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Microsoft makes Defender for Business generally available

Small businesses can look forward to enterprise-grade endpoint security as well as automated investigation and remediation capabilities

Microsoft has now made the stand-alone version of Microsoft Defender for Business available.

Defender for Business brings enterprise-grade endpoint security to SMBs, including endpoint detection and response capabilities to protect against ransomware and other threats, the tech giant said yesterday while announcing the general availability (GA) of the product.

SMBs can look forward to multi-layered protection, detection, and response to protect and remediate known and unknown threats. It also comes with built-in policies to get customers up and running quickly. Its automated investigation and remediation capabilities help automate the type of work managed by dedicated SecOps teams by continuously detecting and automatically remediating various threats. 

Defender for Business is also included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, the company’s comprehensive security and productivity offering for businesses with up to 300 employees. Alternatively, customers can choose to buy it stand-alone for $3 per user, per month. The company added that additional support for servers is planned for later in the calendar year with an add-on solution.

“Microsoft believes in security for all,” said Vasu Jakkal, CVP of security, compliance, and identity at Microsoft. “We are proud to further deliver on that vision today. With the GA of Defender for Business, SMBs will get greater protection with simplified security to help them better protect, detect, and respond to threats.”

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Microsoft added that Defender for Business and Microsoft 365 Business Premium gives partners new opportunities to help secure customers at scale with value-add managed services. Both integrate with Microsoft 365 Lighthouse, which was made generally available on 1 March 2022, so cloud service providers can view security incidents across tenants in a unified portal.

The tech giant also underlined that in April 2022 it surveyed over 150 small and medium businesses to understand their security needs. It found that over 70% of SMBs think cyber threats are becoming more of a business risk, especially as nearly one in four reported experiencing a security breach in the past year.

Despite facing similar risks as enterprises, SMBs often lack access to the right resources and tools, including security staff, added Microsoft. Many still rely on traditional antivirus for their security. Although 80% of SMBs stated they have some form of antivirus solution, 93% continue to have concerns about increasing and evolving cyberattacks.

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