Buyers often compare the two. They offer comparably priced antivirus software with similar features, but when it comes to enterprise EDR and endpoint protection, they differ considerably.
Pricing is the biggest difference between Kaspersky and Bitdefender. Of 11 products tested in NSS Labs’ Advanced Endpoint Protection comparison published earlier this year, Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra was the most expensive, with a three-year price of $291,575 for 2,500 endpoints. Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business was the second-least expensive at $73,250, with only Fortinet FortiClient costing less. Pricing for your particular needs and configuration may differ, so always get multiple quotes when considering any IT purchase.
So what do EDR/EPP buyers get for their money with Kaspersky and Bitdefender? For starters, both have impressive security.
NSS Labs gave Kaspersky a AA rating and a 695 total score, good for third place in the rigorous testing. Bitdefender received an A and a 600 score.
In the very difficult MITRE testing, which mimics a Russian state-sponsored cyber attack, Bitdefender performed considerably better, stopping 82% of attacks, while Kaspersky stopped about half of attacks, in our analysis of the results.
Both companies have impressive threat research and R&D teams, so expect both to improve from any testing, but for organizations that might face a determined state-sponsored attack, Bitdefender would appear to be the better choice.
IT security buyers don’t always want the product with the best raw security scores. They want the product with the best response capabilities to help them clean up the inevitable breaches. With security teams overwhelmed and stress levels high, that shouldn’t be too surprising.
Here’s another area that differentiates the two security vendors. Kaspersky is heavily focused on automation, which makes it a great product for small and midsize businesses that don’t have the expertise for sophisticated incident response and analyst work. Kaspersky offers EDR and Anti Targeted Attack (KATA) solutions for more advanced security operations centers (SOCs).
Bitdefender also offers automated response capabilities, and while it doesn’t offer the guided investigation and custom rules an SOC might want, it offers enough advanced features like vulnerability management to appeal to enterprises.
In a 2019 total cost of ownership (TCO) study, NSS Labs said Bitdefender had a lower cost per incident than Kaspersky, so Bitdefender customers do get something for the higher cost.
Ease of use and deployment
Kaspersky generally gets higher marks for ease of use and deployment, but Bitdefender has its fans too.
In one little data oddity, Gartner Peer Reviews give Kaspersky higher marks for ease of deployment, but Bitdefender customers report modestly better implementation times.
Kaspersky also gets modestly higher scores for ease of use, but we’ll temper that by noting that both companies have some of the highest user ratings in the endpoint protection market, scoring 4.8 and above on Gartner’s 5-point scale.
Bitdefender users are very enthusiastic about the product’s security capabilities, as both the NSS Labs and MITRE data would suggest. To get a more comparable solution from Kaspersky, you’d have to go with EDR and KATA.
Bottom line: Use cases
Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business and Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra are clearly very different products.
For small businesses looking to set it and forget it at a good price, Kaspersky is hard to beat.
For mid-sized businesses up through enterprises, Bitdefender could make security teams pretty happy.
Final note: While Kaspersky has faced some restrictions because of concern about potential ties to the Russian government, the company has taken great pains to isolate itself from the Russian government, including moving data operations to Switzerland and allowing independent review of its source code and processes.