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Microsoft To Launch App-Testing Sandbox ‘InPrivate Desktop’ Feature

It has been reported that Microsoft is to launch InPrivate Desktop for a future version of Windows 10, a kind of throwaway sandbox that gives Admins a secure way to operate one-time tests of any untrusted apps / software.

Like A Virtual Machine

Although the new feature is still a bit hush-hush, and has actually been removed from the Windows 10 Insider programme, it is believed to act like a kind of in-box, speedy VM (virtual machine) that is then refreshed to use again after it has been used on a particular App.

Why?

The reason for the new feature in the broader sense , is that it fits with moves announced by Microsoft last June 2017 to introduce next-generation security features to Windows 10.

ATP & WDAG

Back in June 2017, Microsoft specifically mentioned the integration of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) as one of the next-generation security measures. ATP, for example, was designed to isolate and contain the threat if a user on a corporate network accidentally downloaded malicious software via their browser.

A security feature that some commentators have likened InPrivate Desktop to, that was also specifically mentioned last June, was Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG). Interestingly, WDAG isolates potential malware and exploits downloaded via a users’ browser and contains the threat using virtualisation-based security.

Spec Needed For InPrivate Desktop

Although the exact details of InPrivate Desktop are sketchy, we know that it is likely to be aimed at enterprises rather than individual users and that, as such, it is likely to need a reasonable spec to operate. It has been reported that in order to run the new feature / app at least 4GB of RAM, at least 5GB of free disk space, and two CPU cores will be needed.

When?

There is also still some speculation as to exactly when the InPrivate Desktop feature will make it to Windows 10. Some commentators have noted that it may not make it into Windows 10 ‘Redstone 5’, and looks likely to be rolled-out in a subsequent Windows 10 update which has been codenamed 19H1.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

With support stopping for previous versions of Windows, and with all of us being forced into using Windows 10’s SaaS model, it makes sense that Microsoft adds more features to protect users, particularly businesses.

Adding malicious code to apps has been a method increasingly used by cyber-criminals to sneak under the radar, and having a secure space to test and isolate dubious / suspect apps will give Admins an extra tool to protect their organisation from evolving cyber-threats. It is extra-convenient that the testing feature / app sandbox will already be built-in to Windows 10.