Microsoft Targets Unwanted Windows Apps in the Enterprise
Microsoft wants to make drive-by downloads, and threats they pose to business users, a thing of the past for enterprise customers.The vast variety of available software for Windows—from little system utilities from independent developers to complex business software suites—has been key to the operating system's success. The downside to such an ecosystem is that it can be used to conceal undesirable code, ranging from nuisance code to adware-ridden software apps. Now, Microsoft is helping administrators keep these drive-by downloads and other sneaky potential unwanted applications (PUAs) off their users' Windows devices with a new Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager feature, said Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) staffers Geoff McDonald, Deepak Manohar and Dulce Montemayor in a Nov. 26 announcement. "If you are an enterprise user, and you are running System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP), or Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP), it's good to know that your infrastructure can be protected from PUA installations when you opt-in to the PUA protection feature," they stated. "If enabled, PUA will be blocked at download and install time." Apart from slowing down a PC's performance and cluttering up the Start menu, PUAs can put business data at risk and impose an additional burden on IT personnel.
Potential unwanted application "refers to unwanted application bundlers or their bundled applications," stated the MMPC crew. "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 help desk, IT and user time cleaning up the applications."