Microsoft beefs up security products to block adware

Potentially unwanted applications can pose risks to enterprises

Microsoft is adding a new opt-in defense for enterprises to block adware, which is often sneakily wrapped into free downloads.

Adware is often classified as a potentially unwanted application, or PUA, an industry term for applications that aren't necessarily malware but could be a security or performance risk.

"These applications can increase the risk of your network being infected with malware, cause malware infections to be harder to identify among the noise, and can waste helpdesk, IT, and user time cleaning up the applications," according to a Microsoft blog post.

The feature, which will be in the company's System Center Endpoint Protection and Forefront Endpoint Protection products, is opt-in, meaning administrators will have to turn it on. PUAs will be blocked and quarantined under the default setup.

The best policy for enterprises is to also warn their users about not downloading PUAs in the first place, Microsoft said.

PUAs have been a contentious category of applications. At times, some antivirus programs have aggressively removed some of them, only to face complaints from developers contending that they're not malicious.

It can be a tough position for security companies given how advertising can be a delivery mechanism for malware. 

"Since the stakes are higher in an enterprise environment, the potential disaster that PUA brings can be a cause of concern," according to Microsoft.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?