Microsoft Brings Windows Defender Protections to Chrome
One of the key advantages that Microsoft pitches for you to use Edge is the built-in Defender protection. Because Microsoft has a massive network of connected devices, it is able to successfully crowd-source protections against malicious online activity.
But, it looks like if you are using Chrome, you can install an extension from Microsoft that will deliver some of those protections. The extension is free and you can download it from the Chrome Web Store, here.
The extension, uncovered by Walking Cat, does read all of your browsing activity as that’s the only way for it to actively stop you from visiting malicious websites. What this means is that you must be comfortable knowing that Microsoft has access to your browsing history but considering the company does not primarily make its revenue from advertising, it’s unlikely that they are selling this data or profiling your information.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
That being said, you should always be aware of who has access to your data so that you can turn it off if there is a breach of your trust.
This is an interesting step for Microsoft as this extension reduces the built-in value of using Edge as your primary browser. But, the more information that Microsoft can gather from the web to identify malicious websites, the better they can protect users on both Edge and Chrome.
For those organizations that depend heavily on Defender to protect their environment, this is one more branch of the security tree that can be installed. What will be interesting to test is to see if the Defender extension or the built-in protections of Chrome do a better job at identifying malicious websites.