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The best endpoint detection and response tools can help improve your overall security by identifying vulnerabilities and threats before they cause damage. Cylance and CrowdStrike, two of the top EDR solutions, are built on artificial intelligence and offer point-in-time threat detection as well as behavior monitoring, but which one should you chose?

What is Cylance?

Cylance is an AI-enabled EDR platform that provides real-time threat protection against advanced persistent threats, zero-day attacks, advanced malware, ransomware and other threats. It also uses AI-driven predictive analytics combined with application and script control and device policy enforcement in order to prevent cyber attacks.

SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is CrowdStrike?

CrowdStrike Falcon Insight is a cloud-based EDR tool. Falcon Insight provides real-time, continuous monitoring of endpoints to detect threats in memory, on disk or in-transit across your network. It uses a signatureless approach to identify unknown malware based on behavior instead of relying on existing definitions.

Cylance vs. CrowdStrike: EDR feature comparison

Threat databaseYesYes
Automated threat detectionYesYes
Behavioral analyticsYesYes
API integrationYesYes

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Cylance vs. CrowdStrike: Head-to-head comparison

Data repository

CrowdStrike maintains a centralized data repository that centrally stores all data so you can monitor and review activity from anywhere. This is especially helpful for remote work environments, where it’s difficult to get everyone in one place to go over alerts. Regardless of the status of endpoints, large enterprises with remote employees can easily correlate data for threat detection, threat hunting and investigation.

Cylance, on the other hand, is cloud-independent: The tool uses an agent-based approach to endpoint detection and response, as well as a decentralized data repository, ensuring endpoint protection whether the user is online or offline. This feature is ideal for enterprises looking for an EDR solution that requires minimal system resources and operates with low impact on performance.

Threat intelligence

Both EDR tools use AI to monitor endpoints for threat detection. However, Cylance offers a more comprehensive threat intelligence feature through AI to provide prevention-first predictive analysis that collects information about suspicious files as they enter your network or run on your endpoint devices. Cylance leverages a mathematical engine that runs on the endpoint and detects malware using machine learning, behavior patterns and other indicators of compromise. If it detects suspicious activity — like an unknown file with malicious intent — it can automatically quarantine it for further investigation.

CrowdStrike threat intelligence is somewhat similar. The EDR tool leverages AI to monitor endpoint activity continuously and analyze the data in real-time to identify threat activity, enabling it to detect and prevent advanced threats. However, CrowdStrike uses behavioral models for threat detection. Instead of trying to predict threats, it works by filtering through recorded events in hopes of finding recurring patterns that indicate malicious activity.

Analysis and forensics

Analysis and forensics are critical components of any EDR toolset. Cylance provides complete analysis and forensics capabilities to triage malicious events and forensics tools for threat hunting and a post-mortem after an attack to give the analysts context on how it occurred.

Cylance post mortem is best for organizations that are still in their early stages of implementing a security program. It’s a great tool to learn from your mistakes, assess how well you’re doing and where you need to improve. Meanwhile, large enterprises that can’t afford to suffer an attack will prefer a solution that provides actionable intelligence and advice on threat activity before they cause damage. In these cases, CrowdStrike is better suited because it employs a team of professionals who search, investigate and advise on threat activities proactively.


Cylance is hybrid (cloud and on-premise), while CrowdStrike is cloud-only. If you’re looking for a tool that can handle both on-premise and cloud-based deployments, then Cylance could be the best option. However, if you don’t need an on-premise solution, consider going with CrowdStrike instead; its cloud functionality will make managing many endpoints much easier.

Choosing Cylance vs. CrowdStrike

EDR software tools in 2022 should include a full suite of antivirus capabilities that help catch malware at point-of-entry and reduce system vulnerabilities. Cylance Protection uses artificial intelligence to do both, while CrowdStrike Falcon leverages its Indicators of Attacks to sift through files in real-time for suspicious activity. With CrowdStrike’s IOA technology, you can also create your own custom rulesets based on your business’s unique needs and risk factors.

On top of all that, an effective EDR tool will have a user interface so intuitive even non-technical users can use it without training or support. Both products have user interfaces designed for ease of use, but they’re not quite equal when it comes to functionality. Users consider CrowdStrike easier to use than Cylance. Though both solutions are designed for large enterprises, they also work well for small businesses.

If you’re looking for a cloud-based solution, CrowdStrike is your best option, as it has a strong reputation in that space. If your organization needs more deployment flexibility and doesn’t mind dealing with an on-premises solution, consider Cylance.

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