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Microsoft Releases Defender for Business Preview, Unveils Defender for Containers Product

More Microsoft Defender product news arrived this week, including the availability of a Microsoft Defender for Business preview, plus the introduction a newly formed product called "Microsoft Defender for Containers."

The news come atop last month's Microsoft Ignite Microsoft Defender announcements. They included an introduction to the new Microsoft Defender for Business product, now at preview, plus the whole-scale renaming of various products within the line.

Microsoft Defender for Business Preview
Microsoft Defender for Business preview is a new product, aimed at small-to-medium organizations with up to 300 users. It includes solutions to protect against malware and ransomware, plus endpoint detection and response capabilities. It supports devices running Android, iOS, macOS and Windows operating systems.

The preview is available via signup for Microsoft's direct customers. It's also "rolling out gradually" to Microsoft's managed services partners under the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program.

Managed services partners can use Microsoft 365 Lighthouse to oversee tenancies using Microsoft Defender for Business. Microsoft 365 Lighthouse is a portal for partners managing "multiple Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 E3 customer tenants," according to an FAQ document. Microsoft 365 Lighthouse has been at the public preview stage since July.

Microsoft described "prerequisites" for using the Microsoft Defender for Business preview, which depend, in part, on an organization's subscription status. Here's that description:

The preview trial can be activated within an existing Microsoft 365 Business Premium tenant, or as standalone with the appropriate testing prerequisites in place for mobile scenarios. At general availability, when Microsoft Defender for Business will be included Business Premium, your settings will be automatically transferred. You must obtain a preview trial license via the sign-up form.

While Microsoft Defender for Business is a new product, it'll be included in the subscriptions of current Microsoft 365 Business Premium users when commercially released. The product is not exactly free, though, as Microsoft is planning to increase the price of those subscriptions by $2 on March 1, 2022.

At the current preview stage, Microsoft is encouraging customers and partners to test Microsoft Defender for Business. Microsoft provides the ability to run attack simulations, edit security configurations and onboard devices with the preview release.

Microsoft Defender for Containers
Microsoft Defender for Containers is a new Microsoft Defender for Cloud product that was introduced this week. Microsoft Defender for Cloud is the new name for a combination of two existing Microsoft products, namely Azure Security Center and Azure Defender.

Microsoft Defender for Containers was formed via the combination of two existing Microsoft products, namely Microsoft Defender for Kubernetes and Microsoft Defender for Container Registries.

There are new capabilities in Microsoft Defender for Containers as well, such as multicloud support (Azure Kubernetes Service and Amazon EKS), "Kubernetes-native deployment," advanced threat protection for anomalies and fileless attacks, plus image scanning and vulnerability assessment capabilities.

Support for Google Cloud Platform's Kubernetes Engine also is planned for Microsoft Defender for Containers at some point, according to Microsoft's Maya Herskovic in this Microsoft video. The fileless attack detection capability of the product is said to be "coming soon."

Currently, Microsoft Defender for Containers is said to protect "container workloads across Azure, AWS, and in hybrid cloud environments." Pricing was described as follows:

The price for Microsoft Defender for Containers is $7/ Kubernetes vCore/month. It includes 20 free scans per vCore. Every subsequent scan will be charged at $0.29 per image digest.

Microsoft expects most customers won't require additional scans beyond the 20 scans that are included. Microsoft provides a cost estimation workbook with the product that can help estimate future costs using an average over the past 30 days.

About the Author

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

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