After some terrifying ransomware attacks, the Redmond Giant is trying its best to make Windows as secure as possible. In its attempts, the company released another Windows built on Wednesday. The latest Windows build includes many new and added features around security, most notably an added Exploit Protection and some improvements in Windows Defender Application Guard. The build is numbered 16232 and at the time of writing, it is only available for Windows Insiders in the fast ring.
If you are interested, following are some important changes:
What’s New in Build 16232 For PC
Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Improvements:
Giving you access to all the rich features in Microsoft Edge while using Application Guard: Building on our work in Build 16188, we have added support for Microsoft Edge data persistence while using Application Guard. Once enabled, data such as your favorites, cookies, and saved passwords will be persisted across Application Guard sessions. The persisted data will be not be shared or surfaced on the host, but it will be available for future Microsoft Edge in Application Guard sessions.
How to take advantage of Data Persistence when using Microsoft Edge with Application Guard: You enable Data Persistence for Microsoft Edge in Application Guard using Group Policy. Note that Data Persistence for Application Guard with Microsoft Edge sessions is not enabled by default. To enable data persistence, close all Microsoft Edge windows and update the Windows Components > Windows Defender Application Guard policy to turn on data persistence:
After the Group Policy settings are set, next launch New Application Guard Window from the Microsoft Edge menu:
Then browse to your favorite web site and add it to Favorites in Microsoft Edge as shown here:
How to find your Favorites after you close Edge with Application Guard: Since you have enabled Data Persistence using Group Policy for Application Guard, the site you saved to your Favorites will be available for later use, with Microsoft Edge in Application Guard, even after reboots as well as build to build upgrades of Windows.
We’re excited to announce that starting with this build you can now audit, configure, and manage Windows system and application exploit mitigation settings right from the Windows Defender Security Center! You don’t need to be using Windows Defender Antivirus to take advantage of these settings.
After upgrading to this build, you can find these settings by opening the Windows Defender Security Center and going to the App & browser control page:
- Either right-click the icon in the notification area on the taskbar and click Open, or search via the Start menu for Windows Defender Security Center
- From Windows Defender Security Center, click on App & browser control and then scroll to the bottom of the resulting screen to find Exploit Protection
Introducing Controlled folder access in Windows Defender Antivirus:
In this build, we’re making it easier for you to protect valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware. To enable the feature, search for and open the Windows Defender Security Center from Start, go to the Virus & threat protection settings section, and set the switch to On:
Controlled folder access monitors the changes that apps make to files in certain protected folders. If an app attempts to make a change to these files, and the app is blacklisted by the feature, you’ll get a notification about the attempt. You can complement the protected folders with additional locations, and add the apps that you want to allow access to those folders.
Allowing apps can be useful if you’re finding a particular app that you know and trust is being blocked by the Controlled folder access feature. Click Allow an app through Controlled folder access and locate and add the app you want to allow.
You can add additional folders to the list of protected folders, but you cannot alter the default list, which includes folders such as Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop. Adding other folders to Controlled folder access can be handy, for example, if you don’t store files in the default Windows libraries or you’ve changed the location of the libraries away from the defaults.
Click Protected folders in the Controlled folder access area and enter the full path of the folder you want to monitor. You can also enter network shares and mapped drives, but environment variables and wildcards are not supported (for right now).
There are some other changes too, you can see the complete changelog here.
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