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Microsoft Adds New Security Feature To Office 365

By February 10, 2021May 11th, 2022Cybersecurity

Microsoft has made an important change to Office 365 you should be aware of.

The company recently introduced a new feature called Application Guard, which is now available to all Office 365 users with supported licenses.

The Application Guard blocks files that have been downloaded from untrusted sources by shunting them to sandboxes.

These isolated, secure containers allow Office 365 users to read, edit and print those files without having to open them outside the container. That means you don’t put your network at risk by manipulating files from untrusted sources.

Microsoft initially previewed the new feature on a limited basis back in November, 2019 and since then, the company has been continuing to refine it. It’s now ready for prime time, and available to all Microsoft 365 users with E5 or E5 security licenses.

Admins should be aware, however, that the new feature is toggled off by default. If it’s something you want to make use of, you’ll need to enable it for each of the applications you intend to use it for. It’s also worth mentioning that the new feature only works on endpoints running at least Windows 10 Enterprise version 2004 (20H1) that also have the cumulative monthly security update KB4571756 installed. So there may be some prep work needed before you’re ready to roll out the new feature on your company’s network.

Finally, be aware that the new Application Guard feature is integrated into both Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. So once the system is up and running, you’ll be able to easily monitor and receive alerts from secure containers in the event that Microsoft Defender detects one or more problematic files within them.

Overall, this is an excellent enhancement that will make your network safer and more secure. Kudos to Microsoft for an excellent job here. Try it out at your next convenience.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.