Microsoft launches Application Guard for Office

Microsoft has released Software Guard for Office, a aspect that opens untrusted Term, Excel and PowerPoint paperwork in a sandbox to protect customers from opportunity threats.

Microsoft built Software Guard typically readily available this week to corporations with a 365 E5 or E5 Security license. When subscribers get the aspect will depend on regardless of whether they get instant, regular monthly or semi-annual updates. Software Guard had been in general public preview because August.

Software Guard for Office opens an untrusted doc in a Hyper-V-enabled container to protect customers in opposition to viruses, worms and other malware. The software package isolates data files in the container so malicious code are not able to infect purposes on a pc.

Microsoft beforehand made use of Protected View to defend customers from threats. Nonetheless, it gave men and women only the alternative of opening data files in a read-only mode or the 365 software package. Software Guard allows customers edit, print and preserve paperwork whilst in quarantine.

Microsoft claimed customers who deem a doc safe could choose to clear away the file’s Software Guard security. Providers that use Microsoft Defender can have the software package scan paperwork for malware ahead of workforce open up them.

If a organization takes advantage of the Protected Paperwork aspect in Microsoft Defender, the doc will be scanned for malware ahead of a person opens it.

Constellation Study analyst Liz Miller claimed Software Guard is a beneficial resource for protecting against malware infections. But it is not a substitute for coaching customers about security threats.

“People today who make terrible choices … are usually carrying out it simply because they do not know what to look for,” Miller claimed. “Or [they] have the naïve belief that there is a security basic safety web that will usually be there to catch them.”

The Software Guard aspect is off by default. After an IT administrator turns it on, it will open up data files downloaded from the world-wide-web or been given as an email attachment. The software package also opens data files saved in short-term folders or produced in past Office variations.

Mike Gleason is a reporter masking conclusion-person computing topics these types of as desktop administration. He beforehand included communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Everyday News, Walpole Situations, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in Central Massachusetts and Southwestern Vermont and served as a community editor for Patch. He can be observed on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.