Microsoft Defender vs Norton Antivirus

August 06, 2023 | Author: Michael Stromann
Microsoft Defender and Norton Antivirus are two popular antivirus software solutions that provide protection against various threats, but they differ in terms of features, performance, and additional security offerings.

Microsoft Defender, formerly known as Windows Defender, is the default antivirus software included with Windows operating systems. It provides basic antivirus and anti-malware protection, real-time scanning, and system vulnerability checks. Microsoft Defender is integrated into the Windows Security Center and receives regular updates from Microsoft, ensuring continuous protection.

Norton Antivirus, on the other hand, is a comprehensive antivirus program that offers advanced features such as real-time threat detection, malware scanning, firewall protection, and email and web browsing safety. It provides additional security layers, including identity theft protection and a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for secure online browsing. Norton Antivirus is known for its robust performance and strong track record in detecting and removing malware.

See also: Top 10 Antivirus Software
Microsoft Defender
Microsoft Defender is working to protect your Windows 10 PC by scanning for malicious software. Microsoft Defender uses real-time protection to scan everything you download or run on your PC. It will turn itself off if you install another antivirus app.
Norton Antivirus
In order to better protect you, we have substantially enhanced our security services. We took everything you loved about Norton AntiVirus and added better protection, improved performance and superior design to create Norton Security Deluxe. It’s the best of Norton for your PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft Defender vs Norton Antivirus in our news:

2021. Microsoft launches Defender for Business

Microsoft has unveiled Microsoft Defender for Business, an innovative and affordable endpoint security solution designed specifically to cater to businesses employing up to 300 individuals. This new offering from Microsoft enhances security measures beyond traditional antivirus systems by providing next-generation protection, endpoint detection and response capabilities, threat and vulnerability management, and more. With simplified configuration and management, along with intelligent and automated investigation and remediation, Defender for Business ensures robust security. It safeguards against a range of cybersecurity threats, including malware and ransomware, across Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Available as a standalone solution, it can be obtained for a cost of $3 per user per month.

2021. NortonLifeLock and Avast merge in $8.1B deal

U.S. cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock has recently completed the acquisition of its Czech counterpart, Avast, for a substantial sum of $8.1 billion. This strategic move aims to establish a global powerhouse in consumer security. NortonLifeLock, which emerged as an independent entity from Symantec in 2019, anticipates that the merger will result in an industry-leading consumer cyber safety business, significantly expanding its user base through Avast's impressive customer count of 435 million. With its establishment in 1988, Avast has built a strong reputation in providing cybersecurity software tailored for consumers, small businesses, and medium-sized enterprises, positioning itself as one of the largest security companies in the market. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Avast has faced some controversy over its nearly 25-year history.

2020. Norton acquires Avira for $360M

NortonLifeLock has recently announced its acquisition of the German security firm Avira in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $360 million. NortonLifeLock emerged as an independent company just last year when Broadcom acquired Symantec's enterprise security business for nearly $11 billion. Today, NortonLifeLock is a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of around $11.5 billion. Prior to the acquisition, Avira operated as a bootstrapped tech business, primarily focusing on security software for consumers. Similar to Norton, Avira offers anti-virus software among its product portfolio. Avira boasts a substantial customer base, with millions of users and approximately 30 million secured devices, including 1.5 million paying customers. Avira's successful business model revolves around a freemium approach, which Norton intends to preserve moving forward.

2019. Microsoft Defender comes to Mac

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) will be available for Mac as well. Previously, it served as a Windows solution designed to safeguard the machines of Microsoft 365 subscribers and the assets managed by IT administrators. Formerly known as Windows Defender ATP, Microsoft has decided to drop the "Windows Defender" name since it is now accessible on Mac. Many enterprises utilize a combination of Windows and Mac machines and already equip their employees with Office. By having a security solution that covers both systems, IT departments can significantly simplify their operations, as managing security vulnerabilities on a single system is challenging enough as it is.

2016. Microsoft released Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

WDATP is a cloud service offered by Windows Defender, the built-in antivirus in Windows. Currently, Windows Defender primarily focuses on scanning websites and downloads to prevent hacking attempts. However, in the era of social engineering and spear-phishing, antivirus software needs to adopt a more proactive approach. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) aims to address this by shifting its attention from monitoring individual files to observing the overall behavior of a machine. Instead of simply searching for specific viruses, WDATP keeps a close watch on symptoms that indicate potential threats. For instance, if a machine starts establishing connections with unusual ports or executing uncommon PowerShell commands—behavior that deviates from the norm for most users—WDAPT alerts administrators. It provides them with an overview of both current and historical machine behavior for further analysis. Moreover, Microsoft is capitalizing on the extensive Windows user base to jumpstart its antivirus program. By analyzing millions of suspicious files from machines worldwide in the cloud, a vast centralized database is being constructed, encompassing not only malicious files but also malicious behavior.

Author: Michael Stromann
Michael is an expert in IT Service Management, IT Security and software development. With his extensive experience as a software developer and active involvement in multiple ERP implementation projects, Michael brings a wealth of practical knowledge to his writings. Having previously worked at SAP, he has honed his expertise and gained a deep understanding of software development and implementation processes. Currently, as a freelance developer, Michael continues to contribute to the IT community by sharing his insights through guest articles published on several IT portals. You can contact Michael by email