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Microsoft Defender to launch on the Mac

Microsoft Defender antivirus is coming to the Mac for the first time. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft Defender antivirus is coming to the Mac for the first time. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft has become much more open under current CEO Satya Nadella with apps made for macOS, iOS, Android and Linux. The latest step in this initiative is the porting of a version of Microsoft Defender antivirus software for macOS, but in this instance, it is targeted at business users initially.

Microsoft has announced that it is bringing its Windows Defender to the Mac. The antivirus software is built directly into Windows but in this implementation, the company has created a special standalone Mac version it is calling Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). At this stage it is targeted at businesses who run both Windows and Mac software environments and is currently in limited preview.

Defender ATP for Mac features a new interface that resembles its appearance in Windows, but with a slightly more macOS look and feel. Reporting for Mac devices is available through the general Microsoft Defender ATP Portal. The preview version delivers anti-malware protection that end users can review and perform configurations including full, quick and custom path scans. If threats are detected, users can quarantine them, remove or allow them.

The service includes Microsoft AutoUpdate so it helps keep Defender ATP up-to-date with the latest definitions. For Administrators, machines with alerts and detections will be surfaced in the Microsoft Defender ATP portal that includes rich context and alert process trees.  Microsoft hasn’t indicated whether it will eventually make Defender ATP available to consumer Macs yet, but it wouldn’t surprise to see it roll out more widely.

The Defender ATP UI for Mac. (Source: Microsoft)
The Defender ATP UI for Mac. (Source: Microsoft)
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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-03-21 (Update: 2019-03-21)