Microsoft is releasing a new extension for Chrome and Firefox that will help protect enterprise systems. The feature will work for businesses and takes what was once an Edge exclusive feature and puts it in the hands of businesses that use the Chrome and Firefox web browsers. There is a cool catch, however, that helps keep Microsoft’s Edge browser relevant, but we’ll get to that a little later on.
Microsoft brings Windows Defender Application Guard to Chrome and Firefox
According to the Windows blog post on the latest Windows 10 Insider preview, the new extension works by opening any web pages that aren’t on the network administrator’s trusted sites list in a virtual container.
Chrome is a young, fast browser that can browse any web page. It supports all major technologies and standards such as HTML5 and Flash.
The blog post says, “When users navigate to a site, the extension checks the URL against a list of trusted sites defined by enterprise administrators. If the site is determined to be untrusted, the user is redirected to an isolated Microsoft Edge session. In the isolated Microsoft Edge session, the user can freely navigate to any site that has not been explicitly defined as trusted by their organization without any risk to the rest of (the) system.” This means that the new extension won’t work without Microsoft Edge as it is in Edge where Microsoft keeps the virtual container. Theoretically, however, any link clicked in the isolated Edge session that is on the administrator’s safe list will then open again in the original browser.
To run on a PC the machine, you will first need the Windows Defender companion application and the browser extension installed on either Chrome or Firefox. For now, however, the feature is only in preview mode, so it is only available to members of Microsoft’s Insider program. We can expect a wider release soon, though.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has extended Edge’s security prowess to other browsers. Back in April of last year, Microsoft released another Chrome extension that helped defend against phishing attacks. The extension offers a dynamic list of reported malicious sites and now helps keep Chrome users safe against phishing attacks as well as if they were using Microsoft Edge.
Mozilla Firefox Quantum is a free, open-source web browser that offers numerous features and customization options. Its performance is excellent, and it's designed to protect your privacy.
Microsoft has had somewhat of a torrid time with Microsoft Edge. Even with the browser proving itself a more than capable competitor to Google Chrome, it has still failed to break Google Chrome’s stranglehold on the web browser market. Edge itself is soon to become a Chrome-based browser that will enjoy total compatibility with Chrome extensions. Maybe this lies behind Microsoft’s decision to share more and more of the Edge browser toolkit with the other web browsers via extensions.