Ignite 2020: Microsoft Defender and Application Guard get updates

Kareem Anderson


As with most things announced at Ignite 2020, Microsoft is making some sweeping changes to its protection portfolio as well.

Coming soon are some new features to help prevent, detect, and respond to threats across identities, endpoints, and applications in both Microsoft 365 and Azure platforms.

One of the first updates to Microsoft Threat Protection is its name. Microsoft Threat Protection will now be referred to as Microsoft 365 Defender and the branding expands to both Endpoint and Office 365 as well as Azure Security Center morphing into Azure Defender.

Aside from the new branding experiment, Microsoft 365 Defender will be “protecting every major OS.”

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and is extending protection for the rapidly evolving world of mobile threats. For Android, it provides protection against phishing, offers proactive scanning of malicious applications and files, blocks access to corporate resources to mitigate the impact of breaches, and gives security teams visibility into mobile threats and alerts via the security center. For iOS, customers will also get phishing and web protection and the same unified SecOps experience. Support for macOS has been expanded with the public preview of threat and vulnerability management. (Learn more about cross-platform endpoint protection.)

In addition, protections will be extended to email accounts as well as offering hybrid identity threat protection.

As for cloud securities, Azure Defender will now protect SQL servers on-premises and multicloud environments. The new Azure defender will also bring enhanced protection for containers, specifically Kubernetes-level policy management and workloads that include continuous scanning of container images to minimize the exploitation of running containers.

Microsoft will also be adding some protections for IoT by leveraging some recent company acquisitions that involve the inclusion of Cyber X. Now Azure Defender will offer agentless security for IoT devices in operations across safety, health, food, water, energy, transportation, and national defense.

Lastly, Microsoft is integrating Application Guard with office and connecting the whole plot to Safe Documents. Customers can now edit, print, and save changes to Office documents from outside their organizations while still being protected with hardware-backed security.

Despite the announcement at Ignite 2020, the integration of Application Guard into Office has been under way for a little bit of time. Microsoft 365 E5 customers can now test out new features in a public preview currently.