Endpoints continue to be one of the most common targets of cyber attackers. Ransomware and malware are always evolving and becoming more sophisticated, and their danger to endpoints only increases. With this growing threat, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) is now available in more purchase options. Originally included with an E5 license and then made possible as a standalone, it’s now joining the family of licenses with P1/P2 breakouts. The good news is that MDE P1 will be bundled with Microsoft 365 E3/A3, providing a bit more justification for the M365 E3 price increase that was announced earlier this month. So let’s take a closer look at the features and pricing for MDE P1 and how it compares to P2.
Features and Pricing for MDE P1 and P2
As the chart at the top of this article shows, Plan 1 (highlighted in green) is a subset of the more inclusive Plan 2, which is the entirety of MDE. It is the foundational level of this Zero Trust solution, allowing for stronger protection for those not already benefiting from it through the P2 bundles. Plan 1 is for organizations that are looking solely for endpoint protection. Although more basic than Plan 2, it covers a lot of ground. Here you can see a list of capabilities included:
Plan 2 provides EDR as well as added automation, threat & vulnerability management, threat analytics, deep analysis, and Microsoft Threat Experts. This more complete option is going to be the best fit for most enterprises, particularly when these advanced capabilities are critical for the organization. It provides stronger protection against security breaches, lowers the time to remediation, and reduces the scope of attacks. With its additional advanced tools, an organization will always be on top of the latest malware campaigns and threats.
One of the especially helpful features of both plans is the centralized management that allows administrators to view and work with any of the included solutions from the same place, saving time and simplifying control. Those trying out P1 for the first time will be pleased to have this streamlined management together with best-of-breed anti-malware, attack surface reduction, and conditional access in alignment with the Zero Trust approach.
MDE P1 Purchase Options
During the public preview, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1 is free for evaluation. MDE P1 will reach General Availability (GA) in November 2021. Once the new SKU reaches GA, there will be two options to purchase:
- Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) P1 Standalone
- Entitlement for up to 5 devices per user.
- Note: availability is expected towards the end of 2021.
- Bundled with Microsoft 365 E3/A3
- All existing M365 E3/A3 customers will automatically be upgraded to include MDE P1.
All of the current (August 2021) features in MDE will now be referred to as MDE P2. Existing bundles that include MDE P2 will have no changes aside from the name of the SKU.
Getting Started with MDE P1
While MDE P1 is in preview, you can register for a free trial here. A trial lasts for 90 days and after it expires, you can reach out to our team at Infused Innovations to purchase licenses via the Microsoft CSP program. If you’d like to check out more information on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, you can also see our feature overview of MDE.
The original Microsoft announcement can be viewed here:
Introducing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 – Microsoft Tech Community
More news: Defender for Endpoint is now available in public preview for Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016 as well.