Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 preview build has introduced several new features designed to increase security, including a folder protection service specifically made to guard against threats such as ransomware.
In addition to updates for Windows Defender around Microsoft Edge and new Exploit Protection settings, introduced a feature called ‘controlled folder access’.
According to Microsoft, the service monitors changes applications make to files in protected folders. Folders designated as protected will see applications that attempt to make changes to them blacklisted, with a notification alerting the user. Admins can determine trusted applications, which will be exempt from the restrictions, via the controlled folder settings. When in use, the controlled folders feature monitors Windows library folders, such as documents, pictures, movies and desktop, by default.
The update follows a global ransomware attack that took out servers at Russia’s biggest oil company, disrupted operations at Ukrainian banks, and shut down computers at multinational shipping and advertising firms.
The latest strain of the Petya virus’ first Australian victim was the Cadbury factory in Hobart which ceased operations when its parent company, Mondelez International, was infected and spread the malware through its network.
How effective the Windows folder protection update will be is yet to be seen, with some security specialists noting that the virus may have entered systems via documents created in Microsoft Word.