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Microsoft is bringing its antivirus software to iOS and Android

Microsoft is bringing its antivirus software to iOS and Android


New Defender mobile apps will be available later this year

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft is planning to bring its Defender antivirus software to Android and iOS later this year. The software giant is developing apps for both mobile operating systems that are designed to provide antivirus prevention and a “full command line experience.” Microsoft isn’t revealing exactly what the apps will do just yet, but the company plans to preview them at the RSA Conference next week.

The mobile apps come just under a year after Microsoft started a public preview for its Defender antivirus on macOS. Microsoft renamed Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) as a result, and the Mac client provides full virus and threat protection mixed with the ability to perform quick or full scans.

Microsoft’s mobile antivirus will have to be very different to desktop versions

Microsoft’s mobile Defender clients will likely be very different to the desktop versions, especially as Apple’s iOS platform doesn’t allow apps to scan for malware across an iPhone or iPad. There are a variety of Android antivirus apps available, though. Microsoft will join this growing market to prevent malware in Android apps that are sideloaded onto devices.

One of the bigger goals for Defender on iOS and Android is phishing prevention to stop employees at companies from accidentally revealing their usernames, passwords, or other account information. How Microsoft achieves this on iOS isn’t clear just yet, though.

As both of these mobile apps come as part of Microsoft’s enterprise security platform, it’s unlikely that they will be available for consumers to use. Alongside the mobile news, Microsoft is also announcing Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux today. A preview is available for businesses to test as part of Microsoft’s broader effort to secure devices beyond Windows and macOS.