Is the standalone Microsoft Defender for Business right for your business?

In May 2022, Microsoft launched the standalone version of Microsoft Defender for Business, a new endpoint cyber-security offering designed for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)—most notably, ransomware. The concerns about ransomware and other cyber-security attacks were highlighted in the April 2022 Microsoft Quantitative Survey Research report that stated over 70% of SMBs said their businesses are at risk from cyber-security threats. While the report claimed less than 25% of SMBs actually experienced a security breach within the last year, we all know from a recent cyber-security risk study by Kaspersky that the average cost to clean up a corporate data breach is now over $100,000.

For every IT decision-maker at a small-to-medium-sized business who read the previous paragraph and said: “But that’s an over 75% chance that businesses will NOT get hit by a cyber-attack and I’ll take those odds,” would you go to your company’s CEO and bet them your annual salary and/or $100,000 that the company won’t get hit by a cyber-attack this year? If you do have this conversation with your CEO, then please record and share it with us on Amaxra’s social media channels on Twitter or LinkedIn with the hashtag #My100KCybersecurityChallenge!

Why is there a standalone version of Microsoft Defender for Business?

But in all seriousness, the increase in cyber-security risks against SMBs is why Microsoft released the standalone version of Microsoft Defender for Business. Prior to this standalone release, Defender for Business was available either as part of the high-end “enterprise” versions of Microsoft Office 365 (such as the E3 and E5 plans) or in the most expensive Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan for SMBs. As an integrated cyber-security component for these more expensive plans, Microsoft Defender for Business protections spanned all five phases of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework to bring together multi-layered endpoint security with anti-virus, anti-malware, endpoint detection and response, and threat and vulnerability management in a single, centrally-managed solution deployed from the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. The standalone version decouples Microsoft Defender from the E3, E5, and Business Premium plans to provide SMBs with 300 or fewer employees with more cyber-security options.

So, if you are an IT manager at a company with a Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Business Standard plan, the key benefit to you is that adding the standalone Microsoft Defender for Business configures all recommended cyber-security policies by default with simplified wizard-based onboarding. The cost at launch for adding the standalone Defender is $3 per user/per month to the either Business Basic or Business Standard plans but does not include protection for any servers at your SMB (that’s coming in a subsequent release). As previously mentioned, any SMBs with the Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan already have full-featured Microsoft Defender protections.

Is the standalone Microsoft Defender for Business best for your SMB?

Amaxra is a Gold-level Partner with Microsoft, and our cyber-security consultants are experts in the latest technologies. While we are impressed by Microsoft Defender for Business, we believe our Amaxra Beacon cyber-security solution is often a better value for SMBs.

Released in February 2022, Amaxra Beacon cyber-security services deliver turnkey cyber-security solutions for SMBs with Microsoft 365. Amaxra Beacon has tiered service plans and like the standalone Microsoft Defender for Business offer, SMBs can add the Amaxra Beacon Lite tier of services to any Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Standard plan. Amaxra Beacon Lite automatically enables multi-factor authentication for all corporate users along with advanced options for passwordless sign-ins and added visibility into user activity. Amaxra Beacon Lite’s anti-malware features automatically lock down Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and other Microsoft Office productivity apps so that rogue add-ons (a common malware infection vector) cannot be installed. And the Amaxra Beacon Lite solution does all of this for half the cost of the standalone Microsoft Defender for Business offer.

Amaxra can help figure out which plan is best for your business

Every business is unique. No matter what your SMB needs to protect against the increasingly-advanced cyber-security your hybrid workforces are facing, Amaxra consultants will help you find the best solution.

Contact me at technology@amaxra.com or call 425 708 8841 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.

about the author

Mike Arntzen

Mike is an experienced Technology expert who is skilled in Enterprise Software and Security and Cloud Implementation. He has a strong engineering background graduated from the Royal Australian Air Force School of Radio, with postgraduate studies in Fibre Optics from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Known at Amaxra as "Mr FixIt" there isn't much Mike can't resolve. He has recently implemented Amaxra's switch to Skype for Business within the Amaxra office.

Limited time offer: Let Amaxra manage your Office 365 licensing and we will configure security such as multi-factor authentication at no additional cost. Email technology@amaxra.com or chat with us on this website to find out more.

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