Seemingly out of the blue, Microsoft just announced that its Windows Defender antivirus software is officially available on macOS, and has promptly renamed it from Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection.
Much like on Windows, the macOS version of Microsoft's dedicated Defender ATP client offers full virus and threat protection, complete with the ability to perform quick or full scans. Businesses will be able to try a limited preview. Microsoft is leveraging its AutoUpdate software on macOS to ensure the client will always be up to date, and it'll be available on macOS Mojave and all the way back to macOS Sierra.
Windows Defender For macOS
Microsoft says that the arrival of Windows Defender on macOS is part of its efforts to make protection cross-platform. There are two key parts to this, says Microsoft in a blog post. The first is a new user interface that's still sort of similar to what users have been accustomed to on Windows. Second is the ability to report for macOS devices on the Microsoft Defender ATP portal.
In the limited preview, the app provides "next-generation anti-malware protection," says Microsoft, and also allows end users to review and perform configuration of their protection, including scans, monitoring detected threats, addressing those threats, and tinker with more 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.
It's worth noting that because ATP is limited to businesses, it remains unclear whether Microsoft is planning to eventually roll out a consumer version, as well. Windows Defender is built into Windows 10 currently, with virus and threat protection turned on by default for all, not just businesses.
In any case, Microsoft is now offering a limited preview to its ATP customers, and interested parties can sign up by visiting its website.