Coming October 25: PeerSpot Awards will be announced! Learn more
Security Consultant with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Zeros you in on the events that are concerning, and simplifies the effort of correlating the behaviors or actions you see in the environment
Pros and Cons
  • "Coming from an organization where the EDR wasn't strong, it has always been a case of basically searching through the information you already have and looking for something. It was basically trying to find the needle in a haystack. What the Defender platform does is that it reduces the size of the haystack, and it'll say that the needle is over here. Minutes matter, and it certainly zeros you in on the events that are concerning. It also simplifies the effort of trying to get some kind of correlation of behaviors or actions you see in the environment and confirming if something is benign or a threat."
  • "Something that is unique to Microsoft is its licensing model. When you go out and you buy McAfee or Symantec, you know what you're getting out of the box, but with Microsoft, often, when you're looking to achieve a certain set of capabilities, those capabilities are spread across different products. You might try to do something you could do with CrowdStrike, but then find out that you also need to purchase Microsoft Defender for Identity or Microsoft Defender for Azure. You realize that when they talk about what they can offer within the Microsoft platform, it's really the suite of investments. So, sometimes, you may find yourself buying Defender for Endpoint thinking that it matches CrowdStrike, but then you find that Microsoft really needs to sell you something else. One plus one will equal three, but when you have a very concise platform, such as CrowdStrike, you know what you're going to get."

What is our primary use case?

It is mainly utilized for telemetry collection and correlating specific behaviors or reactions to TTPs, IOCs, or indications of compromise. It is used for getting that level of detail. 

How has it helped my organization?

It is good for attack surface reduction, which is how you harden your endpoint so that they're less likely to be infiltrated or compromised if you have an operative in your environment. So, it's mainly used for reducing the opportunity for someone to compromise the system but also for rapid detection when that occurs.

What is most valuable?

Coming from an organization where the EDR wasn't strong, it has always been a case of basically searching through the information you already have and looking for something. It was basically trying to find the needle in a haystack. What the Defender platform does is that it reduces the size of the haystack, and it'll say that the needle is over here. Minutes matter, and it certainly zeros you in on the events that are concerning. It also simplifies the effort of trying to get some kind of correlation of behaviors or actions you see in the environment and confirming if something is benign or a threat.

What needs improvement?

Something that is unique to Microsoft is its licensing model. When you go out and you buy McAfee or Symantec, you know what you're getting out of the box, but with Microsoft, often, when you're looking to achieve a certain set of capabilities, those capabilities are spread across different products. You might try to do something you could do with CrowdStrike, but then find out that you also need to purchase Microsoft Defender for Identity or Microsoft Defender for Azure. You realize that when they talk about what they can offer within the Microsoft platform, it's really the suite of investments. So, sometimes, you may find yourself buying Defender for Endpoint thinking that it matches CrowdStrike, but then you find that Microsoft really needs to sell you something else. One plus one will equal three, but when you have a very concise platform, such as CrowdStrike, you know what you're going to get.

The other consideration is that because it's Windows native capability, your capabilities are largely influenced by what version of OS you're running. For a small-medium business, it is not a big deal, but at an enterprise scale, there are always Server 2000, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2012, Server 2016, Server 2019, and so on. So, you're talking about having six or seven different versions where your capabilities are not consistent between 2003 and 2019. It's like asking how robust was security in Windows 2000 versus Windows 2010. You'd say that they're not even the same OS from a security perspective, and that's crazy. When you buy CrowdStrike, you're deploying an agent, and so you get a fairly consistent set of capabilities that are agnostic to the OS version, whereas, with Microsoft, the capabilities are largely influenced by the OS version. For an enterprise, being up to date is a very big consideration to be successful with the platform. So, it forces your platform to not lag behind. You can't have the old server versions and expect that you've got a robust EDR. Defender shines on Server 2016 and higher, but if you were to do some type of penetration or red teaming exercise on a 2003 server, you'd be better off with CrowdStrike or pretty much anything else.

Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been piloting it for the last six months, and this is what we have selected to implement.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no scalability constraints because it's all in the cloud. It's a SaaS. So, they can take on more PCs than any Fortune 500 would even have. The only constraint is that in terms of scaling, the strength of the platform is highly influenced by the OS version. If you were largely using Windows XP and Server 2003, you would not want to choose Microsoft Defender as your suite.

How are customer service and support?

It is fantastic, but sometimes, it could be challenging to navigate. If you buy something like a Carbon Black or a CrowdStrike, you normally have one sales rep and one sales engineer, and depending on the level of support you pay for, you may get premium or platinum support, which means you have a very concise escalation path. With Microsoft, there are 20 different account reps. There is a productivity suite guy. There is a security guy. There are so many different places, which can create some confusion at times, but there is no lack of resources. If you have an issue, there are so many Microsoft employees and reps who are engaged at the enterprise level that once you figure out who to speak to, you get traction pretty quick. So, in summary, because there are a lot more people, their support is really great, but sometimes, having a lot more people can also create confusion in terms of where to go.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy. It is native. They're literally like checkboxes. There is really nothing to package and deploy. If you're at a current version, it is a policy. You just turn on the policy. You go through the setup of installing McAfee on your home computer with next, next, next, and finish, or Microsoft will say, "Hey, we noticed you don't have an AV. Do you want to enable Microsoft or Windows Defender?" You say yes, and you slide the box from off to on, and you're now protected. It is like that. It couldn't be easier. There are things like firewall rules and network considerations that have to happen, but from an enablement perspective, because it is native, it really reduces the burden of onboarding the platform.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't go through a real comprehensive analysis when we made the selection. We did some light touching, but we really did not do some comprehensive analysis between Microsoft and CrowdStrike. 

At an enterprise level, a lot of the stuff is based on relationships. It's not like you're starting from a green field. You look at who is your strategic vendor and who is not. With Microsoft specifically, you always get bundle deals towards your renewals. It's always like if you buy more Office 365, we can give you a discount on Defender and things like that. If you don't have a relationship with CrowdStrike or someone else, it is hard for their rep to speak to your CEO or your CSO, but Microsoft does. They've already got standing monthly meetings with them. So, we've made a determination to go with Microsoft because:

  1. The technology is compelling.
  2. It is a strategic fit for us. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a nine out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Cloud Productivity and Security Engineer at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
It shows you the dangers that matter the most to your own organization and which threats you should address first to achieve the most significant improvement in your security posture
Pros and Cons
  • "Defender provides useful alerts and groups them. It sends an alert to your portal if it detects any malicious activity, and you can group multiple alerts to form an incident."
  • "I had some cases a while back and told an agent my issue. When I called the next day, I had to explain everything again to a different person, so I found it annoying to repeat myself all over."

What is our primary use case?

We use a package of Microsoft security products, including Defender for Endpoint, 365 Defender, Sentinel, and Defender for Identity. You can integrate them with a few clicks. They work together natively, and Sentinel provides advanced monitoring, so you know everything happening in your environment.

It's essential to have one space where you can manage all these solutions together because security can be complicated. It makes it that much more complex to have to navigate to a different portal for identity, email, etc. It's crucial to have a single place to manage all your security operations, so you don't have to move around. 

We started with endpoint protection, where you install an agent on your client with a sensor already built in. Once you have that agent installed, the endpoint can report to the Microsoft security portal. You'll be able to see the device onboarded on the portal using some scripts, and you can monitor most of the vulnerabilities. You can also detect, respond and remedy security vulnerabilities from the portal.

We added email protection by setting policies that will analyze our email. It analyzes our links and attachments to see if there's malware attached. We move ahead to use Defender for Office 365. We also moved forward with Defender for Cloud, and the solution for our workloads, like VM, our network security group, etc. There is another one called Defender for Identity that lets us manage our on-premises and cloud identity from a single portal.

How has it helped my organization?

Many of our users are on older operating systems and browsers with vulnerabilities that harm the environment. An attacker can take advantage of those old browsers to access the infrastructure. Defender for Endpoint lets us identify those browsers with vulnerabilities and resolve the issues. We can also find processes that we didn't initiate and stop them right away.

Defender helps us prioritize threats from the security portal. It shows us the dangers that matter the most to our own organization and which threats we should address first to achieve the most significant improvement in our security posture. 

We can manage Defender for Endpoint and Defender for 365 from the same integrated security portal, and it's user-friendly. Microsoft is much more user-friendly than Sophos. 

Microsoft covers every aspect of security and the global challenges we face. The biggest threat today is identity and access management. If someone has access to your identity, they can access much of your technology. They have solid solutions for identity, email, and cloud. I don't think there's anything Microsoft left out. Microsoft has your security environment protected. 

Sentinel enables you to ingest data from your entire ecosystem from on-premise to the cloud. It has single sign-on technology, so you can use your account from your on-prem to sign on to the cloud and vice versa. A user doesn't have to remember a lot of passwords.

Sentinel's data ingestion is essential. Security tasks can be tedious. It's great to have technology that lets you integrate all your data from different sources. You can also incorporate data from other clouds, not just Azure. You can have data from Azure and on-premise. 

So far, Sentinel is one of the most comprehensive SIEMs I've seen. They have even added this XDR. Sentinel doesn't just do SIEM and SOAR. It also covers XDR. The automation is there, so you don't have to do much work. The automation helps you look at the activities behind all this data and correlate them to see the relationships. It gives you information at a glance to see if there is a relationship between these various data sources. 

Defender saves us time. A task takes typically three days and could be accomplished in one day using Microsoft technology. With an on-premise network, you need to switch between portals on all your network devices, but you can achieve that from one portal. You can set policies that will block traffic to your infrastructure, so it saves time. The advanced threat protection using AI has also reduced our detection time. 

We've also saved money. We previously managed the technologies on-premise, so we had to maintain the solutions ourselves. We spend less using Microsoft cloud technology because we don't need to pay for those extra features. We only need to pay for operational expenses. 

We don't have to go to the affected devices when we see a security vulnerability from the portal. We can respond to those issues and resolve them using an endpoint management solution, like Intune. When we resolve a security issue, it takes a week to see the score, but we see the results immediately.

What is most valuable?

I like the security score that you can see from the portal. You can see the list of the vulnerabilities, and the security score tells you how well your organization is managing those vulnerabilities. It's a strong feature that helps improve your security operations.

Another helpful feature is the recommendations. The portal will guide you on how you can resolve those issues from your own endpoint. This feature is great if you don't have that kind of experience. It will help you understand the technology better and improve your security posture. 

Defender provides useful alerts and groups them. It sends an alert to your portal if it detects any malicious activity, and you can group multiple alerts to form an incident. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to see Sentinel better integrated with the rest of the security technology within one portal. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Defender for more than a year.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Microsoft support seven out of ten. I had some cases a while back and told an agent my issue. When I called the next day, I had to explain everything again to a different person, so I found it annoying to repeat myself all over. 

It would be helpful if they had some coordination between their support, so we don't have to repeat ourselves. They should be able to transfer your details from one agent to another. 

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

We previously used Sophos.

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

Defender doesn't cost that much. When you use Microsoft technology, you can start with the free version and see how much the technology helps your organization solve security problems before you use the subscription. They also do this pay-as-you-go model, so you only pay when you use it. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Defender for Endpoint nine out of ten. It's great. I don't have anything negative to say about those technologies. They are serving their purpose.

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
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Nirav Kumar - PeerSpot reviewer
Cyber Security Specialist at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Automated Investigation and Response reduces workload of our SOC analysts, but lacks integration customization
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the features which differentiates it from other EDR providers is the Automated Investigation and Response, which reduces the workload of SOC analysts or engineers. They don't have to manually investigate each and every alert on the endpoint, since it does so automatically. And you can automate the investigation part."
  • "Other vendors provide a lot of customization when it comes to integration, which every big organization requires. No big organization depends on one particular tool. Defender lacks that at this point."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for endpoint detection and response.

The agent is installed on the endpoint, on the laptop or desktop, but it's a SaaS solution.

How has it helped my organization?

One feature that has proven beneficial is the Threat and Vulnerability Management module of Defender for Endpoint, which provides information on the vulnerability of all the endpoints. We don't have to run active scans via network scanners. It is built-in. That has proven to be helpful, although we're still in the early phases. We have identified vulnerabilities that were in our organization for too long and nobody knew about those machines and the vulnerabilities on them. From a vulnerability remediation point of view, it has been quite helpful to us.

What is most valuable?

One of the features which differentiates it from other EDR providers is the Automated Investigation and Response, which reduces the workload of SOC analysts or engineers. They don't have to manually investigate each and every alert on the endpoint, since it does so automatically. And you can automate the investigation part.

In addition, there are several features that have helped to improve our security posture at the prevention level, such as the attack surface reduction controls and the exploit prevention control. The attack surface reduction comes with the solution, out-of-the-box. There is Application Control as well, which is kind of difficult to implement, but once you are through the pain of designing and implementing it, it is one of the very good features to have. These tools are some of the things that are missing from other vendors' products, as I have worked with McAfee, Symantec and Carbon Black.

What needs improvement?

One area for improvement is that, because it comes out-of-the-box, it does not interact well with many applications we have developed in-house. There is no way to exclude them because it interacts with everything on the endpoint. One of the issues is lagging: the in-house-developed applications suffer from this and they become slow. For a big enterprise, it is important that they include a feature so that we can exclude these applications.

Another area where it could be improved is that, while it collects a lot of data, it misses some data, which is important, such as the hardware version of the endpoint and the AV signature version. I think this improvement is in the Microsoft pipeline already but it is not in the solution yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for around one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been quite stable up until now. It does not break. Microsoft is developing on it quite frequently and more and more features are coming in, but overall it is quite stable. It does not break that often.

As we have moved away from Microsoft Defender Antivirus and to the EDR solution, we have seen very few issues so far that users have faced with this. There have been very occasional performance issues for some users, but they have been very rare.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is one thing which, I think, Microsoft is working on, because it is not yet very scalable. What it provides out-of-the-box is all it has. Any big organization needs customization, but the customization of it and running customized things on top of it are areas where it is lagging. That something Microsoft needs to work on. Examples include running custom playbooks or customizing the events which it is collecting.

We are protecting 100,000 endpoints with this solution. We may increase usage, but there is no plan for that as of yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

Microsoft technical support is good.

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

Before Microsoft Defender for Endpoint we had Carbon Black. But when I came onboard, Defender for Endpoint had already been chosen.

How was the initial setup?

The setup process is not very complex, but it is also not very straightforward. It depends what solutions you have. If you have everything set up, which is usually the case for big organizations, then it is pretty smooth. But if there are some things that are not set up properly in the organization, like certain parts of the infra or the cloud onboarding, then it becomes cumbersome, not the installation part, but in setting up the backend which it needs.

Our implementation strategy was that we started with a few pilot machines, to onboard Defender for Endpoint. We noticed that we had around 70 to 80 percent failures. It was a learning phase and we identified the root cause of those failures. There are some settings in Defender AV that need tweaking when you want to onboard Defender for Endpoint. We struggled to tweak those settings, but once that was done, it went pretty smoothly for the next couple of pilots. Then we encountered another roadblock which was related to an OS version dependency.

Overall, it took us about one month to onboard the solution, but we are weak in infra.

What about the implementation team?

We had our consultant from Microsoft for the implementation. The engagement went on for three to four months. But one thing we noticed from this project was that it did not need a consultant. It was not that difficult to do. Maybe we did not get an expert consultant because, for solving issues, he also took time.

In addition to doing onboarding, we wanted our third-party integrations, but that was something they could not do because they were Microsoft. We had to do that ourselves. Over that three or four months, we realized that we didn't need them.

Microsoft consultancy is good and bad. If you get good consultants, they are really good. But sometimes you get consultants who are not expert enough in their domains and you don't get enough from them.

What was our ROI?

We have not seen ROI yet, but we are hopeful that in the future it will provide that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

One of the differences between other solutions I have used and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is that the latter is not yet enterprise-ready to the same extent that the other vendors are. Other vendors provide a lot of customization when it comes to integration, which every big organization requires. No big organization depends on one particular tool. Defender lacks that at this point.

What other advice do I have?

Defender for Endpoint is marketed as an endpoint detection and response tool, but for others who are looking at onboarding it, they should take it as a holistic tool that provides AV, EDR, and vulnerability management all in one. However, it does not provide very good integration with third parties.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Director of Security at Overseas Adventure Travel Partners, Inc.
Real User
Takes automated actions, integrates well, and helps us to improve our security posture with a small team
Pros and Cons
  • "The best thing I like about it is its interaction with the other Defender products. It provides the ability to push telemetry up. It gives me endpoint visibility and allows me to take automated actions."
  • "They're in the process of pulling more things together. They can continue with the integrations and provide a better way of seeing the impact of security changes, especially on the endpoint side. Before we actually flip the switch, we should be able to see the impact of security changes on the business or business applications. It would prevent breaking any business applications."

What is our primary use case?

It is our endpoint protection solution as a part of the full Defender Suite that we use. We use it for every one of our devices, including Macs and Windows.

Each endpoint is with Intune, and then the management is done out of Azure.

How has it helped my organization?

It takes automated actions. If a device is found to have a virus, it will automatically remove it, isolate the device, and then notify us to follow up. That way, things are less critical when we get to them. It will stop the spread. We're a worldwide company with very few people on the security staff. It allows us to remove the risk in an immediate fashion without the staff having to jump on it, which just takes time.

It helps us prioritize threats across our enterprise. We have limited resources to deal with the threats. So, this prioritization is critical to us.

We use more than just Defender for Endpoint. We use Defender for Identity, Defender for Office 365, and Cloud App security. We use the whole 365 Defender suite. It is easy to integrate these products. The challenge is having all the features in your environment and obviously making it work within your environment because of your different applications and business processes, but all these solutions work natively together to deliver coordinated detection and response across our environment. This is critical for us because we have limited resources. So, allowing the machines to talk to each other and not having to jump from place to place just makes life a lot easier.

We use Microsoft Defender for Cloud for the hybrid cloud environment. We are not multi-cloud at this point. We use it to identify weaknesses within our environment, both prem and off-prem so that we can prioritize. We do not use Sentinel at this time.

For the most part, it gives me what I need in one spot. I do have to drill down into other dashboards for more defined reports. We go into the Intune dashboard for compliance and things like that.

Its threat intelligence helps prepare us for potential threats before they hit and take proactive steps. We use the secure score to help identify what we need to do to protect against things as they come up. It lets us know about any ransomware out there so we can jump right on those and do protections. We also use it for the compliance piece against NIST, PCI, and things of that nature.

It saves time. If I didn't have the integrated pieces of Microsoft Defender, to do the same amount and be on top of things, I would probably need two FTEs.

It has absolutely decreased our time to detect and time to respond.

What is most valuable?

The best thing I like about it is its interaction with the other Defender products. It provides the ability to push telemetry up. It gives me endpoint visibility and allows me to take automated actions. 

It is excellent in terms of visibility into threats. It is very comprehensive in terms of threat detection, and it keeps on getting better. They are consistently adding new features.

What needs improvement?

They're in the process of pulling more things together. They can continue with the integrations and provide a better way of seeing the impact of security changes, especially on the endpoint side. Before we actually flip the switch, we should be able to see the impact of security changes on the business or business applications. It would prevent breaking any business applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

In its current rendition, I have been using it for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is very good. It definitely scales easily.

How are customer service and support?

Their support is okay. We get support through Insight, which is also our CSP. They're better. I would rate them a five out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

On the endpoint side, I've used Sophos and Symantec. We switched because of the integration between all different securities.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment was relatively easy, but when you get into turning on the switches, things can get complicated because it has a lot of different features. Overall, it was easy.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house. We had two security systems engineers doing it. 

What was our ROI?

We have seen a return on investment, but it is hard to give metrics. It has definitely allowed us to maintain a small team and increase our security posture. 

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

If you're on Microsoft products, and you've bought into what they're doing with Teams Voice and Office, then adding in the security piece is just a slight bump. You go with the E5 licensing, which saves you a lot of money.

With the bundling that Microsoft does, we have saved money. Buying individual point products would've cost us a lot more money than one integrated solution that also capitalizes on Teams Voice and things of that nature. Given our size, buying individual products would have easily cost us a million dollars.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked at other solutions. We've looked at CrowdStrike. We've looked at Symantec. We went for Microsoft because of the full integration. The breadth of the products and the pricing were the main reasons.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise following those secure scores and watching out as you start to communicate with your user base because you're going to impact applications.

To a security colleague who says that it is better to go with a best-of-breed strategy rather than a single vendor’s security suite, my response would be that you got to measure trying to do the integration because with security, to me, bringing that integration together is the key thing. You need to know how quickly you are going to be able to move from your detection to your mitigation. Are you going to turn on things on the firewalls or can you go right to the devices and isolation? The best of the breed is great, but trying to get them all to work together becomes very complex.

I would rate it an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Security Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Makes monitoring a lot easier and minimizes on-prem administration
Pros and Cons
  • "DFE organizational security posture has been a positive experience. We're a Microsoft house. It works. Once it's deployed and once it's configured, it works and our clients tend to be happy with it. I haven't really experienced anyone who has been so unsatisfied with the platform that they wanted to go a couple of different directions, that has never happened to me."
  • "Monitoring can always be better, onboarding can be a little bit faster, log collection could be easier, they could streamline the dashboard. They could maybe split it up into different workspaces and have the ability to segment groups a little bit more."

What is our primary use case?

The area that I focus on the most is Endpoint Protection. We use Intune to build custom devices and configurations, to push out group policies, and do quite a bit with Azure Log Analytics.  

I'm writing a script from a multi-home deployment of the MMA Agent. The use case varies a lot, depending on the clients' needs. Our clients tend to be pretty big companies. The smallest client I have is about 600 people. Our biggest client is about 50,000.

How has it helped my organization?

DFE organizational security posture has been a positive experience. We're a Microsoft house. It works. Once it's deployed and once it's configured, it works and our clients tend to be happy with it. I haven't really experienced anyone who has been so unsatisfied with the platform that they wanted to go a couple of different directions, that has never happened to me.

What is most valuable?

It's Microsoft native. Microsoft is the corporate default, so it makes sense to use security platforms that are baked into the Microsoft platform. That's probably the most valuable aspect of it.

It has specific features that improve our customer's security posture. It makes the monitoring a lot easier and minimizes on-prem administration. A lot of the administrative stuff is all folded into Azure. It makes things easier.

The platform just makes things easier compared to on-prem or hybrid solutions because if you start working in an on-prem solution, most of the time it's going to be a battlefield. 

DFE affects the end-user experience when it's deployed. The more freedom a user has on the device, the more they're used to doing things their own way. By locking things down, by having device configurations, you disrupt the workflow. You need a lot of user education where you have to explain why you're doing these things. I'm a part of security. It's twofold, in that users have to get used to the new configurations. And the reason why we might take a little bit longer with pilot phases is that we have to identify how it'll affect the users and how the differences of different business units will be affected. Developers need a more open environment than other solutions.

What needs improvement?

Everything can always be improved. Improvements would depend on the client. 

Monitoring can always be better, onboarding can be a little bit faster, log collection could be easier, they could streamline the dashboard. They could maybe split it up into different workspaces and have the ability to segment groups a little bit more.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on and off for about three or four years. 

It's only the last two and a half years that it's been a big part of my job.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft has some creative accounting when they promise an SLA of 99.99%. But it is generally good. There's always going to be a problem with the cloud. If it works 99% of the time, that's great.

The frustrating thing is, you're not sure if there's a problem with your configuration or if the service itself is down because Microsoft tends to only report that the service is down much later than when you started experiencing things. So sometimes I have to jump onto a private forum or a Slack channel and ask other consultants if they experienced something similar. But when it works, it works. There's never going to be a cloud solution that has 100% uptime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is fine. I mainly work with implementation, so I haven't really had to mess around with the scalability. I'm responsible for setting up security policies, and then if they want to do scalability, that's another team. I sit in security.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't worked with support. I generally don't use Microsoft Support.

We were Microsoft partners last year. We're gold partners where we won security partners of the year, so we have an account manager. If it really hits the fan, then I would just talk to him. 

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

I've been an IaaS specialist since I began my career. I've done Apple MDM solutions and I've done Google Workspace, but when it comes to actual IaaS, I can't really compare. Because we're a Microsoft house, we generally don't use third parties or competitors.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the setup depends on the environment. If it's Greenfield, it's super easy. I've been doing this for two to three years now. Most of the time it's easy. The larger companies have more complex networks and systems. The smaller the company, the easier it is to deploy.

The beginning of the project, like scoping, implementation, the entire process, or just the actual deployment depends on the size of the company. For smaller companies, we'll push some policies out. We'll do a week or two of a pilot phase where we identify different stakeholders and different business units. We collect feedback from them, keep an eye out on the audit logs and if that goes well, then we go into phase two, which takes another week or two where we slowly push out, if it's an accounting department with 60 people, then we'll do batches of 20. We'll have a pilot group of five and then we'll push it out to 20 people at a time.

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

The project managers worry about the licenses. I get my scope, I know the limitations I have to work with, and then I just make a solution based on that. I'm a very technical consultant and I don't really care about licenses, that doesn't really have anything to do with me.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to start small, don't start a project thinking that it's the best solution, and bowl it out straight away. Take your time. Don't think that you'll be able to incorporate the platform within a month, although that would depend on the size of your business. Take your time, there's no rush, be patient. Because there will always be some problems.

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
PeerSpot user
Prosanjit Mondal - PeerSpot reviewer
Associate Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Reseller
Top 20
Out-of-the-box and brings more value to customers; provides technically sound support, but is not as robust and not as customizable
Pros and Cons
  • "What I found most valuable in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is that it's out-of-the-box, which brings more value to the customer. The technical support for the product is also one of the best parts, because it's good, in terms of the product knowledge of the technical engineers."
  • "Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is not as robust, and you cannot customize it much, so that's a challenge."

What is most valuable?

What I found most valuable in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is that it's out-of-the-box, which brings more value to the customer. The technical support for the product is also one of the best parts, because it's good, in terms of the product knowledge of the technical engineers.

What needs improvement?

In Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, the devices still need to mature a little more when compared to other AV solutions. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is not as robust, and you cannot customize it much, so that's a challenge. These are the rooms for improvement in the product.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is still being improved. I would say it's still in the development stage. Daily, Microsoft is getting feedback from the customers, so they are modifying the product based on the feedback and requirements of the customers. It's an ongoing process, and as a consultant, I'm in a much better shape, from a consultant point of view, in terms of speaking with customers.

What I'd like to see in the next release of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a single console where you can manage all the policies, Intune, and the EDR capability that can be managed through Intune. There should be a single portal for that to make it more convenient for the security consultant engineer to work with. Right now, I have to hop between different controls. Even the tenant attach feature needs to become more mature in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint because it's just very basic. The concept is good, but it's very basic, so it requires more effort for the engineer to configure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint since 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a cloud solution, so it's always scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is good, and it's the best part. Microsoft knows that the product needs some development, so they're working on improvements, but all the technical engineers I've worked with so far are very technically sound and they know the product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is straightforward, if you are aware or have knowledge of it. For example, it's easy if you have gone through all the phases of setting up Microsoft Defender for Endpoint when it started as a manual deployment, manual configuration, then it came through GTO, then SSCM, then Intune, and now SMM. If you have gone through all the phases of deployment, then you know where you need to go and where to change the settings.

If you just started with Intune, or you're dealing with a combination of Intune and a firewall, the initial setup won't be as easy. It could be challenging for a newcomer, because you do not have much experience with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, but they'll give you good support, and they'll try to resolve the challenges that come up when setting up the solution.

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

Pricing for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is competitive. Out of the bundle, you will get a lot of security, if I talk about Microsoft E5, for example, and get a lot of benefits. If the customer goes and purchases a different solution, it will cost more, so pricing for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is quite reasonable at the moment. There isn't any challenge in terms of pricing, for example, I didn't see a customer who pulled back because of the price. Some prices could be negotiable, and sometimes, as a sales point, the two become negotiable, but they don't bill one and pull back because of the pricing. If you have an E5 license, you get everything.

Customers don't worry about the prices too much, because what they're a little bit worried about is the complete capability of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint in the endpoint security space when compared to other legacy solutions such as McAfee Endpoint Security and Symantec End-User Endpoint Security that are quite mature enough in this market, as seen on Gartner. Sometimes the customer is reluctant to move to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, but not because of its price. I didn't have customers who questioned the pricing for the solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm currently working with all these solutions: McAfee Endpoint Security, Symantec End-User Endpoint Security, and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, because I'm a consultant. I'm not a customer. I do use it, and the organization I'm in uses it, but I'm a consultant to the customer. I do pre-sales and look into any of the technical aspects of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

In terms of comparing Symantec End-User Endpoint Security with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, they both work, but in different ways and they have different approaches. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint doesn't have HIPS, while Symantec End-User Endpoint Security has HIPS. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has ASR rules which are compulsory, but there are some activities that Microsoft Defender for Endpoint can't do in an environment, particularly if it is an air-gapped network. In an air-gapped network, which is very secure, my team can't open the internet, and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint fails in that, despite being an EDR solution, because it's cloud-based and it doesn't work there. Microsoft still doesn't have any solution for mitigating the air-gapped network.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to people looking into implementing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is to do it very fast because the tool is changing very rapidly, so if you are a novice and you are just learning, what you learn might get changed in the next quarter. Some of the functionality might get changed, so you need to keep up with the changes, and you need to learn quickly and implement Microsoft Defender for Endpoint fast.

My rating for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is seven 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: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Thiago Lima Soneti Da Silva - PeerSpot reviewer
Service Success Manager at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Top 5
Integration with Security Center and the Microsoft compliance score helps us improve security maturity
Pros and Cons
  • "The integration of Defender, Security Center, and the Microsoft compliance score, is the feature we use most to share the results with our clients and to create a roadmap together."
  • "I would like to see integrations with other products, such as Spunk and other CM solutions. That would create possibilities for me, and for a SOC, to consolidate all events in an older console, not one provided by Microsoft but provided by a third party, and use it to create more insights."

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is for financial groups and we use it to control malware, as well as for antivirus. Our focus is on using it as an endpoint solution, but we cover the older servers too.

How has it helped my organization?

Of course, we integrate Defender with Microsoft Defender Security Center and the Microsoft compliance score. We use these tools to check the maturity and to guide our clients in using the solution better. The result is that we see growth in security maturity.

When we need to create a new server, we follow certain steps. One step is activating the extension from within the server and using that to check and monitor, in a centralized console, the health of the server. Defender also provides additional information about vulnerabilities and opportunities to increase the overall security.

For example, it will tell us if a library being used has any vulnerabilities. This information is very important for us and for our clients. They use this information to go back to their developers and request fixes. Or it may identify a problem with something in a client's application, where they need another version to mitigate it. And again, when they apply the new version, we can check it using Defender to see if the vulnerability has been resolved.

What is most valuable?

The anti-malware feature is mandatory for us.

Also, we use policies to mitigate vulnerabilities, but the final compliance score from Microsoft shows us what level the client is at and what level is needed to achieve better results and increase security policy maturity. The integration of Defender, Security Center, and the Microsoft compliance score, is the feature we use most to share the results with our clients and to create a roadmap together.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see integrations with other products, such as Spunk and other CM solutions. That would create possibilities for me, and for a SOC, to consolidate all events in an older console, not one provided by Microsoft but provided by a third party, and use it to create more insights. Examples of such insights might be the need to create a new policy or the need to mitigate an attack happening now. This type of ability would create a new business case, one that doesn't only use Microsoft solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is amazing. Using Azure, the sky is the limit. You just need to understand the business case.

In some cases our clients have small environments, but in other cases they have big environments. Large clients may have 1,000 agents running. But as a consulting company, we work with many types of businesses and many environments of different sizes.

As I mentioned, if the client requests an integration with some third-party tool, we may need to use another tool or develop something to make this possible. But in most cases, you don't need to do so. You just activate it and check if your policy will apply or has already been applied to the server.

How are customer service and support?

We have no problems with Microsoft's technical support. My team resolves level-one and level-two problems, but when we need to check something directly with Microsoft, when it's a level-three issue, we open a ticket and talk with the engineers.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

It's so easy. All activity is in the cloud, for deploying the agents and policies. It's not complex.

You just click, one-two-three, and it's working. In some cases, the deployment takes minutes. If the client needs a particular window or has a critical application running on their machine, it takes more time because of that machine's situation. But in general, it just takes a few minutes.

The harder part, following this, is you need time, like with other tools, to check the events. The tool will provide some insights, but you need to understand them, and after that, share them with the client or with those responsible for taking action.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In addition to Azure, we have partnerships with AWS and Google. We focus on security and use Kaspersky as well. It's all according to the business case. We take the time to understand the business case and then build a draft solution, check it with the client, and after that, we choose the best tool, given the budget available from the client. We create one, two, or three options and the client selects what is best for them.

The main difference between Defender and Kaspersky is the scalability and the installation and deployment process which, with Defender, is so easy.

What other advice do I have?

My advice regarding Defender is the same for any other security solution: Check what you need, what types of logs and whether you will consolidate these logs in another tool. What type of knowledge will you bring from those tools to create and apply new policies and anticipate security problems?

Always check your needs with the business case. Aligning them will help determine what you need to buy. Check inside Defender to see what you need to activate. Every new feature you activate inside the cloud is billed and you need to understand if you really need each feature.

Defender has some effect on the endpoint itself but it does not change the user's work processes. It is a single tool on the endpoint to monitor the activities that happen there, but it does not affect the end-user.

But you need to understand the limitations. There are some limitations with Defender when it comes to non-Microsoft solutions. But that's not unique to Defender. It's the same with every tool. You need to understand its limitations.

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?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Assistant Chief Manager at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Advanced threat protection fulfills a large number of security strategy requirements for our organization
Pros and Cons
  • "We found that because the endpoint devices are based on Microsoft Windows devices and Windows Defender is integrated with the foundation and the core layer, it makes it more integrated and more agile in terms of responding to any security threats or changes or development"
  • "In terms of the architecture of the management infrastructure, we found that other technologies are more simple. Microsoft Defender could be simpler too."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint with advanced threat production. Microsoft's enterprise mobility and security suite fulfills a large number of security strategy requirements for our organization. We are going to use this solution for identity production and for endpoint security.

It's a hybrid setup. The advanced threat protection only comes from the cloud intelligence engine. That's something of a new experience for us, but the rest of the components will be on-prem. We are using Microsoft's cloud. 

The whole suite of security enhancement doesn't just include Microsoft Defender. It also covers many of the features that come with the Windows Enterprise version. With this option, we are actually upgrading to the Enterprise version as well and unlocking those security features which are not available in Windows Professional. Microsoft Defender is a whole suite, which is simply not comparable with a usual anti-virus, anti-malware product.

What needs improvement?

In terms of the architecture of the management infrastructure, we found that other technologies are more simple. Microsoft Defender could be simpler too. Plus, Microsoft's philosophy is that they leverage the technology they have already built in Windows or any other services within Windows. So, it is good from that standpoint, but it also becomes a bit cumbersome when it comes to the dependency. Having dependency on many things can be a weakness sometimes because you add up more points of failure to the services. Whereas the other vendors are doing the limited thing, and that's why they're not comparable in prices, but their solutions basically aren't dependent on Microsoft's other services or anything else. They're more dependent on their agent. With Microsoft, it is not just the agent. It is the operating systems that aren't working well. The technology won't give you the desired output.

So, that's something that Microsoft may need to improve: making services more independent wherever possible. That's something of their philosophy. When they build something on their OS layer, they add on technologies, and then there's something for the ISV. That's their strategy, but we keep arguing with them that they have to compare the dependence as other vendors are doing.

From the Microsoft end, the design working depends on the health of other services and other components of the operating system. Whereas if you compare it with the Symantec technology, just the agent health has to be there. That's the case with McAfee as well. They build up their products on developed agents only.

For how long have I used the solution?

We did the POC around 18 months ago, and then we consolidated our findings. As per the organization procedure, we proposed to the committee and then got the recommendation to move on with the pilot and decide the future roadmap.

Microsoft Defender is just one part of the advanced risk protection and advanced malware protection functionality that comes with the Microsoft product. It came with a lot of security, advisories, reviews, and consultancy during the last couple of years. There was a stack of 15-20 requirements that we had to fulfill, like mobile device management and identity protection. We found that Windows Defender meets most of our requirements.

How are customer service and support?

We have had good experience with tech support so far.

We have a direct support agreement with Microsoft. One of the major reasons for moving from the current endpoint security is the support. The quality is not up to the mark. That's something incomparable with the kind of support Microsoft provides.

I would give Microsoft's support a 5 out of 5.

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

In terms of the technical aspect, I'm the lead of the area, which actually takes care of endpoint management, and we have been using Symantec products for that purpose. We have evaluated Microsoft Defender and Microsoft security products, and we are going to switch over to that product. We found that  because the endpoint devices are based on Microsoft Windows devices and Windows Defender is integrated with the foundation and the core layer, it makes it more integrated and more agile in terms of responding to any security threats or changes or development, whereas compared to the other vendors who develop anything on top of that platform, they're always lagging behind.

Symantec support is very pathetic. They are very methodical. They're very slow. We seldom find them providing solutions to any incident or issue in a reasonable time. It can take from days to weeks. In the case of Microsoft, their resolution time is reasonably faster than Symantec. Even in the case of VMware and Redhead, Microsoft stands on top of all those vendors.

How was the initial setup?

I wouldn't say the setup is easier than other solutions but it's not bad. It's almost equivalent to what we have been using currently, but the strength comes in what it does and how it secures that part. The setup is similar to the other competitors. For Symantec, we use their endpoint manager deployment and then a deployment across the sites and branches.

What about the implementation team?

We are doing deployment with Microsoft's tech support. But for the implementations and rollout of technologies, we have seldom used Microsoft. We have our own technical team who are trained and who keep on updating on their skills, and we continue to inject new resources to the team as well. When a new technology comes in, then we do a combo, whereby the in-house team actually learns with the local authorized partner.

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

Microsoft Defender is not comparable to a single endpoint security product, like Trend Micro, Symantec, or McAfee. Because of that, the price is higher than others because it is doing more than what the others are doing.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution 7 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

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

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: September 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.