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#Microsoft moves Defender ATP for Mac from kernel extensions to system extensions

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#Microsoft moves Defender ATP for Mac from kernel extensions to system extensions

Apple users may be aware of that the company is shifting away from kernel extensions, starting with macOS 11 Big Sur. Due to this change, Microsoft is updating its Defender ATP solution to follow the latest Mac requirements.

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Microsoft Defender ATP Banner

Microsoft Defender is the default antivirus app shipped with Windows 10. Earlier versions of Windows like Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 and Vista also had it but it was less efficient previously as it only scanned spyware and adware. In Windows 8 and Windows 10, Defender is based on the Microsoft Security Essentials app which offers better protection by adding full blown protection against all kinds of malware.

Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is a service which is integrated across the entire Windows security stack to protect against malicious software. It is able to detect and analyze threats and allow administrators to take prompt action with centralized management.

New system extension on Mac

The system extensions-based version of Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac will be delivered to all macOS devices via the existing Microsoft AutoUpdate (MAU) channel.

Prior to the general availability of macOS 11 Big Sur, the new system extensions-based code path can be activated on devices running macOS Catalina version 10.15.4 or later and registered for the InsiderFast MAU update channel.

Once macOS 11 Big Sur is generally available, the new system extensions-based implementation will be activated on all devices running macOS 11.

Microsoft noted the following.

The new Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac system extension-based implementation is currently only applicable to devices running macOS version 10.15.4 or later and in InsiderFast MAU ring. However, deploying configuration proactively across the entire macOS fleet ensures that all Mac devices are prepared for macOS 11 Big Sur on its release day. It also ensures that Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac continues protecting all macOS devices immediately post-upgrade to Big Sur. The new remote configuration is supplemental to any prior Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac configuration and will have no adverse effect on devices that still run the kernel extension-based version.

To experience the new system extensions-based implementation during public preview, you’ll need to have preview features turned on in the Microsoft Defender Security Center. If you have not yet opted into previews, Microsoft encourages you to turn on preview features in the Microsoft Defender Security Center.

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