CrowdStrike Falcon XDR and Sophos Endpoint Intercept X are best-in-class EDR solutions, taking endpoint detection and response to the next level. Compare the features of these EDR tools.

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Image: Alexander Limbach/Adobe Stock

As leaders within the endpoint detecting and response industry, CrowdStrike and Sophos provide high-quality EDR for organizations of all sizes. Choosing between the two EDR tools can be difficult due to their similar features and reputations within the industry. CrowdStrike Falcon XDR and Sophos Endpoint Intercept X both build upon their EDR solutions with enhanced detection and response, known as XDR.

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What is CrowdStrike?

CrowdStrike Falcon XDR is an all-in-one XDR suite designed to detect and prioritize threats. Related to CrowdStrike Falcon Insight, which provides real-time forensics and human-readable visualizations, CrowdStrike XDR provides further big-picture information regarding endpoint security. Features of CrowdStrike Falcon XDR include fast deployment, zero endpoint impact and fast operations.

What is Sophos?

Sophos Endpoint Intercept X protects an organization’s endpoints from malware, ransomware, exploits and viruses. Sophos Endpoint Protection includes endpoint detection and response, extended detection and response, anti-ransomware, deep learning technology, exploit prevention, and managed threat response.

Feature comparison: CrowdStrike vs. Sophos

Feature CrowdStrike Sophos
Deep learning Yes Yes
Malware identification Yes Yes
Intrusion prevention Yes Yes
Behavior analysis Yes Yes
Data loss prevention Yes Yes
Automated remediation Yes Yes
Endpoint isolation Yes Yes
Windows Yes Yes
MacOS Yes Yes
Linux Yes Partial

Head-to-head comparison: CrowdStrike vs. Sophos

APIs and extensions

CrowdStrike maintains an extensive inventory of extensions, along with a robust API, to further integrate its EDR/XDR solution with an organization’s existing technology stack. These integrations make it easier for an organization to create a comprehensive and robust security landscape while including important cloud-based solutions such as AWS Security Hub and Amazon Workspaces.

Sophos also provides integrations with partners, although not as many. Sophos’ custom integrations are intended to extend the functionality of existing systems, enhancing automation and easing the administrative burden.

Accuracy

CrowdStrike is rated at 5.0 by Forrester for detection, investigation, response and threat hunting capabilities. Forrester has rated CrowdStrike as its leading contender for EDR in 2022.

Comparatively, Sophos was rated at 3.0 for detection capabilities, 1.0 for investigation capabilities, 3.0 for response capabilities, and 3.0 for threat hunting capabilities. This indicates that, at least during Forrester’s tests, CrowdStrike performed markedly better.

System coverage

CrowdStrike provides extensive systems coverage for all common operating systems across a wide array of potential endpoints, including Windows, Mac and Linux. This is true across the board for CrowdStrike’s current array of security products.

Forrester notes that Sophos has below-average operating system coverage. Sophos provides full coverage for Windows and MacOS. While Linux is supported, not all Sophos features translate to the Linux environment.

Performance

CrowdStrike is designed to be lightweight and easy to deploy. Not only can it be deployed into immediate use, but it has little system impact. Comparatively, some users have found Sophos resource-intensive — which could have an impact on an organization’s efficiency and performance.

Visibility

Both CrowdStrike and Sophos are designed to provide 100% visibility into your organization’s network and endpoints. CrowdStrike provides both real-time and historic visibility across cloud architecture, in addition to high fidelity event data. Users note that CrowdStrike provides extensive and rich logging.

Product suite

Many security products are not used in a vacuum but rather included within a larger product suite. CrowdStrike provides an extensive array of product offerings, including

  • Falcon Prevent
  • Falcon Insight
  • Falcon Device Control
  • Falcon Firewall Management
  • Falcon CWP
  • Falcon Identity Threat Detection
  • Falcon Complete: Managed Detection and Response

Some Falcon products are bundles of other, granular suites, while others are standalone. CrowdStrike’s offerings are more extensive than Sophos, although some may feel that the choices between them can be overwhelming.

Sophos has comparatively fewer products, including Sophos Firewall, Sophos Managed Threat Response and the Sophos Central Management Console — which further integrates with Sophos Server, Sophos Switch, Sophos Mobile, Sophos Encryption and more. These products can create an entire Sophos security ecosystem, but there are fewer options than provided by CrowdStrike.

Choosing CrowdStrike vs. Sophos

In terms of customer experience and product capabilities, as measured by Gartner, CrowdStrike Falcon XDR narrowly edges out Sophos Endpoint Intercept X. When tested by Forrester, however, the differences are somewhat more distinct. In Forrester’s tests, CrowdStrike clearly outperformed Sophos.

That being said, both EDR/XDR solutions are incredibly robust and provide similar feature sets.  For most companies, it will come down to cost. CrowdStrike Falcon XDR is almost universally noted to have performance and accuracy advantages over Sophos Endpoint Intercept X — but those additional features come at a higher price point.

Due to that trade-off, CrowdStrike Falcon XDR is likely the best option for enterprise organizations that can afford it, whereas Sophos Endpoint Intercept X is an excellent solution for more budget-conscious companies.