Set preferences for Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac

Applies to:

Important

This topic contains instructions for how to set preferences for Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac in enterprise environments. If you are interested in configuring the product on a device from the command-line, please refer to the Resources page.

In enterprise environments, Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac can be managed through a configuration profile. This profile is deployed from management tool of your choice. Preferences managed by the enterprise take precedence over the ones set locally on the device. In other words, users in your enterprise are not able to change preferences that are set through this configuration profile.

This topic describes the structure of this profile (including a recommended profile that you can use to get started) and instructions for how to deploy the profile.

Configuration profile structure

The configuration profile is a .plist file that consists of entries identified by a key (which denotes the name of the preference), followed by a value, which depends on the nature of the preference. Values can either be simple (such as a numerical value) or complex, such as a nested list of preferences.

Caution

The layout of the configuration profile depends on the management console that you are using. The following sections contain examples of configuration profiles for JAMF and Intune.

The top level of the configuration profile includes product-wide preferences and entries for subareas of the product, which are explained in more detail in the next sections.

Antivirus engine preferences

The antivirusEngine section of the configuration profile is used to manage the preferences of the antivirus component of the product.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key antivirusEngine
Data type Dictionary (nested preference)
Comments See the following sections for a description of the dictionary contents.

Enable / disable real-time protection

Whether real-time protection (scan files as they are accessed) is enabled or not.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key enableRealTimeProtection
Data type Boolean
Possible values true (default)
false

Enable / disable passive mode

Whether the antivirus engine runs in passive mode or not. In passive mode:

  • Real-time protection is turned off
  • On demand scanning is turned on
  • Automatic threat remediation is turned off
  • Security intelligence updates are turned on
  • Status menu icon is hidden
Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key passiveMode
Data type Boolean
Possible values false (default)
true
Comments Available in Microsoft Defender ATP version 100.67.60 or higher.

Scan exclusions

Entities that have been excluded from the scan. Exclusions can be specified by full paths, extensions, or file names.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key exclusions
Data type Dictionary (nested preference)
Comments See the following sections for a description of the dictionary contents.

Type of exclusion

Specifies the type of content excluded from the scan.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key $type
Data type String
Possible values excludedPath
excludedFileExtension
excludedFileName

Path to excluded content

Used to exclude content from the scan by full file path.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key path
Data type String
Possible values valid paths
Comments Applicable only if $type is excludedPath

Path type (file / directory)

Indicates if the path property refers to a file or directory.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key isDirectory
Data type Boolean
Possible values false (default)
true
Comments Applicable only if $type is excludedPath

File extension excluded from the scan

Used to exclude content from the scan by file extension.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key extension
Data type String
Possible values valid file extensions
Comments Applicable only if $type is excludedFileExtension

Name of excluded content

Used to exclude content from the scan by file name.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key name
Data type String
Possible values any string
Comments Applicable only if $type is excludedFileName

Threat type settings

The threatTypeSettings preference in the antivirus engine is used to control how certain threat types are handled by the product.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key threatTypeSettings
Data type Dictionary (nested preference)
Comments See the following sections for a description of the dictionary contents.

Threat type

Type of the threat for which the behavior is configured.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key key
Data type String
Possible values potentially_unwanted_application
archive_bomb

Action to take

Action to take when coming across a threat of the type specified in the preceding section. Can be:

  • Audit: your device is not protected against this type of threat, but an entry about the threat is logged.
  • Block: your device is protected against this type of threat and you are notified in the user interface and the security console.
  • Off: your device is not protected against this type of threat and nothing is logged.
Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key value
Data type String
Possible values audit (default)
block
off

Cloud delivered protection preferences

The cloudService entry in the configuration profile is used to configure the cloud driven protection feature of the product.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key cloudService
Data type Dictionary (nested preference)
Comments See the following sections for a description of the dictionary contents.

Enable / disable cloud delivered protection

Whether cloud delivered protection is enabled on the device or not. To improve the security of your services, we recommend keeping this feature turned on.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key enabled
Data type Boolean
Possible values true (default)
false

Diagnostic collection level

Diagnostic data is used to keep Microsoft Defender ATP secure and up-to-date, detect, diagnose and fix problems, and also make product improvements. This setting determines the level of diagnostics sent by the product to Microsoft.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key diagnosticLevel
Data type String
Possible values optional (default)
required

Enable / disable automatic sample submissions

Determines whether suspicious samples (that are likely to contain threats) are sent to Microsoft. You are prompted if the submitted file is likely to contain personal information.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key automaticSampleSubmission
Data type Boolean
Possible values true (default)
false

User interface preferences

The userInterface section of the configuration profile is used to manage the preferences of the user interface of the product.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key userInterface
Data type Dictionary (nested preference)
Comments See the following sections for a description of the dictionary contents.

Show / hide status menu icon

Whether the status menu icon (shown in the top right corner of the screen) is hidden or not.

Domain com.microsoft.wdav
Key hideStatusMenuIcon
Data type Boolean
Possible values false (default)
true

To get started, we recommend the following configuration profile for your enterprise to take advantage of all protection features that Microsoft Defender ATP provides.

The following configuration profile will:

  • Enable real-time protection (RTP)
  • Specify how the following threat types are handled:
    • Potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are blocked
    • Archive bombs (file with a high compression rate) are audited to the product logs
  • Enable cloud delivered protection
  • Enable automatic sample submission

JAMF profile

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>antivirusEngine</key>
    <dict>
        <key>enableRealTimeProtection</key>
        <true/>
        <key>threatTypeSettings</key>
        <array>
            <dict>
                <key>key</key>
                <string>potentially_unwanted_application</string>
                <key>value</key>
                <string>block</string>
            </dict>
            <dict>
                <key>key</key>
                <string>archive_bomb</string>
                <key>value</key>
                <string>audit</string>
            </dict>
        </array>
    </dict>
    <key>cloudService</key>
    <dict>
        <key>enabled</key>
        <true/>
        <key>automaticSampleSubmission</key>
        <true/>
    </dict>
</dict>
</plist>

Intune profile

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1">
    <dict>
        <key>PayloadUUID</key>
        <string>C4E6A782-0C8D-44AB-A025-EB893987A295</string>
        <key>PayloadType</key>
        <string>Configuration</string>
        <key>PayloadOrganization</key>
        <string>Microsoft</string>
        <key>PayloadIdentifier</key>
        <string>com.microsoft.wdav</string>
        <key>PayloadDisplayName</key>
        <string>Microsoft Defender ATP settings</string>
        <key>PayloadDescription</key>
        <string>Microsoft Defender ATP configuration settings</string>
        <key>PayloadVersion</key>
        <integer>1</integer>
        <key>PayloadEnabled</key>
        <true/>
        <key>PayloadRemovalDisallowed</key>
        <true/>
        <key>PayloadScope</key>
        <string>System</string>
        <key>PayloadContent</key>
        <array>
            <dict>
                <key>PayloadUUID</key>
                <string>99DBC2BC-3B3A-46A2-A413-C8F9BB9A7295</string>
                <key>PayloadType</key>
                <string>com.microsoft.wdav</string>
                <key>PayloadOrganization</key>
                <string>Microsoft</string>
                <key>PayloadIdentifier</key>
                <string>com.microsoft.wdav</string>
                <key>PayloadDisplayName</key>
                <string>Microsoft Defender ATP configuration settings</string>
                <key>PayloadDescription</key>
                <string/>
                <key>PayloadVersion</key>
                <integer>1</integer>
                <key>PayloadEnabled</key>
                <true/>
                <key>antivirusEngine</key>
                <dict>
                    <key>enableRealTimeProtection</key>
                    <true/>
                    <key>threatTypeSettings</key>
                    <array>
                        <dict>
                            <key>key</key>
                            <string>potentially_unwanted_application</string>
                            <key>value</key>
                            <string>block</string>
                        </dict>
                        <dict>
                            <key>key</key>
                            <string>archive_bomb</string>
                            <key>value</key>
                            <string>audit</string>
                        </dict>
                    </array>
                </dict>
                <key>cloudService</key>
                <dict>
                    <key>enabled</key>
                    <true/>
                    <key>automaticSampleSubmission</key>
                    <true/>
                </dict>
            </dict>
        </array>
    </dict>
</plist>

Full configuration profile example

The following configuration profile contains entries for all settings described in this document and can be used for more advanced scenarios where you want more control over the product.

JAMF profile

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
    <key>antivirusEngine</key>
    <dict>
        <key>enableRealTimeProtection</key>
        <true/>
        <key>passiveMode</key>
        <false/>
        <key>exclusions</key>
        <array>
            <dict>
                <key>$type</key>
                <string>excludedPath</string>
                <key>isDirectory</key>
                <false/>
                <key>path</key>
                <string>/var/log/system.log</string>
            </dict>
            <dict>
                <key>$type</key>
                <string>excludedPath</string>
                <key>isDirectory</key>
                <true/>
                <key>path</key>
                <string>/home</string>
            </dict>
            <dict>
                <key>$type</key>
                <string>excludedFileExtension</string>
                <key>extension</key>
                <string>pdf</string>
            </dict>
        </array>
        <key>allowedThreats</key>
        <array>
            <string>eicar</string>
        </array>
        <key>threatTypeSettings</key>
        <array>
            <dict>
                <key>key</key>
                <string>potentially_unwanted_application</string>
                <key>value</key>
                <string>block</string>
            </dict>
            <dict>
                <key>key</key>
                <string>archive_bomb</string>
                <key>value</key>
                <string>audit</string>
            </dict>
        </array>
    </dict>
    <key>cloudService</key>
    <dict>
        <key>enabled</key>
        <true/>
        <key>diagnosticLevel</key>
        <string>optional</string>
        <key>automaticSampleSubmission</key>
        <true/>
    </dict>
    <key>userInterface</key>
    <dict>
        <key>hideStatusMenuIcon</key>
        <false/>
    </dict>
</dict>
</plist>

Intune profile

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1">
    <dict>
        <key>PayloadUUID</key>
        <string>C4E6A782-0C8D-44AB-A025-EB893987A295</string>
        <key>PayloadType</key>
        <string>Configuration</string>
        <key>PayloadOrganization</key>
        <string>Microsoft</string>
        <key>PayloadIdentifier</key>
        <string>C4E6A782-0C8D-44AB-A025-EB893987A295</string>
        <key>PayloadDisplayName</key>
        <string>Microsoft Defender ATP settings</string>
        <key>PayloadDescription</key>
        <string>Microsoft Defender ATP configuration settings</string>
        <key>PayloadVersion</key>
        <integer>1</integer>
        <key>PayloadEnabled</key>
        <true/>
        <key>PayloadRemovalDisallowed</key>
        <true/>
        <key>PayloadScope</key>
        <string>System</string>
        <key>PayloadContent</key>
        <array>
            <dict>
                <key>PayloadUUID</key>
                <string>99DBC2BC-3B3A-46A2-A413-C8F9BB9A7295</string>
                <key>PayloadType</key>
                <string>com.microsoft.wdav</string>
                <key>PayloadOrganization</key>
                <string>Microsoft</string>
                <key>PayloadIdentifier</key>
                <string>99DBC2BC-3B3A-46A2-A413-C8F9BB9A7295</string>
                <key>PayloadDisplayName</key>
                <string>Microsoft Defender ATP configuration settings</string>
                <key>PayloadDescription</key>
                <string/>
                <key>PayloadVersion</key>
                <integer>1</integer>
                <key>PayloadEnabled</key>
                <true/>
                <key>antivirusEngine</key>
                <dict>
                    <key>enableRealTimeProtection</key>
                    <true/>
                    <key>passiveMode</key>
                    <false/>
                    <key>exclusions</key>
                    <array>
                        <dict>
                            <key>$type</key>
                            <string>excludedPath</string>
                            <key>isDirectory</key>
                            <false/>
                            <key>path</key>
                            <string>/var/log/system.log</string>
                        </dict>
                        <dict>
                            <key>$type</key>
                            <string>excludedPath</string>
                            <key>isDirectory</key>
                            <true/>
                            <key>path</key>
                            <string>/home</string>
                        </dict>
                        <dict>
                            <key>$type</key>
                            <string>excludedFileExtension</string>
                            <key>extension</key>
                            <string>pdf</string>
                        </dict>
                    </array>
                    <key>allowedThreats</key>
                    <array>
                        <string>eicar</string>
                    </array>
                    <key>threatTypeSettings</key>
                    <array>
                        <dict>
                            <key>key</key>
                            <string>potentially_unwanted_application</string>
                            <key>value</key>
                            <string>block</string>
                        </dict>
                        <dict>
                            <key>key</key>
                            <string>archive_bomb</string>
                            <key>value</key>
                            <string>audit</string>
                        </dict>
                    </array>
                </dict>
                <key>cloudService</key>
                <dict>
                    <key>enabled</key>
                    <true/>
                    <key>diagnosticLevel</key>
                    <string>optional</string>
                    <key>automaticSampleSubmission</key>
                    <true/>
                </dict>
                <key>userInterface</key>
                <dict>
                    <key>hideStatusMenuIcon</key>
                    <false/>
                </dict>
            </dict>
        </array>
    </dict>
</plist>

Configuration profile deployment

Once you've built the configuration profile for your enterprise, you can deploy it through the management console that your enterprise is using. The following sections provide instructions on how to deploy this profile using JAMF and Intune.

JAMF deployment

From the JAMF console, open Computers > Configuration Profiles, navigate to the configuration profile you'd like to use, then select Custom Settings. Create an entry with com.microsoft.wdav as the preference domain and upload the .plist produced earlier.

Caution

You must enter the correct preference domain (com.microsoft.wdav), otherwise the preferences will not be recognized by the product.

Intune deployment

  1. Open Manage > Device configuration. Select Manage > Profiles > Create Profile.

  2. Choose a name for the profile. Change Platform=macOS to Profile type=Custom. Select Configure.

  3. Save the .plist produced earlier as com.microsoft.wdav.xml.

  4. Enter com.microsoft.wdav as the custom configuration profile name.

  5. Open the configuration profile and upload com.microsoft.wdav.xml. This file was created in step 3.

  6. Select OK.

  7. Select Manage > Assignments. In the Include tab, select Assign to All Users & All devices.

Caution

You must enter the correct custom configuration profile name, otherwise these preferences will not be recognized by the product.

Resources