Step 1. Create the Microsoft 365 Defender Evaluation Environment for greater cyber security

You can learn about and build out this Microsoft Defender XDR solution in steps that are distributed through the rest of this series:

The steps in this series run end-to-end, from learning the concepts behind the Microsoft 365 Defender XDR to building it, and into taking the evaluation environment live to production.

There are two common ways to do this next step in evaluation. This series assumes you already have a production Microsoft 365 tenant and will activate E5 trial licenses to evaluate Microsoft 365 Defender in the current environment. An in-place evaluation will let you keep any security methods with the purchase of licenses after the evaluation period.

The second is to Set up your Microsoft 365 Defender trial lab environment for the purpose of evaluation. Note that it may not have many real signals from the business while in testing.

You will need to activate E5 trial licenses to evaluate Microsoft 365 Defender

  1. Log on to your existing Microsoft 365 tenant administration portal.

  2. Select Purchase Services from the navigation menu.

  3. Scroll down to the Office 365 section and select Details button under Office 365 E5 license.

    The Details button in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal

  4. Select Start free trial link.

    The Start free trial button in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal

  5. Confirm your request and click Try now button.

    The Try Now button in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal

Go to the next step

Learn how to enable Microsoft 365 for Identity

Or return to the Overview for Evaluate and pilot Microsoft 365 Defender