Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference ?

Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference? No matter how perfect an invention is, it’s inevitably prone to flaws and errors. These errors may be invisible to the average person. But with hackers, these flaws can be exploited and weaponized to cause some serious harm to the flawed system. Sometimes these errors can be easily detected and fixed. Others may remain hidden till they’re finally exploited. 

Since technology has evolved over the years, the risk of security breaches increased exponentially. According to studies, hackers launch cyber attacks at least once every 39 seconds. Since, 43% of those hacks are targeted at small businesses, the larger proportion of those attacks are targeted at large corporations.

In nutshell, a hack is almost inevitable. But you must secure your systems by partnering up with some of the world’s best cyber security providers. In this article, we’ll compare two popular cyber security providers – Zscaler and Crowdstrike. By the end of this article, you should have a pretty good idea of which provider to choose. We will compare their features, pros and cons, and differences.

Let’s continue reading Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference?

What is Zscaler?

First of all, Zscaler is a cloud computing company that specializes in helping businesses and large corporations to migrate their data to the cloud. In addition, Zscaler’s service helps companies securely migrate their data to the cloud by using Zero trust principles. Also, Zscaler’s zero trust principles enable companies to move away from traditional network infrastructure to achieve a modern IT environment. 

So, the entire functionality of Zscaler is Zero trust principle. Therefore, this security framework requires all users, internal or remote, to pass through authentication and continuous validation. Only then, they receive access to a network. Hence, zero trust principles provide better security than traditional VPNs and other networking concepts. 

Additionally, Zscaler handles cloud migration and security in a pretty different way. So, there is over 150 data centers scattered around the globe. These large data centers act as front doors, as well as processing centers; for all traffic in and out of your network. So, Zscaler routes traffic from a company’s data center, cloud infrastructure, SaaS, and third party services. 

If you would like to know the features of Zscaler, please continue reading Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference?

Features of Zscaler

  • Zscaler’s Secure Web Gateway (SWG) is a feature that blocks access to malicious links and websites. Consequently, it prevents unsecured internet traffic from getting through a company’s network. This feature is most effective for remote workers that can be tricked into clicking malicious links. All the incoming traffic of a company is filtered at the application level, allowing them to block and allow connections based on the company’s web policy. 
  • Moreover, Zscaler provides bandwidth control based on policies established by the company. Bandwidth control acts as a ceiling that can restrict the bandwidth allocation of specific software or websites. Generally speaking, bandwidth control also helps companies regulate the communications on a network to prevent unnecessary applications. Also aids programs from overfilling or congesting the network resulting in poor performance. 
  • Zscaler’s data loss protection (DLP) policy helps companies protect their networks from data loss. Whilst most corporations might have third party providers who offer DLP, Zscaler can also help your third party provider by monitoring and blocking content that might trigger the DLP policy. After that, Zscaler then relays its findings to your third party solution to give them a better overview of transactions that can trigger the DLP policy. 

Pros of Zscaler

  • One pro that has remained consistent in Zscaler’s service is the ease of configuration. Multiple users have given Zscaler five stars on ease of configuration because the setup process of the software is seamless. Once users purchase the software, they can start defining policy settings immediately. Generally, Zscaler’s easy setup process allows new employees to be on board easily.
  • Additionally, reduces time spent on policy configuration. Policy configuration is one of the most mundane and time consuming activities for employees to set up. Indded, with Zscaler it improves a company’s security by setting up several policies that act once triggered. These policies include access policies, isolation policies, port forwarding policies, and many more. Due to Zscaler’s intuitive user interface, users can easily work around the software to configure such policies much faster. 
  • Streaming services take up a lot of bandwidth. If not regulated, can reduce the bandwidth needed to run principal services. However, Zscaler’s bandwidth control helps companies preserve enough bandwidth by placing a lid on the amount of bandwidth users can use for specific services. 
  • Zscaler’s AI Gen sandbox helps companies isolate threat actors like malware, ransomware, etc.They try to infiltrate a network. These files are identified and isolated in an AI generated sandbox that prevents them from infecting files in the actual network. Files hidden in encrypted traffic are also exposed and quarantined in this sandbox to prevent contamination.

Cons of Zscaler

  • Due to the bandwidth control implemented with Zscaler, it significantly slows down the internet speeds of a system. According to some users, a laptop running Zscaler has download speeds varying from 2 to 4.5Mbps, while a normal computer on its network supports speeds up to 19 – 21 Mbps per second. However, users can implement techniques like direct cable to internet routers to help increase download speeds.
  • Zscaler’s new tunnel 2.0 update has a few annoying bugs that have caused users to roll back to previous versions. While the bugs are not fatal, they can cause some weird problems in the network. For example, a user reported that after updating to tunnel 2.0, the Zscaler software started sending traffic to the Zen node, which caused some production disruptions.

Up next with Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference? we have Crowdstrike. 

What is Crowdstrike?

Second tool on our list is Crowdstrike. Alternative cyber security provider that giving companies a cloud native platform. They can use it to protect endpoints, cloud workloads, and data. Moreover, Crowdstrike with launched their first product – Crowdstrike Falcon, in 2013. So, Falcon was designed to provide endpoint protection, threat intelligence, and cyber attack responses.

In addition, crowdstrike mitigates data breaches by using a unified set of cloud technologies to prevent attacks like malware, zero days, identity theft, and many more. Furthermore, Crowdstrike has helped in investigations involving high profile hacks like the Sony Pictures hack linked to North Korea. Fortune companies like Netflix, Goldman Sachs, and many more use Crowdstrike as their main endpoint protection platform. 

Features of Crowdstrike

  • Crowdstrike offers users a state of the art, next generation cloud antivirus that serves as a replacement for traditional antivirus software. Crowdstrike calls this next gen antivirus Falcon Prevent. It works by combining effective prevention technologies with full attack visibility to provide better protection for its users. Falcon Prevent also protects users from ransomware, commodity malware, and offline attacks. 
  • Falcon Insight is another outstanding feature of Crowdstrike. It provides endpoint detection and response (EDR) to users by delivering continuous detection, response, and forensics. This ensures that no attack goes undetected. Falcon Insight also provides long range visibility on all endpoint activities to monitor all the activities in an organization. 
  • Crowdstirke provides users with IOA (Indicator of Attack). These IOAs are AI powered indicators that expand the protection capabilities of Crowdstrike. AI powered IOAs use speed as well as accuracy to swiftly identify emerging threats and predict patterns in each attack to help the AI adapt better to future attacks, irrespective of the type of malware. 
  • Crowdstrike allows users to white list and blacklist certain file types. This feature allows users to run trusted file types in the network. It also allows users to automatically blacklist files on the computer – malicious or not. Files stored in a specific file path can also be whitelisted or blacklisted based on policies set by the network administrator. 

Pros of Crowdstrike

  • Due to Crowdstirke’s next generation antivirus, companies can expect improved network security. Aside from its main purpose as an endpoint protector, Crowdstrike provides users with products like Falcon Prevent, which also doubles as an antivirus to help mitigate the risk and effects of cyber attacks
  • Crowdstirke doesn’t require complex or costly infrastructure to set up. You will receive instant endpoint protection when you register and deploy the service to your network. Additionally, you don’t need signatures or additional servers to run Crowdstrike. Once you register for the service, you can deploy within seconds. 
  • Crowdstirke’s routine network scan provides detailed analysis and insights into the network. Crowdstrike Falcon analyses every connection in and out of the network to track malicious behaviour. It also logs the web addresses that users visit to prevent employees in the network from visiting malicious websites. 
  • Falcon provides 24/7 protection that alerts companies instantly in the case of a data breach. The software also conducts continuous assessments of the network by scanning the entire network 24/7 to identify and resolve attacks quickly. 

Cons of Crowdstirke

  • One of the advantages of Zscaler is that they provide an isolated sandbox that users can use to automatically quarantine suspicious files hidden in encrypted traffic. However, Crowdstrike lacks this feature. Even though Crowdstsrike uses AI to scan files in the network, it has no sandbox for isolating files. 
  • Many users have complained that Crowdstirke’s mobile protection isn’t as effective as required. Mobile users are protected from phishing and malicious applications, but device control for devices like USBs still needs to be improved. 

Now with Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference? it is time to compare. 

Differences Between Zscaler and Crowdstrike

Remote Access

Zscaler

With remote Access of Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference? Zscaler helps in solving problems associated with remote connections. Users can connect remotely to the company’s network due to Zscaler’s proxy, which provides zero trust network access to any network worldwide. 

Crowdstrike

Crowdstrike, on the other hand, isn’t a remote access solution. Instead, Crowdstrike integrates with several remote access solutions to enhance their security By detecting anomalies in user behaviour and relaying details about such anomalies to the remote access solution. 

SD-WAN Capabilities

Zscaler

Zscaler provides several SD WAN capabilities, such as enforcing security controls in a network. It also partners with some of the biggest SD WAN providers to help reduce the cost of routing traffic in the network. Zscaler’s SD WAN capabilities also facilitate a faster and more secure internet connection. 

Crowdstrike

Crowdstrike operates as a security solution rather than a networking solution. It’s core functionality aims to provide endpoint security to organizations. Therefore, Crowdstrike does not provide or control network access. SD WAN capabilities are irrelevant to Crowdstrike’s core functionality.

Endpoint Protection Capabilities

Zscaler

Zscaler isn’t primarily designed to provide endpoint protection. However, since Zscaler routes all the traffic that comes in and out of the network, Zscaler will probably be at the forefront of all endpoint connectivity. 

Crowdstrike

On the other hand, Crowdstrike’s primary functionality is built on endpoint protection. That’s why most of its primary features, next gen antivirus and intrusion detection and response, are solely targeted at monitoring endpoint activities to provide maximum protection of all endpoints in an organization. 

File Analysis and Scanning

Zscaler

Zscaler operates as a proxy that routes all traffic coming into the network. This means that Zscaler analyses all encrypted traffic coming into the network and can decrypt such encrypted traffic for file analysis. 

Crowdstrike

Crowdstrike handles file analysis pretty differently. Due to its Next Gen Antivirus and AI capabilities, Crowdstrike analyses files by gathering intelligence from different sources to analyse files to know whether they’re malicious or not. 

Insider Risk Management

Zscaler

Using zero trust principles, the Zscaler infrastructure protects users from insider threats like lateral movement. This reduces the scale of the attack and limits the attack surfaces that can be exploited. Zscaler’s threat detection tools respond proactively to insider threat activities as they occur. 

Crowdstrike

On the other hand, Crowdstrike monitors insider threats in an organization’s network using advanced machine learning models and artificial intelligence. These AI powered threat detectors are responsible for identifying suspicious behaviour within the network infrastructure by using predefined rules for proactive actions against insider threats. 

Vulnerability Assessment Solution

Zscaler

Zscaler doesn’t serve as a vulnerability management solution. It utilizes zero trust principles to help customers securely migrate their data to the cloud. However, Zscaler does have a feature that is pretty similar to a vulnerability assessment solution. The Zscaler Cloud Protection’s Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) can identify vulnerabilities in cloud configurations. 

Crowdstrike

Crowdstirke is also not a traditional vulnerability assessment solution. But like Zscaler, it does provide users with useful features that they can use to augment the vulnerability assessment needs in the network. Crowdstrike’s Falcon agent can seamlessly monitor several endpoints and scan for configuration vulnerabilities or missing patches in the network.

Thank you for your time to read Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers – What’s the Difference? We shall conclude. 

Zscaler vs Crowdstrike – Cyber Security Providers - What’s the Difference? Conclusion

The world of cybersecurity is changing rapidly. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their approach and their attack types. If you run a business and you’re still running legacy security services, it might be time to make a change to adapt to the current dynamics of the cyber security world.

In this article, we’ve provided you with a detailed overview of two of the world’s best cyber security providers. Each of these providers offers pretty different services with some slight similarities. Feel free to give either of them a try.

If you want to read more about Cyber Security, please navigate to our blog over here

Avatar for Kamso Oguejiofor
Kamso Oguejiofor

Kamso is a mechanical engineer and writer with a strong interest in anything related to technology. He has over 2 years of experience writing on topics like cyber security, network security, and information security. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

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