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Understanding the Differences: E3 vs E5 Security in the Cybersecurity Landscape

Understanding the Differences: E3 vs E5 Security in the Cybersecurity Landscape

The cybersecurity landscape is a constantly changing field, with powered threats, evolving technology stacks, and the ever-increasing need for protection against cyber attacks. Within this complex domain, user and organization subscriptions play a critical role in defining which services and solutions are tailored to suit diverse needs. One such example is the Microsoft Office 365 offerings, specifically the E3 and E5 subscriptions and their security options. In today's post, we're digging deeper into the ‘E3 vs E5 security’, unraveling their differences, similarities, and implications for businesses.

Given the amount of data exchanged and stored within Microsoft 365, it's predictable that security is a top-of-mind concern for many businesses. Understanding the difference between E3 and E5 security options can be pivotal in making the right decision for your organization.

What is E3 Security?

E3 Security is an integral part of Microsoft Office 365's Enterprise E3 subscription. It includes basic security features, data loss prevention, and compliance capabilities which are necessary for many corporations. Its features include Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) P1, Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection, and SharePoint ATP.

What is E5 Security?

E5 Security, on the other hand, is associated with the more advanced Enterprise E5 subscription. Going beyond the basic security offered with E3, E5 enhances defence systems with higher-level functionality. This includes Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) P2, Azure ATP, Microsoft Cloud App Security, and Advanced e-Discovery.

E3 vs E5: The Key Differences

The primary difference between E3 and E5 security options lies in the advanced features offered by E5. E5 provides comprehensive protection with enhanced capabilities that include built-in data classification, advanced data governance, and advanced threat intelligence.

E5’s Advanced Threat Protection is more robust than the E3’s version. The ATP in E5 includes Safe Attachments, Safe Links, and Threat Intelligence, providing proactive defense against malware, spoofing, and phishing attacks.

E5 security further excels with its Cloud App Security service, a tool that provides cloud security, detection, and monitoring. Other E5-specific offerings include Threat Intelligence and Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA), which help defend against sophisticated threats and offer insights for early intrusion detection.

E3 vs E5: The Similarities

Both E3 and E5 security options provide crucial security features such as data loss prevention, standard encryption, Secure Score, and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), the necessity for comprehensive protection in today's digital landscape.

Choosing Between E3 and E5

Choosing between E3 and E5 security comes down to the specific needs and budget of your organization. Although E5 offers superior and more advanced features, it also comes with an increased cost. Therefore, smaller organizations might find E3 sufficient for their security needs. Larger organizations or those dealing with sensitive data might need the advanced security measures provided by an E5 subscription.


In conclusion, the choice between E3 vs E5 security largely depends on the nature, size, and budget of your organization. E3 security offers robust services that suffice for many organizations, while E5 brings advanced tools to battle complex cyber threats. Understanding these differences is vital in making an informed decision for your organization's cybersecurity posture, allowing you to choose a subscription that maximizes protection while aligning with your organizational needs and budget.