Cortex XDR vs. Microsoft 365 Defender

Learn why organizations choose Cortex XDR® over Microsoft for attack prevention, detection and response.

Cortex XDR is the better choice
to stop modern threats

When compared to Cortex XDR, Microsoft 365 Defender delivers an incomplete solution with insufficient coverage across diverse environments, leading to gaps in security. Microsoft’s licensing is confusing and their packaging is complex, requiring customers to purchase and deploy several different products and manage multiple user consoles in an attempt to achieve real XDR-like capabilities. Organizations end up with a pieced-together solution that still lacks full XDR features and performance.

Cortex XDR is the first true XDR, trusted by over 3,000 customers. With a proven track record of success, Cortex XDR consistently outperforms Microsoft 365 Defender in independent third-party testing, like the MITRE ATT&CK Evaluations. Learn why leading organizations trust Cortex XDR over Microsoft to prevent, detect and respond to all threats.

 Cortex XDR outperforms Microsoft 365 Defender in the 2022 MITRE ATT&CK Evaluations.

Superior Detection & Visibility

Effective threat detection capabilities are crucial to stopping cyberattacks, but a rapid response to incidents is futile without full visibility and context into the attack. In the MITRE ATT&CK Round 4 Evaluations, Cortex XDR detected 100% of all attack steps, with over 98% visibility into all malicious activity. Microsoft 365 Defender only provided full detail for 77% of the 109 attack steps, entirely missing 11% of overall attack steps. Lack of detailed data makes it impossible for analysts to understand full attack sequence and scope, and creates significant opportunities for attackers to conduct further activity while going unnoticed. Microsoft also required 13 configuration changes or “do-overs” in the MITRE Evaluations when initial detections were missed. In the real world, attackers don’t give second chances.

Cortex XDR stitches together multiple data sources into one UI console for fast investigation and response.

Enterprise-Wide Coverage

The Cortex XDR agent provides complete coverage for endpoints across Windows®, macOS, Linux, Chrome® OS, and Android® systems and across private, public, hybrid and multicloud environments, while Microsoft has more limited functionality on MacOS, Linux and legacy Windows.

Microsoft 365 Defender also lacks crucial telemetry sources required for XDR, such as user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) and network traffic analysis (NTA) data. Without this data, advanced and unknown threats can go undetected.

Microsoft 365 Defender is also unable to ingest all identity data sources or network fabric data from common identity platforms like Duo or Okta®. These limitations create the need for additional product purchases and more siloed security tools.

Cortex XDR is a single solution that provides a unified view into threats while Microsoft 365 Defender has many products to purchase and deploy with multiple user consoles to manage.

A Single, Unified View into Threats

Cortex XDR helps simplify SecOps by providing one platform for detection and response across all data, correlating alerts and incidents into a single view. SOC analysts use one automated, web-based console to prevent threats and accurately identify and detect incidents and accelerate investigations.

Microsoft 365 Defender requires the use of several different products and management consoles in order to achieve the full functionality that Cortex XDR provides. Why tolerate siloed products and disparate management consoles that impede your team’s ability to detect and respond to threats? With Cortex XDR, SOC teams don’t have to switch between multiple siloed tools and patch information together to effectively do their job.


Compare Cortex XDR to Microsoft 365 Defender

Cortex XDR
Microsoft 365 Defender
Superior Detection & Visibility
Cortex XDR
    Analytics-based detection drives results
  • 100% threat prevention 3 years in a row in MITRE ATT&CK Evaluation, 100% detection rate in MITRE Round 4, and 100% Overall Active Prevention in AV-Comparative EPR.
  • Extensive data collection across endpoint, network, cloud and third-party data with AI-driven data analysis drives powerful detection and visibility.
Microsoft 365 Defender
    Lack of visibility and missed detections
  • Microsoft struggled in MITRE Round 4 Evaluations with a 77% detection rate, 11 missed detections and 13 configuration changes needed to detect threats.
  • Lack of data support limits detection abilities and minimizes visibility needed for investigation and response.
Enterprise-Wide Coverage
Cortex XDR
    Eliminates blind spots
  • Seamlessly integrates insights and alerts across the enterprise, including third-party data sources, identity providers and cloud environments – not just endpoint data.
  • Complete coverage supports managed and unmanaged endpoints across Windows, macOS and Linux.
Microsoft 365 Defender
    Incomplete coverage across ecosystem
  • No ability to ingest third-party telemetry or integrate UEBA/UBA into the XDR platform.
  • Identity protection is limited to Azure and Active Directory.
  • Lacks exploit and behavioral protection for Linux machines, Windows 7 and 8 and macOS, leaving gaps in coverage.
  • Incident response is limited to only Windows endpoints and is not automated.
Single, Unified View of Threats
Cortex XDR
    One console does it all
  • Single, unified view provides easy management within one console. Intelligent alert grouping and incident scoring reduce investigation time by 88%.
  • Automatic correlation of events lets analysts see the entire incident, reducing manual work.
  • Detection rules and dashboards are easily customizable to support each organization’s unique needs.
Microsoft 365 Defender
    Too many tools to manage
  • Multiple, siloed Microsoft products to purchase, deploy and manage.
  • Switching between several different consoles makes management overly complex and reduces SOC efficiency.
  • Lack of integration between threat prevention and detection consoles increases alert triage and investigation times, and several detection queues to view makes management a burden.
Enterprise Fit
Cortex XDR
    Tailored to your organization
  • Data can be ingested from virtually any syslog, event log, filebeat or source – enterprise-wide, across clouds and operating systems.
  • Full XDR feature inclusion with out-of-the-box functionality means no surprise charges or add-ons needed.
Microsoft 365 Defender
    Complex and costly with limited scope
  • Heavy reliance on Microsoft systems, services and solutions with integration across non-Microsoft technology an afterthought.
  • Requires additional add-on licensing and increased investment for complete XDR functionality. Complex packaging options and various add-ons become extremely expensive.

Ready to see Cortex in action?

Is Your Endpoint Security Solution Good Enough?

epr cyber risk quadrant report image

Cortex XDR consistently outperforms Microsoft 365 Defender in MITRE ATT&CK® Evaluations

In the 2022 MITRE ATT&CK Evaluations, only 77% of the possible detections by Microsoft resulted in the highest level of detail (technique level detections), with the rest either missed entirely or providing an inferior level of detail about attack actions.

Cortex XDR delivered 100% threat protection and 100% detection of all attack steps for the second year in a row, with 97% of technique detections providing the highest level of detail into attack steps to enable analysts to more quickly and accurately respond to events.

Need more proofpoints?

Check out more but don’t delay – your endpoint security and SOC productivity depend on it!

Request your Personal Cortex XDR Demo

Let's explore ways to find fewer alerts, build end-to-end automation and enable smarter security operations.

Request your Personal Cortex XDR Demo

Request your Personal Cortex XDR Demo

Let's explore ways to find fewer alerts, build end-to-end automation and enable smarter security operations.
Schedule your Cortex XDR Demo:
By submitting this form, you agree to our Terms. View our Privacy Statement.