Windows Defender is antivirus software that is built-in to the Windows OS and protects your systems against viruses, malware, spyware, and network threats. It is a Windows service that works with other Microsoft security and maintenance services such as Windows Firewall and Microsoft SmartScreen.
All of these services are enabled by default and start at system startup. Windows Update will take care of updating itself automatically, if configured to do so. Updating Windows Defender does not require system restart.
Some key features of Windows Defender in Windows 10 include the following:
> Microsoft Active Protection Service (MAPS): This uses the metadata of a file to analyze for potential malware, which if found can result in a new virus signature file being created to protect other devices.
> Network Inspection System: This helps guard against intrusion attempts
targeting known and newly discovered vulnerabilities in network protocols
Behavioral monitoring: This is used to scan for activities, not just known virus signatures.
> Cloud based protection using machine learning: This is used to run the
potential malware in a detonation chamber to determine whether it is malicious.
> Customization: This can exclude files, directories, or processes (useful for the developer’s computers and servers).
> Multiple scan options: These include on-access, quick, scheduled, on-demand, and full scan Bi-directional active scanning: This is used for high-volume activities, such as on servers.
> Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA): This is a way of looking for and blocking applications and services that should not be running on your computers due to misconfiguration, poor quality software, and being at risk of causing performance and/or security issues.
Windows Defender ATP can work alongside third-party security solutions and anti-malware. If you install a third-party security tool, Windows turns off the corresponding security service. For instance, Windows turns off Windows Defender automatically when you install a third-party antivirus, and you cannot turn it back on because Windows Defender settings become inactive unless you uninstall the third-party antivirus.