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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

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?