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Windows 11 can better protect against ransomware

Vignette
Written by charon
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1665142654*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

Ransomware attacks are a legitimate concern. Users are not helpless to increase their protection with Windows 11, but they still need to know.

Unfortunately, ransomware attacks are a hot topic. There is a real underground cybercriminal economy with ransomware groups providing data encryption services and recruiting affiliates to launch attacks.

Recent history shows that these affiliates don't really care about the type of target, as in the case of the LockBit v3.0 ransomware attack on the Centre Hospitalier Sud Francilien (CHSF) in Corbeil-Essonnes.

The payment of a ransom to recover encrypted files and stop a data disclosure was refused. And although the cyberattack took place in August, the CHSF is still struggling to recover. For an individual, the fear of a ransomware attack is of a different nature, but not one to be overlooked.

Windows 11 has protection against ransomware

It turns out that Windows 11 natively offers protection against ransomware. This is also the case with Windows 10 (screenshot below). However, Microsoft does not activate this protection by default and it therefore requires a user action to make it work. This is a pity because it is a solution that can also help prevent the loss of sensitive information. However, you should not forget the essential backups in this area.

The protection against ransomware in Windows 11 can be found in the Windows Security module, which is accessible from the privacy and security settings. You have to go to the menu on protection against viruses and threats to discover the desired protection at the bottom of the page and be able to manage it.

The user can choose the folders he wants to protect, in addition to those proposed that refer to special folders (Documents, Images, Videos...) and system folders. Protection against ransomware may be subject to alerts when there is no danger. If necessary, the user can authorize a trusted application and add it to the list of valid applications. This is the principle of this protection, which is based on controlled access to files and a comparison with known and trusted applications.

Microsoft Defender gets better at blocking ransomware

As for whether it is a truly effective protection against ransomware... according to the independent AV-Test laboratory, it is, although in this case, Microsoft Defender is credited with a good overall score in this area. In any case, without having to be ashamed of the comparison with other vendors' solutions.

The good news is that Microsoft continues to work on improving protection against ransomware with Microsoft Defender. As part of the Windows Insider program, the Redmond-based group reported an improvement in Microsoft Defender's ability to identify and intercept ransomware and advanced attacks.

Less good news on the home side is that this improvement is specific to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Professionals and companies will benefit from this improvement.

For all of them, it should be stressed that keeping an operating system up to date plays a crucial role in closing security vulnerabilities. Although it does not prevent social engineering and targeted phishing as a gateway for cybercriminals.