Microsoft has introduced Software Guard for Office, a characteristic that opens untrusted Term, Excel and PowerPoint paperwork in a sandbox to defend consumers from probable threats.

Microsoft built Software Guard generally offered this 7 days to companies with a 365 E5 or E5 Safety license. When subscribers acquire the characteristic will depend on whether or not they get quick, monthly or semi-yearly updates. Software Guard experienced been in public preview because August.

Software Guard for Office opens an untrusted doc in a Hyper-V-enabled container to defend consumers towards viruses, worms and other malware. The computer software isolates documents in the container so malicious code are not able to infect apps on a laptop.

Microsoft previously utilised Protected See to defend consumers from threats. Having said that, it gave men and women only the option of opening documents in a browse-only method or the 365 computer software. Software Guard allows consumers edit, print and conserve paperwork though in quarantine.

Microsoft mentioned consumers who deem a doc safe and sound may perhaps decide to clear away the file’s Software Guard protection. Firms that use Microsoft Defender can have the computer software scan paperwork for malware ahead of workforce open them.

If a firm makes use of the Secure Documents characteristic in Microsoft Defender, the doc will be scanned for malware ahead of a person opens it.

Constellation Study analyst Liz Miller mentioned Software Guard is a handy software for stopping malware infections. But it is not a substitution for coaching consumers about security threats.

“People who make poor conclusions … are usually doing it mainly because they never know what to seem for,” Miller mentioned. “Or [they] have the naïve perception that there is a security protection net that will constantly be there to catch them.”

The Software Guard characteristic is off by default. When an IT administrator turns it on, it will open documents downloaded from the internet or obtained as an email attachment. The computer software also opens documents stored in non permanent folders or established in past Office variations.

Mike Gleason is a reporter covering conclude-person computing subject areas this kind of as desktop management. He previously lined communities in the MetroWest location of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily Information, Walpole Occasions, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also labored for newspapers in Central Massachusetts and Southwestern Vermont and served as a regional editor for Patch. He can be discovered on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.