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The move is in response to a massive surge in ransomware attacks.

This week Microsoft announced the preview of a core set of prevention and protection capabilities for client endpoints running Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. This new solution will make it easier for more security teams to buy and adopt the fundamentals of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, the company said.

The endpoint remains one of the most targeted attack surfaces, according to Microsoft. This is due to new and sophisticated malware and ransomware, which continue to be prevalent threats,

“As we move into the second half of 2021, ransomware in particular continues to persist and evolve, financial damage continues to increase, and the impact is felt across numerous industries – not just in private sector but also across public infrastructures,” they wrote.

Over the last year, Microsoft security researchers have tracked nearly a 121% increase in organizations who have encountered ransomware (July 2020 – July 2021).

Here’s how it works

With Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1, customers will get the following core capabilities:

  • 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.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1 supports client endpoints running Windows 7, 8.1, 10, 11, macOS, Android, and iOS.

After signing up for a preview, customers will be able to try P1 for free for 90 days. After the 90 days is up, Microsoft recommends that organizations work with their Microsoft account team or their cloud service provider (CSP) to purchase P1 licenses.