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Microsoft

Microsoft Endpoint Manager is excited to announce support for simplified deployment and configuration of Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection for macOS. Microsoft Defender ATP helps organizations prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats using next-generation protection and endpoint detection and response across multiple platforms.

 

Expanding to remote worker scenarios introduces new challenges not only for the end users and the IT enablement teams, but also in terms of increased cyber security threats. Whether you are enabling BYOD, adjusting security policies to ensure productivity from home, supporting broader SaaS application usage, securing sensitive data, or bring additional devices onboard, Microsoft Endpoint Manager helps you deploy, manage, and secure work data on all your endpoints from a single platform.

 

Deploying Microsoft Defender ATP for macOS with Microsoft Endpoint Manager

 

With this release, Microsoft Defender ATP for macOS is available as a new app type in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This eliminates the manual process required earlier and makes deploying Defender ATP for macOS as simple as a few clicks! Please use the new Endpoint Manager admin center at https://endpoint.microsoft.com to deploy this feature.

 

You can add Microsoft Defender ATP by signing in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center and selecting the App type as macOS under the Microsoft Defender ATP field.

 

Mac ATP 01.png

Adding Microsoft Defender ATP in your tenant

 

To ensure automatic approval of the Microsoft Defender ATP kernel extension, deploy the Microsoft Defender ATP kernel extension profile to your users before the Microsoft Defender ATP app is assigned.

 

Expanded configuration for Microsoft Defender ATP

 

Microsoft Endpoint Manager is a unified platform that includes Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager. Microsoft Endpoint Manager makes it easier to configure the most used settings within Microsoft Defender ATP. There are eight settings in total: four drop down controls and four tables where you can configure items to exclude from the Microsoft Defender ATP scan on the device as shown below. This article explains each setting when configuring the profile.

 

Mac ATP 02.png

 

Configure Microsoft Defender ATP

 

IT admins can see these settings and configure them right from the Endpoint Manager console. They no longer need to manually set and upload key value pairs in a preference file or edit *.plist files, eliminating complexity and saving precious time.

 

To check out the new configuration settings, head over to the Endpoint Security portion of the Endpoint Manager admin console: Endpoint security > Antivirus (preview) > Create policy > macOS Antivirus > Create. Here, there are 8 settings that you can use to configure the Microsoft Defender ATP app on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later.

 

Please visit the product documentation for updated information on pre-requisites. The three most recent major releases of macOS are supported. Currently, this supports:

  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
  • macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
  • macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

 

Recommendations for successful deployment and configuration

 

Here are some best practices for successful deployment. First, ensure the kernel extension profile and settings are sent down to the device before the ATP app is deployed. After you've enabled the service, you may need to configure your network or firewall to allow outbound connections between the cloud service and your endpoints. It is important to deploy the settings before the app, and not the other way around, because the app configuration takes effect immediately.

 

Here’s a troubleshooting tip: If, for some reason, the kernel extension is not present when the Microsoft Defender ATP app is installed, users will see “System extension blocked" message. In that case, users must approve the extension by going to Security Preferences or System Preferences > Security & Privacy on their macOS and select Allow

 

Deployment scripts for Microsoft Defender ATP for macOS

 

In addition to deploying and configuring Microsoft Defender ATP using the Endpoint Manager admin center, the following PowerShell scripts are available in the Microsoft graph GitHub repository to help with the deployment:

 

Script Name

Function

MacOS_MDATP_Deployment_Add.ps1

Creates all profiles and applications for Microsoft Defender ATP for macOS in Endpoint Manager but does not assign them to any groups.

MacOS_MDATP_Deployment_Add_Assign.ps1

Creates all profiles and applications for Microsoft Defender ATP for macOS in Endpoint Manager and assigns them to the group that is specified.

 

Each script deploys the same four profiles:

 

Profile

Type

Purpose

macOS MDATP Kernel Extension

Custom

This is a custom macOS | Configuration profile that configures macOS to trust kernel extensions signed by Microsoft’s developer certificate.

macOS MDATP Notifications

Custom

This is a custom macOS | Configuration profile that configures macOS to allow Microsoft Defender ATP to show the end user critical notifications when necessary.

macOS MDATP Full Disk Access

Custom

This is a custom macOS | Configuration profile that configures macOS to allow Microsoft Defender ATP full access to the disk.

macOS MDATP Onboarding

Custom

This is a custom property list macOS | Configuration profile which tells the Microsoft Defender ATP application which tenant to connect to.

macOS Microsoft Defender ATP

Application

This is a macOS | app profile that configures the client to download and install the Microsoft Defender ATP binaries.

 

The scripts take the following command line parameters

  • OnboardingXMLFilePath < file path>
    • This is the path to your Microsoft Defender ATP WindowsDefenderATPOnboarding.xml file. To obtain this file, perform the following steps.
      • From a browser, go to https://securitycenter.windows.com/dashboard
      • Sign in with an administrator account
      • Click Settings > Onboarding
      • Select macOS from the dropdown for onboarding process
      • Select Mobile Device Management / Microsoft Intune from the deployment dropdown
      • Click Download onboarding package
      • Inside the WindowsDefenderATPOnboardingPackage.zip make a copy of the WindowsDefenderATPOnboarding.xml file within the Intune folder.

 

  • AADGroup <AzureAD Group Name>
    • This is the name of the Azure Active Directory Group Name. This value is case sensitive.
      • Example: Create and Assign profiles for Microsoft Defender ATP for macOS in Endpoint Manager

 

In this example I have saved my WindowsDefenderATPOnboarding.xml file in the same directory as the MacOS_MDATP_Deployment_Add_Assign.ps1 script. Once the script is run it will create all five policies and assign them to the group provided.

 

Important: If any users or devices are in the Azure AD Group they will begin receiving policies at their next check-in.

 

Mac ATP 03.png

 

Once done, the following policies will appear in your Endpoint Manager console:

 

Configuration profiles

 

Mac ATP 04.png

 

macOS Apps

 

Mac ATP 05.png

 

 

 

Next steps:

 

We are very excited about empowering Microsoft 365 administrators to deliver the reliable next-generation protection and endpoint detection and response to all their users, whether on Windows or macOS devices. Unified endpoint security management in Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a single pane of glass to save time and energy for the busy IT admin. We hope you will find value in the automation and scripting described in this article, compared to the manual deployment method used previously which continues to remain supported.

 

Learn more:

  1. Adding Microsoft Defender ATP to macOS devices
  2. Microsoft Defender ATP settings for macOS devices

 

Microsoft Endpoint Manager continues to build first-class support for macOS management, including recently added support for Apple Mac scripting and expanded app management support on macOS. Bookmark the product documentation to stay up-to-date on What’s New and What’s Coming in Microsoft Intune.

 

Follow @MSIntune on Twitter

 

(This blog post is authored in collaboration with Neil Johnson, Anya Novicheva and Arnab Biswas from the Microsoft Endpoint Manager engineering team)

8 Comments
Senior Member

Hey @Mayunk Jain  I don't see the scripts in the Github repo, can you confirm when they'll be committed?

 

New Contributor

Hi @Mayunk Jain,

 

As you described in your article, the script creates relevant custom configuration as shown here.

  1. Cloud it be you forgot to include "MDATP_Microsoft_AutoUpdate.xml" in the script? or is this not needed anymore?
  2. As I understand "MDATP_WDAV_and_exclusion_settings_Preferences.xml" responsible for MDATP settings and exclusions, I didn't see this CSP in you script either, i'm guessing because it was replaced by the new AV for macOS profile, but in the profile I couldn't find the following (are those not needed too or it means I still need to maintain this CSP):
    1. Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are blocked
    2. Archive bombs (file with a high compression rate) are audited to Microsoft Defender ATP logs

thanks,

 

Gilad.

Microsoft

@richlilly - apologies, the scripts are being committed now. Mix up on publishing dates!

Microsoft

@giladke 

 

MDATP on Mac is updated via the standard Microsoft Update Agent, the same app that updates Office. We don't require any customisations to make this happen.

The unique configuration is handled by the creation of an Endpoint Security | Antivirus profile as shown in the article. The MDATP client for Mac doesn't have the same options as Windows.

There's no CSP because macOS doesn't use them. The only thing you need to make the deployment work is the WindowsDefenderATPOnboarding.xml and an Antivirus profile if you want to customise the client behaviour.

New Contributor

hi @Neil Johnson 

 

1. I’m aware MDATP for windows doesn’t have the same options as macOS, but the options I mentioned are available for macOS via CSP but not in the AV DC profile as described here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/microsoft-defender-atp/mac-insta...

2. What do you by “There's no CSP because macOS doesn't use them” — the script in the article creates 3 CSPs  such as kernelext, notifications, disk access, aren’t those part of the deployment?

 

thanks,

 

gilad. 

Microsoft

@giladke ah, I think I understand now. The configuration options you're referring to were added to MDATP for Mac after we completed this piece of work. We'll be adding more in future releases of Intune.

Super Contributor

@Mayunk Jain in the article it states "To ensure automatic approval of the Microsoft Defender ATP kernel extension, deploy the Microsoft Defender ATP kernel extension profile to your users before the Microsoft Defender ATP app is assigned."

This is fine for a one-time deployment, but how would you control this for new machines so that the kernel extension is deployed prior to MDATP app is assigned? Is there no "set it and forget it" way to onboard MDATP for new machines?

New Contributor

@Mayunk Jain After installing the configuration profiles I was still getting prompted to approve notifications for MDATP

It would appear the bundle ID for MDATP Tray has changed from 'com.microsoft.wdavtray' to 'com.microsoft.wdav.tray'.

I have updated the notifications configuration profile with the correct bundle ID and verified the notification approval no longer appears.