Malware Protection in Windows Intune

Hello folks, I’m Zac, a Program Manager working on a few areas of Windows Intune. One area I work on is the anti-malware functionality, and I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about some of the cool protection technology brought to you by Windows Intune.

Nomenclature is a bit murky in this area. A lot of people think that malware is just a synonym for spyware. In our product (and the other Microsoft products that have anti-malware capabilities) malware consists of both viruses and spyware. So the protection that you get in Windows Intune will protect you from viruses like Conficker, as well as the annoying spyware that sends instant messages on your behalf.

In Windows Intune we started off the project a while ago, and knew we wanted to add malware protection. But why reinvent the wheel? There’s a central Anti-Malware team in Microsoft, and these guys are hard core—they analyze kernel exploits, ship malware definitions within hours of detection, and maintain research centers around the globe, so that you can be confident that any new malware that pops up in the wild is being looked at 24×7.

Obviously, this was the team for us to talk to. We started working with the Anti-Malware team early on in our development cycle. These guys have a great system of modularized components. This means that any team within Microsoft can have the same fantastic malware protection—this includes products like Forefront Endpoint Protection, Windows Intune, the offline scanner in the Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT), as well as the popular Microsoft Security Essentials.

This is great for us, because like I said earlier, we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. But why is this awesome for all Microsoft customers? Because this makes us able to respond to new outbreaks faster than ever. By having a single team that defines malware and writes the definitions to block them, all of the products that I mentioned above are able to get updated extremely quickly.

Hopefully, if you’re participating in our beta, you won’t see any malware at all, but if you do, please let us know what you think of how we report it, and how you feel about the overall experience. 

Written by Zac Schellhardt, Program Manager on the Windows Intune Team

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