Microsoft Commercially Releases Defender for Endpoint Plan 1

 Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 (P1) reached the "general availability" commercial-release stage, the company announced on Monday.

Plan 1 is a new antimalware service for devices that was highlighted earlier this month during the Microsoft Ignite online event. The existing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint product was renamed, and is now called "Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2."

Plan one is designed to add device security for "Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS at a lower price point," per the announcement. While it's now commercially released as a product that can be licensed on a per-user basis, P1 is also destined to be included in Microsoft 365 E3/A3 subscriptions "starting next year," the announcement indicated. The exact release date in 2022 when it'll be available for those subscribers wasn't described, though.

The P1 plan is mostly marketed toward organizations seeking plain endpoint protection. It offers the following capabilities, per the announcement:

  • Industry leading antimalware that is cloud-based with built-in AI that helps to stop ransomware, known and unknown malware, and other threats in their tracks.
  • Attack surface reduction capabilities that harden the device, prevent zero days, and offer granular control over access and behaviors on the endpoint.
  • Device based conditional access that offers an additional layer of data protection and breach prevention and enables a Zero Trust approach.

In contrast, Plan 2 (P2) is for enterprises that also need threat-hunting capabilities. Plan 2 has all of the P1 capabilities plus "advanced threat prevention and detection, deep investigation, and hunting capabilities, and advanced SecOps investigation and remediation tools," the announcement explained. 

Plan 2 is an existing product that's currently available. It requires having top-tier E5/A5 licensing in place.

Links to free previews of both the P1 and P2 products were included in the announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.