Endpoint detection and response software protects against a variety of threats and attacks. Learn about two of the most popular EDR options, CrowdStrike and McAfee, and how to protect your network.

mcafee-vs-crowdstrike-may
Image: Alexander Limbach/Adobe Stock

Security threats are a major concern for businesses, as they can have a number of undesirable consequences, including customer data breaches or loss of sensitive data. To protect against these threats, many businesses are turning to endpoint detection and response software.

CrowdStrike and McAfee are two of the top EDR software options on the market.  Both tools are adept at identifying and mitigating threats and vulnerabilities in order to keep your network and your data secure. Learn what features each one has to offer and how to decide between these two EDR solutions.

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Jump to:

What is CrowdStrike?

CrowdStrike is a cloud-based endpoint detection and response tool that protects endpoints and networks from critical vulnerabilities including malware, ransomware, phishing and DDoS attacks. Its advanced threat detection and machine learning capabilities have earned CrowdStrike a strong reputation in the cybersecurity sphere.

CrowdStrike is lightweight and quick to deploy while providing 24/7 threat hunting and detection. CrowdStrike leverages real-time indicators of attack and threat intelligence to protect against all threat vectors – even when your organization’s computers and servers aren’t connected to the internet. In addition to their automated features, CrowdStrike also incorporates a human touch with their team of human threat hunters that manually search for threats, review content and add context to automatically identified threats.

What is McAfee?

McAfee is a software solution that offers both local and cloud-based options for endpoint detection and response to protect your organization’s data from attacks and cybersecurity breaches. The solution employs behavioral and machine learning to identify threats and mitigate them.

Most people associate McAfee with simple virus scans, but they also offer a variety of expanded endpoint and network security features within the McAfee Endpoint Security product. Consumers mayconduct the manual computer scans that they’ve come to expect from McAfee, but they can also take advantage of more automated threat detection and mitigation features including behavioral monitoring and application containment.

CrowdStrike vs. McAfee: Feature comparison

Feature CrowdStrike McAfee
Malware and ransomware protection Yes Yes
Cloud-based Yes Yes
Local installation option No Yes
Behavioral threat analysis Yes Yes
Machine learning Yes Yes
Multiple sensors Yes No
Single-agent model Yes Yes

Head-to-head comparison: CrowdStrike vs.  McAfee

Threat detection and mitigation

McAfee’s endpoint solution features advanced malware scanning to defend against emerging and targeted attacks. McAfee is also very proactive in treating any detected threats. McAfee’s software immediately puts suspected threats in quarantine when they attempt to encrypt or read your data. It also creates copies of your sensitive files as a preventative measure to ensure that important data is not lost or compromised.

CrowdStrike also offers detection rates for known threats, but their machine-learning based detection model is better equipped for identifying unknown threats and attacks than McAfee.

Behavioral learning

McAfee’s machine learning capabilities include pre-execution and post-execution analysis that detects zero-day threats by what they look like and how they behave. This allows for earlier detection of threats. McAfee also uses behavioral learning by recording process-level behavior while analyzing attack techniques and procedures. Alerts are prioritized with attack playback of events.

CrowdStrike’s event-based behavioral detection identifies indicators of attack in order to prevent sophisticated fileless and malware-free security breaches. It reviews records of previous threats to identify patterns that may indicate suspicious activity.

Single-agent design

McAfee Endpoint has a single-agent architecture with integrated advanced defenses like machine learning analysis, containment and EDR.

CrowdStrike also features an integrated single-agent design for all functions. In addition to this, they also feature a single-sensor design that makes their system more lightweight and reduces the CPU usage associated with running CrowdStrike.

Choosing between CrowdStrike and McAfee

Both solutions can help you secure your data and network while offering protection from a variety of threats and attacks. If you prefer a local salutation rather than a cloud-based EDR, McAfee is the product for you. McAfee tends to have a lower learning curve and more simplified UI. Most small businesses will find that McAfee meets their needs well.

CrowdStrike has a more complex system that is ideal for highly regulated industries or companies at higher risk of security attacks. It’s a great fit for enterprise businesses with complex security needs. Businesses operating in finance, government and healthcare often trust CrowdStrike to meet their enhanced security needs. CrowdStrike may also be a better choice if you have several endpoints to secure and desire more flexibility on deployment.