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For decades now Windows has been the most popular operating system for both personal and business computers. Because of this, Windows computers have also been the target of the vast majority of viruses, malware, and other types of hacking attempts. While Microsoft has always made an attempt to provide protection, it has fallen short in many ways. To help fill the gap, major antivirus firms like McAfee, Norton, and many others have developed great software security suites that were able to provide excellent protection to their users.

Over the past several years, however, Microsoft has put in a lot of effort to improve their native Microsoft Defender program. Microsoft has long had antivirus software built in, but wasn’t until 2006 when the final release of Windows Defender was released for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Since then, more and more of the protection and cybersecurity components of the operating system have been placed under the Microsoft Defender name.

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Soon, Microsoft will be releasing their latest version of Microsoft Defender, which is going to have some significant updates. According to many security experts, this is going to be the most comprehensive antivirus and antimalware suite yet, and it may be the only protection that you need. This means you could stop paying for third party antivirus and antimalware programs, potentially saving your company a significant amount of money. These savings would come both in the form of no longer having to pay for the other software and by making it easier to manage your overall security efforts.

Microsoft Defender Protecting All Devices

One of the biggest improvements of the upcoming version of Microsoft Defender is that it is going to be able to protect all of your devices from one management panel. In the past, this program primarily focused on keeping PCs and servers safe. With the update, it will be far easier to add layers of protection to laptops, tablets, and smartphones as well. The protection for all of these devices can be handled from one convenient interface.

Centralized security like this will make it much easier for businesses to come up with an effective security strategy and roll it out to all their devices. This update is especially important now that a growing number of businesses have employees who work from home or other remote locations on a regular basis. Many remote employees even use their personal devices for work, so being able to add virus and malware protection to them will be very important.

Cloud Security Included

Another important thing that the latest updates on Defender will include is expanded protection on cloud environments. Microsoft Defender has offered protection and support for Amazon Web Services as well as their own Azure services for quite some time. With the new updates, however, Defender will also offer protection to the Google Cloud environment as well.

This shows that Microsoft recognizes that a growing number of businesses of all sizes are harnessing multiple cloud environments to get the services they need. Being able to protect your digital environment across various cloud services is becoming increasingly important.

Top Rated Antivirus Solution

Many people are hesitant to rely on Microsoft for all of their antivirus needs because the tech giant still has a reputation for lagging behind when it comes to security. The fact is, however, that for well over half a decade now, Microsoft has been one of the industry leaders in cyber security of all types.

In fact, Windows Defender was named one of just two antivirus solutions that got the top ratings from independent lab testing in 2019. Defender received a perfect score for protection, performance, and usability when tested alongside other top industry programs. With the added improvements that Microsoft has made in the past several years, it is clear that they are now setting the standard for quality in the world of security.

Whether you choose to rely exclusively on Microsoft Defender for your virus and malware protection or not, it is a good idea to at least have it as a component of your overall security strategy.

Microsoft Defender Update Coming Soon

The update to Microsoft Defender is already available for use in the developers build for both Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well as Android and iOS devices. In the coming days or weeks, it will be rolled out to protection releases of these two operating systems as well. Initially it will only be rolled out to devices in the United States, but other countries will become available soon after.

It is important to note that the initial release versions are specifically for home versions of the operating systems. There are limits to managing five devices per user at this point. Microsoft often releases updates to home users first, and then adapts them to corporate versions of their software soon after. Since many small businesses use the home versions of Microsoft software, however, these updates may be impacting you soon.

For personal devices, the developer build version of Defender is currently free. Once it is released to full production, however, it will require a subscription to Microsoft 365 or some other similar service. With this in mind, you will want to start looking at how to make sure your employees have access to Microsoft Defender and how you can manage it to keep your company systems safe.

Michael Levanduski

Author Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is a writer with over 20 years of experience working in the IT industry. He regularly writes for a variety of different publications, providing content on a wide range of different topics, including multiple different niches within the tech field. He lives in West Michigan with his family where he enjoys camping, hiking, and of course, writing.

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