As you may have heard, Microsoft are increasing the prices for many of their subscription products in March 2022. For Microsoft 365 Business Premium users, the uplift is 10% or £1.50 (from £15.10 to £16.60). Not much on its own, but perhaps a bit of a sting if you have quite a high number of users.

Microsoft have already announced that Audio Conferencing will be free for all Teams enabled plans, but Business Premium users will also be getting Defender for Business included in their license bundle at the same time. If you’re already paying for Microsoft 365 Business Premium licenses and separately subscribing to an Endpoint Security solution, this change could be a win for you.

When considering the Microsoft suite of products, most people might have heard the name Defender as it’s been around since 2005, but what it represents has changed considerably since then and understanding may well not have kept up.

Windows Defender is a redevelopment of Microsoft AntiSpyware. It was purely an anti-spyware platform and was therefore not a complete security solution for threat protection.

It has of course been through a raft of redevelopments and improvements over the last 17 years. However, for many, the name still just represents a simple, free antivirus application that’s bundled with Windows and generally not good enough when compared to all mainstream security solutions.

The software has nonetheless seen some change in recent times. Since the creation of Defender, the threats that devices need to be protected from have changed too. In the early noughties, there was an onset of anarchic viruses, after which spyware came next, as criminals started to see opportunities to cause disruptions.

The most common type of virus that is now prevalent is ransomware. Anti-virus solutions have had to evolve to cater to these broader range of threats, for a much more rounded set of protection. Packages such as ‘Endpoint Protection’, Sophos, BitDefender, McAfee and Defender for Business are efficient antivirus prevention systems.

Take a look at where Microsoft rank on the Gartner magic quadrant:

Microsoft Defender 1st post image | Infinity Group

From the evidence above, it is clear that Microsoft are a step ahead of their competitors.

See Microsoft’s own blog on the subject here: Gartner names Microsoft a Leader in the 2021 Endpoint Protection Platforms Magic Quadrant – Microsoft Security Blog

Today the brand ‘Defender’ represents a complete suite of security solutions across the Microsoft Cloud. Endpoint Protection is just one component, and that’s our focus.

What then exactly is Defender for Business?

It is Defender for Endpoint which is Microsoft’s enterprise level endpoint protection platform. This version has all of the same capabilities but has a simplified configuration process and interface to make it more suitable for smaller organisations.

Microsoft Defender 2 | Infinity Group

So here we have a leading endpoint protection solution that protects against modern threats such as viruses, malware, ransomware and more, with advanced features most mainstream providers charge extra for, included within a license you already own, and the price is only going up by £1.50. Additionally, once it’s implemented you can shed the cost of your current endpoint protection solution and start saving.

By comparison, Defender for Endpoint comes bundled with Microsoft 365 E5 licenses at £48.10 per-user or is available standalone for £3.90 per-user. This is the latest benefit included in the Business Premium license, that makes it the essential go-to for organisations with less than 300 users. If you’re using Business Standard, take the time to re-evaluate what you’re missing out on and the risk that leaves you facing. It is beneficial to upgrade.

The world of cyber security has undergone many changes in the last decade, with Microsoft taking the lead in driving the conversation.

Leading security provider

Microsoft have built one of the largest and most powerful global cloud environments. It empowers everyone to achieve more by taking responsibility for elements of their systems and delivering them ‘as-a-service’.

Microsoft have also been recognised as a leading security provider by building global scale platforms to protect the assets of businesses. This is a big shift in what Microsoft has traditionally been seen to represent. Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella has successfully led the organisation to expand its portfolio to assist clients.

Feel free to contact our experts for more information on Microsoft Defender for Business.

About the Author

Tom Lovell

As Chief Technology Officer at Infinity Group’s Innovation Lab, Tom oversees the cutting edge technology that the business creates. He drives creativity and pushes modern approaches of IT support and development.

You can find Tom on LinkedIn.

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