Windows 11: New security feature requires reinstallation

Windows 11 gets a new security feature called “Smart App Control”. But there is a catch.

Microsoft announced a number of new features for Windows 11 at its “future of hybrid work” event on Tuesday evening, including Explorer tabs, which we present to you here. Microsoft did not name a specific start date, we expect availability for the autumn update 22H2 for Windows 11.

In addition, it comes with

“Smart App Control”

There will also be a completely new security function in Windows 11, which is intended to better protect users from dangers when surfing and working on Windows 11 computers.

However, “Smart App Control” has a catch:

The security function will only be activated directly on newly purchased Windows 11 computers. Anyone who has already installed Windows 11 and updated to a new Windows 11 version with “Smart App Control” cannot use or activate this function. “Smart App Control” can only be used after a complete reinstallation of Windows 11.

This is how “Smart App Control” is supposed to protect Windows 11 users

With “Smart App Control”, Microsoft is adding a new level of security after security has already been increased in Windows 11 with the changed hardware requirements and the associated TPM requirement. “In a future version of Windows 11, you will see significant security updates that combine modern hardware and software to provide even more protection from the chip to the cloud,” explains David Weston (Microsoft Vice President for Enterprise & OS Security) in this blog post.

This includes “Smart App Control” as an “important improvement” in the security model of Windows 11. “Smart App Control” runs constantly in the background and monitors all running applications or applications that the user is trying to install. Using threat data that Microsoft collects across various channels, a potential threat is identified at an early stage and eliminated by “Smart App Control”. Microsoft is already using a similar technology with “SmartScreen” in its Edge browser to protect users from harmful websites that try to install malware on computers or use it for phishing attacks.

“Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 must be rolled back and given a clean install of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature,” Weston adds.

Windows 11 gets even more security features

In addition to “Smart App Control”, Microsoft will add other security features in Windows 11 with the aim of better protecting users from any attacks. With Microsoft Defender Smartscreen, for example, there is protection against phishing attacks. This also means that Windows 11 will be able to determine in the future whether the Windows account information has been sent to a place where it does not belong. Windows 11 should then immediately warn the user that their account information could be compromised.

In addition, there should be stronger encryption on Windows 11 devices, although it is not clear from Microsoft’s announcement whether only Windows 11 for companies will receive this improvement or also the Windows 11 versions for private users (i.e. Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 per).

Microsoft also wants to enable “Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity (HVCI)” on more devices. HVCI is designed to help secure drivers and prevent malware from loading.

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