Microsoft Defender for Business: Affordable Endpoint Security for SMBs

Publication date: Dec 14, 2021

Last Published: Dec 23, 2021

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Read Time : 4 minutes

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face a difficult problem.

On the one hand, they understand that ignoring today’s cybersecurity threats would be a costly mistake. On the other hand, they can’t afford the same cybersecurity products large enterprises use to protect themselves.

Recently, at this year’s Ignite conference, Microsoft announced a new endpoint security product to equip SMBs with advanced cybersecurity capabilities at a price they can afford.

The new product is called Microsoft Defender for Business, and it’s designed from the ground up to meet the needs of businesses with up to 300 employees. Microsoft Defender for Business seems to be the game-changer so many SMBs have been waiting for, so now is the right time to take a closer look at it.


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What Is Microsoft Defender for Business?

On its official website, Microsoft Defender for Business is described as an enterprise-grade endpoint protection solution that’s cost-effective and easy to use.

We at OSIbeyond have been paying close attention to it since its surprise announcement at Ignite this year, and so have many endpoint security vendors, whose products now seem somewhat less attractive.

Why less attractive? Because Microsoft Defender for Business includes the following features:

  • Simplified client configuration: IT professionals can easily onboard new devices and choose between automatic or manual onboarding. The reduced onboarding friction leads to lower deployment costs and fewer gaps in defenses.
  • Cross-platform support: Employees these days complete work-related tasks using a variety of different devices, and Microsoft Defender for Business can extend protection across most major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
  • Threat and vulnerability management: With the help of Microsoft Defender for Business, SMBs can proactively discover vulnerabilities and misconfigurations and rank them by their priority to fix those that are potentially dangerous the most first.
  • Next-generation endpoint protection: Microsoft Defender for Business combines antimalware and antivirus protection with attack surface reduction capabilities, such as application control, network firewall, and others.
  • Automated investigation and remediation: By mimicking the ideal steps a security analyst would take when investigating and remediating cybersecurity threats, Microsoft Defender for Business can greatly reduce alert volume and help the targeted SMB focus on more sophisticated threats.

Together, these and other features empower SMBs to significantly improve their cybersecurity readiness by extending their defenses to encompass endpoint devices regardless of where they’re physically located.

Why Should SMBs Use Microsoft Defender for Business?

Traditionally, small and medium-sized businesses have relied predominantly on network perimeter defenses like firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.

However, the effectiveness of network perimeter defenses has been declining dramatically as a direct consequence of the shift to hybrid work and the resulting blurring of the network perimeter.

What’s more, SMBs no longer fly under the radar for profit-seeking cybercriminals. Last year, more than 50 percent of ransomware attacks impacted SMBs, according to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and the situation won’t significantly improve until cybercriminals stop seeing SMBs as easy targets.

Microsoft Defender for Business makes it easy and cost-effective for all organizations—but especially those that already depend on Microsoft’s ecosystem—to upgrade their defenses for the era of hybrid work.

“Defender for Business elevates security from traditional antivirus to next-generation protection, endpoint detection and response, threat and vulnerability management, and more,” explains Microsoft 365 product marketing manager Jon Maunder.

Getting Started with Microsoft Defender for Business

On its website, Microsoft states that a preview of the new endpoint security solution will soon become available to customers and IT partners, but as of the time of this article no specific release date has been revealed so far.

What we do know is that Microsoft Defender for Business will be available directly from Microsoft and via Microsoft Partner Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) channels.

It will be priced at $3 per user per month as a standalone offering. Microsoft will also include it as part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which currently costs $20 per user per month (the price is supposed to increase to $22 per user per month starting on March 1, 2022).

At OSIbeyond, we look forward to helping our customers take full advantage of Microsoft Defender for Business as soon as it becomes available. Get in touch with us so that we can help you too.

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