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HOW TO CHOOSE MICROSOFT 365 SECURITY PLANS AND ADD-ONS: E3, E5, EMS E3, EMS E5, 365 E3, 365 E5

Knowing what security features are included or not in the different packages offering from Microsoft can be confusing.
In this article, we will explain the overall principle of what all of those plans means.

For most companies, when it comes to Microsoft products you need protection for your EMAILS/DOCUMENTS/ENDPOINTS and for your ACCESS to Microsoft products (meaning AD, even if you are a Apple house)

The bottom line is that for ensuring you have the best security you want all or some of those security features:

  • Some advanced threat protection for your email/documents/endpoints:
    URL Link protection;
    Attachment protection;
    Identity and impersonation protection;
    Threat Intelligence;
    Alert for suspicious logins or activities;
    Logs and archiving;
    Advanced search and discovery;
    DLP
    Digital Right Management;
    Encryption;
    MDM (phones and laptops);
    GPO;
    Etc.

  • Some advanced threat protection for your Azure AD (if you are using O365 then there should be a link to Azure AD):
    Access protection;
    Alert for suspicious logins of activities;
    Threat Intelligence;
    Logs and archiving;
    Advanced search and discovery;
    Etc;

    The different enterprise Plans do provide some of those security protections but not all, depending on the plan you are on you may need to buy separate adds-on.
    The level of security increases, for example: Business Premium < E3 < E5 when it comes to security

    There is also a “security” bundle that can be applied to Enterprise accounts:
    ENTERPRISE MOBILITY + SECURITY E3 (EMS E3)
    Or
    ENTERPRISE MOBILITY + SECURITY E5 (EMS E5) (more features)

    So, you can look at it this way, the sum of all security features goes like this:

    Ex security features (E3 < E5)
    +
    EMS Ex security features (EMS E3 < EMS E5)

    Knowing that you can mix any Ex with any EMS Ex (i.e.: E3 + EMS E5)
    To make matters more confusing Microsoft also offers some packages called Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5 (There is also business, F1, etc). Speaking to Microsoft support, it appears those plans are the same as having Ex + EMS Ex + Windows 10. It means you pay a bundle for having your Windows OS license included and save a few bucks.

    If you want the best security with all the options, reports, bells and whistles, then you should take E5 + EMS E5, which costs about $50. If you take the equivalent plan with the new offering including Windows 10 called Microsoft 365 E5 then it will costs about $57. To conclude, if you do not need a Windows 10 license then do not go with MS 365 E5 but with E5 + EMS E5 for maximum security.

    The question is, do you really need all those security options?

    More information here:
    Microsoft 365 versus Office 365
    All Office plans explained
    EMS Plans explained

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