Ransomware is a huge threat in the world of cybersecurity, with the WannaCry virus that hit the NHS earlier this year casting it into the spotlight.
But Microsoft think they have found a way of protecting users, by preventing cybercriminals from gaining unauthorised access to your files, encrypting them and then demanding an extortionate amount of money to release your data. And the new weapon in the fight against ransomware is called Controlled Folder Access.
Controlled Folder Access is part of the Fall Creators Update that was rolled out to Windows 10 users in October. It protects your files from being tampered with – in real-time – by locking your folders so that unauthorized apps and ransomware have no way of getting access to them. The only person that can unlock them is you.
How Controlled Folder Access works
Controlled Folder Access essentially locks down your folders, and only authorised apps can access them. Anything else – including malicious executable files, DLLs and scripts – are denied access.
How to activate Controlled Folder Access
The current build of Windows 10 has Controlled Folder Access disabled by default.
To enable it, open “Windows Defender Security Center” and click on the shield icon named “Virus and threat protection.”
You then need to click on ‘Virus and threat protection settings’.
This will take you to the settings options. Scroll down until you see ‘Controlled Folder Access’. You can then switch the toggle to ‘on’.
Which folders are protected?
The standard user directories (where most people keep their files) are the ones protected by default. However, you can add more folders to the list in your system security settings. Windows also alerts you when an unauthorized app tries to access a protected folder.
How to add protected folders?
Select the “Protected folders” option below the ‘on/off’ toggle bar and add the folders you want to restrict access to but clicking ‘Add a protected folder’.
How to allow an app through Controlled Folder Access
Selected the second sub-option called ‘Allow an app through Controlled folder access’. This option will whitelist the apps that you want to allow to access, create, edit or remove files from protected folders.
If any projectfive customers have questions about Controlled Access Folder, please give one of our friendly team a call on 01276 455455 and we’ll be happy to help.