Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security

9/26/2016
10:00 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Launches Windows Defender App Guard For Its Edge Browser

Microsoft debuts a new tool to strengthen security in its Edge browser for Windows Enterprise customers.

Microsoft today at its 2016 Ignite conference in Atlanta announced a new security tool for its Edge browser, Windows Defender Application Guard.

App Guard is part of Microsoft's broader strategy to secure Windows 10 at a time when organizations are increasing their global footprints and business dynamics are evolving, with business users needing to be constantly connected, no matter where they are.

This expectation raises the challenge for businesses already struggling to stay secure, says Rob Lefferts, head of security and engineering for Windows. The average data breach amounts to $12 million and will cost an estimated $3 trillion in lost productivity by 2020.

"We see the browser as one of the primary vectors of attack on systems for enterprise customers, and customers in general," adds Dave Bossio, group product manager for Windows Enterprise and Security.

Businesses' current software investments aren't sufficient to address the sophisticated attacks coming their way, he explains. Microsoft has noticed an uptick in kernel-level attacks, and sandboxing isn't enough to protect users, he notes.

As it currently exists, if a machine is attacked via malware from the browser, the entire device is infected. It’s a significant attack vector that sophisticated hackers can use to get persistent malware onto machines.

App Guard is a virtualization-based security tool that isolates critical processes in Edge so the OS can’t be compromised in a cyberattack. It's designed to protect against a broad range of cybercrime including malware, vulnerabilities, viruses, and zero-day attacks, according to Microsoft.

While other browsers use software-based sandboxes, App Guard isolates the browser and user activity using a hardware-based container, according to Microsoft. This prevents malware from infecting the device and causing damage across the corporate network.

Bossio describes the tool in the context of spearphishing, a popular means of targeting corporate devices and one that’s difficult to train employees to spot. If someone receives a spearphishing email and clicks a bad link, the untrusted page is opened in a new isolated container session. The malware does not go outside the container and is erased after the browsing session is terminated.

Enterprise policies dictate which websites need App Guard protection. Every business has a list of websites; if a site isn’t on the list, App Guard will open a new isolated container session for it. Users will see an indicator if they open a page that requires an untrusted session.

Businesses also have control over content copied and pasted from the isolated container to the host OS. Users can also print to network printers from untrusted sessions.

Microsoft is initially targeting security-conscious enterprise customers with the App Guard rollout. "The technology is something any customer will want, but we want to be thoughtful about how we roll it out," says Bossio.

Windows Defender App Guard is currently undergoing internal testing at Microsoft and will arrive to Windows Insiders in October or November of this year. The final version will launch in 2017 for Windows 10 Enterprise customers as part of the Current Branch for Business update model.

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-31660
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 85da504d2dc30188b89f44c3276fc5a25b31251f contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.