Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Microsoft ups security protection for older versions of Windows

Microsoft Brings Windows 10's Breach-Detection Service to Older OSes Microsoft to boost enterprise security of aging Windows 7 and 8.1
Terence Owen | 15 February, 2018, 14:08

Of course, users who want the full support of Windows Defender ATP will have to upgrade their machines to Windows 10.

Microsoft notes that while one of the main reasons cited for upgrading to Windows 10 is the improved security, there are still plenty of organizations that are still running slightly older operating systems.

Microsoft previous year announced Windows Defender ATP feature for Windows 10 operating system with the Fall Creators Update.Today, in a blog post, Microsoft announced that the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is coming to Windows 7 and 8.1 devices this summer.

Windows Defender ATP support for Windows 7 SP1 is somewhat of a surprise, considering Microsoft has been slowly but surely de-emphasizing Windows 7 support in the past few years. Many businesses struggle to move their entire fleet to a new OS with legacy and bespoke applications often built or specifically configured to fit an OS.

For that to work, the OS must have the Windows Defender ATP Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) functionality.

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"For Windows 7 [service pack 1, i.e., SP1] and Windows 8.1, we are building a behavioral based EDR solution", Rob Lefferts, program management director with with the Windows Enterprise and Security division, explained.

Windows Defender ATP, or Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, is a paid for cloud-based Enterprise service that allows administrators to monitor, analyze, and respond to threats seen across a network.

However, people with multiple Windows machines, say operating a mini cryptocurrency mining operation or simply downloading epic amounts of porn, may find it a bit heavy on the wallet and admin time to shift all their machines to Windows 10.

If you are a current customer, a preview of this offering will arrive in the spring. The launch of Defender ATP on older Windows versions is a significant step for the company, which could lead security-minded businesses to hold off on Windows 10 for a little longer. The decision to support Windows 7 comes in spite of that operating system having less than two years of support left; its extended support period ends in January 2020.

Microsoft also announced on Monday that it added a new Windows Defender ATP partner, SentinelOne, adding its Endpoint Protection Platform solution.

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