Overview of endpoint detection and response

Applies to:

Want to experience Microsoft Defender for Endpoint? Sign up for a free trial.

Endpoint detection and response capabilities in Defender for Endpoint provide advanced attack detections that are near real-time and actionable. Security analysts can prioritize alerts effectively, gain visibility into the full scope of a breach, and take response actions to remediate threats.

When a threat is detected, alerts are created in the system for an analyst to investigate. Alerts with the same attack techniques or attributed to the same attacker are aggregated into an entity called an incident. Aggregating alerts in this manner makes it easy for analysts to collectively investigate and respond to threats.


Defender for Endpoint detection is not intended to be an auditing or logging solution that records every operation or activity that happens on a given endpoint. Our sensor has an internal throttling mechanism, so the high rate of repeat identical events don't flood the logs.


Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 and Microsoft Defender for Business include only the following manual response actions:

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

Inspired by the "assume breach" mindset, Defender for Endpoint continuously collects behavioral cyber telemetry. This includes process information, network activities, deep optics into the kernel and memory manager, user login activities, registry and file system changes, and others. The information is stored for six months, enabling an analyst to travel back in time to the start of an attack. The analyst can then pivot in various views and approach an investigation through multiple vectors.

The response capabilities give you the power to promptly remediate threats by acting on the affected entities.

See also


Do you want to learn more? Engage with the Microsoft Security community in our Tech Community: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Tech Community.