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Microsoft is bringing one of its toughest Windows 10 antivirus features to macOS

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Microsoft has revealed it is working to migrate an important Windows 10 antivirus feature to its Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) offering for macOS.

According to the Microsoft product roadmap, the company will soon bring Network Protection to the macOS version of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (née Microsoft ATP), which should minimize the likelihood a protected device suffers an internet-based attack.

“[Network Protection] prevents employees from using any applications to access dangerous domains that may host phishing scams, exploits, and other malicious content on the internet,” explained the firm.

The feature, which is expected to land next month, will also put measures in place to block outbound traffic headed towards domains known to harbor malicious content.

Microsoft antivirus for macOS

The macOS version of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint first launched in the summer of 2019, complete with the vast majority of features found in the equivalent service for Windows 10. With the introduction Network Protection, the two offerings inch a little closer to total parity.

It’s worth noting, however, that the service appears to be suffering compatibility issues with certain devices running macOS 11 (also known as Big Sur), which went live last week.

“Extensive testing of MDE with new system extension on macOS11 revealed an intermittent issue that impacts macOS devices with specific graphics card models. In rare cases, on impacted macOS devices calls into macOS system extensions were seen resulting in kernel panic,” Microsoft notes.

Kernel panic, for the uninitiated, is a measure put in place for scenarios in which the operating system detects an error from which it cannot recover. If an error of this kind is detected, the system triggers an automatic shutdown.

In many cases, a simple restart is sufficient to fix whatever issue the system encountered, but a real problem arises when kernel panic recurs on a regular basis, affecting the usability of a device.

According to Microsoft, it is “actively working” with Apple engineers to clarify the profile of affected devices and to remedy the issue, but it is not yet clear when the problem will be resolved in full.

Joel Khalili is a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He's interested in receiving pitches around cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, storage, internet infrastructure, mobile, 5G and blockchain.