Microsoft Defender gets ‘Mobile Network Protection' to secure Wi-Fi on Android and iOS

Microsoft has added a new "Mobile Network Protection" feature in Defender for Endpoint (MDE). The feature essentially extends the threat detection capabilities of the platform to iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

Enterprise networks are increasingly welcoming mobile devices through wireless connectivity. These smartphones and portable devices can pose a significant security threat. Hybrid workplaces are constantly under the threat of a cyberattack. Threats can creep in through the Wi-Fi networks, which are often vulnerable themselves. The mobile network protection will also attempt to shield corporate networks from malicious attacks that originate from compromised devices.

Networks are getting more sophisticated, providing opportunities for criminal activities if left unattended, claimed Microsoft. “To combat this, Microsoft offers a mobile network protection feature in Defender for Endpoint that helps organizations identify, assess, and remediate endpoint weaknesses with the help of robust threat intelligence,” wrote the company.

We are delighted to announce that users can now benefit from this new feature on both Android and iOS platforms with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

The Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin center has instructions on setting network protection for Android and iOS devices. Incidentally, the majority of the safeguards included in the platform are commonly enabled by default on most mobile devices.

This Mobile Network Protection feature will provide:

  • Protection against rogue Wi-Fi-related threats and rogue hardware like pineapple devices
  • Notifications when a Wi-Fi-related threat is detected
  • An in-app guided experience to connect to secure networks
  • Remediation options to change networks when a network is determined as "unsecure" or suspicious
  • A medium priority alert when a suspicious network is detected, and an informational alert when an open network is detected.

MDE needs onboarding permissions for storage and notification on iOS devices. Android smartphone users will need to grant location permissions to allow MDE to monitor their networks and notify them of any threats.

Microsoft has cautioned that MDE will only be able to provide limited protection against network threats. Moreover, the platform can only shield users from bogus certificates if the user refuses to grant location permissions.

Microsoft is gradually increasing the scope of the Defender platform. Last month the company confirmed that anyone with a subscription to Microsoft 365 will get access to Microsoft Defender. Moreover, the platform now allows isolating even unmanaged but compromised Windows devices.

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