Microsoft Defender expands to iOS, MacOS and Android devices

17 Jun 2022

Image: © monticellllo/

The Defender for individuals app is available for Microsoft 365 subscribers and offers cross-platform protection from cybersecurity threats.

Microsoft has launched a new Defender cybersecurity app that is aimed at personal, individual use across multiple devices.

The company said its Defender for individuals software will simplify online security by using a single “unified view” across multiple personal phones and computers. The cross-platform protection is available for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers.

While Defender may be a familiar name in terms of Windows anti-virus protection, this new online security app can be used across Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android devices.

The app is able to detect and recognise existing anti-virus protections on a device, such as Norton or McAfee. It will also give security alerts, resolution strategies and tips to help keep data and devices secure.

“As you grow your digital footprint by adding family members and devices, Defender grows with you and keeps your defences up to date using trusted technology,” said Microsoft corporate VP of security, compliance, identity and management Vasu Jakkal in a blogpost.

“We’ve seen ransomware threats extending beyond their usual targets to go after small businesses and families. And we know, as bad actors become more and more sophisticated, we need to increase our personal defences as well.”

There are some differences to the app based on the platform it is being used on. For example, the new malware protection is not available where similar protections already exist on iOS and Windows devices, and the security tips function is currently available for Windows and MacOS users only.

“As we look forward, we will continue to bring more protections together under a single dashboard, including features like identity theft protection and secure online connection,” Jakkal said.

While the new product is designed for personal use, Microsoft has also been focusing on national cybersecurity through its Government Security Program, which includes more than 45 countries as well as international organisations.

This week, Ireland became the latest country to join in a bid to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic