Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is receiving a new update today, adding the ability to support unmanaged devices across platforms. This update means users on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and network devices can now use unmanaged devices with the advanced security tool.

If you’re unfamiliar with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, it was previously Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). Windows Defender ATP debuted in 2016 and is mostly for enterprise customers across platforms. The tool provides an early barrier against cyberattacks, detecting and dealing with incoming threats on enterprise networks.

The wider Windows Defender suite, including ATP, was rebranded as Microsoft Defender in May 2020. Microsoft has since rebranded the ATP part to Defender for Endpoint.

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Support for unmanaged devices across platforms is currently rolling out in the latest Defender for Endpoint preview update. This addition is an important one as organizations increasingly transition into a hybrid or remote work environment following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many workers are now using their own hardware while working from home.

Handling Unmanaged Hardware

When they head back to the office, those laptops, smartphones, and other devices could be connected to a corporate network.

“The riskiest threat is the one you don’t know about. Unmanaged devices are literally one of your weakest links,” points out David Weston, Microsoft’s director of enterprise and OS security.

“Smart attackers go there first. With work-from-home, the threat has grown exponentially, making discovering and applying security controls to these devices mission critical.”   

With the new tools, organizations should find it easier to locate unmanaged devices on their network and secure them. IT teams can configure outside hardware to have patches.

“Once network devices are discovered, security administrators will receive the latest security recommendations and vulnerabilities on them,” Microsoft says.

Tip of the day:

With many reachable wireless access points popping up and disappearing again, the available networks list can become quite annoying. If needed you can use the allowed and blocked filter list of Windows 10 to block certain WiFi networks or all unknown WiFi networks.

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