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This TechNet article https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/library/hh831778 says about Windows Defender in WS2012R2 (scroll to the bottom row of the table): "Available and enabled by default on Server Core installation options and Core System Server (without the user interface)."


Can I get Windows Defender for my WS2012R2E ?


(I feel like a non-vaccinated human with zero malware protection on the server)

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No, it's only available for server core. And I'm sure isntalling the UI would remove it.



As for unprotected .... ESET File Server? Sophos Endpoint Protection (free if you have a Sophos UTM router), etc. 

Also, as long as you're updating, and if you're not downloading+running stuff on the server, then you should be okay, for the most part.

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Security should be implemented before the server. UTM like Untangle, PfSense or Sophos.

I do not use a browser on the server. I DL install files elsewhere and transfer them to the server.

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Sophos is free, for the software.  A UTM preconfigured is going to be extremely expensive, actually nothing can be preconfigured as all situations are different.

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That is a list of vendors who sell hardware with installed software. Not cheap and obviously for it to work correctly the definitions must be updated probably daily often with a yearly fee.  Sophos is mentioned because (as pointed out by jmwills) you can get the software for free including all the daily updates (malware, antivirus and email). Untangle software is also free but the full anti-virus definitions must be paid for with annual fees which are not cheap. To run the software all you need is an old computer with 2 nics and not more than 50 local ip's at one time.


+ Some time and patience to understand how it works but it will be worth the effort.


I have used pfSence, Untangle and Sophos. Untangle is the easiest to setup, pfSense is more complicated but arguably better and Sophos IMHO the best as well as being free.


"If you want to use the software appliance, your hardware needs to comply with the following minimum hardware requirements:
1.5+ GHz processor (dual core+ recommended)
1 GB RAM (2GB strongly recommended)
60 GB hard disk
Bootable CD-ROM
2 or more network cards

For using the virtual appliance, you need:
40 GB IDE or SCSI hard disk drive
2+ PCI-NICs"


I installed mine from USB so you don't really need the CD-ROM.

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Looks like I need to evaluate another box. Anyone can recommend a UTM appliance for a small office of less than 10 users? Our IT needs are quite modest and very typical, we are like 90% of such small offices. A UTM appliance that comes preconfigured out of the box with defaults that I can edit as necessary (and which is compatible with the WS2012R2E box) would be ideal. Thanks!

Fortinet is one of my favorite SMB UTM. 


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1. You may be best to set your modem/router to bridge mode so all routing is done by sophos.

2. Documentation is a 600 page pdf and there is a quick start guide.

3. Off the shelf Sophos pretty well stops everything so I would not put it into an office environment without testing and configuring for your situation unless you want complaints galore.

4. Read all of the sophos articles Drashna has written about Sophos.



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