Our primary use case is anti-malware and virus protection for our machines. We don't operate a network as such; our setup is almost entirely in the cloud.
We use the solution across multiple departments and teams, with about 400 total end users.
Our primary use case is anti-malware and virus protection for our machines. We don't operate a network as such; our setup is almost entirely in the cloud.
We use the solution across multiple departments and teams, with about 400 total end users.
Around 90% of our estate is Mac, so we rarely have security alerts, but we get daily reports. The solution lets us proactively advise users about security concerns, especially when downloading files.
The solution is a Microsoft built-in tool, so it's very straightforward to use and monitor from the admin center, it's intuitive.
As with all antivirus software, the benefits of using it far outweigh the risks of not having it. Protecting our estate, machines, and users is essential. We can take action quickly, for example, when a user downloads something suspicious and step in before the threat escalates. As an organization, we have encrypted files and data it is vital for us to protect.
Defender for Endpoint is a robust solution that works well out of the box.
We can monitor and manage our security picture from one dashboard, and that's one of the primary reasons we use the solution. Our machines are enrolled on Microsoft Intune, which further simplifies management. With the E5 license, everything is in the same place; that makes our job easier and allows us to be more proactive when confronting threats. Not having to log in and out of different systems to manage devices is an excellent improvement to our operation.
The solution's threat intelligence helps us prepare for potential threats and makes us more proactive. We have the information required to warn our users of threats, including malicious links and phishing emails. The product gives us an accurate picture of the threat landscape, enabling us to adapt our strategy to protect our most sensitive and vital data.
There is a difficult balance working in IT, as we don't want to put all our eggs in one basket; if one system goes down, we are compromised. We want the flexibility and reliability offered by different specialized solutions, but that complicates management. With Defender for Endpoint, we don't need to worry about machines slipping through the gaps and remaining unprotected because the product is connected to the user account and pushed by the tenant. There is no agent, and the solution isn't intrusive; the user doesn't even know it's there. Other vendors I dealt with in the past required clients to be installed and updated, with potential problems coming in if the client isn't up to date. This isn't an issue we have with Defender.
Our team's knowledge of the solution needs to be improved, and Microsoft could do a better job conveying the necessary information to users. We could proactively use the tool more and explore capabilities we are not yet utilizing.
We have been using the solution for about six months.
The solution is stable; Microsoft goes down very rarely. It happened just a few times over my career. If it does go down, the impact is significant.
The solution is very scalable. Microsoft makes that easy, and we plan to increase our Defender for Endpoint usage.
I've only contacted Microsoft support a few times, and they were always helpful. I don't have any issues with the support; they're good.
We previously used Symantec Endpoint Security. It was somewhat clunky. The engineers found it too intrusive as it required a client to be installed, dramatically slowing down the machines. We switched to Defender for Endpoint because it's part of the Microsoft suite, and we can use it across platforms for Windows and Mac.
The initial setup is straightforward. Initially, we didn't use the E5 licensing, so it was a basic cloud setup with a license per user. Now we have our own tenants, and we're deploying E5 licenses, and Defender for Endpoint comes as part of the license. A user activates the app in the Office 365 tenant, and that's the setup.
The initial deployment didn't take very long; it was just a tick box exercise. We are moving tenants, so we're giving everyone a new E5 license when they move over. It's quick and easy to assign licenses via a tool we have, which provides users with access to the entire Microsoft suite, including Defender for Endpoint.
Five people were involved in the deployment, all of them IT staff.
I'm not directly involved in taking care of the solution, but it seems lightweight in terms of maintenance. Most of the updating is end-user-driven; users are prompted to restart their machines to stay up to date with security patches.
As we have only been using the solution for six months, I don't think we've seen an ROI yet. I imagine in another two years, we will see a return.
AV solutions are pretty expensive because they are necessary, not just for protection, but many businesses need them to comply with regulatory bodies and receive accreditation. We recently purchased an E5 license, which gives us access to the entire Microsoft suite. I would say the pricing is competitive; most tools of this kind are similarly priced. There are minor differences between the competitors, but they aren't spectacularly different. Defender for Endpoint makes sense because all our solutions are in the same place, paid for with a single license. The subscription price is around £50 per user per month, though it may have increased slightly.
We evaluated Sophos Intercept X and Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business.
I would rate the solution an eight out of ten.
Defender for Endpoint helps us automate routine tasks, but I don't specifically know what kind of automation it does or what we use it for, as the InfoSec team is responsible for that.
No solution is completely foolproof, but the configuration has a large part to play in the quality of the protection.
We have been in business for two years, so we're a relatively small and young company. Nevertheless, it's vital to have protection against malicious actors. The threat landscape we face today is complex and diverse, so our threat protection needs to be up to par. That's the benefit of using the product; we need to protect our data, and having a tool that informs us of potential threats is excellent.
As an end user, the solution didn't personally save me time, but I imagine it did for the InfoSec team who deal with it directly. The security reporting will all be in one place, and we don't have to go to the marketplace to look for separate tools to fulfill different functions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have been using Defender for about five years.
Defender is robust.
I'm still in the early stage, but the scalability seems impressive based on my research and the size of reference clients.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once we enroll devices, the Microsoft scanners scan them in the backend and find vulnerabilities for the devices. For example, if our Office version is outdated, or Chrome is an outdated version, or there are any vulnerabilities or security loopholes, they will be displayed in Defender for Endpoint. We go through those vulnerabilities and we try to fix them by creating group policies or by using Intune. If there are any security recommendations in Defender for Endpoint, we fix those assets.
It's the best solution for vulnerabilities. Most updates will be done by group policies in a big organization and everything will be maintained in that way. But with non-group policies, if it's not a hybrid environment, or they are only using cloud, or they're connected to Azure already, or they don't have AD, a lot of updates will be missed. That is a very difficult situation for handling vulnerabilities. In that situation, once we enroll the devices to Defender for Endpoint, all the vulnerabilities will be displayed on the dashboard and we can review them and fix them. In that way, we can stop most cyberattacks and close all the vulnerabilities and loopholes.
Before enrolling devices to Defender for Endpoint, we don't know what vulnerabilities or security loopholes are on those devices. Once we enroll devices we find a lot of vulnerabilities and we have been able to fix a lot of security-related issues. It has helped us a lot.
It is impacting our security score. Before we enrolled our devices to Defender for Endpoint, our security score was 58. When we enrolled 500-plus devices to Defender for Endpoint, our security score went down to about 42 percent. We then understood we need to maintain it above 50 percent, as recommended by Microsoft. We are trying to increase our security score by fixing those issues.
It shows how to fix a given vulnerability or security issue, providing step-by-step guidance. That saves a lot of time because if we didn't know how to fix a vulnerability, we would need to do some research and find the right document. That would take time. It is saving us 10 to 15 hours per month.
It finds the loopholes and vulnerabilities and shows you some security recommendations as well. Based on the requirements, we fix them. We don't necessarily need to fix all the vulnerabilities. For example, if an organization is using Office 365 and the accounts team wants Excel to be updated to version 16.2.0, some applications or some data will work only with that particular version, but some data will not be supported. In that situation, we don't want to upgrade MS Excel.
Integrating Microsoft solutions with other solutions is not that difficult. Microsoft provides documentation on how to integrate things, which is good. We get a lot of information from the Microsoft pages. Integration is very helpful for finding all the security-related stuff.
Defender for Endpoint has one dashboard with security-related information, vulnerability-related information, and basic recommendations from Microsoft, all in different tabs. That's helpful because if we want to fix only the recommended ones, we can go fix all of them, or if we want to work on the security-related ones, we can go to the security tab and work on all of them.
The solution's threat analytics is another tab and it is helpful for finding vulnerabilities, phishing emails, and spam emails. If we want to release them, we can release them. We will check IP abuse and whether the IP is related to brute force attacks. If we want to improve on something, we will send it to Microsoft to analyze it. Being proactive is important. As specialists, we need to review the recommendations from Microsoft on a day-to-day basis and fix them as much as we can. Day-to-day, we need to upgrade and make sure all the devices are up to date. That should not be done on a weekly or monthly basis.
Right now, the solution provides some recommendations on the dashboard but we don't have any priorities. It's a mix of all the vulnerabilities and all the security recommendations. I would like to see some priority or categorization of high, medium, and low so that we can fix the high ones first.
We have been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for one and a half years.
I haven't seen any downtime. I don't see any issues with the stability. If there is any downtime, Microsoft will send a message on the dashboard and we can see any service issues.
Their tech support is very good. If we raise a ticket, they will respond within 15 to 20 minutes. If they don't know, they will do some research and come back to us. I love working with Microsoft
We used GFI Vipre. We switched because Vipre was not a Microsoft product, and we trust Microsoft. Between a third party and Microsoft, most people will choose Microsoft because the solution and the support are very good. We also have a client portfolio and we get a discount on the license.
The initial setup is simple. We run a script on the local machine and the device will be enrolled to Defender.
I completely configured Defender for Endpoint to be used in an automated way. We enrolled our devices to Intune and we configured Defender for Endpoint in Intune. Once we add our devices to Intune and to a group, those devices will be enrolled to Defender for Endpoint also. Enrolling takes around 24 to 48 hours.
Maintenance is pretty easy. Once we run that script, there are no complications while enrolling the devices.
The comprehensiveness of the threat-protection that Microsoft security products provide depends upon the license. Right now, we are using E5 licenses which cover every security feature. But if a small or mid-level organization uses an E3 license or Business Basic plan, not all the features are provided. The cost is high for E5 licenses, but if we go with the E3 license, most of the features are not covered.
We did some research and found other solutions. The support is very good for Microsoft. If we raise a ticket, within 15 to 20 minutes, we will get a response from the Microsoft support team regarding the issue. They keep an eye on it; every ticket is tracked. If we want, we can also escalate. With a third-party solution, we cannot get as much support as we can with Microsoft.
There are a lot of cyber security tools, so it depends upon the requirements. I'm not saying that we need to use only Microsoft. But when it comes to support, I don't know how the others do. Using a suite of solutions from Microsoft has benefits. Support is a very good one. The recommendations are also provided in the dashboard, and the SLA is 99.9 percent; we don't expect downtime with Microsoft.
We are not using Microsoft Sentinel. It will create alerts regarding VMs or storage but the cost is very high. Sentinel is not going to help much more when compared with Defender for Endpoint. Sentinel isn't preferable. It only creates alerts. There is not that much impact on the organization if it uses Sentinel also.
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a very good solution. I recommend using it.
We're using it for endpoint security.
We are able to get quite a lot of details about the laptops that we have across the organization. I would rate it pretty high in terms of visibility into our environment.
We are better able to see or get alerts on things that we might not have been able to see before. With Norton, for example, we didn't have a centrally managed system. All we could see was that a node had some threat on it, and we had to manually log into that node and work with the user to figure out what that threat was. With Defender, we are able to see all of that through the console instead of having to reach out to the user, which speeds up the process of figuring out what type of vulnerability we're looking at, and we are able to run scans and do other things remotely without having to interact with the user anything. It speeds up our process of detecting vulnerabilities and threats.
It has significantly reduced the amount of time to respond to threats and manage threats.
It has definitely improved our security, and it also helped us in reducing management costs.
We had Norton Antivirus before, and with Norton, we didn't have a way to centrally manage a lot of features. Defender allowed us to deploy it from our Office 365 admin console. That is probably the biggest thing that made us go with Defender.
Since we moved to Defender, we have more visibility into our security posture for our devices across the organization. We can not only see how the devices are doing as far as AV is concerned; we can also see any threats that might come up. We get alerts on those as well, which is very useful for us.
One thing that was lacking in Defender was web filtering. Its web filtering wasn't as comprehensive. Sophos was a little bit better than Defender for blocking URLs or installing programs.
In terms of additional features, we have more features than we use. We haven't really had a chance to dig too deep into it.
We've been using this solution for about a year.
So far, so good. We haven't had any issues related to the service not being available or anything like that.
It is highly scalable. We were able to deploy it across the organization fairly quickly. It is also pretty straightforward to add users or remove users.
We use Office 365 and Azure AD. We have somewhere around 400 users dispersed across the USA.
When we reached out for support, there were times when it took a little bit longer than we liked, but once we were able to engage with their support, we were able to get the resolution fairly quickly.
We were using Norton as our endpoint antivirus solution. We switched so that we are able to centrally manage endpoint security.
My team implemented it, and I was in charge of overseeing the deployment.
We're a small team managing about 400 users across the organization. A lot of them are remote, especially since the pandemic. We have a couple of administrators who are responsible for checking Defender and just keeping on top of our security.
We have definitely seen improvements in terms of quickly being able to manage threats and being able to centrally manage everything.
We mostly use Microsoft products. We use Office 365, and we use Azure. We're also a Microsoft partner. So, the licensing was much cheaper for us, and at the same time, a lot of the features that we were looking for were included in Defender.
We were trying to get our firm the security certification for government contracting. One of the requirements was to upgrade our Microsoft licensing to a level to be able to use the government cloud. We found out that the required licensing already included Defender. So, it helped us kill two birds with one stone. It was much easier for us to convince the executives to go with it.
We did evaluate other options. CrowdStrike was one of the solutions we looked at. It was a pretty good option, and then there was Trend Micro. Symantec was another one, and then there was also Sophos. Those were the options that we were looking at.
Some of them were priced prohibitive for us. Sophos was a pretty good solution, but it was pretty expensive as compared to some of the other options. Trend Micro was good, but the management interface was lacking for us. It didn't have some of the features that we were looking for. Symantec was just expensive, and their centralized management was also not that great. So, both Trend Micro and Symantec didn't have good management interfaces. Sophos had probably the best one, but it was very expensive. Sophos was also better than Microsoft Defender in terms of web filtering. Web filtering was something for which Microsoft Defender didn't have as good features.
I would advise comparing it with others. If your environment is mostly Microsoft, it makes sense to use Microsoft Defender as part of your deployment.
I would rate it a nine out of ten.
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.
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.
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.
I would like to see Sentinel better integrated with the rest of the security technology within one portal.
I've been using Defender for more than a year.
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.
We previously used Sophos.
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.
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.
Our server is on Azure, so we get alerts on Microsoft Defender. If it's an endpoint alert, we investigate the endpoint based on the type of endpoint it is, whether it's a computer or a phone, et cetera. We then figure out what kind of file was downloaded, if it was bad or good, based on the hash file.
We also use Microsoft Defender for Office 365 for email, where we get alerts based on phishing emails, spam, and we investigate them. We also do Sentinel queries, with KQL (Kusto Query Language).
Automation has had a positive impact. When we have a lot of false-positive alerts, we are able to set up a condition in Microsoft Defender where it will automatically close that as false. I don't create those conditions, that's something our security engineer does, but it makes my job easier.
Also, threat intelligence helps against potential threats before they hit. You can actually block and delete the emails from MDE whenever you detect them, or when they report, "Hey, this is a phishing email or spam email." It's also able to block and detect a bad or phishing URL. It has decreased our time to respond because if it detects a URL, we're able to automatically block and delete it before a user even sees their mailbox the next morning. It's very fast in detecting and we like that.
As a SOC, it has saved us time, on the order of 60 percent of our time.
The Microsoft Sentinel part is the most valuable when you have to search for the malicious folder or file the user downloaded. We use it to ingest data from our entire ecosystem and that is very important if we have to go back 30 days and investigate cases, and we need more details. It's able to ingest that much data. That's pretty important.
Sentinel also enables us to respond holistically from one place and that's good for my job. It makes it easy.
Also, the visibility into threats that the solution provides is pretty awesome. I had never actually seen this type of technology before. It was the first time I had exposure to the cloud. This is something that makes me think, "Wow, okay. If I had my own organization, I would probably get this too." It stops the threat before an employee gets phished or something gets downloaded to their computer. Even if it gets downloaded to the computer, it doesn't spread to the other networks, because Defender will automatically block it.
Another thing that is pretty awesome is that our Microsoft security products work natively together and deliver coordinated detection and response throughout our environment. As a SOC person, it makes my job very easy.
When it comes to the comprehensiveness of the threat protection from these products, so far I have seen how it's able to pick up the smallest script that is hidden in any type of malicious file. It's so good. And it gives you all the details: what kind of script was run, what kind of hash file, and what type of command was run. I'm pretty happy with it.
If there were more template queries in the library, that would make it much easier. They could have basic things, like, "Where's the IP for this user?" or, "What file was downloaded from this user?" If there were more of those basic queries that would help. I haven't seen basic ones, but there are a lot of advanced queries, where people need to know the KQL language to understand them. I'm still learning so that's why I'm providing that feedback.
I have been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for almost a year.
The stability has been really good so far. I haven't seen it go down or have an issue where it didn't work.
We have had some integration issues when something breaks, but that's just occasional. So far, it's good.
We have it deployed across various departments. The IT users have more privileged settings.
When I started with this company we used Splunk before we switched to Sentinel. We switched because Sentinel seems way faster.
I wasn't involved in the setup of the solution, but when it comes to maintenance, we have security engineers who maintain our alerts, in case there are false positive alerts coming in.
Work on Sentinel. It has a lot of power versus the Microsoft Defender solution.
I'm part of a team that does governance and consulting for migration from Symantec Endpoint Security to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.
I haven't really seen anything in the solution that is an improvement over anything else. It's just that as we move to Microsoft cloud, it makes sense to look at some of the other products that sync between onsite and cloud. It's a stretch to say that it has inherently improved things.
You have endpoint security to keep your devices safe. That's the feature that we're interested in.
The visibility into threats is good.
There are some areas in the proactive threats that are just overwhelming the SOC, so we've had to turn those off until we can figure out how to filter out the false positives. Otherwise, there's no point in using it, as our SOC would be overwhelmed. Their choice would be either to run down every false positive, which would take their attention away from other things or to start ignoring positives, which defeats the purpose of having alerts.
The threat intelligence is too overwhelming right now. The amount of time it takes to sort through and figure out proactive solutions and prioritize—if there was an imminent threat and we just relied on that—means the bad actors would have already had a chance to get to work.
It also hasn't eliminated having to look at multiple dashboards. That's one of the running jokes with the Microsoft products: They keep hinting at a single pane for everything, and they're getting better, but they're still pretty far away from that. That would be revolutionary if Microsoft could figure out how to run all their security stuff through a single pane. They would have people lined up with money in hand, but they are not there. They're not close to it. For them to even talk about it right now is disingenuous. Microsoft is better than that.
The single biggest thing that Microsoft needs to do is figure out how to pull everything together so that all their security products can be accessed through one dashboard; one place where all of that information can be gathered and looked at by people with the appropriate access permissions.
The other thing that they need to figure out is how to move away from the amount of scripting that needs to be done with a lot of their products and move into a GUI. That's especially true because there is difficulty getting people with scripting skills, especially when you get into the Kusto Query Language and putting together tables through scripts. If that could be done with a point-and-click, that would be a notable achievement.
I have been using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for about a year and a half.
The solution is solid.
The biggest "catch" is that clients do not always want to implement systems according to the manufacturer's best practices. There's always friction if the client has in mind one way it should be, but it was designed differently.
In our case, we're talking about a big company that is used to being a big enough client that the vendor will change what they do to accommodate them. Microsoft does not have to. That's not a criticism of Microsoft. It's just that Microsoft is big. They are not a little regional provider. They will not change something in their product that's distributed globally to accommodate a client with a non-standard way of wanting to implement something. There's friction with that.
I do not see that as friction with Microsoft because of Microsoft, I see it as the friction of a client that takes a solution from a huge provider but sometimes has the mindset that they want the attention that comes when they purchase a solution from a small provider.
When it comes to technical support, I have found Microsoft to be outstanding. The answers are not always what people want to hear, but the answers are legitimate. I do not have any criticism of Microsoft on that.
We previously used Symantec Endpoint Security.
Aside from the possibility that some forward-thinking people see us having more of a presence in Azure, and the logic of using a Microsoft product that goes along with that, I have no clear idea what prompted the switch. That is not a poor reflection on Microsoft. It's just that whatever motivated moving from a solution that was working fine to another solution is beyond my knowledge.
We have about 180,000 endpoints and they are distributed globally. It took us about six months to do the rollout. As we did that, we figured out various aspects that needed to be tweaked or changed for the best.
I doubt, at this point in the migration, that there is going to be ROI. I do not have enough information on that to really make an accurate determination. I think the biggest payoff is going to come in the future, as we throw more and more resources into cloud and we need to have some continuity with systems in the cloud and onsite.
First, have an understanding of Microsoft's best practices. Second, understand that Defender for Endpoint is part of the operating system. It is not a "bolt-on," like most antiviruses are. There are going to be some differences in how Defender interacts with an operating system, compared to an external solution. Be prepared for that.
It helps prioritize threats across an enterprise to some extent, but we haven't delved that deeply into that part of Defender yet.
The solution hasn't saved us time but I'll qualify that with the fact that we are in migration, moving to a new system, which is Microsoft, and that always takes more time and effort, as we work through the teething troubles. That is not necessarily a reflection on Microsoft. It's a reflection that anytime you move from one system to another, it takes a while before the teething troubles are smoothed out.
If a security colleague said to me that it's better to go with a best-of-breed strategy rather than a single vendor security suite, I would say there are pros and cons. It would have to be a discussion about what they need to achieve and their thoughts on why a particular solution would seem best. On a high level, there are good and bad reasons for all kinds of solutions. Without having a clear understanding of what is trying to be achieved, it's really difficult to say whether one is particularly good or bad.
We use it as an antivirus and EDR solution. We also use it for vulnerability scanning and threat hunting.
It is cloud-based. We have a cloud-first strategy when it comes to our organization.
We are a very small, lightweight start-up organization who has only been around for a couple of years. We have 17 endpoints.
We have it deployed on our endpoints and virtual servers. We have a few Windows Servers 2019, and we have onboarded those both onto Defender for Endpoint as well. Those servers are not managed by MDM because they are Server 2019, but we have onboarded them so they are being managed by Defender for Endpoint as well.
This solution definitely increases our security posture. When you are reviewing your existing fleet or endpoints and based on the configuration that you put out of your Defender for Endpoint, you then receive a security score from Microsoft. Depending on what rules you have configured, what policies you have deployed, and what attack surface reduction rules that you have set up and deployed, it is almost gamifying information security in the sense that you are always trying to achieve a higher score. The more hardening you perform on your endpoints, the better score you receive. This generally tends to give you a better peace of mind, but also makes you secure at the same time.
I like the fact that it is baked into the Microsoft platform.
Since we have deployed it, we have been really impressed with the way that everything just stitches together really well. You can access all your security data and telemetry from a single pane of glass on the Microsoft Security admin console. You can access all your endpoints, see how your antivirus is running, and get all your vulnerability scans and reports. In the software inventories, you can review your known vulnerabilities and understand whether those are zero days or if there are active threats out in the wild. Essentially, you don't need to jump into different admin consoles. You have everything built into Windows Defender Security Center, which we find really useful.
If you consider our organization, we are a fairly Mac-heavy organization. At the moment, around 80% of our fleet are Mac OSs. We made a conscious decision to roll out Defender for Endpoint against all our endpoints, whether it is Windows or Mac OS. However, one thing that we have noticed is that there is definitely no parity on the platform between the two operating systems. When you are configuring, deploying, and onboarding machines, you can get very granular with your security configuration when you are deploying it to a Windows's endpoint. For Mac OS, it is a lot more straightforward. You don't have the ability to apply as much configuration as you would on Windows. That is definitely something that has room for improvement.
I am also not sure how well the EDR functionality works on the Mac OS platform. It just provides an antivirus and the full EDR capability is not there on a Mac OS.
The web filtering needs a little bit of work. We are actually in the market at the moment for a third-party web filter or cloud secure web gateway to try and plug that hole since it is a bit of a pain point for us. I don't think we will use the baked in version from Defender for Endpoint.
On the Mac OS platform, there is no parity between Windows and Mac OS. The solution is very feature-rich and very well-integrated into Windows, and I guess baked into Windows 10 and Windows 11. Whereas, on the Mac OS platform, there is still some work there to give it a more feature-reach platform.
I have been using it for about a year.
With Windows, we have been very happy. We have had no issues or problems whatsoever. We had one issue on the Mac OS platform when an update to Mac OS was deployed. It wasn't a major update, like Monterey. It was a point update. So I think it might have been 12.2.1 where the Defender icon was starting to display across, which means I found a threat or it's not working properly. We had that across a handful of machines. I did a bunch of Google searches and sort of realized this was happening to a lot of other organizations, so it was probably a false positive.
I contacted Microsoft support who confirmed that it was just a visual glitch. I guess Apple is well-known for this. When they do push out their updates, they attempt to break the occasional third-party system. That was the only issue that we have encountered, which was more a visual glitch than an actual threat.
It is pretty much zero-touch because the definitions sort of update themselves. The application updates itself because it is deployed through Microsoft Intune. Therefore, the maintenance is pretty straightforward.
It is very scalable. Because it is cloud-based, it is elastic in its nature. You can onboard machines en masse. Whether you are onboarding 15 machines or 1500 machines, it is very straightforward.
As we scale up, this is now our AV and EDR of choice. Every new machine will be rolled out or onboarded to Defender for Endpoint. We will be sticking with it in the long-term. We have also the logs and telemetry from Defender for Endpoint being ingested into our MDRC platform.
The technical support is very good. Wherever I have worked with them, we have always been enterprise customers. Whenever I have raised a ticket for support, you generally receive a phone call anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours after raising your ticket. Even if it is not a P1, but a P2 or P3 ticket or just a request for information that you have generated in the form of a ticket, they will respond back to you quickly.
They have good levels of escalation. So, if their first line support is unable to help, they can quickly escalate to the second or third line. I have never really had any problems with Microsoft support. That is across Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Endpoint Manager as well as for the productivity throughout Office 365 and Azure Active Directory.
I would rate them as eight out of 10.
We currently have an MSP in place, which is a managed service provider, who manages all our IT support, service desk, and desktop support functions. They had already purchased an antivirus subscription for the organization when I joined the organization, and it was a fairly basic one. Our biggest problem was that it does not have any SIEM integration.
When we decided to go down the route of having a SOC or MDR service, we couldn't ingest the logs from the antivirus platform into their SIEM. That is when the hunt started for a new AV service.
I wouldn't say the user impact has changed on top of the AV product that we had before.
The initial setup was very straightforward. Microsoft, as an organization, is quite well-incentivized to get you to use their own products. There are hoards of material out there via their social media channel, through their own documentation, or the Microsoft Learn platform. There are reams and reams of user guides for you to go through, all of which are fairly straightforward. They are regularly updated as well.
It is all cloud-delivered so there isn't any on-premise infrastructure that I need to maintain, patch, or configure. It is literally all configured in the cloud. So, it was a very easy setup process for me.
It took days to get a proof of concept together on a handful of machines. Over the next few weeks, once we got the go ahead and thought, "You know what? We are going to go with this." It was just a matter of weeks and that was more down to team availability. We needed to sit down and offboard the existing AV, which we weren't particularly happy with, then onboard Defender for Endpoint. So, we tied that project with our MDM rollout. Therefore, while we were deploying our MDM solution and enrolling the device, we were onboarding the machine to Defender for Endpoint as well.
I actually set it all up myself. I am the only technical person at the organization. I have worked with Microsoft quite extensively in the past, and I have used their fast track consultancy services in other organizations that I have worked with as well. Therefore, I am quite confident and familiar with Microsoft technologies.
We then signed up with an MDR supplier who does managed detection and response. Essentially, that is a team of cybersecurity experts who connect to our infrastructure and all the data telemetry from our endpoints feed up to their platform. If they see any threats, anomalies, or events, they will then jump in, reviewing and remediating as required.
We had a consultancy session with one of their Microsoft consultants around a month ago, where they reviewed the setup that I configured. They put in two or three recommendations to harden the setup a little bit more, but they were overall pretty happy with it. Thus, if I can do it, then it can't be that difficult.
There is less overhead in terms of having the system administrator or information security manager jumping around different systems and trying to actively keep a handle on our security posture across the organization. Instead, everything is right in front of me.
One of the first things that I did when I came onboard in the organization was scrapping our reseller agreement. I registered us as a not-for-profit with Microsoft, and we now get subsidized licensing at effectively half price. It just sort of makes sense for us. Now, we buy our licenses directly from Microsoft rather than our formal license reseller.
Even if you are not registered as a not-for-profit, the offering that they have is definitely worth consideration. This is in the sense that the E5 stack just gives you so many benefits. You get your entire productivity suite through Microsoft 365 apps. You get all your security and identity protection. You get the Defender for Endpoint and Defender for Identity. You get the cloud access security broker as well. You get Azure Active Directory Premium P2, which gives you so many good things that you can configure and deploy. You don't have to configure them on day one, but you have access to so many different tools that will protect your data, security, endpoints, and identities that you could build out a security strategy 18 months long, and slowly work your way through it, based on what you have available to you through your license.
You can purchase some add-ons, like Microsoft Threat Expert team. I have not read too much into that, but my understanding is that comes at an additional cost. Since we have a dedicated MDR and SOC sitting on top of our Defender for Endpoint, it is not something that applies to us anyway.
We are E5 customers. Essentially, we have the flagship license. We looked at a lot of different organizations and vendors for our antivirus needs. We spoke to the usual suspects: CrowdStrike, Sophos, and Darktrace.
Because we also have a Gartner subscription, we reached out to our Gartner analyst, and said to them, "Look, we have the E5 license and know that Microsoft doesn't have the greatest reputation when it comes to their antivirus products, but we understand they have come on a lot over the last few years. This is the direction that we proceed. We want to deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. We then want to layer an external managed detection response service on top of it that will essentially provide 24/7/365 monitoring for alerts and anomalies." Gartner advised us that it has improved to the point where they are now considered one of the leaders on their magic quadrant, so we should be absolutely fine with it.
Originally, Microsoft wasn't in mind for us at all. We sort of had our heart set on CrowdStrike because we were really impressed with them. We got quite deep into advanced discussions with them and Darktrace as well.
The deciding factor for going with Microsoft was the budget. We were already paying for the E5 licensing. So, we were allowed to use Defender without any extra costs. We could just enable and configure it. We thought that we would use the budget left over to purchase a dedicated MDR service who would maintain an overall ability for all the endpoints to connect with it. We could also expand that to our Google Cloud Platform as well as our AWS and Azure Cloud environments. We could also extend that service onto our physical appliances, e.g., the logs from our on-premise firewalls, security appliances, and routers.
We felt that in terms of scaling up to get to the security posture that we needed, this might be a better solution for us. Whereas, CrowdStrike and Darktrace, at the time, were more focused on the endpoints. For example, if there was some suspicious behavior happening on our Azure Active Directory and our CEO's user account was under a brute-force attack, then CrowdStrike wouldn't necessarily pick up on such an attack because they are more focused on the endpoint rather than the cloud instances. Thus, we thought Microsoft gave us better coverage overall as well as the fact that we were already licensed for it.
It just made sense for us to go down that direction. We just felt we would have a more well-rounded approach if we went with Defender for Endpoint supported by the MDR service, who would then provide monitoring over all our cloud instances, endpoints, and on-premise infrastructure and appliances.
One of the main benefits is cost. Being an E5 subscriber, we are essentially already paying for Defender for Endpoint. However, it wasn't on our initial list of antivirus solutions when we were going out to market. We really felt that we were going to go for a managed service, such as CrowdStrike or Darktrace. When we decided to go for Defender for Endpoint, we created a cost savings. So, it was easier for us to prove the business case to our senior management.
A good antivirus is something that sort of happily sits in the background and just pretty much does its job until it is needed. It is just sitting there constantly watching and monitoring. Then, if it does need to intervene or remediate against the threat, that is when you know, "My antivirus is happily working." We haven't had many incidents to deal with. To be honest, we have had a couple of false positives.
Definitely shortlist them in your list when you are out looking for a new vendor. What tends to happen with a lot of IT professionals is that they overlook the Microsoft offering because of the reputation that Microsoft Defender has had in the past, when it came to its consumer version. However, they have spent the last few years completely revamping their security stack. I think it offers a really well-rounded, holistic approach to cybersecurity now. They are definitely worth considering next to CrowdStrike, Sophos, and Darktrace.
A lot of organizations are probably like, "Oh, no, we don't want to get Microsoft. We don't want to get Defender. We want to get an established name," but I think Microsoft has put a lot of effort, budget, and development time into their security stack. It is a great suite.
As their Azure platform grows, they leverage that to power and drive their Defender for Endpoint. A lot of the protections that they deploy are cloud-delivered platforms. So, they are picking up telemetry from millions of different signals and endpoints. They have so much data and can see trends really quickly.
I would rate them as eight out of 10.