well. However, most of my cloud data is Office 365 in Azure, so that's what prompted me to start looking at Sentinel and Defender. 90 percent of my criteria shifted to the cloud, specifically Microsoft Azure.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Microsoft Defender for Endpoint nine out of ten. If you're planning to use Defender, you need to understand the options around E3, E5, and a la carte licensing. This is also true if you do a bake-off between IBM, ArcSight, or other best-of-breed products, understand what capabilities you really need. If you're a small or medium-sized enterprise, you won't have the same needs as a corporation with half a million endpoints. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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PeerSpot user
Luca Vitali - PeerSpot reviewer
Modern Workplace Technical Team Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
Helps us prioritize threats across our enterprise and gives us better perception of incoming and active threats
Pros and Cons
  • "The attack surface reduction rules are the most valuable. We're able to have unattended remediation actions when the solution works side by side with a local antivirus like Microsoft Defender or Kaspersky. The attack surface reduction rules help us to proactively block and stop threats."
  • "Reporting could be improved. I would like to see how many security incidents occurred in the last six months, how many devices were highly exposed to security risks, and how many devices were actually compromised."

What is our primary use case?

Our target is to have control over protected endpoints. As a centralized console dashboard, we want to see the exposure level and security weaknesses associated with those protected endpoints.

We are a consultancy company and a Microsoft Gold partner, so we are strictly attached to the Microsoft stack. We have used Microsoft Defender for Cloud for some of our customers on a few occasions.

The solution is deployed on the cloud. From an infrastructure point of view, it's on Microsoft and likely would be geo-distributed. The solution is typically deployed for all endpoints that require cloud protection in an organization. If a company has 300 devices, typically all 300 devices are connected. It doesn't make sense to divide profiles for different departments.

On average, we have 300 to 600 devices and a similar amount of users. In a few cases, we have Defender for Endpoint protecting shared workstations.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution helps us prioritize threats across our enterprise. If we're talking about projected vulnerabilities, like an outdated web browser, then there's a different priority associated with that. Conversely, if we have an endpoint out of data, like outdated Windows security patches, it will be registered with a different, higher priority. It helps a lot.

Sentinel enables us to natively ingest data from our entire ecosystem. By design, Microsoft ingests data from Office 365 to Sentinel.

This ingestion of data is critical to our security operations. Without data ingestion, nothing is shown in the dashboard or in the security and compliance portal. If it stops, we don't have data to analyze.

Sentinel enables us to investigate threats and respond holistically from one place. There are threat investigations directly in the portal, which depends on the license. This feature is really important for enterprise-class companies that have a huge emphasis on security.

Since using this solution, we have seen a better perception of incoming and active threats. We're able to see weaknesses or misconfigurations in applications and operating systems for devices.

It definitely takes time to realize benefits from the time of deployment. After we deployed the agent for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, it took about a week to collect data.

Defender for Endpoint doesn't help us automate routine tasks or automate finding high-value alerts. The most valuable feature is attack surface reduction rules, and in this case, we have an automated response. It's a lot like SOAR, which helps to contain security risks in an unmanned way, but it's limited to just that feature.

This solution absolutely eliminated the need to look at multiple dashboards because we have one XDR. It's a worthy capability that helps a lot. Having one dashboard makes our security operations more seamless. To retrieve data, we consult different places within the portal.

The solution's threat intelligence helps us prepare for potential threats before they hit and take proactive steps.

The solution saves us time, but it depends on the point of view. It helps to have a better understanding and outlook on our current situation within our organization and plan proactively for tasks in order to improve our security score.

We saved money by not needing to buy additional pieces of software or deploying additional infrastructure for an on-premises security product.

It also depends on the competitor and the infrastructure required.

Detection and response take minutes because as soon as something is compromised or something happens within our organization, an alert will be triggered within minutes. After we receive an email with an alert, we are likely to start the analysis and remediation if it exceeds or doesn't fall within the scope of the attack surface reduction rules.

What is most valuable?

The attack surface reduction rules are the most valuable. We're able to have unattended remediation actions when the solution works side by side with a local antivirus like Microsoft Defender or Kaspersky. The attack surface reduction rules help us to proactively block and stop threats.

The visibility into threats is fair. It's accurate and gives us control over threats.

Prioritization is pretty important to us because we need to concentrate on new threats with higher risks associated with them.

Generally speaking, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, along with Sentinel, provides fair, decent capabilities but it depends on the situation.

What needs improvement?

Reporting could be improved. I would like to see how many security incidents occurred in the last six months, how many devices were highly exposed to security risks, and how many devices were actually compromised.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with this solution for more than a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

Generally speaking, there are no bugs or glitches. We have had issues twice in the past two months, but nothing too critical. Before those two occasions, it hadn't happened in a year or more.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's highly scalable considering it's a SaaS solution.

How are customer service and support?

I would rate technical support an eight out of ten. It depends on the support engineer who is working on the problem.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used Kaspersky, but the version is exactly comparable to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

We switched to Microsoft for better integration. It integrates very well with the Microsoft antivirus, so we don't have to deploy additional infrastructure or an additional piece of software. We have extended security controls over Windows devices especially and a single dashboard.

There is also integration with Intune, which is the MDM from Microsoft.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was absolutely straightforward. We spent some time reading the documentation in order to understand how the setup and agent deployment worked, but then it was pretty straightforward.

It took a couple of hours to deploy the solution. Assuming you have the current licenses, you need to enable the features at the tenant level, and then you have to create a policy to distribute the Defender for the Endpoint sensor.

One person is sufficient to set up and onboard devices. The solution doesn't require any maintenance because the solution is upgraded from the cloud. Maintenance is very limited.

What was our ROI?

We have absolutely received ROI. Initially, it's time-consuming to understand how to onboard devices and start protecting them, but it's pretty easy to replicate the configuration across different customers.

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

The price is fair for the features Microsoft delivers. If you want tailor-made features, you have to mix different licenses. It isn't straightforward.

Intune is an additional cost. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint works really well with Intune, but you may decide to go for a license that encompasses Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender for Identity, and Intune, which is typically a Microsoft E5 license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated other solutions, but the decision diverted to Microsoft products because we have a Microsoft partnership. I requested more information from PeerSpot about the differences between Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Sophos Intercept X because I had to provide a business justification to a customer in order to go for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

There are pros and cons to having a best-of-breed strategy versus a single vendor security suite. I would go for a single vendor security solution just to have convergence but it depends. Considering the fact that I'm working for a Microsoft Gold partner, I haven't had the occasion to make a comparison.

I would recommend implementing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. My advice is to use Intune to have better control, especially for Microsoft devices. I would also advise using third-party local antivirus solutions rather than relying on Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which is a lock-in to a single vendor.

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: Partner
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Joerg Aulenbach - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Administrator at dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG
Real User
Top 10
A seamless solution for Windows with good reporting and performance
Pros and Cons
  • "The whole bundle of the product, which is similar to other Microsoft products, is valuable. Ten years ago, you had third-party stuff for different things. You had one solution for email archiving and another third-party one for something else. Nowadays, Microsoft Office covers all the stuff that was formerly covered by third-party solutions. It is the same with antivirus. The functionality is just basic. You have the scanning, and then you also have a kind of cloud-based protection and reporting about your environment. With Microsoft Security Center, you have a complete overview of your environment. You know the software inventory, and you have security recommendations. You can not only see that the antivirus is up to date; you can also see where are the vulnerabilities in your system. Microsoft Security Center tells you where you have old, deprecated software and what kind of CVEs are addressed. It's really cool stuff."
  • "We encountered some misbehavior between Microsoft Office Suite and Defender. We had issues of old macros being blocked and some stuff going around the usage of Win32 APIs. There is some improvement between the Office products and Defender, and there is a bunch of stuff that you can configure in your antivirus solutions, but you have several baselines, such as security baselines for Edge, security baselines for Defender, and security baselines for MDM. You have configuration profiles as well. So, there a lot of parts where we can configure our antivirus solution, and we're getting conflicting configurations. This is the major part with which we're struggling in this solution. We are having calls and calls with Microsoft for getting rid of all configuration conflicts that we have. That's really the part that needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are one of the major drug stores in Germany. We are located in 13 European countries such as Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Poland. I'm working here as an IT Administrator, and I'm focusing on software deployment and antivirus solutions.

Our use case is that we got to have antivirus. Cyber insurance forces us to have an antivirus solution that meets the requirements the insurance has. 

In terms of deployment, we're using Defender without ATP in the old world. For domain-joined clients and on the Intune-managed clients, we use Defender in combination with ATP. The on-prem clients are usually old-school domain-joined clients.

We have its latest version. We always try to be at the newest version.

How has it helped my organization?

In the old world, we have Defender in combination with SCCM. It's not as good as Security Center, but you have all the reporting stuff that tells you whether your clients are up-to-date or not. The ATP Security Center is the mercy dispense of antivirus solutions because it is so much more than just antivirus. Microsoft Security Center comes with the ATP license, and it provides a really compact but whole view of your tenant and the vulnerabilities in your tenant. I feel that my administration got more proactive than just reacting. I can see that my Office is not up-to-date, or a client is using the old version of Firefox or Adobe Reader. So, Security Center tells me all this, and I can proactively update these clients and have a look at the bad guys in my environment. That was the part that McAfee never showed. I could see my clients with old signature files or engines, but McAfee Orchestrator didn't show the actual vulnerability of the client, which is the great benefit of Microsoft Security Center.

What is most valuable?

The whole bundle of the product, which is similar to other Microsoft products, is valuable. Ten years ago, you had third-party stuff for different things. You had one solution for email archiving and another third-party one for something else. Nowadays, Microsoft Office covers all the stuff that was formerly covered by third-party solutions. It is the same with antivirus. The functionality is just basic. You have the scanning, and then you also have a kind of cloud-based protection and reporting about your environment. With Microsoft Security Center, you have a complete overview of your environment. You know the software inventory, and you have security recommendations. You can not only see that the antivirus is up to date; you can also see where are the vulnerabilities in your system. Microsoft Security Center tells you where you have old, deprecated software and what kind of CVEs are addressed. It's really cool stuff.

What needs improvement?

We encountered some misbehavior between Microsoft Office Suite and Defender. We had issues of old macros being blocked and some stuff going around the usage of Win32 APIs. There is some improvement between the Office products and Defender, and there is a bunch of stuff that you can configure in your antivirus solutions, but you have several baselines, such as security baselines for Edge, security baselines for Defender, and security baselines for MDM. You have configuration profiles as well. So, there a lot of parts where we can configure our antivirus solution, and we're getting conflicting configurations. This is the major part with which we're struggling in this solution. We are having calls and calls with Microsoft for getting rid of all configuration conflicts that we have. That's really the part that needs to be improved. 

It would be cool to have just one interface or only one or two locations where you configure the stuff. Currently, they have three locations where you can configure your antivirus. Three locations are too much, and there is too much conflict. It is not a one-to-one configuration. There are some configuration settings that you can only do in SCCM. You don't find them in MDM. So, it's not always one-to-one. 

The last point of improvement is related to the quality of service that Microsoft provides. The quality of service that Microsoft provides should be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Defender for two years. Two years ago, we migrated from McAfee Endpoint Protection to Defender Antivirus. This migration process took us one year to migrate all systems. So, we're now totally on Microsoft Defender on all workstations and servers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability and deployment always depend on how many of your clients are online. There is no problem with the scalability and deployments of servers because they are online 24/7, but client management is different than server management. We are located in 13 countries, and we have about 9,000 clients. Of course, they are not always online because of which you're always struggling with your client management. 

How are customer service and technical support?

If you open a call with Microsoft, you're in God's hands. Some of their engineers are top-notch and some are not. We have some strange calls going on for weeks and months, and nothing is happening. There are always the same questions. The quality of service that Microsoft provides should be improved.

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

We migrated from McAfee Endpoint Protection to Defender Antivirus. I worked with ePolicy Orchestrator from McAfee for almost 20 years. The user interface of McAfee was fine, but the hassle began with Windows 10. Updating McAfee and the endpoint security stuff was always a hassle. We had to update all the McAfee stuff before having a feature update, so we were always in this hassle of the update process of either McAfee or Windows. Defender is a seamless solution for Windows. 

Microsoft has done a lot to improve Defender. There are not so many differences between basic scanners. If you look at the Gartner studies, Defender has really improved a lot. It came out one or one and a half years before we started to migrate our clients to Intune MDM solution, and within this migration to MDM managed clients, we also established advanced threat protection (ATP) with Defender. It met our requirements perfectly, and we did penetration testing for the solution, and it turned out to be perfect. 

How was the initial setup?

The deployment process is okay. Of course, you always struggle at several points, but overall, the deployment is fine for Defender.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a lot of different scanners, such as Passkey. McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator now comes with the option to integrate within Microsoft Security Center, but McAfee came up with its solution a little bit too late. 

In the on-prem world, we are using Microsoft Defender in combination with the endpoint manager to SCCM, and it is fine. I really prefer the interface of McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, but it doesn't have as many benefits as Microsoft Defender in combination with SCCM.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of the end-user experience, end-users don't like to be bothered with the virus scan. A virus scan is always annoying for the end-user. An end-user cannot actually configure the antivirus and only gets a notification if something is wrong or some malware is found. That's it. There is not really an end-user experience.

The performance of the client is fine with Defender. We are not encountering many performance issues or any serious issues with Defender. When we turned over to Defender, some of the applications that were functioning absolutely flawlessly with McAfee started to have serious performance issues. So, we had to define an exclusion list for some of the processes or applications, but there are always some applications that needed exclusions for McAfee or Defender.

I would rate Microsoft Defender for Endpoint an eight out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
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Updated: January 2023
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.