Despite extensive possibilities for app developers and users, Google has turned the Android operating system into a real fortress in recent years. Above all, Google Play Protect has a very large part in preventing malware, viruses, or phishing from having a chance. Now Microsoft is also penetrating this market and bringing the Defender, known from Windows to Android, which can now be tested in the corporate environment.
Windows Defender is arguably the nightmare of many virus protection software developers. The expensive packages that have been known for decades are actually no longer needed; because apart from slowing down the computer and blocking many useful functions, they can hardly do anything that the Defender or Windows Firewall cannot take over. And because the product is so successful, Microsoft has long since deleted the word “Windows” and wants to further expand the range.
A few months ago Microsoft announced that it would bring the Defender to Android and now those plans are being put into action, earlier the defender ATP Beta version was available for download. For a few days now, companies have been able to officially download the Defender ATP from the Play Store and integrate it into their network. The app is clearly aimed at companies and can only be used in combination with a valid Microsoft 365 E5 license.
Microsoft is of course aware that Google has integrated its own security products into Android, such as Play Protect and the increasingly strict access rules, but would like to supplement these with its own product and connect it to its own infrastructure. Because Android smartphones now play a major role for Microsoft, the step is understandable that you have more control, especially in the security area, and also want to pass it on to the administrators.
Basically, the Microsoft Defender ATP works in the three areas of web protection (phishing, blocking unsafe connections, blacklist, and whitelist), malware scanning, and access protection to sensitive data. So nothing that is not already fundamentally covered by Google offers. Nevertheless, especially in companies, additional protection can of course never be wrong.
The public preview of Microsoft Defender ATP for Android will offer protection against phishing and unsafe network connections from apps, websites, and malicious apps. In addition, the ability to restrict access to corporate data from devices that are deemed “risky” will enable enterprises to secure users and data on their Android devices. All events and alerts will be available through a single pane of glass in the Microsoft Defender Security Center, giving security teams a centralized view of threats on Android devices along with other platforms. These capabilities empower enterprises to enable strong security while ensuring their employees remain productive working on their Android devices.
In the medium term, Microsoft could also offer the Defender to private Android users, but this is not yet part of the announcement and is not in prospect. However, with the increasing importance of Android for Microsoft and the ability to run Android apps on the Windows desktop, this will eventually play a role. As part of Your Phone, the connection between Android and Windows is constantly being expanded and it would be only logical to bring the strong Windows Defender to Android to secure the connection on both sides.