Today (May 3rd 2022) Microsoft formally announced the general availability of the standalone version of Microsoft Defender for Business.
Why should I care?
Well firstly, it’s a myth that smaller organisations are not targeted and attacked. Security continues to be an increasing challenge for small and medium businesses with a more than 300% increase in ransomware attacks alone in the past year alone, leading to increase cost in time and money, whilst pulling you away from doing what matters most – running your business and making money.
As an example, the solicitor I was personally using last year for a house purchase was victim of a cyber-attack in September last year and it took them almost 3 months to get back on their feet which cost them loads of business – including mine!
In addition, according to a report commission by Microsoft – over 90% SMB organisations admit to buying “bad” endpoint security (which means it is below par, nor is it integrated into their wider security portfolio).
What is Defender for Business
Microsoft Defender for Business brings enterprise-grade security to smaller and medium sizes businesses (SMBs), including world-class endpoint detection and response capabilities.
Microsoft Defender also continually scores the highest across all industry endpoint protection products. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/intelligence/top-scoring-industry-antivirus-tests
Why Defender for Business
Microsoft position this as “the solution for the new Hybrid Workforce”. As employees increasingly work across a mix of different devices and locations, Defender for Business delivers end-to-end security and moves beyond traditional end-point anti-virus, with their cloud connected, AI-powered service that is backed by trillions of daily signals, bringing enterprise grade, real time detection of known or trending threats including zero-day attacks and ransomware.
Microsoft Defender for business is part of the wider Microsoft 365 Defender family – a unified pre- and post-breach enterprise defence suite which natively coordinates detection, prevention, investigation, and response across endpoints, identities, email, and applications to provide integrated protection against sophisticated attacks.
- Reduce your vulnerability with Defender’s risk-based management approach
- Help eliminate risks by reducing the surface area of attack
- Protect against cyberthreats like ransomware and malware
- Detect and investigate advanced persistent attacks
- Automatically investigate alerts and helps respond to complex threats
Here’s how it works
If you think of your business as like you might think about your own house, we can use this simple by effective analogy:
- Threat and Vulnerability Management is like a proactive police/crime assessment – looking at your doors and windows for potential weaknesses. It’s a risk prevention approach to vulnerability management that reduces threats before they grow into serious problems.
- Attack surface reduction works by making sure the windows are locked, and only the right people have keys to the front door. This helps minimise risk by reducing the attack surfaces open across your devices.
- Next Generation Protection acts as the lock for your front door. It helps to stop the things you don’t want to enter, from file-based and fileless malware, to spyware.
- Endpoint Detection and Response is like a security camera system, helping you see and record an intruder in the building. Defender’s advanced tools then sets off the alarms, allowing you to respond directly to the problem, device, or file.
- Auto Investigation and Remediation is like your smart alarm system, calling the authorities and taking the intruder away. Defender for Business automatically investigates alerts and helps remediate complex threats, acting as your personal security analyst, working 24/7 to protect your business.
In short, Microsoft Defender for Business looks across your environment, multiple activities, devices, and users and then aggregates your alerts into a single incident making it easier for you (or your IT Services partner) to manage and respond to threats before they impact your business.
How does it compare to Defender for Enterprise?
Defender for Business provides the same premium protection at endpoint level for SMBs as it does for Enterprise organisations – the only difference is the price point and simplified management. The table below, shows the main differences.
How do I get it?
All these features and more are available as part of Microsoft 365 business premium plan or can be purchased (if you are not a Microsoft 365 subscriber) as a standalone application.
Speak to your Microsoft Partner or CSP license provider in the first instance. They can probably also help you quickly get started and set it up..
Defender for Business is already included as part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium – Microsoft’s comprehensive security and productivity solution for businesses with up to 300 employees (or as part of a blended licensing approach). Microsoft Business Premium costs just £16.50 per user per month.
You can (from today) also purchase Defender for Business as a standalone solution for just £2.75 per user, per month and what’s more support for On-Premises and Cloud Hosted Servers for SMB is also coming later this year.