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 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. Advantages of CrowdStrike Falcon XDR include fast deployment, zero endpoint impact and fast operations.

What is Sophos?

Sophos 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

FeatureCrowdStrikeSophos
Deep learningYesYes
Malware identificationYesYes
Intrusion preventionYesYes
Behavior analysisYesYes
Data loss preventionYesYes
Automated remediationYesYes
Endpoint isolationYesYes
WindowsYesYes
MacOSYesYes
LinuxYesPartial

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’s 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 in April of 2022 for detection, investigation, response and threat hunting capabilities. Forrester has rated CrowdStrike as its leader for EDR in 2022.

In that same Forrester report, 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 evaluations, 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. These options provide 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, ranging from options in endpoint security to managed services. Some Falcon products are bundles of other, granular suites, while others are standalone. CrowdStrike’s extensive range of products may be overwhelming to some users, however.

Sophos products include 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, and the product line even extends to personal home security.

Choosing CrowdStrike vs. Sophos

In terms of customer experience and product capabilities, as measured by Gartner‘s user reviews and ratings, CrowdStrike Falcon XDR narrowly edges out Sophos Intercept X.

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 noted by MITRE testers in 2022 to have 100% performance rating in the Wizard Spider and Sandworm tests, while Sophos Intercept X edged out CrowdStrike Falcon in the 2022 SE Labs tests. While the performance ratings of both systems are exceptional, CrowdStrike does 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 Intercept X is an excellent solution for more budget-conscious companies.