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Microsoft Defender is coming to iOS and Android


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Microsoft Defender is coming to iOS and Android



Microsoft is bringing its Defender antivirus software to iOS and Android, the company announced today. In fact, that's about all that it said on the subject, promising to demo the apps next week at RSA.


Microsoft Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) is already available on macOS, and today, the public preview is coming to Linux. Microsoft says that Linux support has been a long-requested feature, so you can start testing it out today.


This is all a part of Microsoft's broader Microsoft 365 strategy. The firm wants you to be able to use Microsoft's services no matter what platform you're using, so that can obviously include macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Endpoint security is a major focus, as Microsoft considers itself to be in a better position than competitors to offer that.


As for Defender on iOS and Android, it's not clear what those solutions will actually do. Anyone that's familiar with iOS knows that there are some real limitations there, so it's possible that Defender could require you to use Microsoft services like Outlook, so it can provide phishing protection, and so on.



Source: Microsoft Defender is coming to iOS and Android (Neowin)

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Microsoft Defender coming to devices running Android, iOS


Microsoft Defender software will extend its activity to fight the good fight against malware on iOS and Android mobile platforms. Expect to see the Defender software for these devices later this year, according to reports. But why bother? Matthew Humphries in PC Magazine says, "Microsoft believes there's a market for its security software on mobile devices, so Android and iOS users will soon have the option of running Microsoft Defender on their devices."


Regarding Android, Tom Warren in The Verge said, "Microsoft will join this growing market to prevent malware in Android apps that are sideloaded onto devices." Quoted by CNBC, Rob Lefferts, a Microsoft corporate vice president, said that people can end up allowing malware onto their Android devices by installing applications they find outside of Google Play, which is the official repository of apps for Android.

A BGR report said, "If you've been reading BGR even sporadically for the past several years, you know how frequently malware shows up in applications that Android users sideload on to their devices from outside the official Google Play store." A big reason for this move to iOS and Android is phishing prevention. This extended reach would count as a measure to stop employees at companies from accidentally revealing their user names, passwords or other account information.

"Phishing prevention will likely be one of the main features for Defender on iOS and Android," said Anthony Spadafora in TechRadar, "as Microsoft looks to protect businesses from having their employees reveal their usernames, passwords and other account information to potential attackers."

A PCWorld report said, "Microsoft apparently hopes to reassure its corporate clients that it can secure their phones as well as their PCs." What about consumers? Defender for mobile will be part of the company's enterprise security platform, "and as of now, it is still unclear as to whether or not Microsoft will make its antivirus apps available to consumers," Spadafora added.

CNBC said the Defender software coming to Android and iOS was designed to prevent people from visiting online destinations that Microsoft deems unsafe. Nonetheless, Tyler Lee in Ubergizmo was still looking for answers: "The company will be sharing more details about the app next week," he wrote, "so we'll be sharing those details with you then. That being said, it will be interesting to see what kind of protection Microsoft can offer to iOS devices. This is largely due to Apple's walled garden approach with third-party apps that can sometimes limit its functionality."

Tom Warren in The Verge suggested a similar reason to be curious, as "Microsoft's mobile Defender clients will likely be very different to the desktop versions, especially as Apple's iOS platform doesn't allow apps to scan for malware across an iPhone or iPad."

TechRadar, though, was looking forward to an upcoming security event for a fuller story. "Microsoft has not yet shared any details regarding the functionality of the apps yet," wrote Anthony Spadafora, "but it does plan to preview them at the upcoming RSA conference." The San Francisco event starts Feb. 24.

Moti Gindi, corporate vice president, Microsoft Threat Protection, said in a February 20 blog post that "next week at the RSA Conference, we'll provide a preview of our investments in mobile threat defense with the work we're doing to bring our solutions to Android and iOS."

Mark Hachman, PCWorld, has gathered some insight into the move to iOS and Android. "Interestingly, the Defender package that Microsoft plans to install doesn't appear to be traditional anti-malware," he wrote. "While Windows Defender scans for and removes malware on your PC, the iOS and Android solutions Microsoft announced are designed to prevent people from visiting online destinations that Microsoft thinks are unsafe."



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