edr-carbonblack-vs-crowdstrike
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As organizations grow, they’ll need to acquire endpoint detection and response tools to monitor activity and secure endpoint devices. Carbon Black and CrowdStrike are two top EDR products with features that can help to improve an organization’s security posture.

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What is Carbon Black?

VMware Carbon Black is a security platform that uses analytics and machine learning to detect, investigate and respond to threats. The EDR tool uses streaming analytics to endpoint data to detect, predict, respond to and mitigate threats. In addition, the platform provides visibility into activity on endpoint devices and allows security teams to identify suspicious behavior quickly. Carbon Black also offers several features for incident response, including rolling back changes made by malicious actors.

What is CrowdStrike?

Falcon CrowdStrike is an endpoint security platform that provides real-time protection, detection and response. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioral analysis to identify new and unknown threats and to stop attacks before they occur. CrowdStrike also offers a cloud-based management console that makes deploying and managing the system easy.

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Carbon Black vs. CrowdStrike: Feature comparison

FeatureCarbon BlackCrowdStrike
Threat huntingYesYes
Single-agent designNoYes
Behavioral learningNoYes
Feature parity across OSNoYes
Cloud-basedYesYes
Firewall managementNoYes
API integrationYesYes

Head-to-head comparison: Carbon Black vs. CrowdStrike.

Threat hunting and remediation

Both Carbon Black and CrowdStrike offer powerful threat hunting and remediation features. However, CrowdStrike is a more robust solution based on MITRE Engenuity tests. Its alignment to the MITRE Framework saw it named a Leader in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms for the second successive year. The product also held the top position for Completeness of Vision.

In contrast, Carbon Black missed some threat detections when tested against the MITRE Framework over the last four years.

Single-agent design

Using a single agent to centrally manage multiple endpoint devices ensures teams can deploy quickly and begin handling threats.

CrowdStrike uses a single universal agent design. The Falcon platform uses a single lightweight agent deployed on endpoint devices that collects data and sends it to the cloud for analysis.

On the other hand, Carbon Black is a complex security tool with a steep learning curve. It requires significant tuning and configuration. Moreover, its threat detection queries are overly complicated, and there are several manual processes to manage alerts and remediation.

Behavioral learning

EDR software can either be signature-based or signatureless. Signature-based EDR programs rely on a database of known threats, while signatureless EDR programs use machine learning and behavioral analytics to identify suspicious activity.

CrowdStrike offers advanced, signatureless protection through machine learning, behavioral analytics and integrated threat intelligence, while Carbon Black includes a signature-based AV engine. As a result, CrowdStrike can better protect devices from new and unknown threats.

Deployment

CrowdStrike comes as one platform for all workloads. It provides comprehensive protection coverage that you can deploy across Windows, Linux and macOS servers and endpoints. In addition, there is no on-premises equipment requiring maintenance, management, scans, reboots and complex integrations.

In contrast, Carbon Black comes as an on-premises or cloud solution. There may be a need for device restarts, including critical servers, as part of the sensor update process. In addition, there is a feature disparity between on-premises and cloud versions.

Device and firewall control

Carbon Black’s EDR software allows device control (no firewall management), but it is restricted to Windows OS and USB flash drives. It also lets you create your endpoint security policies, which is beneficial for businesses with specific regulatory or performance standards to meet.

By comparison, Falcon Firewall Management from CrowdStrike allows customers to move from legacy endpoint platforms to the company’s next-generation EDR software, which includes robust protection, better performance, and efficient management and enforcement of host firewall policies. In addition, Falcon Firewall Management offers simple, cross-platform management of host/OS firewalls from the Falcon console, allowing security teams to limit any risk exposure effectively.

Furthermore, the Falcon Device Control allows users to safely utilize USB devices by offering complete end-to-end protection and detection and response (EDR) capabilities. Its seamless integration with the Falcon agent and platform comes with device control features complemented with complete endpoint security. This provides security and IT operations teams insight into how devices are being used and the means to regulate and manage that usage.

API integration

API Integration ensures you get the most out of your EDR software.

Carbon Black’s EDR solution offers more than 120 out-of-the-box integrations.

Similarly, CrowdStrike’s Falcon Platform is developed as an API First Platform. As new features are released, corresponding API functionality is added to help automate and control any newly added operations.

Choosing between Carbon Black and CrowdStrike

CrowdStrike is the better choice if you need comprehensive coverage and protection against new and unknown threats that you can deploy across Windows, Linux, and macOS servers and endpoints. However, if you’re looking for an on-premises solution to provide you with protection against known threats, then Carbon Black may be better.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your risk profile and specific needs and requirements.