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Microsoft Defender for Endpoint now spots unpatched bugs in iOS and Android devices

Security admins can now see which Android and iOS devices need to be patched.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Microsoft's Defender for Endpoint support for spotting known security flaws in Android and iOS devices has now reached general availability.   

The threat and vulnerability management features allows admins to monitor for known but unpatched bugs in Android and installed apps, while the feature can spot bugs in iOS, though not yet in installed apps, Microsoft notes in a blogpost

Microsoft's Defender for Endpoint, formerly Defender Advanced Threat Protection, helps admins protect managed company-issued mobile devices and unmanaged BYO devices

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report)

The mobile threat and vulnerability is part of Defender for Endpoint mobile threat defense (MTD), which can monitor for malware, jailbroken iPhones, and help implement conditional access to corporate resources. 

The vulnerability management capabilities are richer for Android devices since it can run vulnerability assessments of Android OS versions of onboarded devices, as well as assess apps that are installed on these devices. 

For Android Enterprise with a work profile, only apps installed on the work profile are supported for the assessment. For other BYOD modes, vulnerability assessment of apps are not available. The vulnerability assessment is available for onboarded iOS and iPadOS versions on devices. The assessment of apps on iOS devices will be available in a later release, according to Microsoft.  

This mobile capability builds on Defender for Endpoint's vulnerability assessments for network devices, such as Cisco IOS, IOS-XE, NX-OS, as well as Juniper's JUNOS, HPE's ArubaOS, and Palo Alto Networks' PAN-OS.  

Microsoft has also beefed up Defender for Endpoint capabilities to discover unmanaged mobile devices, PCs and network devices that connect to the corporate network.   

Defender for Endpoint MTD vulnerability assessments in Microsoft 365 Defender offer security teams a device inventory that shows an overview of each device's name, risk level, exposure level, OS, active status and onboarding status.  

The vulnerability management dashboard gives an overall exposure score for specific vulnerabilities and recommended actions. 

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