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Microsoft Defender (ATP) (All Campuses)

  • This Task has been designed for use by Students, Faculty, Staff. For Students, Faculty, Staff

Pitt Adopts New Antivirus Solution

Due to an unexpected and significant increase in Symantec licensing fees, the University of Pittsburgh is adopting Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) as its new enterprise antivirus solution, replacing Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) effective Friday, June 5, 2020.

While moving to Microsoft Defender ATP provides the opportunity to deliver an excellent antivirus solution at substantial cost savings for the University, Pitt IT recognizes the compressed timeline of this conversion. We are committed to working with you to ensure the transition proceeds as smoothly as possible. 

  • Important: Because Symantec will stop providing virus definitions and security updates after the license expires on June 13—and other antivirus software may not function properly with Symantec installed—it is important that Symantec Endpoint Protection be removed from all devices.

Microsoft Defender ATP is actually two products in one. It includes Windows Defender, Microsoft’s antivirus solution that is included with recent versions of the Windows operating system. It also includes ATP, which is a cloud-based enterprise security solution that builds on Defender’s antivirus features and enhances its capabilities for managed computers. Microsoft Defender ATP also provides antivirus services to macOS-based Apple devices when deployed with our installation package. Computers that are transitioned to Microsoft Defender ATP become centrally managed in order to take advantage of the features provided by this solution. The process of transitioning University-owned devices to Microsoft Defender ATP is not automatic, but it can be automated with enterprise management tools used by Pitt IT or departmental IT support staff.

We consider Defender to be a superior product that provides protection equal to or greater than the protection afforded by Symantec’s software.

Although Microsoft Defender ATP is not available for all personally-owned devices used by students, faculty, or staff, we have identified several alternative antivirus solutions that provide excellent protection and can be installed at no cost. 


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