Microsoft rolls out new security feature for Enterprise users to prevent potentially unwanted applications from being installed
Microsoft has announced the roll out of a new feature for its Enterprise users.
The new option is a security feature, which will keep business users safer from malware which comes bundled with software.
You may already be aware of what they are called, PUAs (potentially unwanted applications). They are more commonly referred to as PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and are usually bundled in the form of a toolbar, or an external application, which may be sneakily installed on the computer, if the user does not pay enough attention during the setup process.
PUAs could range from annoying adware to seriously harmful malware, which could steal your identity, user credentials, and even give an attacker full control of the computer. Now, imagine the seriousness of the situation, if the affected party is an enterprise, pretty scary isn’t it?
Yet, it is quite a bit surprising that Microsoft is rolling out this feature, as this stands as proof as to what level PUA’s have reached. Enterprise level security is usually considered far superior, compared to what home users and other individuals have on their PCs.
The new security feature is an opt-in feature, meaning it is up to the user, or in this case, the Admin of an Enterprise group, to enable the feature, to protect all their systems. It is worth noting that only systems which are running the System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP), or the Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP), can make use of the new PUA protection feature.
Once it has been enabled, the system will be protected (requires a system restart),from downloads and installs which contain any PUA. System Admins can enable the new PUA protection feature as a Group Policy setting, with a simple edit to the registry key policy for Microsoft Anti-Malware and Windows Defender. Interested users can find the information mentioned in the official announcement page.
Windows 10 does offer Microsoft’s SmartScreen Filter, but it may not be as powerful as what Enterprise users protect their systems with.
Then again, PUAs aren’t the only form of online threat today, with phishing being the most common form of ransomware employed by hackers. This year, a massive breach of a security firm was triggered by email spear phishing, which resulted in the theft of several GB of data stolen.
So it is certainly good to see Microsoft stepping up the security of its operating systems to better protect its business users, and prevent such attacks.