Microsoft 365 E5 Security: Overview, products and pricing

The Microsoft 365 E5 Security add-on is a security-focused licence that can be added to Microsoft 365 E3 to give organisations access to advanced security and threat protection solutions. It’s available at a cost-effective and discounted price, compared to purchasing standalone licences or the full Microsoft 365 E5 plan.

Why we love the Microsoft 365 E5 Security add-on

The security capabilities within the licence support the implementation of a Zero Trust approach, which is considered best-practice in modern security. This makes the Microsoft 365 Security add-on a popular investment, as it offers companies of any size market-leading security tools. What’s even better, is that most organisations are using Microsoft 365 in some form (such as Teams, Outlook, or Office) – and by keeping your security tools within the Microsoft stack means you benefits from strong integration, less complexity and reducing third party costs.

The E5 Security add-on provides an optimal selection of Microsoft’s security products, combining them in a cost-effective package, which can deliver real value and elevate your security to a whole new level.

Before the E5 Security add-on became available, organisations could only achieve this level of security by either:

  • Purchasing Microsoft 365 E5 – the highest-spec (and most expensive) licence with a large portion of the cost going towards voice/telephony and Power BI Pro, which most companies simply didn’t need
  • Creating a licensing mix and match – combining E3 and E5 offerings across Office 365, Windows 10 and EMS to get most of the security tools but causing licensing complexity and missing out on the discount of the Microsoft 365 bundle

Luckily, the E5 add-on licence has solved this issue, offering far greater value for the customer.

This article is focused on the E5 Security add-on, however a Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance add-on is also available to purchase, which you can read about in our article “Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance Overview”.

Microsoft 365 E5 Security add-on UK pricing

As always, pricing is subject to change from Microsoft. It is also worth being aware that Microsoft carry out a bi-annual review on pricing to keep global pricing aligned with exchange rates, so the price can change.

New Commerce Experience
The New Commerce Experience (NCE) means that organisations need to choose the term commitment, which affects pricing – choosing either annual or monthly commitments. Monthly commitments give you the flexibility to increase and decrease seats as and when you need, but it comes with a 20% price premium for this luxury. Annual term commitment offers better pricing but means committing to a set number of seats for 12 months as your baseline but if you need to decrease the number of seats, you will have to still pay the set baseline. You can mix and match annual and monthly terms – i.e. choosing 100 annual seats but then getting 30 monthly seats for seasonal workers and fluctuations.

As of July 2024, the UK ERP pricing is:

Microsoft 365 E5 Security add-on (commercial customers)

  • £11.88 per user per month
  • £118.80 per user per year

The benefits of the add-on

The Microsoft 365 E5 Security add-on contains Microsoft’s top security products, such as Microsoft Defender XDR along with Entra ID P2 (formerly Azure Active Directory).

This offering is particularly special because of the quality and potential of these tools and their advanced capabilities. Microsoft invests millions in product development and testing, and has unmatched telemetry and intelligence. Microsoft analyses over 73 trillion signals daily (as of July 2024). Because of this, few companies can compete with Microsoft’s security solutions.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a great example of this; from the first download of the BadRabbit virus it took only 14 minutes to completely block the ransomware to any other user that received an email. Combined with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and any trace of this threat was removed from anywhere within the tenancy – you can read about it in detail here.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licensing

What products are included in the E5 Security add-on?

Microsoft 365 E5 Security includes:

  • Entra ID P2
  • Microsoft Defender for Office 365
  • Microsoft Defender for Identity
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Microsoft Defender XDR – Microsoft’s XDR platform
These final four solutions are also known collectively as ‘Microsoft Defender XDR’ and alongside Microsoft Defender for Cloud form their extended detection and response (XDR) solution.

The combination of these products and services provides a holistic and integrated approach to your security. All the pieces integrate and can feed data to one another to build up a simple picture of your security, which balances tight security with great user experience. Having this simplified management is invaluable, as complexity is the enemy of security – having multiple, separate pieces that cannot integrate or are difficult to damage leaves you exposed to more risk of threats, vulnerabilities and likelihood of mistakes. Of course, the other advantage as mentioned earlier, is cost.

If you’d like to better understand XDR, you can read our EDR, XDR, MDR & MXDR explained summary.

What do these products do?

Entra ID Plan 2: Cloud-based directory and identity management service to unify user accounts for improved security and management. Features include single-sign on (SSO), self-service password reset and password-less abilities.

Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Advanced email protection delivering additional malware and URL link protection (‘Safelinks’) and email detonation chambers. This also includes Office 365 Threat Intelligence – a single pane of glass for actionable insights into your threats, which pulls data from across all these services. Features includes: interactive threat explorer, red team/blue team simulations to find your security holes and one-click actions based on threat alerts.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps: Reports and analyses web browsing activity and gives visibility into your cloud apps and services.

Microsoft Defender for Identity: Threat detection software which uses machine learning to understand typical behaviour and then detects and acts upon any network anomalies.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint: An advanced post-breach and Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) solution, which detects advanced attacks, automatically investigates and gives simple reaction options (all within minutes).

Looking to implement Microsoft 365?

Chorus is a leading provider of Microsoft 365 consultancy services. Watch our on-demand webinar “Building a Microsoft 365 implementation roadmap” to hear from our experts on how best to approach a Microsoft 365 rollout. This includes a phased roadmap suggestion covering all the products within Microsoft 365.

Microsoft-verified MXDR services

We have built managed security services using Microsoft Defender XDR and Microsoft Sentinel – if you are looking into MDR and MXDR services to give you managed security and threat protection, you can find out more about our services here.


When Microsoft 365 E5 Security launched we were extremely excited as it enabled us to give our customers the best security solutions within a bundle without requiring a full Microsoft 365 E5 licence (which is a large cost commitment).

If you would like more information, a demo of any of these tools or want to discuss your Microsoft licensing then please get in touch with us.