Endpoint Protection

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Endpoint Protection manages antimalware policies and Windows Firewall security for client computers in your Configuration Manager hierarchy.


You must be licensed to use Endpoint Protection to manage clients in your Configuration Manager hierarchy.

When you use Endpoint Protection with Configuration Manager, you have the following benefits:

  • Configure antimalware policies, Windows Firewall settings, and manage Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to selected groups of computers
  • Use Configuration Manager software updates to download the latest antimalware definition files to keep client computers up-to-date
  • Send email notifications, use in-console monitoring, and view reports. These actions inform administrative users when malware is detected on client computers.

Beginning with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 computers, Windows Defender is already installed. For these operating systems, a management client for Windows Defender is installed when the Configuration Manager client installs. On Windows 8.1 and earlier computers, the Endpoint Protection client is installed with the Configuration Manager client. Windows Defender and the Endpoint Protection client have the following capabilities:

  • Malware and spyware detection and remediation
  • Rootkit detection and remediation
  • Critical vulnerability assessment and automatic definition and engine updates
  • Network vulnerability detection through Network Inspection System
  • Integration with Cloud Protection Service to report malware to Microsoft. When you join this service, the Endpoint Protection client or Windows Defender downloads the latest definitions from the Malware Protection Center when unidentified malware is detected on a computer.


The Endpoint Protection client can be installed on a server that runs Hyper-V and on guest virtual machines with supported operating systems. To prevent excessive CPU usage, Endpoint Protection actions have a built-in randomized delay so that protection services do not run simultaneously.

In addition, you manage Windows Firewall settings with Endpoint Protection in the Configuration Manager console.

Example scenario: Using System Center Endpoint Protection to protect computers from malware in System Center Configuration Manager Endpoint Protection and the Windows Firewall.

Managing Malware with Endpoint Protection

Endpoint Protection in Configuration Manager allows you to create antimalware policies that contain settings for Endpoint Protection client configurations. Deploy these antimalware policies to client computers. Then monitor compliance in the Endpoint Protection Status node under Security in the Monitoring workspace. Also use Endpoint Protection reports in the Reporting node.

Additional information:

Managing Windows Firewall with Endpoint Protection

Endpoint Protection in Configuration Manager provides basic management of the Windows Firewall on client computers. For each network profile, you can configure the following settings:

  • Enable or disable the Windows Firewall.

  • Block incoming connections, including those in the list of allowed programs.

  • Notify the user when Windows Firewall blocks a new program.


Endpoint Protection supports managing the Windows Firewall only.

For more information, see How to create and deploy Windows Firewall policies for Endpoint Protection.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

Endpoint Protection manages and monitors Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). The Windows Defender ATP service helps enterprises detect, investigate, and respond to advanced attacks on the corporate network. For more information, see Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Endpoint Protection Workflow

Use the following diagram to help you understand the workflow to implement Endpoint Protection in your Configuration Manager hierarchy.

Endpoint Protection Workflow

Endpoint Protection Client for Mac Computers and Linux Servers

System Center Endpoint Protection includes an Endpoint Protection client for Linux and for Mac computers. These clients are not supplied with Configuration Manager; instead, you must download the following products from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center.

  • System Center Endpoint Protection for the Mac

  • System Center Endpoint Protection for Linux


You must be a Microsoft Volume License customer to download the Endpoint Protection installation files for Linux and the Mac.

These products cannot be managed from the Configuration Manager console. However, a System Center Operations Manager management pack is supplied with the installation files, which allows you to manage the client for Linux by using Operations Manager.

How to get the Endpoint Protection client for Mac computers and Linux servers

Use the following steps to download the image file containing the Endpoint Protection client software and documentation for Mac computers and Linux servers.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center.
  2. Select the Downloads and Keys tab at the top of the website.
  3. Filter on product System Center Endpoint Protection (current branch).
  4. Click link to Download
  5. Click Continue. You should see several files, including one named: System Center Endpoint Protection (current branch - version 1606) for Linux OS and Macintosh OS Multilanguage 32/64 bit 1878 MB ISO.
  6. To download the file, click the arrow icon. The file name is SW_DVD5_Sys_Ctr_Endpnt_Prtctn_1606_MultiLang_-3_EptProt_Lin_Mac_MLF_X21-67050.ISO.

The January 2018 update (X21-67050) includes the following versions:

  • System Center Endpoint Protection for Mac (support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra)
  • System Center Endpoint Protection for Linux

    For more information about how to install and manage the Endpoint Protection clients for Linux and Mac computers, use the documentation that accompanies these products. This product documentation is in the Documentation folder of the .ISO file.