There have been many new features that have been introduced with the new 2017 Windows Creator Update. Some features pertain to social aspects, others are for creativity, but Microsoft has also mentioned that it had hardened security, and add protection against ransomware in the new 2017 Fall Creator Update.  This new feature is called the “controlled folder access” feature. This feature prevents suspicious applications from changing the contents of selected protected folders. The main goal is to safeguard data from any ransomware infections that manage to get by third-party antivirus software.

In order to activate the feature, you have to enable it through the Windows Defender Security Center App. You can access it by opening the virus and threat protection screen within Defender. From here, the user can switch on the controlled folder access option to make the feature active. Enterprise users, and administrators, can also be activate the feature through PowerShell, Group Policy, and MDM configurations. When the feature is active, essential directories such as the documents folder, are locked off from any malicious application that wants to encrypt files to hold them ransom, or even destroy them. By default, the usual folders such as Documents, Pictures, and Videos, folders will be protected by the controlled folder access feature, but it is not just limited to these folders. Other folders besides the document’s folder can also be protected using this feature.

Microsoft explained, ” This feature protects your files from tampering, in real-time, by locking folders so that ransomware and other unauthorized apps can’t access them. It’s like putting your crown jewels in  a safe whose key only you hold. Microsoft also noted that, “This feature and other security technologies, protect against persistent ransomware campaigns like Cerber, Locky, and Spora, as well as global outbreaks like WannaCry, and Petya.”

If your PC has this feature available, it is strongly advised it should be activated. Especially business’s who stand to lose valuable data. Personal PC’s should also be taking advantage of this new feature to protect their data also. Controlled folder access is a powerful tool that can make ransomware attacks worthless. Ransomware has become a more than common pest in today’s IT world, and should be taken very seriously. With this new feature, ransomware attacks can slowly become a thing of the past, at least for now.

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