Microsoft Releases Linux Endpoint Detection And Response Features

Microsoft announced today that Microsoft Defender for Endpoint’s detection and response (EDR) capabilities are now generally available on Linux servers.

EDR capabilities allow admins and security teams to spot attacks targeting or involving Linux servers in their environments almost in real-time with the help of alerts automatically aggregated as incidents based on attacker techniques and attribution.

This adds to the already existing preventative antivirus capabilities and the centralized reporting features available to admins via the Microsoft Defender Security Center.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux) was first showcased during the Ignite 2019 conference, entered public preview in February 2020, and it was made generally available in June 2020. EDR capabilities were released in public preview in November 2020.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux) EDR
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux) EDR (Microsoft)

Right now, the full set of EDR capabilities are available on Linux Server distributions supported by Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux), including RHEL 7.2+, CentOS Linux 7.2+, Ubuntu 16 LTS or higher LTS, SLES 12+, Debian 9+, and Oracle Linux 7.2.

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Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux) EDR capabilities provide admins with:

  • Rich investigation experience: including machine timeline, process creation, file creation, network connections, login events and, of course, the popular advanced hunting.
  • Optimized performance: enhanced CPU utilization in compilation procedures and large software deployments.
  • In-context AV detections: just like with Windows, get insight into where a threat came from and how the malicious process or activity was created.

Getting started with Microsoft Defender EDR for Linux

On Linux endpoints, it comes in the form of a command-line product that sends all detected threats to the Microsoft Defender Security Center.

Admins can deploy and configure it on enterprise Linux devices using Ansible or Puppet, as well as with the help of any other Linux configuration management tool.

To be able to deploy Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux) you need a Servers license (more info can be found in the product terms).

If you’re already evaluating the public preview version of EDR capabilities, you have to update the agent to version 101.18.53 or higher.

“If you are already running Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (Linux) preventive AV in production, your devices will seamlessly receive the new EDR capability as soon as you update the agent to version 101.18.53 or higher,” Microsoft Senior Product Manager Tomer Hevlin said.

Detailed information on how to install, configure, and update Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for Linux is available here.

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