Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Microsoft's Edge browser stays secure by acting as a virtual PC

"Application Guard" locks Edge away from the Windows 10 processes.
2229 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Microsoft has unveiled Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, a new system that will isolate the browser on Windows 10 Enterprise PCs, making them harder to hack. In a blog, the company wrote that it's "the first operating system to ship this type of technology alongside a browser." Using the Virtualization Based Security (VBS) recently introduced for Windows 10, Edge runs inside a small, virtual "PC," keeping it separate from processes including storage, other apps and, most importantly, the Windows 10 kernel.

Microsoft says that while other browsers are "sandboxed" away from security-sensitive PC areas, they "still provide a pathway for malware and vulnerability exploits." By contrast, Application Guard uses a hardware container to completely isolate Edge from the rest of the PC.

The system is only available on Windows 10 Enterprise for now, so administrators will need to choose sites that do and don't run inside Application Guard. When it's enabled, malware can't penetrate the protective VM "box" around Edge to access the rest of the system. "Even if an untrusted site successfully loads malware, the malware is unable to reach beyond the isolated container to steal data or permanently compromise devices or the network," Microsoft wrote.

Running Edge in a virtual machine will slow it down a bit, but Microsoft says it uses the minimum resources necessary to keep it light. The other hassle is that an Application Guard-enabled session won't save your cookies or other data, because closing the browser completely wipes all memory of the session. Those things mean that, for now, the VM-protected Edge system isn't quite ready for non-enterprise users just yet. However, in an age of constant hacking, a browser that isolates your system from danger seems like an idea whose time has come.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
2229 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
Canon leaks its EOS 90D DSLR and mirrorless EOS M6 Mark II cameras

Canon leaks its EOS 90D DSLR and mirrorless EOS M6 Mark II cameras

View
Watch the Google Stadia event in 10 minutes

Watch the Google Stadia event in 10 minutes

View
HP's latest gaming headset delivers active cooling, noise cancellation

HP's latest gaming headset delivers active cooling, noise cancellation

View
Samsung's 32-inch Space Gaming Monitor makes room for your PC

Samsung's 32-inch Space Gaming Monitor makes room for your PC

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr