Endpoint security plays a vital role in safeguarding enterprise cybersecurity, particularly in the context of remote work scenarios. As the number of endpoints accessing corporate networks rises with the growth of remote work, the need for robust endpoint security becomes increasingly paramount, enabling a secure environment for users on the move. In this article, I will detail how you can protect Windows devices using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, the company’s enterprise endpoint security platform.
Defender for Endpoint is a comprehensive solution that encompasses a wide range of capabilities designed to counter advanced threats on various devices, including Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android platforms. It leverages behavioral sensors, cloud security analytics, and threat intelligence to deliver robust protection against cyberthreats.
In addition to its advanced threat protection capabilities, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint offers a suite of features, such as vulnerability management and assessment, attack surface reduction, automatic investigation and remediation, and managed hunting services. It is available in two plans, Plan 1 and Plan 2, with the option to add a vulnerability management feature.
I should be clear that Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is an integral part of Microsoft 365 Defender, which is an Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solution. This comprehensive security solution provides unified visibility and protection across endpoints, identities, emails, and cloud applications, offering enhanced security and centralized management for organizations.
By combining its powerful threat detection and response capabilities with its integration into Microsoft 365 Defender, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint presents a comprehensive and unified approach to enterprise security.
Let’s enable Microsoft Defender for Endpoint in our environment:
In the context of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, onboarding refers to the process of connecting and integrating a device into the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint environment. It involves setting up the necessary configurations, policies, and security measures to ensure that the device can effectively utilize the advanced threat protection capabilities provided by Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.
The supported Windows editions for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint include:
Let’s onboard a device:
By completing these steps, devices targeted by the policy will be onboarded to the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint service.
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint’s attack surface reduction capabilities are your endpoint’s first line of defenese against well known attacks and exploits. Attack surface reduction includes various features such as exploit protection, device control, app and browser Isolation, web protection, and app control.
Let’s create a basic attack surface reduction policy.
In the modern business landscape, data holds immense value for organizations. The loss or compromise of data can pose significant risks to an entire business. Endpoints serve as gateways to enterprise networks and they can serve as potential entry points for malicious actors.
Endpoint security software shields these entry points from risky activities and potential attacks. With its attack surface reduction capabilities coupled with the next-generation extended detection and response features, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is an extremely capable security solution for your endpoints.