Microsoft has announced an expansion of its software subscription package that should help users better protect their various devices against cyberthreats.
As described in a new blog post (opens in new tab), Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) customers will now benefit from a service called Microsoft Defender for Individuals, billed as “a new security app designed to keep individuals and families safer online”.
The application gives users a way to both protect and monitor all their devices – across macOS, iOS and Android, as well as Windows – from a single, unified dashboard. It also offers up tips and suggestions to help users further strengthen their protections.
Microsoft Defender for Individuals
The objective of the new service, says Microsoft, is to eliminate complexities that arise as a result of using multiple different security products across multiple devices and operating systems.
For example, someone might deploy an antivirus and ransomware protection service on their Windows PC, but use a different product to shield against the same kinds of attacks on their iPhone, and yet another on their Android tablet.
However, Microsoft claims this scattered approach is creating gaping holes in the security armor, by making full oversight next to impossible.
“To help keep your data private and devices secure, people often turn to multiple security products, with scattered security monitoring and device management. This fragmentation makes keeping up with increasing online threats even harder,” explained Vasu Jakkal, CVP for Security Compliance, Identity and Management.
“We must evolve our security solutions to meet unique customer needs at home and work by bringing together existing technologies in a new way.”
While some users rely exclusively on Microsoft security products, the company understands that many also choose to opt for alternative services, from companies like Norton and McAfee. As such, Microsoft has built support for third-party products into the Microsoft Defender for Individuals dashboard.
The service also promises to extend default Windows malware protections across all devices, although it will not override existing protections where they exist.
“We’re proud to take this step forward in our continued commitment to security for all,” wrote Microsoft. “The introduction of Microsoft Defender is just the start in helping you and your family comprehensively secure your digital life with technology that you can trust.”
Microsoft Defender for Individuals is available now for anyone with a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription, with additional features (such as identity theft protection) set to be incorporated at a later date.