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McAfee Endpoint Security Competitors and Alternatives

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DS
Enterprise Security Architect at a recruiting/HR firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Single pane of glass allows us to run a lean team while protecting tens of thousands of endpoints around the world

Pros and Cons

  • "SentinelOne also provides equal protection across Windows, Linux, and macOS. I have all of them and every flavor of them you could possibly imagine. They've done a great job because I still have a lot of legacy infrastructure to support. It can support legacy environments as well as newer environments, including all the latest OS's... There are cost savings not only on licensing but because I don't have to have different people managing different consoles."
  • "If it had a little bit more granularity in the roles and responsibilities matrix, that would help. There are users that have different components, but I'd be much happier if I could cherry-pick what functions I want to give to which users. That would be a huge benefit."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for endpoint protection. It's an active EDR endpoint protection tool. Think of it as an antivirus and endpoint protection solution with machine learning, like McAfee on steroids.

In our company it is deployed in 83 countries and on over 40,000 workstations and servers.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides incredible visibility in a single pane of glass. The dashboard gives me visibility over all the endpoints, which are broken down by country, and then broken down within each country by brand and machine type. It provides a very simple way for me to understand if

  • we're being targeted globally
  • my endpoints are actively being attacked
  • we have outstanding issues in any one region
  • we have malicious activity.

In addition, it logs to my SIEM tool, cloud-natively, which makes it a very effective weapon to help diagnose and remediate any potential bad actors in my environment.

The Behavioral AI feature for ransomware and anti-malware protection does an outstanding job of identifying abnormal behavior patterns in my environment. Once we allowed it to sit in learning mode for about 30 days, we switched all our endpoints into what is called Protect mode, instead of Detect mode. With Protect mode, we have different functions available to us, such as kill, quarantine, identify, and rollback. Using those features, we are really able to protect our endpoints much better. We take advantage of the fact that we have a machine, or an automated process, governing our endpoint protection. That reduces the total headcount needed to babysit my environment.

Furthermore, Behavioral AI recognizes novel and fileless attacks and responds in real-time. It improves my security, reduces my total cost of ownership and management, and provides enhanced protection for what is now a highly mobile population. Due to COVID-19, we have had to take most of our workforce, and that's over 40,000 people around the world, and give them access to work remotely through a series of different mechanisms. In doing so, we felt much more comfortable because we have this endpoint protection tool deployed. It provides us not only the visibility into what the tool is doing and how it's protecting us, but it allows us to look at what applications are installed, what IP range is coming on, and what network it's sourced from.

And with Ranger we're able to help identify additional networks. Using SentinelOne with Ranger, allowed us to take a look at some of our smaller offices in Asia Pacific where we didn't have exceptional visibility.

We also use the solution’s automatic remediation and rollback in Protect mode, without human intervention. I want to protect mode for both malicious and suspicious, and that is in Protect mode. Having turned that on, we saw no negative impact, across the board, which has been an outstanding feature for us. It does save time on having to go in and identify things, because we allowed it to run in learning mode for so long. It learned our business processes. It learned what's normal. It learned file types. It learned everything that we do enough that, when I did turn that feature on, there were no helpdesk calls, no madness ensued, no people complaining that files were being removed that they needed. It worked out very well for us. 

We also use the solution’s ActiveEDR technology. Its automatic monitoring of every OS process, at all times, improves our security operations greatly. There is a learning time involved. It has to learn what processes are normal. But the fact that it's actively engaged with every process—every file that moves across it, every DLL that's launched, whether or not it's automated or process-driven—everything is viewed, inspected, and categorized. And it allows us to have enhanced visibility that ties directly into the Deep Visibility. I can look at and help identify behavior patterns. 

For example, yesterday I wrote a series of queries for Deep Visibility that are based on MITRE ATT&CK parameters. Those give me reports, on a daily basis, of how effective this tool really is because I can use MITRE ATT&CK engine parameters to help define what's going on. Even if something is not considered malicious behavior by the tool itself, if I take that information and couple it with information I can pull from Tanium and information I pull from other tool sets, and aggregate that into my SIEM tool, my use case is provided. I get more positive and actionable intelligence on how my endpoints are behaving. If I have somebody out there who is doing testing of software, I can pick that out of a crowd in a second.

We have application control and containers available. Since we have AWS, Azure, and a myriad of cloud platforms, it's been hugely beneficial to us. Considering that we are endeavoring, as an organization, to move into cloud-based solutions, this has been a huge benefit.

Overall, SentinelOne has absolutely reduced incident response time. It's instantaneous. It has reduced it by at least 95 percent.

I use the tool to help me determine how well my other tools are working. For example, we have a role called a RISO, a regional information security officer. Those people are responsible for regions of the globe, whether it be Latin America, Asia Pacific, or AMEA. The RISOs now use the tool because it can help them identify other tools we have rolled out, like Zscaler. They can go into the SentinelOne console and query for Zscaler and look at all the machines in their environment and determine what the delta is. It allows people with different levels of knowledge and different roles in an organization to have visibility. It's been outstanding. That, in and of itself, makes it a better tool than its counterparts and it makes it usable for non-technical and non-security people.

We get the long-term strategic benefits of having enhanced visibility and the more short-term tactical benefits of knowing that our endpoints are protected, the visibility is there, and that no matter what lands on top of it, it's going to get taken care of.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is its ability to learn, the fact that once you tune it correctly, it knows how to capture and defeat malicious activity on the endpoints. It's not set-it-and-forget-it, but it does give me a much more comfortable feeling that my endpoints are secure and protected from malicious behavior.

SentinelOne also provides equal protection across Windows, Linux, and macOS. I have all of them and every flavor of them you could possibly imagine. They've done a great job because I still have a lot of legacy infrastructure to support. It can support legacy environments as well as newer environments, including all the latest OS's. The latest Mac OS X that's coming out is already supported and in test for our organization. The complete coverage of every OS that we have in our environment has been a huge benefit because I don't have to have different tools to support them. There are cost savings not only on licensing but because I don't have to have different people managing different consoles. For me, having single pane of glass visibility is incredibly important because we run a very lean team here. We are a skeleton crew governing all 83 countries. In doing so, it provides us the ability to do a lot more with a lot less.

I use the Deep Visibility feature every single day. It is outstanding because I just create hunting cases and then I can load them. I can figure out what queries I want to run and I can go digging. And with the queries that I have built for the MITRE ATT&CKs, it makes it very simple to identify something. And now that I have reporting set up based on those queries, I get emails every day.

Using Deep Visibility I have identified a threat and figured out information about it. I've also used Deep Visibility to be proactive versus reactive as far as my alerting goes. I know that SentinelOne will protect my endpoints, but there's also a case where there isn't specific malicious behavior but the patterns look malicious. And that's really what I'm writing these queries for in Deep Visibility.

Here's an example. You can do a lateral movement in an organization. You can RDP to one server and RDP to another server, depending on how your software defined perimeter is configured. Unless you do something malicious, SentinelOne will look at it, but it won't necessarily stop it, because there is no malicious activity. But I can write a query in Deep Visibility to show me things. Let's say somebody breached my secure remote access solution. With the Deep Visibility queries that are being run, I can see that that one machine may have RDPed to a server and RDPed to another server and been jumping around because they may have gotten compromised credentials. That can be reported on. It might not have been malicious behavior, but it's an activity that the reporting from Deep Visibility allows me to pursue and then do a deeper dive into it.

What needs improvement?

If they would stop changing the dashboard so much I'd be a happy man. 

Also, if it had a little bit more granularity in the roles and responsibilities matrix, that would help. There are users that have different components, but I'd be much happier if I could cherry-pick what functions I want to give to which users. That would be a huge benefit.

The nice thing about SentinelOne is that I get to directly engage with their leadership at any time I want. That allows me to provide feedback such as, "I would like this function," and they've built a lot of functions for me as a result of my requests. I don't really have much in the way of complaints because if I want something, I generally tend to get it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SentinelOne for about 14 months now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's incredibly stable. We really haven't had any significant issues. There have been a couple of things here and there where certain versions of the product weren't disabling Windows Defender effectively. I think that was predicated on a GPO that we identified that had been accidentally linked and that kept turning Defender back on again. The issues were very trivial things.

How are customer service and technical support?

I talk to my TAM once a week, minimum. I think I have the best customer support in the business.

I had an issue that I raised a couple of weeks ago and within minutes I had an army of engineers working on it. By the end of the week, I had senior management calling me asking me what else I want, what else I need, and how else they could help me. 

They go all-in. I have never had to wonder or concern myself with whether I will be getting adequate support? Will the support be on time? Will the support be effective and accurate? Not once, not ever.

I have such a close relationship with the team, not only the team that sold it to me but the team that supports me. We call each other on a first-name basis and we talk about how we're doing. It's that kind professional relationship. That's how good it is.

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

Before, we had a mix of dozens of different solutions across the enterprise. We didn't have any one, ubiquitous solution. We had a mix of McAfee and Panda and Kaspersky. You name it, we owned a copy of it, and that didn't provide a unified field of view. It also didn't provide the best protection that money can buy and, in my opinion as a professional in this industry for 25 years, this is the best protection money can buy.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of SentinelOne was very simple. I packaged the executables into MSIs, including the token ID, I created a package in Tanium, and I dropped it on all the workstations. I was able to deploy it to over 40,000 endpoints in 35 days.

When you govern as much real estate as I do, meaning the number of endpoints and the number of different business units that those endpoints comprise, there had to be a deployment strategy for it. I broke it down into countries, and in each of those countries I broke into brands and I broke it into asset types, whether they be servers or workstations, whether they're mobile or localized. It's not difficult to push out there, as long as you create exclusions. I used my legacy tools in parallel with this for a month and still never faced any issues.

For any organization, if you have any kind of deployment mechanism in place, you could put your entire workforce on this and it wouldn't matter how many endpoints. If they're online and available and you have a deployment solution, you could do it in a month, easily, if not less. I could've done it much faster, but I needed to do a pilot country first. I did all the testing and validations and then, once we went into production mode, it was very fast.

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

I got a really good deal so I'm very happy with the pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at everything. I looked at CrowdStrike, Cylance, Carbon Black, and I had McAfee as the largest of the incumbents. I tested them all and I validated them all and I pushed every malware virus—everything in my collection—at them. I built a series of VMs to test and validate the platform. I tested against multiple operating systems. I tested against downloads, I tested against uploads. I tested visibility. I did this entire series of tests and listed out 34 or 35 different criteria. And at the end of the day, SentinelOne came out on top.

One of the huge benefits of SentinelOne is the Full Remote Shell. That has been an incredibly useful tool for me.

Cylance came in second. It has very similar functionalities, very similar builds, but not a full remote shell. It had the single pane of glass dashboard, but the visibility I get out of SentinelOne, as well as the protection and the capability to run the Full Remote Shell pushed it over the top.

Carbon Black was nice, but I had to run two different dashboards, one cloud and one local. I couldn't get single pane of glass visibility from that.

When I tested SentinelOne against all the engines, they all pretty much found everything. Mimikatz was the deciding factor. A couple of the solutions flagged it but didn't remediate it. SentinelOne just rolled everything back as it started to discover it. It actually pulled the installer out, so that was nice. 

A lot of new technologies that are out there are very similar. They are pulling from public threat feeds and other learning engines. But if you compare and contrast all the features available, SentinelOne is just going to edge everybody else out. And they're constantly evolving the product to make it more efficient and to have a smaller footprint too. When they came out with Ranger, we were still doing some network discoveries around our environment to try to figure out exactly what was still out there. That came to be a very useful tool.

It really just shines. If you compare it to everybody else there are a lot that come close, but nobody else can really quite get to the top. SentinelOne really gives you the best overall picture.

What other advice do I have?

Do your homework. I would encourage everybody, if you have the capabilities, to do what I did and test it against everything out there. If you don't have those capabilities and you want to save yourself a lot of time, just go straight to SentinelOne. I cannot imagine any organization regretting that decision. With the news stories you read about, such as hospitals under attack from malware and crypto viruses—with all the bad actors that exist, especially since the pandemic took over—if you want to protect your environment and sleep soundly at night, and if you're in the security industry, I highly encourage you to deploy SentinelOne and just watch what it's capable of.

I don't use the Storyline technology that much simply because I'm really turning this into a more automated process for my organization. An example of where we may use Storyline is when we download an encrypted malicious file. Let's say that email was sent to 500 people. If it gets through our email gateway, which is unlikely, I can not only identify those users quickly, but I can also use the Storyline to determine where it came from, how it got there, and what it was doing along the way. And while it killed it, it will tell me what processes were there. It helps us create and identify things like the hash, which we then summarily blacklist. Overall, Storyline is better for identifying what had happened along the way, but after the fact. For me, the fact that it has actually taken care of it without me having to go hunt it down all the time is the real benefit.

The only thing we don't take advantage of is their management service. We do have a TAM, but we don't have Vigilance.

For top-down administration, there's only about six of us who work with the solution. For country level administration, we have one or two in every country in those 83 countries.

We run a myriad of different front office and back office environments. SentinelOne had to learn different environments in different countries. It had to understand the business processes that are surrounding those. We did a substantial amount of tuning along the way, during the deployment. And then, of course, there are agent updates and there are considerations when you get a new EA version and are creating test groups. But, as an organization, we have reduced our total cost of ownership for our EPP platform, we have improved our visibility a hundred-fold, and we have maintained our data integrity. It really is the one end-all and be-all solution that we needed.

It's a home run. I've been doing this a long time and I've done this in over 48 countries around the world. Given what we do with this product and the visibility it has given us and the protection it has given us, I feel very comfortable with my security right now.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
NormanCyman
IT Security Analyst at U.S. Venture, Inc.
Real User
Allows us to be more involved with how the business is being run from a security, risk, and compliance standpoint

Pros and Cons

  • "From what we have seen, it is very scalable. We have recently acquired a company where someone had a ransomware attack when we joined networks. Within the course of just a few days, we were able to easily get CrowdStrike rolled out to about 300 machines. That also included the removal of that company's legacy anti-malware tool."
  • "I would like to see a little bit more in the offline scanning ability. This just comes from my background in what I have done in other positions. They only scan on demand, so I always have this fear that we sometimes maybe email out a dormant virus and can be held liable for that. That is something where I would like to see a little bit more robustness to the tool."

What is our primary use case?

The initial use case was for CrowdStrike to be a replacement for McAfee. We wanted to come up with something that was a lot more adaptive to emerging world threats and not just strictly signature-based. We wanted something focused a lot more on heuristic analysis and pattern analysis first, e.g., isn't just sheer signature. Additional use cases are workstation servers and as much as we can do in our OT environment.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed our security team to have more time and resources built into things that are used to run the business versus needing to babysit our antivirus platform, or any malware platform. With what we have been paying for, it allows us to be a lot more involved with how the business is being run from a security, risk, and compliance standpoint.

We have signed up for Falcon Complete, which is their completely managed service. This has done nothing but paid dividends since we have rolled it out. Slightly before I started, there was a ransomware issue. CrowdStrike did exactly what it was supposed to when we joined networks with the company that we were acquiring. So, that was helpful to us.

To the best of our knowledge, it has stopped everything that we have seen. It has allowed us to focus our efforts on other things relevant to how the overall business functions.

It helps us in the M&A environment because it is a very simple, easy tool to deploy, being pretty much all cloud-based. While we're not building our security practice around it, it is a tool that we want to make sure does integrate well, if at all possible, with any new tool that we purchase moving forward.

What is most valuable?

It is especially important to us that CrowdStrike Falcon is a cloud-native solution. We have a directive for cloud-first architecture at this point. Anything that is cloud-native, or has a cloud offering, will always get first billing over something that is on-prem. We are a small security team. Having the ability to have a service or application that is not wholly managed by us, but rather governed and used by us, is the ideal solution.

The flexibility comes from allowing us to do a mass push, if we need to. We would find always-on protection with pretty much any solution. However, the fact that it is in the cloud, that just makes it that much better.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see a little bit more in the offline scanning ability. This just comes from my background in what I have done in other positions. They only scan on demand, so I always have this fear that we sometimes maybe email out a dormant virus and can be held liable for that. That is something where I would like to see a little bit more robustness to the tool. 

For how long have I used the solution?

U.S. Venture has been using it since the first quarter of 2019. I, however, did not start with the organization until the Summer of 2020.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been very stable. There have been no real issues that we have had in the deployment or use of the CrowdStrike system in general. There has been zero downtime.

For our workstations, we don't worry about the updates. However, we have a tighter grip on updates for our server environment only because there was an issue at a point with one update. Since then, we would like to keep our deployments at an N-1. So, there is more of a check built-in just to make sure that the latest and greatest doesn't actually break anything unintentionally.

The CrowdStrike sensor is always kept at N-1 for our production servers. Our test servers are always up to date.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From what we have seen, it is very scalable. We have recently acquired a company where someone had a ransomware attack when we joined networks. Within the course of just a few days, we were able to easily get CrowdStrike rolled out to about 300 machines. That also included the removal of that company's legacy anti-malware tool.

We have all our desktop engineering group and server team as admins in the system, but they only use it for specific troubleshooting in their job roles. So, if the server team needs to do something, then they can just log in and do it as well as the desktop engineering group. They can just go in and do stuff, if it is something related to computers or servers. As far as for the overall management of the system, that is left to the security team.

It is currently being used to the extent that we need it. After CrowdStrike had their user conference last Fall, they introduced a lot of new tools, specifically one around forensic that we would like to get our hands on. However, there are no real plans for doing any major increases of its toolset. I do know that there is a project that will be going on for using its mobile application on some Android tablets, but it is still very much in its infancy. So, we are not quite sure how that will roll out yet.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never used their standard technical support. I do everything through their unofficial Reddit support forum. Also, if there are any other major technical issues, then I work directly with our TAM. So, I have never just reached out and created a general support case. Therefore, I cannot speak to how well they respond. However, their unofficial Reddit support has been fantastic with helping me work through troubleshooting issues and a couple of queries, where I was having issues trying to get the syntax correct. They have been nothing but helpful.

I believe they have their actual support engineers on Reddit, but there is no SLA nor anything guaranteed on that Reddit page. They claim that right there in the subreddit rule. However, I have had nothing but good luck working through them. It could take a few hours to one or two days to get a response, but it has always been for things that aren't pressing. For things that are pressing, then it is a direct call or email to our technical account manager who is very responsive.

They have a great online forum for customer use cases. That has been a great crowd sourcing thing. It is unofficial. I just stumbled across it, but the subreddit for their support has been spectacular for many reasons.

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

Previous to CrowdStrike, our organization was using McAfee VSE with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO). Switching from McAfee to CrowdStrike, we saw a reduction in resources being used on both the workstations and servers. We saw an increase in detections, be that good or bad. We would like to think it was a good thing, because now it is finding a lot more stuff that wasn't strictly signature-based. So, it provided almost a very lightweight SIEM-type of response. It was providing information about installed applications, account lockouts, and top console users. It was a very nice bonus to have that information in addition to just the general overall anti-malware that CrowdStrike is known for.

CrowdStrike is so much easier to use. The UI is far more intuitive. The breakout of how the policies as well as the organizational structure within the UI for how the computers are laid out is far more intuitive. It feels a lot more based around how AD kind of functions. Because I am already familiar with Active Directory, the move to using that in CrowdStrike is very seamless, at least in my mind.

The agent is far more lightweight than our previous antivirus solution. It is a lot less resource intensive. We don't have any more on-prem servers to manage for running the application, which is another benefit to being in the cloud. There are just a couple of holes punched in the firewall for communication in and out.

A lot of the switch was focused around the fact that CrowdStrike was solely a cloud-native solution as well as heuristics versus signature.

How was the initial setup?

It is very simple to deploy the solution’s sensor to our endpoints. Right now, it is part of our standard build process through a SCCM. So, it gets a version, then it is obviously outdated because our desktop engineering group can only update the image so quickly. Once it is checked into the cloud, it updates, decides to download, and gets the new seamless version. It has been wonderful to have and very helpful to us.

The initial setup was done in less than two months.

The implementation strategy was done how any other mass deployment is done. You take a small set of computers, put it on one, remove the old solution, and then run that group by itself, figuring out if there are any new or existing exemptions that needed to be in play. Once it is stable, it is rolled out to a larger group, the process is repeated, and then it is moved onto the servers.

What about the implementation team?

Overall, four people worked on the deployment: It would have been my predecessor, my other coworker, and two server guys to do the server environments.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI has been high compared to what we had with McAfee. We spend about two hours a month for its care and feeding, which is really low maintenance. We previously spent two to three times that amount of time managing our McAfee environment.

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

Pricing and licensing seem to be in line with what they offer. We are a smaller organization, so pricing is important. Obviously, we would make a business case if it is something we really needed or felt that we needed. So, the pricing is in line with what we are getting from a product standpoint.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Since moving to CrowdStrike, we have not looked at other endpoint management solutions. In fact, when we look at a new tool, we want to make sure it will play well with CrowdStrike, be it a new SIEM or anything cloud-based. 

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you know what the policies do. There are a lot of good and bad things that you can do with too strict or too loose of a policy governing workstations or servers.

We have evaluated the CrowdStrike Horizon module. We are not there yet. Our environment has not changed drastically since our last review of it. So, we have not felt the need to revisit it since then.

It is important to not solely rely on one product, especially one that has a good or bad name, such as McAfee. Because there was a lot of, "Oh no, we got an antivirus. We're fine." It helps to make sure you always have an in-depth defense strategy.

I would rate it a solid nine out of 10. 

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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SB
Computer Systems Administrator at a university with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Lacks next-generation behaviour-based detection, offers terrible technical support, and not as robust as competitors

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution detects malware very well."
  • "The stability was not the best. There were times when antivirus updates broke it. It wasn't necessarily self-updating - at least, not in terms of the virus signatures. It updated in terms of the executable files. Therefore, when Windows updates would come out, they often couldn't be installed, or the computer would hang due to the fact that the updates weren't compatible with the antivirus."

What is our primary use case?

The use case for the solution was basically this: any computer or anything used for any sort of official business needed to have endpoint protection and needed to have some sort of antivirus protection. The thing was somewhat more than just an antivirus, it also included a firewall that operated in addition to the Windows or Mac firewall.

The university policy basically required that all endpoint devices used for official business have to meet certain requirements and one of them was to have an antivirus.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution probably caught some malware a certain percentage of the time and that helped the organization. By the time we abandoned it, it was actually less effective, at least on Windows 10 machines, than the built-in antivirus that you get with the Windows 10 Defender Antivirus. It became, in the end, sort-of a liability.

It also became a liability when the company was sold to Broadcom. The name is actually different now. I don't think it's called Symantec Endpoint Protection. It's called Broadcom Endpoint Protection. We had a very difficult time even getting in touch with the technical support from that company, especially after Symantec was sold. It wasn't a very robust solution.

What is most valuable?

The solution detects malware very well.

What needs improvement?

It wasn't a very good solution overall, which is why we ended up replacing it.

Most organizations are choosing a next-gen antivirus, one that's based on artificial intelligence. Symantec Endpoint Protection was one of those legacy products that have been around forever. Symantec was a spinoff from Norton. Norton Antivirus was one of the very first antiviruses to come out in the 1980s. Symantec was very highly rated at one point in its life. It never really caught on to the new trends and antivirus protection. And so it still relied on things like a database of virus signatures that would need to get downloaded and then files would be checked for those signatures.

Modern antiviruses don't do that. They're based on behavior. They're based on intelligence algorithms. They're honed by artificial intelligence and machine learning from data collected all over the world. And so for that reason, the next-gen antiviruses are much more efficient at detecting viruses. They also take up a lighter load on the computer.

Next-generation is behavior-based detection rather than signature-based detection. Symantec tried to be a hybrid between the two. It had a behavior-based component called SONAR, however, it was still mostly a signature-based software antivirus application. For that reason, you can never keep up with all the mutations and viruses, and you can't keep up with malicious behavior that isn't based on viruses. Things like downloaded PowerShell scripts, things that computers can do with the components that they already have without needing to put any virus on the computer. A lot of malicious attacks, government-backed attacks, don't use any kind of foreign software. They take advantage of vulnerabilities within existing operating systems like Microsoft Windows or the various versions of Linux or the Mac operating system. They don't need to put additional software on the computer to compromise them.

That, in a nutshell, is why we switched to a next-gen antivirus. Next-gen antiviruses have probably been around for about five or six years. Some of the old companies made the transition to them seamlessly. Symantec didn't. It remained wedded to the old technology and that made it, you could say, a has-been.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for many years. It's probably been about ten years at this point, at least a decade.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability was not the best. There were times when antivirus updates broke it. It wasn't necessarily self-updating - at least, not in terms of the virus signatures. It updated in terms of the executable files. Therefore, when Windows updates would come out, they often couldn't be installed, or the computer would hang due to the fact that the updates weren't compatible with the antivirus. I give it pretty poor score for robustness.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It was scalable just due to the fact that had to be installed individually on individual computers. For the unmanaged workstations, it was as scalable as you wanted it to be. There was a new download and a new install on a new computer. There are no limits on that. I'm not sure, however, how true that is, as it wasn't within my area of responsibility. I'm not sure if the managed work points overloaded the servers that were meant to monitor them. I don't think that was the case. The scalability was probably pretty good there too. I never heard any complaints about it not being scalable.

We likely had between 10,000 and 20,000 users on it. The roles would include, since it's a university, students, faculty, staff, and researchers. That pretty much covered the type of people that work at a university.

We don't plan to increase usage as we've completely phased out the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Once Symantec was sold to Broadcom, it became very difficult to reach out to technical support, and they just stopped being responsive. By the end, we were very unhappy with their level of support.

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

I've been at the organization for 21, 22 years. Originally, before we had Symantec, it was McAfee antivirus. We had that up until maybe about 2010 or so. Now, we are using CrowdStrike Falcon.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not complex. It was simple.

The deployment was always ongoing due to the fact that, as a university with something like 16,000 employees, computers were getting bought and repurposed all the time. The initial rollout was in fact not a managed version of the antivirus. It was just a standalone version that users could download from a website when they provided their credentials. After that, they would just double click on a downloaded file and run the installer and they'd have the antivirus.

However, it was completely unmonitored. The antivirus program on their computer was not sending its data anywhere. It couldn't be helped by anyone remotely to do its job of protecting the computer.

Therefore, almost all organizations now want to have a managed antivirus solution where there's software installed on the computer, but it communicates with the cloud, and IT administrators at the organization can control this behavior and learn from it.

In terms of the staff required to handle the deployment and maintenance, there was probably the equivalent of maybe two to three full-time staff that were dedicated to antivirus endpoint protection issues. 

What about the implementation team?

We handled everything ourselves in-house. We didn't need the help of a consultant or integrator.

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

We pay on a yearly basis. However, I'm unsure of the exact amount.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate a number of other vendors. We entertained some RFPs and we did testing on four other competing products. There was one other competitor that was close. The main factor that tilted us toward CrowdStrike is that they did make a last-minute significant cut in price to their offer. I think they reduced it by something like 30% or 40%.

CrowdStrike has been in the business longer and is a bigger company than the runner up as well. To us, that mattered. If there is winnowing out of competitors, if the market actually shrinks and there are a few big players in five years, we want to be sure that we're with one of the big players that are going to make it.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is a kind of a mix between an on-premise managed server that managing some machines, and other machines just had an unmanaged client that was distributed to students. It's not actually a cloud, it's a server. It's an on-premises server. It's not a cloud-based server that is being used. The antiviruses report to the server and policies can be set on the server.

I'd advise users to be aware that there are better solutions out there than this. I've learned that technology can change and your solution may be great now, but in a few years, it may drop to the bottom of the barrel. That's what happened here.

I'd rate the solution one out of ten. In order to get any sort of higher rating, they would need to start it over again from scratch. Instead of trying to make a legacy product better, they should abandon it and invent a new product.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ED
System Administrator at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Increases operational efficiency and provides insights into threats out there so that I can be more proactive

Pros and Cons

  • "It is extensive in terms of providing visibility and insights into threats. It allows for research into a threat, and you can chart your progress on how you're resolving it."
  • "In Orbital, there are tons of prebuilt queries, but there is not a lot of information in lay terms. There isn't enough information to help us with what we're looking for and why we are looking for it with this query. There are probably a dozen queries in there that really focus on what I need to focus on, but they are not always easy to find the first time through."

What is our primary use case?

We rely on it for antivirus. There are probably three levels, and we have the bottom tier, the most basic one.

It is on Cisco's cloud. We have the client installed on all workstations, but we don't have a server.

How has it helped my organization?

It just gives me more insights into what threats are out there on the machines, so I can be more proactive.

Actionable alerts in the security console are helpful. With the security console, I immediately get to know about an issue. So, it has sped things up. It also gives you a way to research and see if an issue is spreading, so it has assisted quite a bit.

It definitely gives a starting point for investigating and mitigating threats. It has research tools, and we can run queries. I have used its Orbital Advanced Search feature. I have run quite a few queries to determine what is out on the network or on the devices that could be a threat. It could be something that is misconfigured or something that we don't want to have running. It is able to quickly run these queries.

I usually use the Orbital Advanced Search feature for groups. I use it to look for commonality for a threat thread, and it provides good visibility. I've never used it for just one endpoint.

Orbital Advanced Search helps in reducing the attack surface and investigating real-time data on endpoints. I've only used it a handful of times, and I was mostly looking for whether or not an update has been applied.

Orbital Advanced Search definitely saves time. I assume money goes right along with time. I don't have to go from desktop to desktop. I have 50 desktops, and if I'm looking for something in particular, it would take at least 15 to 20 minutes per desktop.

We use Cisco Umbrella. The integration when you use the SecureX console is really good to go from one to the other. I have pulled the endpoint and Cisco Umbrella into SecureX, so I just have one console. It was easy to integrate. They provided really good instructions. This integration just made things more convenient.

It simplifies endpoint protection, detection, and response workflows, especially for threat hunting. The way it is set up, with the console, I would get to know quickly that we have an issue. It increases operational efficiency because I don't have to go from desktop to desktop. I'm also proactive instead of reactive.

It has minimized security risks to our business. I've had several desktops where they have triggered an alert, and all I had to do was to go and clean that machine out before the problem spread. 

It allows us to focus on the incident instead of investigating the group, so we are more efficient. It has decreased our time to remediate because we're focusing on the machines we need to.

It has decreased our time to detect. I can't quantify the time, but in some of the older antiviruses, the user would say, "Okay, I've got a pop-up, and it has flagged this or that," and then you'd have to go look for it. With this, I know ahead of time, or I know when it happens. 

What is most valuable?

We use it as an antivirus. The audit logs are valuable. 

It is extensive in terms of providing visibility and insights into threats. It allows for research into a threat, and you can chart your progress on how you're resolving it.

It is quite comprehensive in terms of endpoint protection. I haven't found anything where it was lacking in terms of the protection of our Windows machines.

What needs improvement?

While I've attended a lot of their training webinars, they were mostly high-level. They just say that these are the feature, and this is how you access them, but I would like to see more scenario-based information. They should provide us examples of how to resolve something when we see something happening. They should give us an example of the flow on how to resolve it.

In Orbital, there are tons of prebuilt queries, but there is not a lot of information in lay terms. There isn't enough information to help us with what we're looking for and why we are looking for it with this query. There are probably a dozen queries in there that really focus on what I need to focus on, but they are not always easy to find the first time through.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about a year. My company had it for about a year and a half before I joined.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

II haven't had any issues with it except for a connector issue. They quickly put out a new one and got rid of the problem. So, it seems to be really stable, and they seem to be reactive when there is a problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is good in terms of keeping the machines updated. It is easy to get it installed on the desktop and keep it updated. We have a little over 100 users. They are administrators, project managers, field supervisors, engineers, and sales and support staff, so we have quite a mix.

We have deployed it on all desktops and laptops currently. I am going to start looking at adding it to mobile devices. Currently, we only have Windows machines covered. We are working on getting it set up on the Mac mobile devices. So, eventually, we will have a lot more depth than we have now.

How are customer service and support?

I never had to reach out to them. So far, I have been able to find the documentation that I needed.

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

I've only been with the company for a year. They had it when I got there, and we haven't changed anything since then.

I've used McAfee and Norton, and it does much better than them.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup. They did that before I joined the company.

Its maintenance is done by me. I'm the only IT person. It is not a large company, so it isn't a bad thing.

What was our ROI?

It is kind of hard to say what would have happened if you didn't have it. We've got a very stable environment, and it seems to be doing its job. So, I assume we're getting a return on investment.

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

The pricing was negotiated before I started, so I don't really know.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to take a real hard look at it because it is a good solution for companies of our size. I like the fact that it is managed in the cloud. I don't have to maintain a server presence. It is easy to use. It was a bit of a learning curve to start with because I was completely unfamiliar with it. I just dug in there and figured it out. Its documentation is fairly good.

If you go through SecureX, everything is right there in terms of user access and device protection. This integration is nice, but so far, it hasn't really saved me any time. It may in the future.

I believe it makes it possible to see a threat once and block it everywhere across all endpoints and the entire security platform, but I never had to do that.

I would rate Cisco Secure Endpoint an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

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

Other
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Gustavo-Lira
Senior Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Good at detecting potentially dangerous websites, but the alerts can be confusing at times

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable thing for me is that when I'm using the internet and I reach some site that isn't so secure, or isn't recommended because they don't have a good reputation, ESET will notify me."
  • "Sometimes, ESET sends alerts within my own network that cause confusion. That is, it might warn about contamination, or that the VM has crashed, but it doesn't go further than that. It just shows me the alert and sometimes I am not sure what to do about it."

What is our primary use case?

I work as an external consultant for a consulting and teaching company with around 50 employees. We teach courses and do examinations for customers that want to become certified once they complete the courses. In fact, I'm more than an external consultant yet I'm paid differently to a standard employee, and I'm using my whole technology infrastructure here.

I use ESET Endpoint Security on-premises at home because everyone is working from home now and no one has worked in the office for more than a year. For general security, I use the built-in Microsoft firewall and the services offered by ESET. And that's all, because I don't have servers.

ESET Endpoint Security is included on every machine that I have at home, including my wife's, my son's, and my daughters', because we're exposed to the internet. I also have routers which have some functions as a firewall, so that nobody comes into the network uninvited, and I have passwords for every access point.

I have 10 licenses in total, because I also use ESET Endpoint Security on the smartphones and some tablets as well. And in terms of maintenance, I'm the only one in charge of these networks and devices.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable thing for me is that when I'm using the internet and I reach some site that isn't so secure, or isn't recommended because they don't have a good reputation, ESET will notify me. Many times I will decide to just accept ESET's advice and I will stop visiting that website. In some very rare cases, I go through to the site anyway because I already know that it's secure.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes, ESET sends alerts within my own network that cause confusion. That is, it might warn about contamination, or that the VM has crashed, but it doesn't go further than that. It just shows me the alert and sometimes I am not sure what to do about it.

Regarding email security, I would like something more when it comes to preventing phishing attacks. With some of the emails I've received, I have found things that made me refuse to open them, but ESET does not seem to notice. I think that I should be better advised of problematic situations concerning potential phishing emails.

In general, I also think that there could be more in the way of advanced threat detection, for identifying advanced malware and the like. Having an extra service that could detect more advanced malware than typical antivirus software does may be very expensive to have on my entire premises, but I would consider it. 

Then, when it comes to the smart TV and the printer, I can't really figure out what's happening when there's a problem. For example, it's difficult to find out whether the appliance has been attacked or not, and it's not so easy to see what is actually going on in the case of a malicious situation. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using ESET Endpoint Security for four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impression of stability is good. It's a stable product and it's not very obstructive. I have used other software like ESET Endpoint Security and it was impossible to work because the machine kept filling up with files that they were trying to send back to their company.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have a need to implement ESET Endpoint Security for more than 10 machines, so I don't know how they would handle a higher volume. I'm not sure how I could automate that, in terms of how to download the new versions, and all the security signatures, etc. I assume it can be done, but I have no idea.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't spoken with ESET technical support yet because I've never had a reason to. 

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

I have previously used the antivirus software from both McAfee and Norton. In fact, my technical support consultant has been recommending that I go back to Norton, and I'm not against the idea, but I would need to have a better comparison to make the switch.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was simple. I set it up manually by installing it on every machine I have. So it was not an automatic process, but it is straightforward enough. It took only 10 minutes per machine.

Where I had a problem was with the smart TVs. It was supposed to function there, but on the HiSense TV I got stuck because I think that the operating system is not the correct version for it to work.

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

I pay about $100 a year, so it's really cheap. I'm sure that if I need something else beyond more technical support, I'll need to pay more.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In the past year I have evaluated Norton, but as I told my technical support consultant, I don't have enough information to make a change. I'm glad to have what I have, even though I know it could be better.

What other advice do I have?

I have recommended ESET Endpoint Security to friends and colleagues already. As a technical person, I would recommend it based on its performance and the way in which it does not block you or get in the way when doing work. Although it could do more with preventing phishing, it catches most other problems.

The solution is very good for what it is sold as, which is not necessarily a complete solution for security. And I would say that I got what I paid for. 

I would rate ESET Endpoint Security a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Other (consultant)
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