Microsoft has announced the Windows Defender Application Guard for Edge on Windows 10. The Windows Defender Application Guard uses virtualisation technology to isolate the instances of Edge run on Windows machines. The feature is designed to give better security to enterprises. According to Microsoft, Edge has the lowest number of vulnerabilities compared to any other browser on the Windows platform.
The Windows Defender Application Guard for Edge is designed to protect networks, data, devices and people from malicious attacks. Microsoft has stressed the importance of this feature because majority of attacks originate through the browser. Sites that are untrustworthy are automatically launched in an isolated session, which is displayed by a red icon on the edge logo. Regular sessions are designated with a blue icon. The enterprises have freedom to add or remove sites from the list that are designated untrustworthy, in a trusted network site list policy available to system administrators.
The implementation of the virtualisation is hardware based, instead of software based. This makes it more secure, as well as less demanding on the machines that it runs on. If the virtualisation is software based, malware can still find a way to sneak into the system. In the Microsoft Edge implementation, even if a site manages to load malware in the browser session, all activity and presence of the malware is erased once the employee closes down that session. The implementation sandboxes the browser environment, and protects the underlying device from malware, viruses, vulnerabilities and zero day attacks.
Windows 10 will be the first operating system to offer hardware based virtualisation sandboxing for browsers. The feature will be available to Windows insiders over the course of the next few months, and users will see a broader roll out next year.
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