Controlled folder access protects the contents of selected folders to prevent suspicious applications from changing the contents. Microsoft has been working on the feature for months, but it is now available to the general public in the Windows 10 Fall Creators update (version 1709) released last week. The Register reported, "The feature is enabled through the Windows Defender Security Center App for most users, and is accessed by opening the virus & threat protection screen within Defender. From there, users switch on the controlled folder access option to activate controlled folders." If you are in an enterprise environment, controlled folder access can be activated using Group Policy, MDM configuration or PowerShell.
The intent is that ransomware (or other nasty software) can't encrypt system files or critical data files rendering them inaccessible to the user. Initial tests have been very positive. Enabling controlled folder access is not a substitute for safe computing.
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Digital Forensics/Information Security/Information Technology