Microsoft Bringing Windows Defender ATP to Windows 7 and 8.1

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Seeing as the security of your environment is becoming more complex to protect as threats are becoming increasingly complicated to defend against, it does make sense to upgrade your environment to Windows 10.

There will be a public preview access to down-level EDR solution by the coming spring, and this will be not just for the customers.

Today, February 12, Microsoft announced the Windows Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) support for Windows 7 and 8.1.

Defender ATP is a functionality suite that lets enterprises monitor their devices, proactively block exploits and log potential threats to the cloud.

Microsoft said that starting this summer, the customers who are moving to Windows 10 will also be able to add Windows Defender ATP Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) to their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices.

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New capabilities added to Windows Defender ATP last fall included features to combat phishing, impersonation and domain spoofing. The company says for Windows 7/8.1 users, they are building a behavioral-based solution to provide insights into their endpoints and all detections will be surfaced in the Defender Security center. "Security teams benefit from correlated alerts for known and unknown adversaries, additional threat intelligence, and a detailed machine timeline for further investigations and manual response options".

The unified endpoint security platform is now available only for Windows 10 operating system.

Although this solution can run side-by-side with third-party antivirus solutions, it is better together with Windows Defender Antivirus (also known as System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) for down-level). The decision to support Windows 7 comes in spite of that operating system having less than two years of support left; its extended support period ends in January 2020.

Microsoft is additionally bringing cross-platform security support for various OS: Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. "With Windows 10 we built the most secure Windows ever, by hardening the platform itself and by developing Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) - a unified endpoint security platform that helps stop breaches". Defender ATP will be available on Windows 7 and 8.1 in the summer.

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