The product, called "Microsoft Defender ATP for Android," was announced at this year's RSA Security Conference in February, and has now reached a first public preview.
Companies that have contracted ATP protection for Microsoft Defender have a new option in their dashboard where they can enable the feature and deploy an Android app to the devices of employees.
This new Android app will work as a classic mobile antivirus product capable of scanning the phone for malicious apps and other malware, detecting malicious and phishing sites while the user is browsing the web, and preventing users from accessing certain sites based on a predefined block list.
Microsoft also says the Defender ATP for Android app comes with hidden features, courtesy of its integration into the larger and more complex platforms of Defender ATP, Intune, and Configuration Manager.
The app works effectively as a gatekeeper for the network of a company , allowing IT personnel to lock Android smartphones out of the corporate network or prevent users from accessing corporate apps.
"When Microsoft Defender ATP for Android finds a device has malicious apps installed, it will classify the device as 'high risk' and flag it in the Microsoft Defender Security Center," said Kanishka Srivastava, Microsoft's Senior Program Manager.
Microsoft hopes that this feature will prevent potentially compromised Andriod devices from serving as entry points to larger corporate data repositories from which hackers will be able to steal even more data than is initially available on the compromised device.
IT personnel can make informed decisions here, such as dismissing the alert, locking the device from the company's network, and initiating a more thorough incident response procedure.
In February, Microsoft launched a public preview Linux client, when it also announced future public previews for Android and iOS. While the Android app entered today's public preview, Microsoft said the public preview of the iOS is still coming, but only planned for "later this year."