Microsoft has rolled out preview for its Microsoft Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) on Google’s Android platform. This is a public preview and is designed to bring robust protection against mobile-based attacks.

You may remember Microsoft announced its plan to bring Microsoft Defender ATP to Android and iOS back in February. Windows Defender ATP was launched in 2016 and is aimed at enterprise customers on Windows 10. The service provides an early barrier against cyberattacks, detecting and dealing with incoming threats on enterprise networks.

Now that the service is available across platforms, it was rebranded as Microsoft Defender this year.

On Android, Microsoft says the software will help protect mobile users from malicious apps, websites, and phishing attacks:

“As more business is getting done on mobile devices, the lines blur between work and personal life,” Microsoft corporate vice president Rob Lefferts explains. “In this rapidly evolving world of mobile threats, Microsoft is taking a holistic approach to tackling challenges and to securing enterprises and their data with our new mobile threat defense capabilities.”

Securing Android for the Surface Duo?

It makes sense for Microsoft to prepare security for Android. The company’s Surface Duo smartphone is launching soon and runs Android. There’s a good chance the Duo will be positioned as an enterprise device first and foremost.

That may be a tough sell on a platform that famously has its fair share of security issues. Adding Microsoft Defender ATP to Android and by relation the Surface Duo, will help ease those security concerns.

You may remember Microsoft initially said Defender ATP would come to Android nearer the end of the year. The company launching ATP now adds more credence to the rumor the Surface Duo will be launched in August.

Features

As for the core features of Microsoft Defender ATP, here are the details:

  • “Protection from phishing and access to risky domains and URLs through web protection capabilities that will block unsafe sites accessed through SMS/text, WhatsApp, email, browsers, and other apps. We’re using the same Microsoft Defender SmartScreen services that are on Windows to quickly detect malicious sites which means that a decision to block a suspicious site will apply across all devices in the enterprise.
  • Proactive scanning of malicious applications, files, and potentially unwanted applications (PUA) that users may download to their mobile devices. Our capabilities and investments in cloud-powered protection and intelligence on application reputation allow us to quickly detect sophisticated malware and apps that that may display undesirable behavior.
  • Adding layers of protection to help prevent and limit the impact of breaches in an organization. By leveraging tight integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Conditional Access, mobile devices that have been compromised with malicious apps or malware are considered high risk and are blocked from accessing corporate resources.
  • A unified security experience through Microsoft Defender Security Center where defenders can see alerts and easily get the additional context they need to quickly assess and respond to threats across Windows, Mac, Linux, and now mobile devices.”