Smart App Control: Enabling Phishing Protection in Windows 11


“Microsoft has recently unveiled a host of new security features for Windows 11, tailored to optimize ‘hybrid work’ scenarios. One standout addition is ‘Smart App Control,’ bolstering PC protection across hardware, software, and cloud domains. Delve into these significant updates and their impact on system security, but be aware that one of the security features might prompt Windows 11 users to perform a complete OS reinstallation to activate it.”

The new feature in question is the ‘Smart App Control,’ which Microsoft’s Vice President of Enterprise and OS Security David Weston describes as a significant improvement to the Windows 11 security model. Windows by default prevent the execution of untrusted and unsigned applications in order to prevent users from unintentionally running harmful programs. More information can be found here: New Windows 11 encryption features and security enhancements will help protect hybrid work.

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Enhanced Security with Smart App Control

Smart App Control integrates security measures into the OS core at the process level. It allows processing to run only when deemed safe, either through proper certificates or AI model approval for application trust within the Microsoft cloud.

To enable the Smart App Control security feature, navigate to Windows Security > App & Browser Control > Smart App Control.

Intelligent Application Management
Smart App Control

Windows 11 ensures user safety with licensed, authorized program execution. But, an unexpected drawback arises. Smart App Control embeds in the OS core, leaving new devices unaffected. Existing Windows 11 devices require reset and reinstallation to access this security feature.

Microsoft emphasizes security in Windows 11, with stringent requirements like TPM 2.0. Smart App Control’s intriguing, but users might hesitate to reinstall the OS for it. Windows 11 is also struggling to achieve widespread adoption, with only nearly 20% of PCs, according to AdDuplex currently running it. I don’t think Microsoft’s move to punish early adopters will do much to persuade users to switch to Windows 11.

Advanced App Control
Windows 11

Weston discussed upcoming Windows 11 security updates, like 22H2 with Smart App Control for better phishing protection. Enhancements include personal data encryption, registry key monitoring, and improved driver protection.

Enabling the New Smart App Control

Hackers have recently targeted streaming services, parking meters, and those paying taxes, proving that phishing is still a concern. Keeping this in mind, Windows 11 introduces one of its newest security features to combat such attacks.

Windows 11’s enhanced phishing protection alerts users if Microsoft account info is entered on phishing-prone websites or programs.

To enable the feature, navigate to Windows Security > App & Browser Control > Reputation-based Protection > Phishing Protection. Windows security can optionally warn users about reused and insecurely stored passwords.

Phishing Protection

Fortunately, there are no strict conditions attached to activating Windows 11’s phishing protection.

Microsoft also intends to implement personal data encryption, allowing Windows Hello for Business to protect users’ data on lost or stolen devices. In the upcoming days, there will be more updates on other upcoming security features for Windows 11 operating system from Microsoft. Stay tuned!!

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