How to Configure the Most Secure Settings for Microsoft Defender

Microsoft Defender is a comprehensive security solution that protects your Windows devices from various threats, such as malware, ransomware, phishing, and more.

Microsoft Defender includes several features and settings that you can customize to enhance your security and privacy.

In this article, we will show you how to configure the most secure settings for Microsoft Defender, based on the recommendations from Microsoft and other sources.


Enable Real-Time Protection and Cloud-Delivered Protection
Real-time protection is a feature that scans your files and programs in real-time and blocks any malicious activity. Cloud-delivered protection is a feature that uses Microsoft’s cloud-based intelligence to detect and respond to new and emerging threats. To enable these features, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security by selecting Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security or by clicking the shield icon in the taskbar.

• Select Virus & threat protection.

• Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings.

• Turn on the following options: Real-time protection, Cloud-delivered protection, Automatic sample submission, and Tamper protection


Configure Firewall and Network Protection
Firewall and network protection is a feature that monitors your network connections and blocks unauthorized or malicious traffic. You can configure the firewall settings for different network profiles (domain, private, or public) and allow or block specific apps through the firewall. To configure the firewall settings, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security and select Firewall & network protection.

• Select the network profile that you are currently using (for example, Private network).

• Turn on Windows Defender Firewall.

• Under Allow an app through firewall, select Change settings.

• Review the list of apps that are allowed or blocked by the firewall. You can uncheck any app that you don’t trust or don’t need to access the internet. You can also add a new app by selecting Allow another app.

• Select OK to save your changes


Enable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen
Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is a feature that helps protect you from malicious websites, downloads, and apps. It checks the reputation of the sites and files you visit or download and warns you if they are potentially dangerous. To enable this feature, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security and select App & browser control.

• Under Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, turn on the following options: Check apps and files, SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge, SmartScreen for Microsoft Store apps


Enable Exploit Protection
Exploit protection is a feature that helps protect your device from common exploits that target vulnerabilities in software. It applies mitigations to apps and processes to prevent or reduce the impact of attacks. To enable this feature, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security and select App & browser control.

• Under Exploit protection settings, select Exploit protection settings.

• Under System settings, turn on all the options that are available (for example, Data Execution Prevention, Force randomization for images, Validate heap integrity, etc.)

• Under Program settings, you can also customize the exploit protection settings for specific apps by selecting Add program to customize.


Enable Controlled Folder Access
Controlled folder access is a feature that helps protect your important files from ransomware and other unauthorized changes. It allows only trusted apps to access your protected folders and blocks any suspicious or malicious attempts. To enable this feature, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security and select Virus & threat protection.

• Under Ransomware protection, select Manage ransomware protection.

• Turn on Controlled folder access.

• Under Protected folders, you can see the default folders that are protected by this feature (such as Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc.). You can also add additional folders by selecting Add a protected folder.

• Under Allow an app through Controlled folder access, you can see the list of apps that are allowed to access your protected folders. You can also add a new app by selecting Add an allowed app


Enable Account Protection
Account protection is a feature that helps you improve your sign-in security and manage your account settings. It encourages you to use strong authentication methods such as Windows Hello or Microsoft Authenticator app and alerts you if there are any issues with your account. To enable this feature, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security and select Account protection.

• Sign in with your Microsoft account if you haven’t already.

• Under Windows Hello, set up a PIN, fingerprint, or face recognition to sign in to your device without a password.

• Under Dynamic lock, turn on Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away if you want to use this feature.

• Under Account management, review your account settings and security info


Update Your Device Regularly
One of the best ways to keep your device secure is to update it regularly with the latest security patches and feature updates. Windows Update automatically downloads and installs updates for your device, but you can also check for updates manually and change some settings. To update your device, follow these steps:

• Open Windows Security and select Device performance & health.

• Under Windows Update, select Check for updates.

• If there are any available updates, select Download and install or Install now.

• You can also select Advanced options to change some settings, such as when to schedule the updates, how to pause the updates, or how to opt in to the Windows Insider Program


Microsoft Defender is a powerful security solution that can help you protect your Windows devices from various threats. By following the steps in this article, you can configure the most secure settings for Microsoft Defender and enhance your security and privacy. However, you should also remember that no security solution is perfect and you should always be careful and vigilant when using your device online.


Stay protected with Windows Security – Microsoft Support

Best practices for configuring Windows Defender Firewall – Microsoft Learn

This article was written by Bing AI client integrated in Skype.

Q: design a picture showing microsoft defender hardening


The post How to Configure the Most Secure Settings for Microsoft Defender first appeared on Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity.

The Importance of Implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS)

In today’s interconnected and data-driven business landscape, information has become one of the most valuable assets for companies. As organizations rely heavily on technology and digital platforms, protecting sensitive data from threats has become a critical concern.

This is where an Information Security Management System (ISMS) plays a pivotal role. In this article, we will explore why it is essential for companies to have an ISMS and how it can help safeguard their information assets.


An ISMS, or Information Security Management System, is a systematic approach to managing an organization’s information security processes, policies, and controls. It is a framework that provides a structured and holistic approach to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information assets within an organization.

The primary objective of an ISMS is to establish a set of coordinated security practices that align with the organization’s overall business goals and risk management strategies. It involves defining and implementing policies, procedures, guidelines, and controls to manage the security of information assets effectively.

Key components of an ISMS typically include:

  1. Risk Assessment: Identifying and assessing potential risks and vulnerabilities to the organization’s information assets, including data breaches, unauthorized access, and system failures.
  2. Security Policies: Developing comprehensive policies and guidelines that outline the organization’s approach to information security, including acceptable use, data classification, incident response, and access control.
  3. Asset Management: Inventorying and categorizing information assets based on their importance and sensitivity, ensuring proper protection measures are applied accordingly.
  4. Access Control: Implementing controls to manage user access privileges, authentication mechanisms, and authorization processes to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information.
  5. Incident Response: Establishing procedures and protocols to detect, respond to, and recover from security incidents, including data breaches, malware attacks, or system compromises.
  6. Business Continuity Planning: Developing strategies to maintain critical business operations during and after a security incident or a disruptive event, ensuring minimal impact on the organization’s functions and services.
  7. Security Awareness and Training: Promoting a culture of security within the organization through regular training programs and awareness campaigns to educate employees about security best practices and their roles in protecting information assets.
  8. Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: Regularly monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of security controls, conducting audits, and implementing improvements to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

Commonly recognized standards for implementing an ISMS include ISO/IEC 27001, which provides a globally recognized framework for information security management, and NIST Cybersecurity Framework, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States.


ISMS Scope

Key goals of an ISMS are:

1. Protecting Confidentiality and Integrity:

Companies possess a vast amount of confidential information, including customer data, financial records, proprietary processes, and intellectual property. An ISMS provides a structured framework to identify, classify, and protect this valuable information from unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification. By implementing robust security controls and protocols, an ISMS ensures the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data, reducing the risk of data breaches, leaks, and unauthorized usage.

2. Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Requirements:

In an era of increasing data privacy regulations, companies face stringent legal obligations to protect customer information and comply with industry-specific standards. Implementing an ISMS assists in meeting these requirements by providing a systematic approach to information security management. Whether it’s the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), an ISMS helps companies establish and maintain a strong security posture, avoiding legal penalties and reputational damage.

3. Mitigating Risks and Vulnerabilities:

Cyber threats and attacks are a constant and evolving concern for businesses of all sizes. An ISMS helps identify potential risks and vulnerabilities within the company’s information systems and infrastructure. By conducting regular risk assessments and implementing appropriate controls, such as firewalls, encryption, and intrusion detection systems, an ISMS minimizes the likelihood of security incidents. It enables proactive monitoring, threat detection, and incident response, ensuring that companies can effectively manage security risks.

4. Enhancing Customer Trust and Competitive Advantage:

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, customers prioritize the security and privacy of their data. By implementing an ISMS, companies demonstrate their commitment to protecting customer information and build trust among their client base. A robust information security framework helps differentiate the organization from its competitors and can be a valuable marketing point, particularly when dealing with sensitive data or operating in industries where security is paramount. Additionally, companies that adhere to international standards such as ISO 27001 gain a competitive edge by showcasing their dedication to best practices in information security management.

5. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery:

Information security incidents can have severe consequences, leading to financial losses, operational disruptions, and damage to the company’s reputation. An ISMS encompasses business continuity planning and disaster recovery strategies to minimize the impact of such incidents. By implementing appropriate backup mechanisms, incident response protocols, and recovery procedures, companies can quickly restore operations and maintain the trust of stakeholders in the event of a security breach or a disruptive event.

An ISMS provides a comprehensive framework to protect sensitive information, comply with legal obligations, mitigate risks, build customer trust, and ensure business continuity. By implementing an ISMS, organizations can safeguard their valuable assets, keep and even enhance their reputation.

The post The Importance of Implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) first appeared on Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity.

Preventing Attacks and Securing the Supply Chain in the Security Software Industry

The security software industry plays a vital role in safeguarding sensitive data and protecting digital infrastructure.

However, the industry itself faces a significant threat from supply chain attacks.

Supply chain attacks occur when cybercriminals target vulnerabilities within the supply chain to compromise software or hardware products before they reach the end-users.

By infiltrating the supply chain, attackers can inject malicious code, backdoors, or vulnerabilities, thereby compromising the security of the software.

Such attacks can have far-reaching consequences, as they can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical systems and data.

These attacks have the potential to undermine the integrity and trustworthiness of security software, leading to severe consequences for individuals, organizations, and even nations.

This article examines the damaging impact of supply chain attacks on the security software industry, while also delving into preventive measures and strategies to secure the supply chain.



  1. Loss of Trust: Supply chain attacks erode trust in security software products and the industry as a whole. When high-profile incidents occur, customers may lose confidence in the ability of software vendors to protect their assets and data.
  2. Financial Loss: The costs associated with supply chain attacks are staggering. Companies suffer significant financial losses due to reputational damage, legal consequences, customer compensation, and the costs of investigating and mitigating the attack.
  3. Weakened Defenses: A compromised security software product can result in weakened defenses for individuals, organizations, and governments, leaving them vulnerable to further cyberattacks. This situation can have severe consequences, particularly when critical infrastructure or national security is at stake.


Preventing Attacks:

  1. Enhanced Vendor Due Diligence: Organizations should thoroughly vet and assess the security practices of their software vendors and suppliers. This includes scrutinizing their security measures, incident response plans, and third-party audits.
  2. Secure Development Practices: Implementing secure software development practices, such as code review, vulnerability testing, and penetration testing, can help identify and rectify potential weaknesses in software products.
  3. Strong Authentication and Encryption: Implementing robust authentication mechanisms and encryption protocols helps protect the integrity and confidentiality of software and its supply chain components.
  4. Regular Updates and Patching: Ensuring timely and regular updates and patches are applied to software products and their supply chain components helps address known vulnerabilities and protect against emerging threats.



  1. End-to-End Visibility: Organizations must have comprehensive visibility into their supply chain, including the identification of all suppliers and the ability to monitor their security practices throughout the software development lifecycle.
  2. Supply Chain Risk Assessment: Conducting a thorough risk assessment helps identify potential vulnerabilities and risks within the supply chain. This assessment should encompass all stages, from design to distribution, and involve evaluating suppliers, their security practices, and their access controls.
  3. Supplier Contracts and Agreements: Organizations should establish clear contractual agreements with suppliers that define security requirements, incident response protocols, and breach notification obligations. Regular audits and assessments can help ensure compliance.
  4. Incident Response Planning: Developing and regularly testing an incident response plan specific to supply chain attacks enables organizations to respond swiftly and effectively, mitigating the impact of any potential breach.


Supply chain attacks pose a significant threat to the security software industry, compromising the integrity and trustworthiness of software products. The damaging consequences include loss of trust, financial losses, and weakened defenses. However, by implementing preventive measures, such as enhanced vendor due diligence, secure development practices, and regular updates, organizations can bolster their defenses against supply chain attacks. Additionally, securing the supply chain through end-to-end visibility, risk assessments, supplier contracts, and incident response planning.


If you want to know how to address Supply Chain issues, you can contact Endpoint Cybersecurity for a free consultation.

Supply Chain Management



The post Preventing Attacks and Securing the Supply Chain in the Security Software Industry first appeared on Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity.

Securing the Secure: The Importance of Secure Software Practices in Security Software Development

In an increasingly interconnected digital world, the importance of secure software cannot be overstated.

Many people think that by using security software all their digital assets become automatically secured.

However, it is crucial to recognize that security software itself is not inherently secure by default.

To ensure the highest level of protection, security software must be designed, developed, and maintained using secure software practices.

This blog post emphasizes how important it is to incorporate secure software development practices within the broader context of the secure software lifecycle for security software.


Understanding the Secure Software Lifecycle

The secure software lifecycle encompasses the entire journey of a security software product, from its inception to its retirement.

It consists of multiple stages, such as :

  • Requirements gathering/Analysis
  • Design,
  • Implementation
  • Testing,
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance
  • Retirement

Incorporating secure software practices at each step is essential to fortify the software’s defense against potential vulnerabilities and attacks.


Implement Secure Software Development Practices

Implementing secure software practices involves adopting a proactive approach to identify and address security concerns from the outset.

Some fundamental practices include:

a. Threat Modeling:

Conducting a comprehensive analysis of potential threats and vulnerabilities helps developers design robust security measures. By understanding potential risks, developers can prioritize security features and allocate resources accordingly.

b. Secure Coding:

Writing code with a security-first mindset minimizes the likelihood of exploitable vulnerabilities. Adhering to coding standards, utilizing secure coding libraries, and performing regular code reviews and audits contribute to building a solid foundation for secure software.

c. Secure Configuration Management

Properly configuring the security software environment, such as secure network settings, encryption protocols, and access controls, is vital for safeguarding against unauthorized access and data breaches.

d. Regular Security Testing

Rigorous testing, including vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and code analysis, helps identify and rectify security flaws. It ensures that security software operates as intended and remains resilient against evolving threats.


The Bigger Picture: Security in a Connected World

Secure software development practices extend beyond the development of security software alone. They have a broader impact on the overall security ecosystem. The adoption of secure software practices sets a precedent for other software developers, promoting a culture of security awareness and accountability.

Moreover, incorporating secure practices in security software helps foster trust among users and organizations. It instills confidence that the software is diligently designed to protect sensitive information and critical systems. Secure software practices also contribute to regulatory compliance, enabling organizations to meet stringent security standards and safeguard user data.


The Vital Importance of Secure Software: Consequences of Security Vulnerabilities for Security Companies

The implications of security vulnerabilities go beyond the immediate risks they pose to users and organizations. For security companies, the consequences of having products with security vulnerabilities can be severe, impacting their reputation, customer trust, and overall business viability.

Here are just a few negative consequences that security companies may face if their products fall prey to security vulnerabilities:

  1. Reputation Damage: Security companies are built on trust and reliability. When a security product is discovered to have vulnerabilities, it erodes customer confidence and tarnishes the company’s reputation. The perception that a security company cannot protect its own software casts doubt on its ability to safeguard sensitive information and defend against external threats. This loss of trust can be challenging to regain, resulting in a significant blow to the company’s credibility and market standing.
  2. Customer Loss and Dissatisfaction: Security vulnerabilities in software can lead to compromised systems, data breaches, and financial losses for users. In such instances, customers are likely to seek alternative security solutions, abandoning the vulnerable product and the company behind it. This loss of customers not only affects the company’s revenue but also demonstrates a lack of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Negative word-of-mouth can spread rapidly, deterring potential customers from considering the security company’s offerings in the future.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Consequences: Security vulnerabilities can have legal and regulatory implications for security companies. Depending on the nature and severity of the vulnerabilities, companies may face legal action from affected parties, resulting in costly litigation and potential financial penalties. Furthermore, security companies operating in regulated industries, such as finance or healthcare, may face compliance violations, leading to fines and reputational damage. Compliance with security standards and industry regulations is critical for security companies to maintain credibility and avoid legal consequences.
  4. Increased Operational Costs: Addressing security vulnerabilities requires significant resources, both in terms of time and finances. Security companies must invest in dedicated teams to investigate, fix, and release patches or updates to address vulnerabilities promptly. Additionally, engaging in incident response, customer support, and post-incident communication efforts adds to the operational costs. Failure to address vulnerabilities in a timely and efficient manner can exacerbate the negative consequences, making the recovery process more challenging and expensive.


In an era where security breaches and cyber threats are prevalent, relying solely on the notion that security software is inherently secure is a grave misconception. Secure software practices are indispensable for developing robust and resilient security software. By implementing these practices throughout the software lifecycle, developers can significantly mitigate the risks associated with vulnerabilities and ensure the highest level of protection for users and organizations alike. Embracing secure software practices sets the stage for a safer digital landscape, bolstering trust, and reinforcing security across the entire software development ecosystem. By prioritizing security, security companies can protect their customers, preserve their reputation, and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity.


If you want to know more about SSDLC, contact Endpoint Cybersecurity for a free consultation.

Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDLC)

The post Securing the Secure: The Importance of Secure Software Practices in Security Software Development first appeared on Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity.

How to make sure your product’s reputation is good

If your product is already on the market, or if you just want to release it, you need to ensure that it has a good reputation.
Balancing features that improve monetization with criteria that lower the product’s reputation is not an easy task.
For this you need a partner with experience in Product and Project Management for security products.
We can help you find the right balance that will keep you out of the radar of big AV companies, Appesteem and others, without losing revenue and customers on the long term.

Contact us for a discussion.

#cybersecurity #productmanagement #security #appesteem #pua #reputation #antivirus

One year later: challenges for young anti-malware products today (presentation Virus Bulletin 2020)



A year ago, at VB2019 we presented for the first time an overview of how the anti-malware world looks from the perspective of a young company trying to enter the market: how they try to build products, how they try to enter the market, how they try to convert users, and what challenges they face in these activities.

In this new paper we will present an overview of the situation for such a company after one year of experience. We will look at the situation from several angles:

    • that of the consulting company helping them to build the product and enter the market


    • that of working with certification companies regularly, checking the products for detection and performance


  • that of working with Microsoft to make the company compliant and keep them compliant

One year later, many still have a hard time understanding that the security market is no longer the Wild Wild West, but we also see that a lot of visible efforts are being made to improve. This means that compliance with ‘clean software’ regulations is becoming an issue. We will present some interesting statistics and compare data from the past with current data. The young companies still have a lot of challenges in understanding that implementing AV software is not the same as implementing any other type of software. Despite the fact that they still get flagged by the established products for various reasons, there are still more and more companies trying to enter the market.

A lot of people in the audience will ask themselves ‘why would anyone want to enter the market, since the market is overcrowded, there are plenty of free products out there, and on Windows there is also Microsoft Defender?’. We will try to provide an answer to this question, but the answer is not what many think it is. Or, maybe it is …




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