Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection’s (ATP) endpoint detection and response capability is now at “general availability” commercial-release status for users of Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1), according to a Microsoft announcement last week.
In essence, Microsoft updated its Microsoft Defender ATP threat detection and security forensics service to support an operating system that will reach its end-of-support phase in about three months. Windows Server 2008 R2 will fall out of “extended support” on Jan. 14, 2020, which is when Microsoft’s free security patches will stop arriving, leaving these systems potentially vulnerable to attacks.
The Microsoft Defender ATP security service is licensed under Microsoft 365 E5 subscriptions. It’s among Microsoft’s top-priced licensing options.
Likely, Microsoft made the effort to support its aging Windows Server 2008 R2 product because many organizations are still stuck using these servers, and can’t upgrade for various reasons. These organizations likely will become participants in Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates program, which ensures that “Critical” and “Important” patches will continue to arrive for three years past the Jan. 14, 2020 end date of Windows Server 2008 R2.
Microsoft had similarly extended “Windows Defender” ATP support for its older Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 client operating systems back in February. The Windows Defender ATP product got rebranded as “Microsoft Defender ATP” back in March.
The endpoint detection and response capabilities of Microsoft Defender ATP include providing organizations with “details on suspicious processes, files, network registry and memory activities,” according to the announcement. Microsoft also enabled the integration of Microsoft Defender ATP with the Azure Security Center portal to “augment threat detection” across a bunch of servers.
“Customers using Azure Security Center gain access to Microsoft Defender ATP’s threat detection capabilities to identify malicious behaviors, attacker techniques and tools, understand these threats and be able to quickly respond,” Microsoft’s announcement explained.
Per Microsoft’s documentation, “Microsoft Defender ATP in Security Center supports detection on Windows Server 2016, 2012 R2, and 2008 R2 SP1 operating systems in a Standard service subscription.”
There’s apparently no support for Windows Server 2008, though.