Application Control security feature in Windows Defender on Windows 10

The Application Control feature in Windows Defender is a crucial security feature for Windows 10. With advanced malware, ransomware, and spyware, we need advanced security systems. Let us learn about this new feature introduced in Windows 10 v1709.

Windows Defender Application Control

Application Control helps determine the trustworthiness of each app instead of assuming an overall trust on the system apps, therefore greatly reducing system attacks, especially via executive files.Application Control security feature in Windows Defender on Windows 10

Windows 10 benefit

Many people know the importance of application control but do not know how to put it to use. Only about 20% people were reported to be using application control solutions. But that started changing with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update because this update made things more comprehensive and Application Control feature is easily available and made functional across multiple devices.

Device Guard protection

Windows Defender Device Guard for Windows 10 enables locking down of Windows systems and run only authorized apps using configurable code integrity. The Device Guard also makes kernel attacks more difficult using HVCI. The CI policy is mandatory for the Windows kernel, so people have to use it. It gets activated during the boot sequence itself so it can be ready for any malware even before the other antivirus software is ready.

The configurable CI lets users set app control policies for runtime as well as for kernel mode hardware as well as software drivers. The CI policy can be hidden from local administrators to avoid tampering. But this would need administrative privilege and access to digital signing procedure to access the privilege. All this is further protected by the HVCI.

Application Control

The original Device Guard was made focusing on the lockdown state, but it became lesser known that the OS can be used separately as well. Many users thought they wouldn’t be able to configure CI. The Windows Defender Application Control came with the Fall Creators Update to handle these issues, apart from the issue of increased malware and spyware attacks. More people started enjoying the benefits of Application Control ever since.

The WD ATP got a boost with the Fall Creators Update. This makes the Application Control along with the Firewall and antivirus systems provide full optics into every threat encountered and blocked. The records are available to the system for quicker action in case of future attacks.

Ease of use

Windows 10 Creators Update brought managed installer to the WDAC. It came with easier trust, but the System Center Configuration Manager with version 1706 brought native support that made app deployment a three-click procedure, ensuring better security.

Application Control uses Microsoft’s cloud ISG to authorize trusted apps without further confirmation, just to make things simpler for the user. All new policies in the Fall Creators Update are meant to develop on WDAC policies. The code signing way is the best way to identify genuine authorization on apps. With Application Control, Windows 10 systems are both secure, and convenient. Signtool helps code signing incorporate itself into an app built. Package Inspector helps generate catalog files that help existing apps authorize without rebuilding or repackage things.

Microsoft brought the dedicated Application Control for Windows Defender to make the OS smarter than before. All threats will be tackled, and everything that is surely trustworthy will pass without hindrance. This is the best one can ask of a security system. With greater flexibility, the Application Control helps users customize the app permissions according to their own requirements. It also helps democratize app control by making app management easier than ever before on multiple devices.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.