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What are the Windows Defender management tools?

If you're using Windows Defender AV to protect your company, it's imperative to configure the malware protection properly. This tip lays out the management options for admins.

Malware never sleeps, posing a significant problem for enterprises that can't abide any downtime. As the last line of defense, administrators need to ensure they have a strong grasp on Windows Defender management.

Malware presents a serious risk for data loss, data theft, and possible breaches in regulatory compliance and business governance. Windows Defender Antivirus (AV) protects endpoints and servers in Windows-based organizations from these attacks. Proper Windows Defender management requires administrators to have the right tools and procedures to secure the company's systems.

Tools for Windows Defender management

IT administrators can use System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to deploy Windows Defender AV using the endpoint protection point site system role, then enable endpoint protection using custom client options. This provides access to both default and customized antimalware policies and endpoint system management. The default Configuration Manager monitoring features and alerts handle reporting.

Administrators can deploy and manage Windows Defender AV using Microsoft Intune. Custom Intune policies from the Intune console handle task management and endpoint monitoring and reporting.

Malware presents a serious risk for data loss, data theft, and possible breaches in regulatory compliance and business governance.

Administrators can use Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) for Windows Defender AV management via Group Policy, SCCM or individual endpoint installation. Administrators familiar with WMI can use Set in the MSFT_MpPreference class and Update in the MSFT_MpSignature class for management and use the MSFT_MpComputerStatus class for reporting.

Administrators who prefer to use PowerShell can use this tool for Windows Defender management in concert with Group Policy, SCCM or individual endpoint installation for configuration with the Set-MpPreference and Update-MpSignature cmdlets in the Windows Defender module. This module provides a series of Get cmdlets for reporting.

Finally, Group Policy and a domain-joined Active Directory environment can support Windows Defender management. A Group Policy Object (GPO) can be used to deploy and enable Windows Defender AV. GPOs can also manage configuration changes in AV, but reporting is not supported through Group Policy.

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