Microsoft 365 Defender For Endpoint

Microsoft Antivirus

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We all know that we must have security software on our computers to help keep us secure. But what about Microsoft’s antivirus software? Is it enough?

I’m sure that you’ll all agree one of the most basic forms of cyber security is having security software or antivirus installed on the computer. However, cyber threats have changed dramatically, and so has the sophistication of security software. We need to protect ourselves. 

Gone are the days when you would pay for a 12-month subscription with Norton or McAfee. We used it to be able to let them run in the background.  It’s fair to say that cybercriminals are very good at their jobs. That’s why we need to stay 1 step ahead. 

So, what does this all mean? What does your business need to stay protected?

Microsoft 365 is going to be our focus as it has some excellent antivirus included with it as well as advanced software that you can add on. 

Over 1 million businesses use Microsoft 365 as their toolkit. Regardless of its use, it has security for every occasion. 

Windows Defender Anti-Virus

If you were to buy a brand new laptop for home use or business, you would have windows defender antivirus pre-installed free of charge. When you turn your computer on, it will automatically start running in the background. 

This is Microsoft’s security software, and over the years, it has taken a bit of a bashing. So, with that in mind, what does it include?

Protection Against Malware

Cybercriminals create malware to try and disrupt and destroy your data. The goal is to take over your data and, eventually, your money. So, they generate malware and try to install it onto your computer. The protection against malware will then spot it and deal with it.

Protection Against Ransomeware

Not many people know that this feature is included in Defender for Microsoft 365; they achieved top marks from a company called AV-TEST for their protection against ransomware. 

In our opinion, you need more protection, and Microsoft agrees! They have an advanced security product called Defender for Endpoint. 

With it being Microsoft they have yet to create one option. They’ve made three. 

The different options depend on the size and needs of your business. 

If you have under 300 employees, Defender For Business is the best plan for you. This will cost £2.30 per user/month, based on a 12-month commitment. It is, however, included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which is £16.50 and has an insane amount of products for the money. We will always recommend Business Premium to our customers.

So what if you have over 300 users? You will have to use either Defender For Endpoint Plan 1 or Plan 2. 

Plan 1 is £2.30 per month. It does not have as many features as the other two options. 

Plan 2 is £3.90  per month and has the most features overall. 

If you’re unsure of what all of the features mean, then have no fear! We’re going to go through a few of them. 

Defender For Endpoint

Centralized Management

Defender for Endpoint builds on the free antivirus already installed by Microsoft. If you have a business of around 20 computer users, you can manage the security within the Microsoft 254 Admin Portal.  From a management point of view, it integrates and is much simpler. It is much easier than using a third party such as SOPHOS because it would take men different portals to access and manage. 

Vulnerability Management 

This feature is all about weaknesses. Looking at your 20 computers, two of these have old versions of google chrome installed, leaving vulnerabilities within the business. 

Another example is if a few devices are running an old Windows version, your business is exposed. So, having vulnerability management for endpoints means you can view and monitor these issues in one place. 

Attack Surface Reduction

An attack surface is all the areas where your business could be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It makes sense to reduce the attack surfaces so that your business has less risk of cyber attacks. Here are some ways that you can reduce your Attack Surface. 

  • Putting a rule to ensure no computers allow USB storage devices. 
  • Putting a rule in place to ban those within your business browsing adult websites. 
  • Enabling controlled folder access will help to reduce the risk of ransomware. 

And more!

Endpoint Protection And Response (E.D.R.)

EDR is new, but it is steadily growing by 25% yearly. So, what does it do?

EDR will sit on each of your computers and will continuously check it to detect and respond to cyberthreats such as malware and ransomware. 

Cyber threats over the years have become more sophisticated. When we thought we were getting ahead of these pesky cyber criminals, they always thought of different ways to attack us. So what they’ve done in recent years is create malware that traditional antivirus cannot detect. Therefore, we need something stronger to keep evolving to spot new threats.  EDR does this and protects better than others against ever-changing cyber threats. 

However, EDR does need managing; you cannot just stick it on and let it work in the background. You need to have a security-conscious  IT provider monitoring and managing it. 

As mentioned earlier, all of these great features are within Microsoft 365 business premium, And for £16.60, it is worth it. However,  with over 300 users, you must choose plans 1 or 2. 

The most comparable version to Defender for Microsoft 365 Business Premium is Plan 2, but there is a big jump in price point, adding up to a lot more over time. 

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