Microsoft, the US software giant, is planning to extend its Defender antivirus software to Android and iOS ecosystems and will showcase a preview during the RSA Conference that will be held February 24 - 28. With this, Microsoft aims to provide security solutions to millions of active Apple and Google users, amid growing malware threats worldwide. Microsoft Defender was introduced back in 2006 after several beta builds, and is now known as Windows Defender for Windows users.
According to a note shared by the company on Thursday, the Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) will not only combat threats from third-party apps but will further share analytics with Azure Sentinel, Microsoft's cloud-native security information and event manager (SIEM) security teams, to "view and manage threats across Microsoft for future".
The company will also be extending the ATP for Linux, the note added.
Speaking more on the company's vision, Rob Lefferts, Microsoft corporate vice president told CNBC, "They [iOS and Android operating systems] are pretty safe but pretty safe is not the same as safe. Malware does happen on those platforms", he said adding that the ATP feature will tackle phishing attempts.
It is still unclear when and how the tech giant is planning to roll out the Defender app for mobile.
The latest announcement by Microsoft is an attempt by the company to further tap into the smartphone industry, after providing antivirus security to PCs for decades. Earlier this week, the company launched its all-in-one Office app for both Android and iOS devices that provides access to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
In 2019, Microsoft also partnered with Samsung to sell some of its smartphones pre-installed with Microsoft Android apps. The Redmond company in 2018 brought Windows Defender Browser Protection to popular web browsers, Google Chrome and Firefox in the form of an add-on.
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