Compare security features in Microsoft 365 plans for small and medium-sized businesses

Microsoft offers a wide variety of cloud solutions and services, including plans for small and medium-sized businesses. For example, Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes security and device-management capabilities, along with productivity features such as Office apps. This article describes the security features in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Microsoft Defender for Business, and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

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Tip

Defender for Business is available as a standalone security solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Defender for Business is now included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium. If you already have Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Standard, consider either upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business Premium or adding Defender for Business to your current subscription to get more threat protection capabilities for your devices.

Compare Microsoft Defender for Business to Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Note

This article provides a high-level overview of features and capabilities that are included in Microsoft Defender for Business (as a standalone plan) and Microsoft 365 Business Premium (which includes Defender for Business). It's not intended to be a service description or licensing contract document. For more detailed information, see Microsoft 365 licensing guidance for security & compliance.

Microsoft Defender for Business (standalone) Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Antivirus, antimalware, and ransomware protection capabilities for devices include:






Productivity and security capabilities include:

(a) Microsoft Intune is required to modify or customize attack surface reduction rules. Intune is included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

(b) Microsoft Intune is required to onboard iOS and Android devices. See Onboard devices to Microsoft Defender for Business.

Compare Microsoft Defender for Business to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plans 1 and 2

Defender for Business brings the enterprise-grade capabilities of Defender for Endpoint to small and medium-sized businesses. The following table compares security features and capabilities in Defender for Business to the enterprise offerings, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plans 1 and 2.

Feature/capability Defender for Business
(standalone)
Defender for Endpoint Plan 1
(for enterprise customers)
Defender for Endpoint Plan 2
(for enterprise customers)
Centralized management Yes [1] Yes Yes
Simplified client configuration Yes No No
Threat & vulnerability management Yes No Yes
Attack surface reduction capabilities Yes Yes Yes
Next-generation protection Yes Yes Yes
Endpoint detection and response Yes [2] No Yes
Automated investigation and response Yes [3] No Yes
Threat hunting and six months of data retention No [4] No Yes
Threat analytics Yes [5] No Yes
Cross-platform support
(Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android OS)
Yes [6] Yes Yes
Microsoft Threat Experts No No Yes
Partner APIs Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft 365 Lighthouse integration
(For viewing security incidents across customer tenants)
Yes Yes [7] Yes [7]

(1) Onboard and manage devices in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal (https://security.microsoft.com) or by using Microsoft Intune, managed in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center (https://endpoint.microsoft.com).

(2) Endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities in Defender for Business include behavior-based detection and the following manual response actions:

  • Run antivirus scan
  • Isolate device
  • Stop and quarantine a file
  • Add an indicator to block or allow a file

(3) In Defender for Business, automated investigation and response is turned on by default, tenant wide. If you turn off automated investigation and response, that affects real-time protection. See Review settings for advanced features.

(4) There's no timeline view in Defender for Business.

(5) In Defender for Business, threat analytics are optimized for small and medium-sized businesses.

(6) See Onboard devices to Microsoft Defender for Business.

(7) The ability to view incidents across tenants using Defender for Endpoint is new!

Also see Compare Microsoft endpoint security plans.

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