Microsoft Preps Defender ATP Security Software for macOS

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft announced this week that its Microsoft Defender ATP software (previously known as Windows Defender ATP) is now available to preview for businesses using computers running macOS. Apple has claimed for many years that its macOS devices didn’t need antivirus software, but as more businesses adopt Macs, the number of threats has also increased. Defender ATP customers are now able to apply for a preview of the macOS client, Microsoft's announcement said. 

Defender ATP Comes to macOS

Microsoft announced that businesses using both Windows and macOS devices will be able to use the new cross-platform Defender ATP solution to protect their devices and networks. The new client application will support macOS Mojave, macOS High Sierra, or macOS Sierra.

People using the Defender ATP client for macOS will be able to configure advanced settings such as:

  • Disabling or enabling real-time protection, cloud-delivered protection and automatic sample submission
  • Adding exclusions for files and paths
  • Managing notifications when threats are found
  • Manually checking for security intelligence updates

Along with the Defender ATP client, an auto-update service is also installed. This service ensures that the application has the latest features and security patches and also keeps the client constantly connected to the cloud. 

Microsoft Defender ATP for Enterprises

Microsoft Defender ATP is Microsoft’s security service for companies that want not just anti-malware protection but also a detailed overview of their devices’ security, as well as the threats these companies may experience at any given moment.

Besides using existing security features built into Windows 10 Enterprise, such as Microsoft’s Defender antivirus, Device Guard and AppLocker, Defender ATP also uses big data analysis to provide IT professionals with insight on how to best respond to the existing threats. It also offers security professionals forensics data to see how a previous attack happened.

To provide all of these insights, Microsoft mines data from over 1 billion Windows computers, 2.5 trillion web URLs and over 1 million suspicious files it discovers every day. The company promises not to use all of this data for advertising purposes or any other purpose beyond Defender ATP’s intended goal of protecting devices against attacks.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.