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Microsoft launches Defender for Business to help protect small and medium businesses

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are the bedrock of our economy, representing 90 percent of businesses and more than 50 percent of employment worldwide.2 As we celebrate their innovation and contributions this week, it’s important to acknowledge the increased cyber risks they face as they embrace hybrid work and new digital business models, along with the emergence of cyberattacks as a service.

Increased security concerns with the changing SMB landscape

 

Microsoft surveyed more than 150 small and medium businesses in the United States in April 2022 to better understand the changing SMB security needs.3

 

More than 70 percent of SMBs said cyberthreats are becoming more of a business risk. With nearly one in four SMBs stating that they had a security breach in the last year, they have reason to be concerned. In fact, there has been a more than 300 percent increase in ransomware attacks, of which more than half were directed at small businesses.4

 

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Despite facing similar risks as enterprises, SMBs often lack access to the right resources and tools. Many SMBs still rely on traditional antivirus solutions for their security. Although 80 percent of SMBs state they have some form of antivirus solution, 93 percent continue to have concerns about the increasing and evolving cyberattacks—with phishing, ransomware, and data protection being top of mind.  

 

What makes SMBs particularly vulnerable is that they often have fewer resources and lack specialized security staff. In fact, less than half of the SMBs surveyed have a dedicated IT security person in-house, and SMBs cite a lack of specialized security staff as their top security risk factor. Sophisticated enterprise security solutions are often prohibitively complex or too expensive—or both.

 

Delivering on security for all to help protect SMBs

 

At Microsoft Ignite, we shared our vision for security for all, believing that small and medium businesses should have affordable access to the same level of protection as enterprises. Today, we’re excited to take that vision a step further with the general availability of the standalone version of Microsoft Defender for Business. Defender for Business brings enterprise-grade endpoint security to SMBs, including endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities, with the ease of use and the pricing that small business customers and their partners expect.

 

Microsoft Defender for Business is already included as part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, our comprehensive security and productivity solution for businesses with up to 300 employees. Customers can now purchase Defender for Business as a standalone solution. Server support will be coming later this year with an add-on solution.

 

*read more here about Microsoft Defender on our Security Blog

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