Printer protection in preview for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has new device control capabilities to secure removable storage.
  • New printer protection options are also in preview for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.
  • Organizations can now use the software to block non-corporate network printers and non-approved USB printers.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has new options to secure removable storage on Windows and macOS. Microsoft also has new printer protection capabilities in preview through the software (via Bleeping Computer). The new options should help organizations secure PCs that use external devices.

Microsoft explains that with more people working from home, devices like printers and removable storage have become targets for attackers:

External devices such as USB and home printers are commonplace tools needed to complete daily business operations. These devices help employee productivity, but also pose a threat to enterprise data and serve as a potential entry point for malware and viruses. The move to remote work due to COVID-19 over the last year has raised the risk to another level.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint already has control protections for device installation, removable storage Endpoint DLP, and removable storage BitLocker. Now, the program also has control capabilities for removable storage access on Windows.

Microsoft explains that "the new feature allows to Audit/Allow/Prevent Read, Write, or Execute access to removable storage based on various device properties, e.g., Vendor ID, Serial Number, Friendly Name, with or without an exclusion."

On Macs, the program can regulate how much access is given to external USB storage devices.

The printer protection feature that's in preview allows organizations to block people from printing from non-corporate network printers or non-approved USB printers.

Microsoft breaks down how to use the new protections in a Tech Community post (opens in new tab).

Printer-related security has been pushed to the forefront due to newly discovered vulnerabilities. The PrintNightmare vulnerability caused several security issues that organizations had to deal with.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).