Microsoft releases cheaper and more limited version of Defender for Endpoint

Microsoft will offer Defender for Endpoint in two different ways in the future. The enterprise software is available in two price categories. One is a low-cost basic version primarily intended for small businesses, the other is more expensive and more comprehensive.

The new packages for Defender for Endpoint are simply called Plan 1 and Plan 2, Microsoft writes. Plan 1 is the cheaper tier. In addition, customers only get the basic functions for protection. This concerns malware protection and authentication checks for devices. Administrators of a Plan 1 can also see notifications and incidents in a central dashboard.

Plan 2 contains all the other components that Defender for Endpoint already had before. In addition to the aforementioned protection and access control, these also include endpoint detection, automations, threat intelligence and personal help from Microsoft experts.

Microsoft says the plans will make it more accessible to more system administrators and security experts, especially smaller companies with limited resources. Endpoints would also be the most affected by malware and ransomware attacks, and a more accessible Defender for Endpoint could help.

Plan 2 will continue to work and keep the same price as Defender for Endpoint now has. Microsoft has now started a public preview of Plan 1, which is currently free. ‘Later this year’ Plan 1 will be definitively available. Plan 1 then becomes available in two ways. This is possible as part of Microsoft 365 E3, where companies already pay per user, but companies that do not yet have this can purchase the software separately for an amount per user. Each user can then use Defender on five devices. Prices for standalone users are not yet known.