As ransomware attacks gained steam in the mid-2010s, Microsoft sought to give Windows users and admins tools to protect their PCs from such attacks. With its October 2017 feature update, the company added a feature called Controlled Folder Access to Windows 10.
On paper, Controlled Folder Access sounds like a great protection for consumers, home users, and small businesses with limited resources. As defined by Microsoft, “Controlled folder access helps protect your valuable data from malicious apps and threats, such as ransomware. Controlled folder access protects your data by checking apps against a list of known, trusted apps. Supported on Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, Windows 10, and Windows 11 clients, controlled folder access can be turned on using the Windows Security App, Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, or Intune (for managed devices).”